Coffee. The king of all beverages. And rightly so, seeing as it is the second highest earning commodity after oil, grossing $18 billion a year in revenue. And that’s in the US alone.
This beverage is so popular, brewing it has even become a world-renowned sport.
But just how much do you know about your favorite drink? Keep reading and discover some interesting facts. Hope you have your favorite coffee drink next to you.
Where Does Coffee Come From?
With the origins of coffee shrouded in mystery and lore, many legends concerning its discovery have been told. The most popular one being that of a young Ethiopian goatherd who noticed his goats becoming more energetic after eating the red cherry-like fruit of the coffee bush.
Yes, coffee in its raw form is a red cherry-like fruit with the coffee bean at the center of the fruit. Surprising I know, but that’s where coffee comes from. The bean is extracted, roasted and ground into the coffee that is so common world over.
And so our young goat herd tried them himself, and the mysterious red fruit had the same effect on him. From then on, the mystic coffee bean was experimented on. Others boiled it and drunk it while others mixed it with animal fat to create a high protein/caffeine snack. Up until 1600, coffee was confined to Arabia and Africa. Its export was strictly regulated. The Arabs maintained a monopoly over this much-desired beverage by only selling infertile coffee beans that had been boiled to denature their fertility.
Everything changed when an Indian pilgrim to Mecca smuggled it out. By 1616, European coffee plantations were established in Sri Lanka, Ceylon, and the famous Java. From there, coffee production spread all over the world like a wildfire.
The rest, as they say, is history.
But the story of coffee continues as baristas and specialty coffee houses continue to experiment with the king of beverages. New flavors and combinations are being introduced at such a rapid rate it’s hard to keep up.
One of the latest trends in the story of coffee is something of a puzzle to many who frequent coffee shops: single origin coffee.
If you are a coffee aficionado, you’ve probably seen that label next to some certain types of coffee and wondered what it’s all about. Fret not, you’re not the only one in the dark.
What is “Single Origin Coffee”?
In simple terms, it is coffee from a single origin. Most coffees are blends of coffee beans sourced from different places all over the world. Because of this, the flavor of the coffee becomes inconsistent. That’s right, the flavor of coffee is determined by the region it is grown in, specifically the soil type and the climate.
This is why coffee connoisseurs prefer coffee from a single origin. The flavor is consistent. No unexpected bitterness one day and then sweetness the next. And because tastes (of the imbibers) differ, certain people prefer a coffee from a certain region over other regions, while for others, a different region produces the coffee of their liking. Because of this, the origin of the coffee is often included on the label.
That is the mystery behind “single origin coffee”.
For others though, “coffee from a single origin” has another twist to it. A sentimental one.
Coffee From a Single Origin – The Sentimental Value
The world is an unstable place with a lot of unfair people taking advantage of the weak and vulnerable. Some coffees come from such troubled regions of the world. In other places, the revenue from coffee is used to fund dictatorial regimes or rebel groups, further entrenching them in their seats of power.
This is where the sentimental value of single origin coffee comes in.
It’s difficult to enjoy a cup of coffee, no matter how tasty, when you know that someone paid a high price for it. And not a monetary price at that. Coffee grown in such regions quickly gets boycotted.
On the positive side though, coffee trade is also used to empower communities and nations that produce it. In such cases, your cup of coffee goes a long way in ensuring that a life (at the source of the coffee bean) is improved. Now that’s a reason strong enough to indulge yourself.
Single Origin or Blend, Which is Better?
Well, my friend, only your taste buds can answer that question. Why not treat yourself to a coffee tour and discover which source or style of preparation tickles your fancy. And next time you look at the menu at your favorite coffee house, the label “single origin coffee” won’t intimidate you. Hopefully, it will inspire you to give it a shot.