If you're used to buying espresso blends, you might want to consider your next bag to be one of our guest single origins (My Single Friend). Whilst blends are consistent and bring the best flavours together, you can really get to know your coffee regions by changing it up with a single origin coffee.
Understanding Growing Regions
By trying a single origin coffee, you are literally trying a coffee straight from that region. This educates you on whether the tasting notes that come from beans of that region are what you want your coffee to taste like. Coffee tastes vastly different from one place to another. You'll struggle to reach the flavours of Ethiopian coffee from a Costa Rican coffee, and vice versa. So learning and experimenting with different coffee regions helps you pick out your perfect coffee when you're out and about and trying new coffee places.
Understanding Coffee Processing Methods
Just like growing regions, the taste of your coffee varies based on the processing method of the beans as well. Processing is really what happens between picking the coffee cherry to extracting the green bean before it's exported and roasted. Popular processing methods include natural processed, washed processed and honey processed. Natural processing ferments the coffee cherry fruit to extract the bean and this gives rise to more winey boozy flavours. Whereas the washed process is similar to natural processing but includes a heavy water washing phase to give the coffee a crisper flavour. Honey processing is like a hybrid between the natural and washed process that removes the coffee cherry skin and a sticky substance the coffee cherry also secretes (hence the name); that's why it's also called 'fully washed'. Honey process, despite no honey being involved, causes the coffee to retain its sweet flavours and so it's less acidic than other methods.
Although espresso blends will feature coffee from growing regions, each with a processing. You'll struggle to identify what it is about the coffee that draws you to it. Buying single origin coffee allows you to distinguish what regions and processing you most prefer, and this will help you pick out new coffees in new places - and impress your friends!