What is single origin coffee or specialty coffee?
Single origin coffee is also named single estate or specialty coffee. Simply speaking, specialty coffee is a kind of coffee which contributes specially unique taste and aroma to the coffee drinkers. Single origin coffee, first, represents a single place or address of growing its repective coffees. Second, this coffee must have a very high qualilty as compared to mainstream ones. Third, the volume of single estate’s must be very limited. Those make single origin coffee very rare and scarce and, of course, expensive.
What are featured characteristics of single origin coffee?
Basically, a single origin coffee must have three identities. They are (1) where it is grown and processed; (2) the quality and unique taste and aroma of it and (3) the volume. Those things are very important to distinguish a regular coffee versus a specialty coffee.
– Where or place the single origin coffee is planted and processed is very important. The perfect altitude with right temperature and climate will nuture a very unique coffee. For example, Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is grown only in Blue Mountain Range in Jamaica. These mountains are very good for growing blue mountain coffee. Or, another example is arabica coffee from Cau Dat’s single origin, Da Lat, Vietnam. The arabica in Cau Dat is famous across Asia Pacific regions thanks to its special taste and flavor.
– The quality and unique taste. Of course, quality is most important factor which decides a coffee to become special or not. The quality of single origin coffee must be very unique, excellent and like-no-other. To have a quality of its best, single estate coffees must be planted in perfect origins with balanced conditions and with best cultivation practices.
– The volume is also vital to a single origin coffee. Most obviously, a specialty coffee of tremendous quantity will be not special any more. If it is very massive, and easy to find and easy to buy, it is not a single origin. A single estate coffee must be very limited. The more scarce it is, the more expensive it gets. Let’s look at an example on weasel coffee. Weasel coffee or in other names as kopi luwak or civet dung coffee is considered as a specialty coffee in Vietnam and other Asian countries. It is believed that the total volume made by wild civets is just about 500Kg per annum.
What are world’s most famous single origin coffees?
Millions of tons of coffee beans have been produced by the world every year. But not many among them are single origin coffee. That is how we can see single origin coffee or specialty coffee is very premium. The other reason is that only places next to equatorial circle are suitable to grow coffee; thus, to find a perfect place for specialty coffee is very difficult. World’s famous single origin coffees include:
- Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. Blue Mountain Coffee is a world’s famous single origin coffee. It originates from Blue Mountain Range in Jamaica. The coffee is grown and harvested and sorted by a very strict and uniformed stadandard of Jamaican authorities to make sure its coffee quality and volume.
- Kona single estate coffee. Planted in Kona, the Big Island, Hawaii, this coffee is very special thanks to perfect volcanic soil from the island and its pure weather featured by Pacific ocean. Kona single estate itself is not only famous with its quality but also attractive to tourists to visit local coffee farms.
- Cau Dat’s specialty coffee. Situated in Langbian mountains, one among many thousand-year-of-age volcanic mountains, hills and plateaus of Central Highlands, Vietnam, Cau Dat is dominated as Vietnam’s best origin for arabica coffee. Its arabica coffee is beloved by local coffee drinkers and other customers across the region.
- Chieng Ban’s single origin coffee. Chieng Ban is a small mountainous village located in Son La rural province in the Far North-West of Vietnam. The area is featured with volcanic – soiled hills and a very cool climate. The condition to develop specialty coffee here is assumed to be as perfect as the ones of Blue Mountain and Kona.
- Buon Ma Thuot’s specialty robusta. Buon Ma Thuot’s coffee is very well-known across Vietnam. The area is considered as Vietnam’s capital for robusta coffee. Its robusta is very special. It is extremely bold and robust as compared to robusta from other origins within the country.
What is the future for Vietnam’s single origin coffees?
Vietnamese specialty coffee is not deserved as it should be on the world’s markets. The country has more than 1.5 million tons of coffee export per year, large coffee growing areas, rich soils, perfect climate and ideal altitude and famous single origins for specialty coffees but its specialty coffees seem to be locally – recognized.
The nation does have famous planting regions for growing specialty coffees such as Buon Ma Thuot for specialty robusta coffees, Cau Dat for specialty arabica coffees or Chieng Ban for specialty arabica coffees which have the same conditions to Kona – Hawaiian specialty coffee says some local news. Vietnam is also famous with civet dung specialty coffee. Civet dung or in other words, weasel coffee, civet-enzyme coffee or kopi luwak is the specialty coffee which is unique in South East Asia’s countries only. The best selected coffee cherries are digested inside a civet’s stomach with its enzyme to create a very unique taste of the world. How special it is and the price may exceed 1,000.00 dollars per a kilogram of authentic kopi luwak specialty coffee.
However, the value and volume of specialty coffee export account not too much as compared to total coffee export volume of the country. One of the main reasons is that Vietnam hasn’t had an association of specialty coffees until now and there is no common and uniformed standard for defining specialty coffees in the nation. On the contrary, local roasters get addicted to using the words “specialty coffees” on their products while there is no genuine and standardized guidance on planting, growing, processing and storing specialty coffees. Not only that, there is no trusted and verified association which can define or issue authentic certificates to qualified specialty coffee manufacturers either. Each person defines single origin coffee by his or her own understanding and criteria.
Our solutions on single origin coffees.
GREENRAWCOFFEE as a wholesale green coffee supplier understands that specialty coffees together with low-price instant coffees are Vietnam’s two main competitive coffees. We draw much attention on single origin coffee and try to figure out the real ones by our understanding and expertise with the close reference to global standards of specialty coffee. Through our local sourcing sites, we work with third independent labs to verify the authentic of single origin coffees we supply.
Our long-term vision should be high quality coffees sourcing from trusted coffee farms to deliver Vietnamese good coffees to the world and to increase Vietnamese coffee values in global coffee value chain(s). To achieve this, we will focus on certified coffees such as Organic coffee, Fair Trade coffee, Rainforest Alliance coffee, 4C certified, UTZ certified and specialty coffees. That could be an inevitable trend of global coffee consumption.
To sum up, single origin coffee is sticked with a well-known place or area which is very perfect for growing an excellent coffee. Single estate coffee possesses a very unique taste and aroma. It is also very limited in volume and very rare and scarce. So far, there have been famous single origion coffees such as Jamaica Blue Mountain, Kona, Cau Dat, Chieng Ban and Buon Ma Thuot. Vietnam – is world’s second biggest coffee producer – now has many opportunities to develop single origin coffees.