You may have heard this term many times, but the truth is that not everyone is clear about what we are referring to or what is meant when we talk about Origin Coffee.
It is true that for the average consumer, it may not be a very important topic, as they are not usually concerned about the quality or origin of their coffee. Still, it never hurts to review the basic concepts.
What is origin coffee? Very simple: it is a coffee that comes from one and only one origin. In other words, a single harvest, a single crop, a single region.
It is not for nothing that the name of the farm or estate where it was grown should be indicated on many or most packages of origin coffees.
For this reason, it is also known as farm coffee, estate coffee, or simply single-origin coffee.
Origin coffee is the opposite of blend coffee, which are coffees composed of beans from different origins that are combined to achieve a certain aroma or cup profile.
This is not the case with origin coffee: traceability is absolute, and the consumer has total certainty about where the beverage he or she is drinking comes from.
Generally, what we find on the market are denominations of origin coffee by country (Colombia, Brazil, Kenya, Ethiopia, Honduras…), although logically we must read the small print on the packaging to find out the exact farm and region where it comes from.
Two coffees originating in Peru, for example, maybe completely different or even have been harvested at opposite ends of the country under very different climatic conditions.
Origin coffee vs. speciality coffee: Differences
The term ‘origin coffee’ is often linked to the term ‘speciality coffee‘, but in reality, they are not the same.
Speciality coffee is a coffee that scores more than 85 points in official cupping carried out by certified tasters. It can be from one or more origins (blends).
On the other hand, an origin coffee can be excellent and be considered a speciality coffee, or simply a good (or average) coffee.
Origin coffee in capsules
It is normal to buy Origin coffee in beans, which is how the properties of each production are best preserved, but… is it possible to find good Origin coffee in capsules? Yes, and more and more formats are opting for this variant.
Whether the coffee is better or worse, or whether you are more or less a fan of capsules, is another story. Still, the truth is that in the main capsule systems, it is not difficult to find different varieties of origin coffee. Here are a few examples:
Nespresso Origin coffee
Owners of Nespresso coffee machines have it easiest when it comes to buying origin coffee in capsules.
This is largely due to the huge number of brands of compatible capsules on the market, but also thanks to the “Master Origin” line of official Nespresso capsules, where, apart from the classics, we can find coffees from origins as interesting as Indonesia or India.
Dolce Gusto Origin coffee
We can also buy origin coffees in Dolce Gusto capsules. In this case, the variety is not as wide as in Nespresso. Still, the positive side is that some of these origins (Colombia or Peru, for example) are marketed by the official brand itself.
Similarly, we can find coffee capsules with origins compatible with Dolce Gusto in the Starbucks brand. In fact, Starbucks origin coffee is very present in all areas of the market, as the North American brand has made a major commercial commitment to this line of production.
It is important to note that there is no one origin coffee that is necessarily better than another (Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica… each has its own characteristics) and that, as we have said, the label of coffee with the denomination of origin refers more to the traceability of the bean than to the quality itself.