Differences Between Single-Origin and Blends

At Charleston Coffee Roasters, we slowly roast all our coffees to order. We start with Specialty Grade Arabica beans (we never use robusta), which are carefully selected from farms around the globe. These farms maintain traditional, sustainable growing practices. We then hand roast slowly, in small batches (learn more about our roasting process here). Each bag is dated so you know it’s fresh.

When you try our coffees, savor the rich aroma and the smooth NEVER BITTER flavor that you taste in every sip. You will want a second cup. We guarantee it!

To help you better understand the types of coffees we roast, read on…


All coffees start out as “Single Origin, meaning they are grown in one particular country. Over 70 countries grow coffee. The coffee tree needs warmth and altitude to produce its’ fruit or cherry. Coffee is grown around the world on either side of the equator in the “Bean Belt” or from 25 degrees North to 30 degrees South. When a bag of coffee lists the country as the quality, I.E. Colombian or Sumatra, they are single origins.

Each country or origin, has multiple growing regions. Each region produces coffee with different taste characteristics. With all agricultural products, the soil and climate are key in determining the those taste characteristics.

Since coffees are grown on farms, one can purchase specific farm coffees. So one can purchase a single origin from a specific region all grown on one farm.

If you hear the term varietal it doesn’t mean single origin. The term “varietal” is often misused. Arabica is one species within the genus of coffee (robusta is another species). Each species has varieties ranked underneath it, and there are many varieties of arabica coffee trees. Remember “varietal” is a botanical term and “single-origin” is a geographical term.

Charleston Coffee Roasters only purchases single origin coffees of the Arabica variety. We never purchase Robusta.


A coffee blend is one which uses more than one type of coffee. A blend can consist of coffees from different regions within a country, different countries or origins.

All of the coffees Charleston Coffee Roasters purchases, stand on their own.   Each coffee is purchased because it has special flavors. We roast the beans to bring out those flavors. Since all of our coffees have great unique tastes, we can combine them to create new flavors. Hence, we blend coffees to create new flavors from different “cup” profiles that create a harmonious, balanced whole. The blends we create are as special in their own way as the most exotic single-origin coffees. We blend coffees like top chefs create dishes.


We take great care and pride in sourcing our coffees from farms that are environmentally and socially responsible. In order to ensure that we are getting the very best coffees, we look to source coffees that are certified organic, certified by the Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade Certified, and more!

Read our article on the various labeling terms to learn more about each of them, and why they are important when you make your next coffee purchase.