Not every single detail the word “single origin” carries can be explained in one line. The term has a broad definition. One important aspect that explains the term is where the coffee is from originally and that it is not a blend of coffee beans from varied parts of the world.
The trend is strengthening on the basis of high quality beans that grow in specific areas and their flavors are unique. Not that blends are any less popular. But as the labels read “dark chocolate, caramelized sugar, and dark cherry” or “bright and fruity with notes of pineapple, lime, and bergamot” roasters and specially specialty roasters are increasingly emphasizing over more distinguished single origins.
The reason behind blends is mainly a safe consistency that can be created with multiple types of beans without relying completely upon beans from one specific area where the climatic factor or any other condition can cause a hindrance in acquiring of those beans (and ultimately the taste the café or roaster has to offer) year after year.
Single origin coffee on the other hand means exactly that and gives the roaster or café an opportunity to play on a unique taste. A variety that stands out from all others, represent its region (or a state or a farm or even a micro-lot) and give the roaster or even baristas a chance to display their skills in a prominent way. The coffee labels upon close inspection may also reveal the name of the farm, area or even plantation or compound the coffee was grown on. The idea is, the origin point of coffee can be traced and that it isn’t mixed with beans from different countries to form a blend.
Single origin doesn’t always guarantee a great coffee, although it is safe to expect so. Beans being solo in origin are more susceptible to the judgment of the palette with all their strengths and weaknesses. So the margin of error is small and a bad extraction in a single origin coffee is far easier to be detected. But that also means that consumers get a pure experience of a single coffee. They can better understand the quality of the product and the better they find it the more will they demand of it.
Not just the demand, single origin coffee also increases the emphasis on being transparent while sourcing the coffee directly from the farmers. A worthwhile situation for everyone involved in the coffee production chain, from the farmer to the barista.