28 Aug Single Origins
Master roaster David Kennedy of Bun Coffee has been offering single origin coffee since the late 1980s when it was still relatively unknown. As our love and awareness of coffee as a nation has grown over the years, so too has the understanding and growth of single origin coffee. It’s being driven by the demand of consumers for high quality coffees to be enjoyed in their purest form. The quality of the coffee coupled with the origin story is what coffee aficionados are drawn to.
We find out more from David.
When did you first find an interest in single origin and how did you find out about it?
I’ve been fascinated by single origin for years. I was offering them in my cafe in Glebe Sydney in 1989 but got very little interest. I learnt about single origin from a coffee roaster in Sydney in the late 1980’s and really it was my curiosity that made me want to find out more about them.
What drew you to it?
I just find it really interesting that coffee is grown in single origin many different countries and that each origin has its unique flavour profile. I have a passion for getting my hands on as many different origins as possible.
How would you best describe what a single origin is?
Probably by describing what it is not. Most people would be familiar with their local cafe serving a “blend” of beans. The blend is designed to offer a consistent flavour profile throughout the year. A blend would be made up of a number of single origin coffees. A single origin presents a flavour profile unique to the region that the particular coffee is grown in. Different regions offer vastly different taste characteristics.
Single origin is a bean from a specific country. But it gets more complex as you drill down into regions of a country. For example, we have Ethiopian single origin but offer different regionals, being Harrar, Yirgacheffe, Sidamo, Lekempt and Limu. Then we can go further into Estates and right down to individual farms and individual aspects of particular farm. Micro lots are popular with small batches coming from tiny farms. eg our Project 121, and limited harvest range.
What are the single origin trends?
Single origins are in vogue now with roasters trying to get rare and unique coffees as well as Cup of Excellence beans which sell for very high prices.
How do you choose which ones?
We are guided by our suppliers and what is available. Some we can get regularly others not so. For instance, we used to stock Yemen beans but due to the political situation there we can no longer source it. Bolivian single origin is very popular but also hard to get. Basically, there is no such thing as a bad single origin as far as I am concerned. They are all unique and subject to the preferences of the individual pallet.
What makes a single origin green bean worthy to be roasted?
The origins we purchase are the result of an enormous amount of hard work by the growers who endeavour to produce the best possible beans they can.
The beans we purchase are all top quality and mostly organic and/or Fair Trade or Rain Forest Alliance certified.
What is Project 121?
Project 121 is a collaboration between Roaster, Importer, and Grower and has been established as a new way for roasters to build direct partnerships with producers, providing the opportunity to develop lasting, secure partnerships with farmers at origin.
As well as benefiting from Fair Trade premiums, Project 121 pays a cash premium for the selected crop which is given directly to the grower with no conditions whatsoever.
Through this project Bun Coffee, as the only Australian roaster, has exclusively secured specific single origins from specific farms in both Peru and Honduras.
And as with all single origins, the stories behind these origins is fascinating.
Project 121 Micro-Lot Grown by Agusto Vazquez Llamo Fair Trade, Organic & Rainforest Alliance Certified.
Augusto Vasquez Llamo is the owner of Santa Maria farm, located in the Jaen county of Cajamarca, Peru. He has grown his coffee here for 17 years. It covers 4 hectares and sits at an incredible altitude of 2050 MASL. He has been a member of the local Single originally Café Cooperative for 10 years now, and this single origin, his coffee was selected by the cooperative as one of the best in the region.
Honduran Project 121 Microlot Edgardo Orellana
Farmer Edgardo Orellana’s farm, Finca El Cerron is located in the Ocotepeque region of Honduras, near the South -Western border shared with El Salvador. It covers an area of 7 hectares and was first planted in 1998. The farm grows an Arabica varietal known as Pacas, which is a natural mutation of the Bourbon varietal, and was first recorded in El Salvador in 1949.
The farm is situated between 1550 and 1660 meters above sea-level, has a cool, pleasant climate and is surrounded by thick pine forest. The coffee trees on Mr Orellana’s farm flower between April and May, and are ready for harvest between December and April. The fruit is collected by hand to ensure that only the ripest are selected, which results in a consistently high-quality cup. Mr. Orellana is a member of COCAFELOL, a co-operative that is dedicated to supporting coffee farmers in the Ocotepeque region, assisting with production, marketing, financing, and export of their produce.