A Single origin coffee is a monogenetic bean that came from one species of the shrub coffee Arabica. These coffees are generally named after their farm or original geographic home. An example of this is our Café Con Amor. The name communicates that the bean originates from the Con Amor Farm – Coffee Made with Love. The Con Amor Farm is a husband-wife operation in Costa Rica.

“Asking whether someone prefers an espresso made from a blend of coffees or a single-origin bean is kind of like asking whether they prefer a romantic symphony or a blazing sax solo. They both have their time and place, but they’re certainly very different music.”     – Erin Meister

So let’s take a look at why, we at Carrier Coffee Company in Onawa, IA chose to use a coffee roaster that offers single origin coffees.

The Experience.

We decided early on that we wanted to provide our community with a unique coffee experience. Tasting coffee from different countries, and noticing the flavor profiles of each growing region has been fun for us as well as our customers. We also love to tell the story of the farms and harvest process of each bean. This is a topic that is well ignored when talking blends.


Purchasing and promoting single origin coffee beans is a sustainable practice because of the economic and environmental impact on coffee farms. When large coffee companies purchase coffee they merge beans from multiple sources to maximize the number of usable products. This practice leads to a higher profit for the company, but not always a great margin for the farm itself. Small-batch roasters encourage farmers to grow smaller batches with more traditional and sustainable practices creating a higher quality product using fewer resources, in turn offering incentives for doing so.

The Taste.

Single origin beans are used in our cafe for espresso drinks, because of the exotic flavor profile and sweetness it provides. We also use single origin beans for pour overs. Single origin beans are roasted lightly to preserve the flavor that derives from the growing region.

Here are some of the popular tasting notes by country:

Costa Rica: Bright, Creamy, Balanced

Columbia: Mellow, Caramel, Ripe

Tanzania: Zesty, Fruity, Honey

Ethiopia: Fruity, Dense, Wine

Nicaragua: Clean, Nutty, Juicy

Honduras: Sweet, Acidic, Deep

Kenya: Clean, Floral, Aromatic

El Salvador: Bold, Rich, Thick

Hawaii: Deep, Smooth, Balanced

Guatemala: Floral, Summery, Aromatic