What's the fuss about single origin coffee?

What's the fuss about single origin coffee?

Here at Three Llamas, we only offer Peruvian single-origin coffee. We don't do blends, we don't do confusion. We believe that simplicity is best when producing an exceptional cup of coffee.  

What is single origin?

Single origin is the term that is used to describe coffee that has come from one particular source and has not been mixed with other coffees.

The Specialty Coffee Association's Andra Vlaicu explains the importance of single origin;

“the most important thing about single origin is its traceability, the fact that you know exactly where your coffee is from and that it’s a specific coffee, not a blend. Usually of a higher quality, it’s the acknowledgment that the coffee is from a particular farm located in a unique setting, whilst its flavour depicts its origin, possessing characteristics of that specific area where the particular coffee was grown.”

Peru was chosen by the Specialty Coffee Association of America as the Official 2014 Portrait Country, making it an award-winning location for coffee cultivation. In our case, 100% of our coffee is grown in the North of Peru, at a high altitude above 1,600m on the side of the stunning Andes mountains. Specifically, in the region of Cajamarca - near and around the town of San Ignacio.


Image: The town of San Ignacio is the located in the northernmost part of the region of Cajamarca. Image source: https://www.thinglink.com/scene/700455376713154561.

The high altitude of the Andes Mountains means that the climate is known to change drastically in short distances. This results in different flavour profiles developing through a multitude of microclimates - producing a range of specifically unique beans across different farms, each contributing different flavour elements to a roast.


Image: Three Llamas founder Richard visiting one of the coffee plots that contributes to Three Llamas Coffee.

Single origin coffee can either originate from the same farm, or a co-operative of local farms in the area. Three Llamas coffee is proud to support several local farms in this area through co-operatives, with our hand-picked beans coming from micro plots. We pride ourselves in giving back financially through co-op premium prices in exchange for their beans (higher than Fair-trade prices), and encouraging sustainable practises by sharing our knowledge and skills as food scientists to help these farmers get the best out of their crop.

Images: Two of our fantastic Peruvian growing partners pictured with founders Richard and Cecelia.

The main advantage of single-origin coffees is that they display specifically unique characteristics that can only be found within a particular coffee region. Peruvian coffee traditionally has a mild acidity, with a light body that is both flavourful and aromatic. The region of Cajamarca is well known for producing sweet coffees with bright acidity, and notes of red and yellow fruits. Our best-selling Specialty Essence and Organic Viva (Salud!) best showcase these traditional Peruvian flavours.

Through our careful roasting techniques, we are able to highlight these traditional flavours, and draw out tasting notes of bittersweet chocolate, caramel, berry fruits, honey, and plum. This process means that we are able to transform the incredible Peruvian green coffee bean, and share a range of flavour profiles and coffee strengths that appeal to different tastes and preferences. 


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