L'Univers Café - Single origin and Blend

Diego Salvador

Before diving into the details, find all our Single Origin coffees located in our Réserve Selecte and Prestige collections. Our Blends are mostly found in our Classic collection. We aspire to become a major supplier of rare coffees and, to this end, favor single origins over blended coffees. Here is the explanation.

Definition of Single Origin

This term is not really exclusive to the world of coffee: Single Origin is used to designate a batch containing only products from the same terroir , a single origin. For example, we cite a batch of green coffee coming entirely from Jamaica or from a more specific and circumcised region (a village, a mountain, a plantation).

We purchase single origin coffees in Microlot format, directly from representatives of the farm (cooperatives or family estate). It's easy to buy a batch of a blend of an entire country's best harvests from a broker (like green coffee from Ethiopia), but we strive to target a specific region each harvest (like Yyrgacheffe region).

Each of our purchases is accompanied by the desire not only to highlight the terroir and the work of the group of farmers, but also to participate in improving their living conditions. Each of our purchases is therefore also motivated by a crush on social projects carried out by the group of farmers, such as the diversification of crops (and therefore sources of money), the improvement of housing conditions, food security, the establishment of health infrastructure.

As long as we're at it, we're always looking for a microlot containing one and the same organic variety . The interest is to present the fruit of the work of the growers that we have selected as well as the aromatic profile that the assembly of certain parameters gives such as the genetic properties of the organic variety, the altitude and the level of annual precipitation of the terroir, drying method…

The objective is not to have the largest quantity of “profitable” coffee, but to discover an origin and a way of processing the beans . Each harvest, our job consists of taking a gamble: selecting and introducing a good product, at the risk of satisfying only a tiny part of our customers and ending up with a large quantity of unsold products. The ideal scenario is that each imported batch sells out as quickly as possible to be able to frequently renew stocks (and therefore origins).

We are not looking for ONE product (a variety from a region) that we can sell “well” forever because it meets the expectations of the majority. Especially since tastes can – slightly or a lot – change depending on the harvest (climatic conditions, etc.). It often happens that we never find an aromatic profile again, even if we keep the same supplier, the same plantation, the same farmers. If we present a variety of coffee today, it is not with the aim of buying more every year if it sells like hot cakes, but to discover the fruits of one harvest at a time. If it happens that we repeat an order for a coffee of a specific origin, it is because the new harvest is even better or just entirely different from the previous ones.

Definition of the term Assembly

Quite simply, it is a product obtained by mixing several kinds of coffee : several origins, several botanical varieties, beans of different grades... To have a blend, Brûlerie du Quai roasts several coffees separately and then mixes them to have a unique and original product . The reason being that we use an exclusive recipe (proportions, roasting) for each blend. The final taste will not be available from any other roaster unless you have copied the same exact recipe. Each of our blends is therefore a signature of our roaster.

It happens that coffee exporters immediately supply blends, either from several organic varieties or from several origins. As you will have understood, we prefer to opt for one variety and one origin and then create our own blends .

Our ultimate objective is to sell, to individuals, only Single Origin purchased in microlots. But the fight is tough, because individuals are still very reluctant to try specialty coffees, often claiming the price is too high. The problem actually lies in the lack of knowledge regarding the world of microlots , which creates a lot of apprehension of all kinds. Like, this coffee must be very fancy, too strong, too bitter or too acidic: a simple juice from any dark roast coffee bean will be enough to get you through the week, no need for fancy.

As you will have noticed, we deploy a lot of resources to “educate” our customers, so that they better value microlots. When the clientele for single origins is large enough, Brûlerie du Quai will then only sell its blends to corporate clients: large and small businesses, coffeeshops, restaurants, etc.

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