Why Do We Love Estate Coffees?

We are in the midst of what many call “the third wave” of coffee. You could characterize this movement as a reflection of the industry — the diverse types of specialty coffee you see being sold, the types of hip, quality-focused cafes that have been popping up in every city — but the truth is that the “third wave” of coffee has more to do with you, the consumer.

In this third wave, people demand more of their coffee than a sour, grainy, bitter brew. Instead you look into the characteristics of a good cup of coffee and use that knowledge to select the perfect cup while discerning your favorite flavor profiles and prep methods.

This newfound level of care at the nuance and technical aspects of coffee has delighted us as coffee producers. We now have a more receptive audience than ever when it comes to explaining what makes certain coffees unquestionably better than others.

Among these discussions, one quality will always set a coffee bean apart as superior: if it is an estate coffee or not.

What Is an Estate Coffee?

“Estate coffee” refers to coffee grown and roasted in small batches from one easily-identifiable source. Typically, an estate coffee will be one bean type grown on the same farm. Other times, an estate coffee will be the results of one bean type grown from several nearby farms in the same region and roasted together.

This process differs from the typical way coffee is handled. Normally, coffee companies buy beans from all over the world and blend them before roasting and grinding them all together and then shipping the product to thousands of businesses.

The problems with this practice are manifold:

  1. It usually results in long delays between bean picking, roasting and distribution, which hurts freshness
  2. It disguises the unique flavor profile of a bean created by the conditions in which it grew
  3. It mixes in high-quality beans with lower quality ones
  4. It fails to reward small-batch growers who put care and attention into their plants

Single-origin coffees avoid these issues by sourcing beans from one country or one region. “Estate coffees” are an even more precise product, usually grown at just one or a few farms in the exact same locality for an even higher-quality and more unique brew every time.

Why Are Estate Coffees Better?

Explaining why estate coffees are great is easier if you compare them to single-malt scotches.

Like commercial coffee blends, blended scotch whiskies have batches of whisky from hundreds of different sources blended together to create a consistent product. Whisky makers use this practice to disguise the cheaper, rougher whiskies they buy by putting them alongside more flavorful blends. The end result may be tasty to a wide range of customers, but it lacks a distinctive personality.

When buying single-malt scotch whisky, you purchase whisky made in one single batch. This batch will have to be of a high quality since it cannot have flavorful whiskies added to it. It will also be unique, a result of the specific malted barley and peat smoke mix the distiller uses. Every single-malt will therefore have a unique personality and flavor profile according to where it was made and who made it.

Estate coffees are the same way, but even more unique among themselves. The growing practices used at each small farm create a distinctive coffee berry that can only be fully appreciated when not mixed in with hundreds of others, especially if those in the mix would have been a lower quality.

For these reasons, we highly recommend our locally-sourced estate coffee beans for yourself and any other coffee aficionados you may know. Each order is roasted to specification, and it can even be pre-ground to your precise needs.

Order your batch of estate coffees to start appreciating the finer things in life today.