Look, we’ll level with you: Coffee is the world’s most popular method of delivering caffeine, and whether you’re sipping a great brew or bottom-of-the-can nasty stuff, it’ll probably give you a little productivity boost. That’s especially true if you drink it at the right time or pair it with some caffeine-complimenting nootropic compounds (like l-theanine, which can boost the effects of caffeine and knock out jitters before they happen).
So while most coffee can give a boost, the type of coffee can make a huge difference in the flavor, effectiveness, and experience of drinking coffee. And since coffee is a plant — one of the world’s most important crops! — where the beans come from dictates the quality and properties of your particular brew.
Want to get more out of your cup, whether it’s just for taste or a necessary caffeine jolt? It’s worth trying a single estate coffee, and with the rise of specialty and transparently sourced coffee varieties, they’re becoming easier (and cheaper) than ever to find.
Read below to see exactly how single estate coffee can make all the difference — and give you a productive (and ethical) edge in the process.
1. It tastes much better.
Most blend coffees are made by taking beans from all over the place — different countries, climates, etc. — mixing them together, then roasting until they generally taste uniform. The subtle variations in flavor, intensity, and even caffeine level are lost in this process, which can leave coffee burnt in order to get a more uniform taste. That’ll have you forcing down one cup after the other instead of enjoying and looking forward to a serving of a single estate coffee.
In single estate coffee, the beans aren’t just from the same region — they’re from the same farm, where a single flavor can shine through. That makes for a better tasting cup with actual flavor instead of a rough approximation of what coffee “should” taste like.
2. It’s more effective.
Did you know darker roasts actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts? Blend coffees are often very dark roasts that zap much of the caffeine and nutrient content from the coffee, leaving behind a heavy, cling-to-your-tongue flavor with no subtlety and less caffeine. Single origin (and ideally single estate) beans don’t need that super dark roast to mask poor flavor, as they’re already delicious, so they may end up containing more of that sweet, sweet caffeine.
3. It’s cleaner/organic.
Single estate coffees are easier to find in organic, pesticide-free varieties because they usually come from smaller, family-owned farms, not the mega plantations that the biggest brands use. Coffee is one of the most chemically treated crops in the world, and it’s worth your time to search for a cleaner product. Single estate is a big step in that direction.
4. It’s more ethical.
Know more about where your coffee comes from? Good, you’re taking a step in the right direction toward drinking more ethically sourced, fair trade coffee. The rise of single estate coffee’s popularity is making it easier for smaller family farms and growers to survive on the market.
5. It gives you control.
In our interview with biohacker and former UFC fighter Tait Fletcher, we talked a lot about how important it can be to “pirate” your own life. What does that mean, exactly? It means taking back control of your consumption and making your own choices for what you eat, drink, and buy. Your habits make an impact on your health, wellness, and productivity every day and for years to come.
Taking control of what you’re consuming, and making the effort to know where your coffee is coming from, sets a positive tone that puts you in the driver’s seat. You get to make the choices and take agency in what you’re putting into your body, regardless of what the coffee mega-chains push you toward. And you might discover your new favorite brew in the process.