Single Origin Coffee vs. House Coffee vs. Cold Brew vs. Espresso

There Are So Many Different Types, Why?

What’s the difference between coffee and espresso, you ask?! What about House Coffee vs Single Origin Coffee?  “How dare you?” sneers the listless barista as his gaze peers into the very fabric of your soul like you’re supposed to automatically know the difference between a latte and cortado. Okay, baristas don’t actually say that (mostly), but we’ve all felt it (Don’t hate me barista artist friends haha). All puns aside, having spent countless hours touring some of the best coffee shops with my hubby, I see the look on one too many coffee shop first timers.  With the wave of art-adorned coffee shops following the yellow brick starbucks road (Venti… Tall… What even are… Whaaa?) I just had to shed some light on all of this craziness. Here are a few of the tips and tricks for coffee lovers that I’ve learned along the way.

1: Single Origin:

Okay, ask your friendly neighbourhood hipster, and they will say that this is the crème de la crème of coffee but all that this phrase means is that the coffee bean came from a single, traceable coffee farm; sometimes it’s even traceable to a specific lot. Does it mean its better? Well…Not

“Single Origin” means that the the coffee beans came from a single. traceable coffee farm.

necessarily, depending on your own personal flavor palette.You might love it! Orrrrr… It may pucker your face so badly that  you run for the hills. Well… maybe not run because how bad can coffee actually get, right? Think of it like wine tasting: the important part is that you tried it and got the experience. If trying new things is your cup of tea or… errrr… coffee in this case. Long story short, it’s just coffee…  Slightly more expensive coffee, but usually fresh and yummy.


2: House Coffee:

 This is just any coffee that a restaurant or cafe chooses to use as their “default” or “basic” coffee; So unless you’re going somewhere for specialty coffee, house coffee is usually pretty tame and similar to the brands you buy in the store. That is, if it’s not at 

House Coffee is just whatever bean that a coffee house chooses to use as its “default”.

least slightly better. Keep in mind that this doesn’t always apply to places that roast their own coffee, or even buy their coffee directly from a coffee roaster.  Coffee that comes in whole bean form from the roasters is usually fresher and more flavorful, and don’t I’ll touch more on that process later…


3: Cold Brew:

 This is when Coffee is allowed to sit in water for several hours, usually 12 – 24 hours to be exact. Sometimes you’ll even find the occasional 48 – 72 hour brews. The coffee slowly leaches out into the water and creates a beautiful, smooth, and slightly thicker feeling brew.  The caffeine content is also usually higher than the caffeine in hot-brewed coffee, which is pretty greeaat (especially on those days where rolling out of bed is a chore in and of itself.)

4: Espresso:

 Espresso in a nutshell is a small shot of concentrated coffee.  The coffee beans are ground super fine and hot water is pushed through them to create a beautiful,

Espresso is a small, concentrated shot of coffee.

dark, foamy, and ultra-concentrated coffee (a ubercoffee if you will). It’s best served fresh while there is still a foamy “crema” on top and taken more like a shot of tequila (either sipped on or gulped down) then your standard cup o’ Joe.  If you add water to this shot it basically turns it back into regular coffee but a coffee shop will call it an *cue pretentious accent*  “Americano”

All in all, don’t let the artsy atmosphere intimidate you (We’re all just people). Try a little bit of everything but be forewarned, once you try a really good coffee it’s hard to go back. You’ll know it when you taste it. Lastly, breathe and ask questions if you need clarification before you place your order, It happens all the time and an informed decision is usually a good decision 🙂