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Single-origin coffee comes from one specific growing region. Like fine wine-growing areas around the world, coffees also have preferred growing areas where environmental conditions are perfect for creating premium coffee.
For instance, Antigua Guatemalan coffee comes entirely from the Antigua region, a premier coffee-growing area high in the mountains of Guatemala. Kenya Afrique coffee is grown at high altitudes in Kenya's Kirinyaga Valley. Even the slightest difference in growing altitude, climate, harvesting or processing conditions can account for flavor differences between coffees.
For the coffee purist, single-origins and varietals capture the essence of a particular region's unique characteristics.