Roasters spend a lot of time and effort in developing the perfect cup of coffee, depending on the flavour profiles that they are looking to achieve. These flavour profiles are affected by many factors including the origin of the coffee and the type of roast chosen.
The origin of the coffee refers to the location in the world where the coffee has been grown. Coffee will have different attributes and flavours depending on many factors, a little like wine making. Plantations for coffee are usually located in tropical areas of the world generally grown between the tropics of cancer and Capricorn. The altitudes that the coffee is grown at will also have a significant impact on its flavour profiles.
It is common to hear the term single origin coffee, this term simply refers to the fact that the beans are all sourced from the same location. Through preparing and drinking a single origin coffee you will be able to appreciate the specific characteristics of the coffee. As a rule of thumb a single origin coffee is best prepared using a longer method of extraction such as a french press to bring out the best aspects of the coffee.
If you're not drinking a single origin coffee, it will be a blend. A blended brew has been created by the roaster to bring the best characteristics of several different origins into one cup of coffee. To take full advantage of the flavour profiles of a blended coffee you may look to select a darker roast with a short extraction such as espresso.