If you are a coffee enthusiast, you have probably seen some terms such as “mocha-java blend” or “filter drip mélange”. Also, you might be wondering what is an espresso blend that you always keep seeing in grocery stores. No worries. Today, we are going to explore the world of coffee blends and by the end of this article, you will become a coffee blend expert.
What Does Coffee Blend Mean?
Yes, you’ve guessed it right. A coffee blend is a coffee which is a mixture of coffee beans originating from more than one place. These coffees can be either from different countries or different regions in a country. As a result, coffee blends come in many different forms and shapes.
You can’t just mix coffee beans randomly. If you do that, there is a high chance of creating an undrinkable coffee.
So the question is, why do we blend coffee beans?
- Blending coffee is economical for large roaster brands. They combine cheaper and simpler coffees with more expensive specialty beans in order to reduce the cost of their offerings.
- Consistency is one of the reasons. As a customer, you would expect your coffee to taste exactly the same from one cup to the next. The only way to ensure consistency is to blend coffees from separate regions to minimize the differences between them. When it’s done, you will get a cup of coffee with no predominant flavor notes.
- However, the foremost reason to blend coffee is for their specific flavor profile. By analyzing the best attributes of each coffee and blending them together specifically to create a unique and balanced flavor, you can have a matchless coffee that no single-origin coffee can compete with.
What Are The Advantages of Using Blends
- Think about it, you’ve woken up to a dreadful morning, you are on the verge of a hellish work day and all you want is your cup of coffee. Imagine, every single day, you drink a coffee that tastes nothing like the one from yesterday. It would ruin your day, right? What is great about coffee blends is, you won’t be dumbfounded by the taste of your coffee as coffee blends are impressively consistent, they always taste delicious.
- We, coffee drinkers, are a divergent group. While some of us prefer the Kenyan coffee with bright citrus acidity, others may prefer the Ethiopian coffee for its bright mouthfeels. Therefore, coffee blends might be the best option for us! Coffee blends offer us a limitless variety of taste, which means that for every coffee drinker outside, there is a perfect coffee blend. It might be difficult to go out and explore new coffee blends in these trying times of pandemic, but, when the restrictions are eased, you can explore new coffee blends and have a great day while drinking your newly-explored-but-perfect-for-you coffee! After you discover your coffee blend that is a perfect match for you and figure out the right recipe for it, you can brew at home effortlessly anytime you want.
- Coffee roasters create coffee blends to provide a consistent and seamless coffee experience for their customers. Because of that, all coffee blends are easy to make at home. You can brew and drink your favorite coffee easily at home amidst the pandemic. To be honest, with all these advantages of coffee blend, who wouldn’t want to drink it?
What Are The Differences Between Single Origin Coffee and Blended Coffee
You know the age-old question. Which is better, blended coffee or single origin coffees? It is not an easy question to answer and I don’t think it is the right question at all. It is like comparing an apple with a pear. They have totally different attributes and it is up to you which one you will prefer, it can vary from person to person. Here are 3 main attributes that help you to distinguish coffee blends from single origin coffee.
- Flavor Profile: As you know, a coffee blend is the mixture of various beans. Therefore, coffee blend balances its taste with different beans that match with each other and create the perfect taste. However, single origin coffees tend to have a strong and exotic taste, you can taste its unique characteristics as there aren’t any other coffee beans to balance each other like the blends.
- Purity: Purity and quality, two things that single origin coffee is famous for. Because of its pureness, you can trace back to its origins. However, coffee blends consist of different coffee beans from different countries, therefore, it is hard to trace it back to its source.
- Uniqueness: Single origin coffees offer you more exotic and unique flavors, such as jasmine and strawberry. On the other hand, coffee blends are perfect for people who want their coffee to taste more balanced and well-rounded. It is totally up to you!
|COFFEE BLENDS||SINGLE ORIGIN COFFEE|
|It has a balanced and well-rounded flavor.||It has an exotic and strong flavor which can be described as raw and original.|
|It consists of various coffee beans from different origins.||You can trace it back to its origin. They are mostly famous for their purity.|
|It mostly tastes the same, it is more consistent.||It can surprise you because its consistency varies with seasonal conditions.|
What Are The Common Types Of Coffee Blends
Some coffee beans work better with each other and you can see them in the majority of blends due to their matching flavor profile. Here are the most commonly used coffee blends.
Mocha Java Coffee
Mocha Java is one of the oldest coffee blends in the world. Its history goes all the way back 15th century when the earthy coffee beans of Indonesian city, Java, traveled by Dutch ships to the port of Mocha where the coffees were lighter and more fruit flavored. As a result of this interaction, the fruity and bright notes of the Yemeni coffee paired excellently with the earthy, rich undertones of the Indonesian Java coffee, thus, one of the world’s most delicious drinks was born.
Black and Tan Coffee
When medium and dark roasted coffee beans combine together, this beauty which is called “Black and Tan” is formed. Commonly South American and Central American coffee beans are used to create this particular blend. “Black and Tan” coffee blend’s most distinct attribute is its deep, earthy flavors which become predominant during the roasting process. Medium roasted coffee is used to reduce its bitterness.
Melange is one of the conventional coffee blends. However, unlike the others, a melange blend is a combination of beans which roasted from light roasts up to dark roasts. The goal of this type of blend is to mix the acidity of light roast coffee beans and the bitterness of dark roasts. It has no chains, it is not limited to any particular single-origin coffee. As a result, melange coffee blend has a great variety of taste.
Creating Your Own Blend
If you want to have fun while developing your coffee skills, coffee blending is the perfect activity for you! Seriously, every coffee enthusiast should try blending at least once. It is also the artistic side of the world of coffee, where a roaster can use his/her own imagination to create something unique. However, creating your own blend isn’t easy as it seems, but our guide will help you with that. In addition, you will also need to have basic coffee blend knowledge: which coffees to mix, how to roast different coffee beans, how to choose and correctly mix the coffee beans etc.
Choosing The Perfect Coffee Beans
When creating your own coffee blend, the first step you should take is to find a suitable flavor base. It is all up to you, this is your personal preference. It can vary from person to person, but let us try to help you figure out what to start with.
Sweet Base Notes: You should choose a sweet base note which will be fitting with your browning flavors, aka high notes. Coffee beans from Brazil, Peru and Mexico are commonly preferred because of their high sweetness.
Mid Palate: This means the taste from your first sip to swallow, or regularly described as the flavor of a particular type of coffee. When you are drinking your coffee, the first taste that comes to your mouth will be your choice of beans of mid palate. We recommend you Costa Rica and Colombian coffees as they are mostly famous for their juicy taste with malic acid.
High Notes: Your high notes will be the cherry on the cake, so be careful while choosing. High notes require the floral aromas and acidity of coffee beans which prefer lighter roast. Some examples of this might be African coffee beans such as Kenyan and Ethiopian and Middle Eastern coffees.
Coffee Blending Ratios
Well, you’ve chosen the coffee components and now it’s time to figure out the appropriate ratios of each.
Most people use 40% mid-palate, 40% sweet base notes and %20 high notes. Now slowly tweak these ratios until you are pleased with your flavor profile. You can also use other ratios such as 60:20:20 or 30:30:40. It is totally up to you, the only important thing is to get a flavor which suits your personal taste.
Steps to Create A Coffee Blend
- Start with a coffee which you will use as “base”. You can brew it however you like.
- Analyze what is missing. Is it not sweet enough? Does it need some more bitterness? You should choose a second coffee that will enhance the blend when they are mixed, it should complete the other coffee bean so as to create a perfect blend.
- Optionally, you can add a third or fourth coffee bean.
- Brew each one of the coffees, and put them into covered vessels in order to keep them hot.
- It is almost done. Now that your coffees are brewed, you can start mixing. While mixing, you should use your ratios, but, you can adjust them so as to spotlight features you want in your coffee!
We know, it’s been a long journey, but now you have lots of knowledge about coffee blends and you can create your own blend. Once you’ve experienced the process of blending, you will realize how much fun and rewarding it is! Remember, you can always experiment with new coffees, sky’s the limit.
A proud coffee aficionado who is determined to share his passion and knowledge about coffee with others. Writing and sci-fi are sine qua non of my life. It is not a good day for me if I haven’t had my coffee in the morning.
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