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Thread: Favorite Blends

  1. #1
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    Favorite Blends

    Interesting thread on single origin coffee but I think blends get a bad rap. From what I have read here and other places blends are created to use up old beans, bad beans etc... but I think if done right they can be very good. I have had several blends I like, my favorite is Mocha Jave, also the oldest blend. One thing I have noticed with the good blends vs ok blends it the roast. If you get a blend and it all looks the same chances are it will be ok but not good. In order to make a good blend you have to roast each bean separate to bring out it's best profile and then blend them.

    Usually blends are beans from different countries but I am drinking one now that is from Brazil that is said to be unique (I know, more marketing). It's described as beans from three different regions of Brazil with them being roasted at light and medium dark and then blended. When looking at them it appears to be 1/3 dark and 2/3 light.

    If you've had a good blend I'd like to hear about it.

  2. #2
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    For me, working in Guatemala, I like the Central America blends. Most common varieties for blend in Central America is Boubon, Caturra & Typica (Catuai is also very common, but it brings down the quality of coffee, so I would not recommend).

    I tend to use 16 to 18 screen and do not want to go any lower due to uneven roasting.

    When you roast City to FC (full city) not only it works really well for brewed coffee (complex chocolate, Fruity, molasses sugars & roasted nut), but it works really well as espresso (which brings out Tart / Citrus high tone with dark sugar & cocoa up front. & specially mouthfeel is extremely thick and dense like syrupy chocolate like)

    Coffee from Huehuetenango & Acatenango are excellent blends!
    Ensoluna S.A. Guatemala
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  3. #3
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    I'd like to hear more about what makes a good blend as well. And maybe what to avoid blending together.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cappie View Post
    I'd like to hear more about what makes a good blend as well. And maybe what to avoid blending together.
    please check this link out. it is from sweet Maria and Tom provide wonderful information about blending.

    Blending Basics
    Ensoluna S.A. Guatemala
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  5. #5
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    Interesting read Alex. From what I've read about home roasters trying to blend is it's not easy to do. I don't think you can just pick some beans and blend them. From my experience blending beans willy-nilly doesn't work, let me explain.

    When I'm at the last of my beans and don't have enough for a full cup (10oz-16ish grams) I would take some from my new bag to make a full cup, this has never resulted in a good cup, ok at best. So now that I have a scale I weight the remaining beans and do the math.

    For a home roaster or I guess any one roasting I would think it would be a lot of work and a lot of wasted beans figuring out a "very good" blend with out a recipe that has been tested.

    I'm no roaster, I'm talking strictly beans I buy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duffyjr View Post
    Interesting read Alex. From what I've read about home roasters trying to blend is it's not easy to do. I don't think you can just pick some beans and blend them. From my experience blending beans willy-nilly doesn't work, let me explain.

    When I'm at the last of my beans and don't have enough for a full cup (10oz-16ish grams) I would take some from my new bag to make a full cup, this has never resulted in a good cup, ok at best. So now that I have a scale I weight the remaining beans and do the math.

    For a home roaster or I guess any one roasting I would think it would be a lot of work and a lot of wasted beans figuring out a "very good" blend with out a recipe that has been tested.

    I'm no roaster, I'm talking strictly beans I buy.
    yes, that is an interesting read. for our Guatemala business and my home roasting, unfortunately, I have never had an opportunity to "blend" any beans, neither for sales nor personal use. so, to say frankly, I do not know much about it except just theology.

    Maybe since I have few different beans now from different forum roasters, perhaps, I can try some at home now....
    Ensoluna S.A. Guatemala
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  7. #7
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    I carry/make a few blends... it can be very 'easy' or difficult depending on the coffees you have and goals in mind. The most difficult to 'perfect' was a espresso blend... I found the espresso extraction process brought out different flavor profiles that were more difficult to balance. I first start with a goal... what am I trying to create this blend? For example, when I created my 'breakfast' blend called Harmony my goal was to select a balanced coffee with a touch of acidity to wake up the taste buds. My first decision was to select the base coffee so I roasted all of my coffees and brewed a pot of each of the coffees. I decided in this instance my Colombian was the right base - it had a nice balance, a touch of sweetness and a bit acidic. The key was I was looking for a base with acidity - but did not assault the taste buds with super heavy duty acidity. So, I mix started with a 50/50 mix of Colombian/another coffee... Colombian/Brazil, Colombian/Guat, Colombian/Sumatra... etc. Once I find the 'second' coffee that complimented the base - I play with ratios... 25/75, 50/50, 75/25... Sometimes I find two beans is sufficient, often it may be missing sweetness or body, etc. I try and get the first two beans as balanced as possible.. for example say I land on a 50/50 mix. I will brew a pot of 50/50 mix and slowly add the third coffee... 50/50 mix and then say 25% of the mix volume with 3rd coffee. It's literally a ton of trial and error... I bet I make 30-40 blends on average before I am happy with the results. Once I decide on the final mix - I make the decision of I can pre/post roast blend the coffees. I take the ratio I landed on, blend my green coffee to that ratio and roast. Then I compare the two pre/post roast blended cups and decide which is the best - only then does it go into production.

    I never use 'filler' beans or beans that I wouldn't sell as a solid single origin drinker. I figure just like any good chef, start with superior products and you end up with a superior product.

    That's my 2 cents... have fun - its coffee!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musicphan View Post
    I carry/make a few blends... it can be very 'easy' or difficult depending on the coffees you have and goals in mind. The most difficult to 'perfect' was a espresso blend... I found the espresso extraction process brought out different flavor profiles that were more difficult to balance. I first start with a goal... what am I trying to create this blend? For example, when I created my 'breakfast' blend called Harmony my goal was to select a balanced coffee with a touch of acidity to wake up the taste buds. My first decision was to select the base coffee so I roasted all of my coffees and brewed a pot of each of the coffees. I decided in this instance my Colombian was the right base - it had a nice balance, a touch of sweetness and a bit acidic. The key was I was looking for a base with acidity - but did not assault the taste buds with super heavy duty acidity. So, I mix started with a 50/50 mix of Colombian/another coffee... Colombian/Brazil, Colombian/Guat, Colombian/Sumatra... etc. Once I find the 'second' coffee that complimented the base - I play with ratios... 25/75, 50/50, 75/25... Sometimes I find two beans is sufficient, often it may be missing sweetness or body, etc. I try and get the first two beans as balanced as possible.. for example say I land on a 50/50 mix. I will brew a pot of 50/50 mix and slowly add the third coffee... 50/50 mix and then say 25% of the mix volume with 3rd coffee. It's literally a ton of trial and error... I bet I make 30-40 blends on average before I am happy with the results. Once I decide on the final mix - I make the decision of I can pre/post roast blend the coffees. I take the ratio I landed on, blend my green coffee to that ratio and roast. Then I compare the two pre/post roast blended cups and decide which is the best - only then does it go into production.

    I never use 'filler' beans or beans that I wouldn't sell as a solid single origin drinker. I figure just like any good chef, start with superior products and you end up with a superior product.

    That's my 2 cents... have fun - its coffee!
    Hey Mike. Awesome explanation.

    By the way, what is your favorite mix? what beans and what ratio and what roast? and how did the flavors come out?
    I would love to try the same way as you did.

    thanks
    Ensoluna S.A. Guatemala
    facebook.com/ensolunausa
    ensoluna.com

  9. #9
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    Alex - I have two 'flagship' blends... my Harmony (breakfast) blend is primary Colombian with Sumatra for body and boldness, and Peru for balance and a touch of sweetness. The second is my Symphony Blend which is primarily Guatemalan with the rest being Colombian for a bit of acidity. It all depends on the beans... I have to adjust recipe each time I get a new coffee to maintain consistency.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ensoluna View Post
    please check this link out. it is from sweet Maria and Tom provide wonderful information about blending.

    Blending Basics
    Yet another reason I will continue to buy green coffee from Sweet Maria's...

    For my taste in espresso I much prefer blends as it adds complexity in the cup, layered flavors/texture if you will. I've tried quite a few single origins over the years for espresso and find them flat/boring regardless of changes I made. To each his/her own as with most things in life.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

 

 
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