A blending question?

janry

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A few weeks ago, I bought some Brazil Daterra Farms Sweet Blue beans from a local roaster and really liked it. Nice cocoa flavor but a little mild. Last week I bought another bag and a bag of Columbian beans so I can experiment blending them as the Colombian beans will add some boldness. I started out 100% Brazilian (#1). Then I went 2/3's Brazilian and 1/3 Colombian (#2). Then 1/3 Brazilian and 2/3 Colombian (#3). Finally, 100% Colombian (#4).

It kind of surprised us but we didn't like the blend #2 (2/3 Brazil and 1/3 Colombia) because it seemed the Colombian made it too sweet. BUT our favorite blend was 2/3 Colombian and 1/3 Brazilian (blend #3). Odd since it seems increasing the Colombian would have intensified what we didn't like when we only blended 1/3 Colombian but the sweetness we noticed in the #2 blend and also in 100% Colombian (#4) just didn't seem to be in the #3 blend.

We ran through these blends a 2nd time and come to the same conclusion. So, any idea why this happened?

Also, while we enjoyed blend #3 and may make it our daily blend, I'd like to experiment some more with the Brazilian beans as my base and blend it with something else to perhaps give it some boldness but without the sweetness we find in Colombian. Any suggestions? I have generally not cared much for African beans so that will probably eliminate most of them.

EDIT: I should have stated this is for brewed coffee in a Chemex, not for espresso.
 
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eldub

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I would consider working a Central American bean into the mix. (Try two parts guat or mexican with one part Colombian.)
Imo, the South American offerings are usually to similar to be very interesting together. The centrals bring more bright acidity into the mix and compliment the soft bottom notes prevalent in the South Americans.
 

janry

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I didn't mention it but with my first bag of Brazil I blended a couple of brews with some Mexican. I didn't care for it but also didn't care for the Mexican beans by themselves either. Just didn't taste too good to me.
 

Mhippo

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I blend 50% Brazil, 30% Ethiopia, 10% India & 10% India robusta.

I don't like the Ethiopian by itself, but I find it adds to the blend.
 

John P

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I am very familiar with Daterra Sweet Blue. 1) Doesn't sound like they hit the sweet spot on the coffee there's an interplay of milk and semi-sweet chocolate with and almond and/or marzipan note, cocoa finish. It's a very nuanced Brazil and not like the generic Santos or just a regular (although very good) offering from Carmo de Minas. The (blue) Bourbon cultivar has that distinctive "Bourbon" essence not found in Typica or Mundo Nova.

2) That particular bean (for brewed coffee) should not be blended. It only detracts from the coffee and the subtleties would be masked whether it was primary or secondary.

It's not about blending A, B, and C, it's about understanding that particular coffee from that particular farm and assessing it from there.
 

janry

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2) That particular bean (for brewed coffee) should not be blended. It only detracts from the coffee and the subtleties would be masked whether it was primary or secondary.

I look at things a bit differently. The blend of beans in Sweet Blue is someone else's ideal. And, it is a good coffee but I see nothing wrong in customizing it for my own taste.
 

CoffeeJunky

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I look at things a bit differently. The blend of beans in Sweet Blue is someone else's ideal. And, it is a good coffee but I see nothing wrong in customizing it for my own taste.


I agree with what is being said above at consumer point a view. But John is going about as roaster and seller point a view. You have to understand the fundamental of the beans to really experiment blending. I am not a big believer of 4 or more beans being blended together. It gets too complex and some of the great flavor gets lost in the mix.
 

janry

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I agree with what is being said above at consumer point a view. But John is going about as roaster and seller point a view. You have to understand the fundamental of the beans to really experiment blending. I am not a big believer of 4 or more beans being blended together. It gets too complex and some of the great flavor gets lost in the mix.

I have no doubt trying to blend more than a couple of beans at a time can be overwhelming. I am only trying 2 beans now and can see somewhat unpredictable results. But, I also look at it as a great learning experience. My next blend experiments will probably be with the Sweet Blue beans and some variety of Sumatran beans. They are both beans I like individually so if the blend doesn't work out, I still have something I like.
 

CoffeeJunky

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I have no doubt trying to blend more than a couple of beans at a time can be overwhelming. I am only trying 2 beans now and can see somewhat unpredictable results. But, I also look at it as a great learning experience. My next blend experiments will probably be with the Sweet Blue beans and some variety of Sumatran beans. They are both beans I like individually so if the blend doesn't work out, I still have something I like.


That sounds fun. I hope you to find a blend that really his your taste bud. ;)
 
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