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Favorite Blends

Duffyjr

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Jan 10, 2017
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Nebraska
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.
 
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Duffyjr

Duffyjr

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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.
 

Musicphan

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May 11, 2014
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Kansas City
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!
 

Musicphan

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May 11, 2014
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Kansas City
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.
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
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Central North Carolina
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.
 
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Duffyjr

Duffyjr

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One of my favorite blends is the oldest known blend, Mocha Java. I've had this blend from several different roasters but the latest comes from Klatch Coffee. Most roasters don't use the original beans from Indonesia and Yemen, they use similar beans to try and achieve the same effect but this one from Klatch says they use a genuine Java from the estates of East Java and then mixes in two different beans from Ethiopia to represent variations on the original Yemen Mocha, one from the Harrar region of Ethiopia and a second from the Amaro region of southwestern Ethiopia.

While I've had similar separately and were very good i prefer the blend. If you haven't tried a Mocha Java blend I would recommend trying one.

I can't wait to break out the Chemex this weekend and give this one a spin.
 

Tex_Thai

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May 17, 2019
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Well, I am new here and this is an old thread. Not sure if it will wake up or not?
As an American living in Thailand, information is hard to come by, at least that I can understand and relate to. I am new to blending and roasting, got a Gene Cafe roaster after a year of trying to make do with popcorn poppers, got a Breville Barista Express to brew my espresso. I blend first then roast 125 g each of Thai (Chiang Mai), Brasil Rio Preto, Indo Sumatra Mandheling, Eth. Sidama Deri K. Arabica coffees with 100 g of Monsooned Malabar to a Vienna roast. And the resulting blend is pretty good espresso, even better as a latte, OK as a longo or Americano with added hot water, but very chocolaty and delicious iced with milk.
Any suggestions, substitutions, recommendations would be appreciated.
God Bless,
Wayne
 

Musicphan

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May 11, 2014
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Kansas City
Wayne - first roast each as a single origin so you can taste the difference... then work on blending. When I start to make a new blend i roast and brew all of my single origins and then blend the brewed coffee (just play around). Once I get that nailed down I work on the ideal roast.
 

Tex_Thai

New member
May 17, 2019
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^^^^^^
That's cool Musicphan, is there anything you would change, do differently on my blend? Recommend that I try. So many beans, so many ratios, so little time!!!!!
God Bless,
Wayne
 
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Coffeebloggermke

New member
May 6, 2019
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Wisconsin
As for me, I like Brazilian blends.
I second the question someone else asked - why?
The one thing I will say about Brazilian coffees: I’ve lived in Brazil, and there’s a generic “Brazil” scent that seems to linger everywhere - on clothes, in markets, fields, etc. it’s kind of a dirt-like smell. It wasn’t pungent or anything, but every time I drink a Brazil coffee I can taste it, and it instantly brings back the memories of my time spent there.
 

Musicphan

Well-known member
May 11, 2014
1,613
38
Kansas City
^^^^^^
That's cool Musicphan, is there anything you would change, do differently on my blend? Recommend that I try. So many beans, so many ratios, so little time!!!!!
God Bless,
Wayne

Reduce the # of beans... most of my blends are 2/3 coffees. For example, I love Guat coffees because of their chocolate notes... however, I find them best paired with a Colombian because of Brazil lacks acidity (not bright / but some acids bring out the flavor), sometimes I add in a touch of Sumatra for additional body. It really depends on the beans - it's hard to generalize about origin flavors. For example, in Colombia they have all diff growing regions - some are much sweet, some more acidic, some are super balanced. That's why I suggested brewing and really getting to know what your coffee taste likes before mixing into a blend.
 

Tex_Thai

New member
May 17, 2019
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^^^^^^ Thanks, I will try that, I have Guat. beans on hand, but not Colombian.
Thanks, God Bless,
Wayne
 

Musicphan

Well-known member
May 11, 2014
1,613
38
Kansas City
A question about blends: do you blend first then roast or roast first then blend? Does it make any difference? Also do you use real whole hazelnuts when you roast hazelnut coffee?

You can do either - pre or post blending... and people have a variety of opinions on this. Flavoring is usually added post roast by a flavor concentrate.
 
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