There are many reasons that coffee roasters might make a coffee blend. By making your own coffee blend, you are making a unique flavor that nobody else can duplicate. It’s like having your own secret coffee farm whose ingredients only you know.
For those of you that are unfamiliar, a blended coffee is a mix of two or more (generally no more than five) single-origin coffees. And, a single-origin coffee means all of the beans are from the same farm and harvested at the same time.
Single-origin coffee is great because even different farms using the same type of beans, being grown in the same general area in the same harvest time, can actually come out with different distinctive flavors.
The reason roasters, or even regular ol’ coffee drinkers, might make their own blend, is to be able to choose the best qualities from a couple different coffees, in the hopes of mixing it into one unique, super coffee.
Sure, some coffee roasters do this as a way to save money, by mixing cheaper beans with more expensive beans, hoping the expensive flavor still comes through and overwhelms the bland, cheaper beans (Hawaiian Kona blends being the most infamous culprit of taking this course of action).
Many roasters also make blends because they are trying to maintain a specific flavor that is consistent over different harvests, despite the differing flavors each and every harvest.
To be able to determine what might make the best coffee blend for you, first you must know how to properly taste a drink. You need to be able to pull out the different notes and flavors and fully appreciate the complexity of your black coffee first.
Once you have a good idea of what you like in a coffee and know how to taste it, try matching those flavors with the official flavors of the coffee flavor wheel.
Chances are, if you were to actively keep in mind and notate which characteristics for each of those aspects that affects coffee in ways that you do or do not like, that you would not be able to find a single-origin coffee that fulfills all of those traits you are looking for.
Enter coffee blends.
Generally you should not mix more than two or three coffees together, and it seems most experts agree that if you are mixing more than five coffees that the flavors start to conflict and overlap.
So, just think to yourself: “okay, I like x, y, and z characteristics; which coffees best exude those particular aspects?” And then buy coffees that you have tried that best match those aspects, and just get to experimenting.
Coffee blending is definitely a mixture of art and science. It can be tough to tell how all the complexity of one coffee will interact with another equally complex coffee. And, even if you know the exact two coffees that you want, you will likely have to experiment with the ratios a bit to find your perfect match.
What do you guys think? Are you wanting to try your own coffee blends? Or are you more of a single-origin coffee aficionado? Or, do you drown your coffee in so much sugar and flavored creamer that it doesn’t matter?
And, of course, once you have your favorite coffee, you should learn to find your favorite snacks. Or, of course, you can subscribe with us to our paired coffee and snack monthly deliveries, and we’ll do all of the hard work for you, and just let you enjoy the deliciousness that follows.