Friday, March 13, 2015

The only point of blending coffee (that I can think of)

I have been drinking a Colombian coffee that I finally got to a really nice roast. That has been my go to for a week or two now. Yesterday, I was running low and only had enough for half a cup. I wasn't going to go without my coffee so I blended it with another coffee that I thought it would pair well with. A coffee from Maui Coffee Roasters that is roasted medium (their idea of medium is way darker than mine). The Maui coffee isn't particularly awesome, but I was hoping my Colombian would bring it up. I’m not so sure it works that way.

I did 12g of Columbia and 17g of Maui. I was hoping the tang of the Colombian’s acidity would cut through the smoke and bring out the citrus and floral notes the Maui is supposed to have. The result? At the beginning it started out like the Colombian, then finished like the Maui. It was almost bi-polar. I took a good coffee and an okay coffee and created a meh coffee. Nothing really cut through the roast flavor of the Maui. This experience seems consistent with all my experiences with blends.

So what is the point of blending? Why lose all the nuance that comes from single origin coffee?

The only reason I can think of is consistency. Has anyone noticed that Starbucks doesn't sell single origin coffee (not counting their new Reserve line). That is because one of their main goals is to reproduce the same experience across the world. I have noticed that blends are roasted darker than a lot of single origins. My opinion is so that the main flavor profile is roast. There will be a little “nutty” or “floral” at the beginning and end, but somewhere around 80% of the flavor is roast. Roast is the most consistent flavor our there (when you burn everything to carbon, it will all taste like carbon, just say’n).

I know there are people who say they masterfully blend beans to create great coffees. I’m sure that is true, but I have not experienced it yet. When I get to a retail shop, I will probably do a blend as well. I need something that I can brand. Something that people can depend on. That will be my house blend and it will serve the same purpose as any other house blend, consistency.