Today we are going to be discussing some things that can add much needed variety to a coffee routine.
When you walk into specialty cafes or observe the product that coffee roasters sell, you may notice that there are two types of coffee available – single origin, and blends. We see these options on brewing menus. Espresso being the most notorious form of coffee that utilizes the inherent variety attributed to the blend. You will see these two coffee options everywhere. If you aren’t familiar with the terms, you’ve come to the right place!
[note: understanding single origin coffees is vital to crafting your own blend]
Think of single origins as an essence of flavor from a specific coffee growing region. Single origin coffees come from one region and usually one farm. The “Guatemala” labeled on the bag of a single origin coffee means that the coffee is from Guatemala and ONLY from a particular region of Guatemala.
As you keep growing in your coffee journey, single origin coffees can be an effective palate training tool. It is actually possible to determine the region a coffee was grown in based upon its taste.
When one embarks upon the specialty coffee journey, they go through tasting phases. At first, most can only taste chocolate or “nuttiness” as a flavor note in their coffee. As time goes on we start tasting other flavors like apple, grape, and certain spices you are used to tasting in your cooking. Eventually you are able to taste complex flavors and determine aromas; this is when people get diagnosed with coffee obsession.
If you want to taste all the colors of the rainbow, make sure to drink single origins regularly. You will learn the ins-and-outs of coffee, and you will come to appreciate the farmers that make all of this possible for us.
A well concocted blend is simply beautiful.
A blend is a mix of single origin coffees. Blending is a technique used to add stability as well as complex flavors. Roasteries and shops blend coffees to develop flavor profiles that are both user friendly (e.g. something chocolatey) or unique (e.g. bergamot, apple, and star anise notes).
Many shops even adhere to the use of a daily coffee blend. For instance, our Neverneverland blend is something that is geared for the coffee greenhorn as well as coffee guru. We blended a Costa Rica and a Brazil to create a mild chocolatey cup that pairs well with snacks and other tapas.
The variety blends bring to a cup are astonishing. One can combine a juicy pear and peanut like Ethiopian with a peachy Papa New Guinea to create a mild fruit explosion in a cup. Savory umami bursting coffee can be blended with a mild and dry coffee to create a wine-like shot of espresso.
The possibilities are endless.
Boredom is vanquished.
Sure, understanding your single origin roots is important. Knowing what flavors you are mixing together helps with the coffee alchemy process. But don’t feel intimidated if you can’t taste everything yet. There’s still hope.
Blending your single origin coffees at home is very, very doable – even for the novice.
Crafting your blend
Alright. Dig some single origin coffees out of your stash. It’s time to blend.
-Try a 50/50 blend for your first go (a 50/50 blend is just equal parts of two coffees). Make sure you are familiar with the individual flavor profile of each coffee.
-Measure out how much coffee you need for one cup. Divide the coffee mass needed by two, and add each coffee (if 25g is needed used 12.5g of both coffees into grinder).
-Prepare coffee and taste.
Once you find a blend you like, you can craft larger quantities or experiment further.
[If you are crafting larger blends, make sure to mix up the beans thoroughly before grinding]
If you get stuck, check out our coffees page. You can use this page for blend ideas and references.
We list what coffees we use in the blend description. The Specu-Lose Your Mind blend features coffees from Brazil, Colombia, and Ethiopia. Combining these coffees in tandem give us flavor notes of Belgian Biscuits and Caramel. These profiles are the result of an ample amount of experimentation. As we’ve said before, good coffee takes time. You can do it.
Coffee shouldn’t get old. It is a drink and way of life that brings us together. Crafting your own blends can spice up the coffee experience, and it helps us understand the profiles of individual coffees.
Keep experimenting, and Happy Brewing!
The Hook Coffee team