Last Updated on July 7, 2022 by John Moretti
Many words get used when speaking about coffee. And anyone that has been in the industry or has been a coffee enthusiast for a while might know them by heart. However, there has been a recent rise in coffee culture, and if you want to know your coffee well, one of the important things to know is what a coffee blend is.
A coffee blend is a mixture of coffee beans from different places. The beans within a blend could be beans from the same farm but two different farm areas. It could also be a mixture of entirely different farms. Many coffee shops or retailers mix different beans to create a flavor that they like.
There are a few things that are always good to know when it comes to coffee. These things can help you speak to others about coffee, help you avoid being deceived by a retailer, or can even just help you understand the industry and help you pick out the coffee that you most desire.
4 Facts About Coffee Blends
As stated above, a blend is a mixture of coffee beans from different places that are put together to make a flavor that works well.
By mixing several single-origin beans in different proportions, you can effectively choose the flavor you would like and the aroma to accompany that specific cup of coffee.
1. Blends Are More Forgiving
When working with single-origin coffee, meaning beans that come from only one place and are not mixed with others, there is only a tiny window for the perfect extraction.
Perfect extraction can depend on the amount of coffee used, the temperature of the water, and even the time that the water takes to run through the coffee grounds. However, the extraction process is usually more forgiving when using a blend or a mixture of beans.
Beans are mixed to make it easier for good coffee to be made with a little less precision. Mixing to save time is mainly practiced in coffee shops that serve hundreds of people per day, and it means that you can make more coffee in a shorter time.
It is common to see single origins made in a more time-consuming or scientific way. Pour overs, for example, are used to ensure that specific flavor profiles are enhanced. On the other hand, blends are usually made to extract the best flavor, no matter what brewing method you use.
2. You Can Choose The Flavor
When making a mix of beans, or a blend, you can effectively choose what flavors you like from different beans that you include in the blend.
Creating a blend of beans makes it easier to make a complex cup of coffee by mixing single-origin beans in different quantities, so you can make certain flavors more pronounced than others.
3. Create A House Blend That Works For You
One of the main reasons for making a blend is to help make a more balanced and well-rounded flavor for a coffee shop or home use.
Blends made for a specific purpose are why seeing the blend’s intended brewing method or specific drink is essential before buying it for home use. There are a lot of coffee shops and roasteries that blend coffees to make them taste great no matter what drink you want to use the coffee in.
Certain blends can be made specifically to have a good taste when drinking it as clean espresso or when mixed with a little bit of water. Other blends can be made for drinks that are a mix of espresso and milk. It is common practice to have a couple of blends in a coffee shop. Some are used for water drinks, others for milk drinks, and often a third for both.
4. Blends Help With Consistency
One of the foremost reasons for blending coffee is making a good, unique, and consistent coffee.
When you go to a local coffee shop or try a new coffee, many people like the consistency of having that same taste and experience, by using blends and mixing coffee, this is a result that is much easier to achieve.
Even if you buy the same coffee from the same place, there is always the chance for a bad batch to be a part of the roast. The slightest condition changes during the growth process can completely change the coffee you end up with during harvest.
Blending your coffee means that even if there is a bad batch among the roast, you’ll still be able to achieve a very similar result to your usual blend flavor.
Why Are Coffee Blends More Affordable
Though this isn’t true for all blends, a general market of roasters mix their beans to bring down the price for commercial use or retail purposes. Lowering the price of a specific blend can be accomplished by mixing different single-origin beans.
Some single-origin beans cost more than others, and by mixing more expensive beans with less expensive beans, not only can you make a blend that tastes amazing, but you can also reduce the cost of the blend. This way, you ensure that you have good coffee that you can sell at more affordable prices, which means that more people can buy your blend.
Is Blended Coffee Better Than Single Origin?
When it comes to choosing a coffee, it can be a process that takes a bit of time. If you prefer the constant of knowing what your coffee will taste like in the morning, you’re probably better off getting a blend.
However, if you like the thought of experimenting with coffee and want to experience different flavor profiles when you have coffee, single-origin might be what you prefer.
Single origins often come with flavors that you would overlook in a blend. One of my favorites is the blueberry note from a single-origin coffee I tried from Ethiopia.
Experimenting with what flavors you like is something every coffee enthusiast has to do before choosing what they want to take home or buy more of. If you come across a shop that sells a coffee that you enjoy more than usual, it is generally good practice to buy a small bag of that coffee to try at home before buying a big bag.
There is also the fact that coffee doesn’t always taste the same if you use different brewing methods. One blend or single origin might taste amazing as an espresso but taste horrible as a filter coffee.
This variation in flavor is why you should not underestimate trying a small bag of coffee at home first. Another way to avoid disappointment is to speak to the roaster or a retailer for more details.
Though a coffee blend is made of different single-origin coffees, it is often the easiest way to ensure a relatively constant or consistent taste. By blending coffees, you can enhance certain flavors while playing down the flavors you prefer not tasting. Getting to know what you like in a coffee is vital for discovering what coffee you prefer and what coffee you can use at home.