Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by Barry Gray
I’m sure most people venture to their local store, pick up their favorite coffee beans or pre-ground coffee, and then go home. That means you have pre-selected your coffee blend, but is that your only option?
I love experimenting with coffee, so I thought I would go ahead and look more closely at coffee blends. Actually, is it possible to create my own coffee blend?
Yes, you can create your own coffee blend, and it opens up so many possibilities. Your blend will have a unique flavor, and it’s a lot of fun trying different mixes of coffee beans before you settle on something you love.
You see, creating your own coffee blend is very easy. All it takes is for you to go and get your hands on different coffee beans and start mixing them in various quantities.
Also, you get to drink a whole lot of coffee while you work at creating your own signature blend, and that’s not an opportunity I’m going to let slide on by.
Why Should You Make Your Own Coffee Blend?
Before I go into my own experiment regarding producing my own coffee blend, I’ll address this important question: why bother making your own coffee blend?
I feel the answer is obvious. It’s great and allows you to work on producing the perfect coffee for your individual taste preference.
But I can also think of a time when you are basically forced into creating a blend, and it’s when you only have a few coffee beans left of a particular batch.
What are you going to do with that handful of beans? I’d hardly want to throw them away or let them sit there for an extended period and watch them deteriorate.
So, making a coffee blend makes good use of those beans while allowing you to enjoy the experience without wasting anything.
Now, that sounds like a fantastic idea to me.
Different Beans Have Different Flavors
If I’m purchasing pre-ground coffee, I always take an interest in the writing on the pack. It often tells you more about the flavor profile you should expect when it comes to that coffee, and I find the descriptions to be accurate.
I’m lucky in that I have a good understanding of what to expect from coffee beans grown in certain parts of the world. That knowledge made it easier to start crafting my blend, as I knew I had different flavor profiles working together.
But even with my knowledge, I still had to adjust my blend to get things perfect for my taste preference.
But for any individual thinking about crafting their own blend, this is what I suggest.
Learn About the World of Coffee Beans
I would never suggest that anybody go ahead and try to mix their own coffee blend if they do not even have a basic understanding of the different tastes in coffee beans.
But here’s a simple guide as to what you should generally expect.
First, if you have coffee beans from Asia, then expect a more nutty taste to the coffee.
If you have African beans, expect a sweeter and more fruity taste. Yet, some of the beans can be overpowering when it comes to the fruit taste, so be aware of this.
If you have coffee beans from the Americas, it tends to be more bitter and often with hints of chocolate and smoothness.
Now, there are individual differences even within those three main areas of the world, but that’s a basic rule of thumb when it comes to what coffee from those areas should taste like.
What is the Biggest Difficulty of Making Your Own Coffee Blend?
I did encounter a number of problems when it came to making my own coffee blend, and I feel I need to share those problems with you. Hopefully, you don’t run into the same problems as I did.
Beans of Different Ages
My beans were effectively of different ages, and I know that meant slight changes to the taste and flavor. This is a common problem with coffee, and you can usually accommodate it by realizing the flavor may be slightly degraded.
But when you are blending together different coffee beans at various stages of degradation, it does make it slightly harder to then get the balance correct.
What I found was that I had to try to lower the amount of older ground coffee in the blend and boost the fresher coffee. I felt it could then counteract the increased bitterness or stale taste associated with the older coffee.
No Two Blends were Alike
Another thing I noticed was that no two blends were alike, even when I used the same combination. Again, this is due to the way coffee changes as it ages, so there’s not much you can do about it.
But as long as you are aware of this, then it comes as less of a shock when the taste is not quite as you expected.
That is why I’ve decided not to attempt to make the exact same blend again. I try to produce enough coffee in the blend to last me for some time.
But don’t make too big a mix. The overall taste of the blend will diminish, and I don’t want you basically throwing away coffee simply because you cannot use up enough of it at one time.
So, what I managed to learn from this part was to forget about achieving consistency. It’s not going to happen.
How to Make Your Own Perfect Coffee Blend
During my experiment, I made a number of small batches of blends using different coffee beans as the main body of the coffee.
I switched between coffee from Africa to Peru, back to Ethiopia, and several other countries. The idea was to use a main coffee as the primary coffee in the blend and then change the flavor profile using additional beans.
But after trying all different kinds of mixes, this is what I discovered.
The Best Coffee for the Body of the Blend
I felt the blend was best when I used Brazilian coffee as the main body, and that’s for a good reason.
Brazilian coffee is known for its depth of flavor, which adds a lot to the coffee in general. What you get here is a coffee that gives you some base flavors, which tend to carry through the blend.
But I have a tip if you want quite an even balance to your coffee: Go for a medium roast.
I find that using a dark roast full of its richer flavor and increased bitterness is not something you should be doing in your own blend. It becomes too difficult to balance things out, so try to avoid it.
Often, Brazilian coffee will have enough chocolate taste and hints of caramel. As long as they are prominent, without being overpowering, then it’s more likely you will enjoy your blend.
The Best Coffee for a Hint of Sweetness
It’s possible to counteract the bitterness of the coffee by adding some sweetness. I found this approach to offer some natural balance to the end result.
Now, I would suggest using any coffee that has that sweetness to it. Still, again we are not talking about it being overpowering.
Look at using coffee from Central America to get this sweetness.
Something with just a hint to it will be enough to pull back some of the bitterness in the taste, with it basically giving you something of a slightly more neutral coffee.
How to Inject Some Acidity to Your Coffee
If you prefer some acidity in your coffee or a hint of fruit, then I suggest heading over to Africa. Focus on something from either Kenya or Ethiopia, as the level of acidity tends to be enough to change the taste without destroying the taste.
Also, I tend to find that coffee from Ethiopia will often have those fruity undertones but without them dominating the coffee.
What is the Blend Ratio?
When mixing anything, getting the blend ratio correct is clearly important. I found this to be the exact same when it came to making my coffee blend.
Again, this blend ratio was something I had to mess around with, and I found two combinations that sort of worked for me.
Now, I’m talking about blending three different beans, which I would suggest you do.
I discovered that my perfect blend ratio was 40:30:30, with 40% being Brazilian coffee and 30% of sweet coffee, and 30% of coffee that adds some acidity to it.
But that’s what worked for me. However, I did discover other ratios that were pretty good as well.
For example, a 50:30:20 blend, where the 20 referred to the fruity side of things, gave me a slightly more bitter coffee with less fruit or floral tones. This is undoubtedly a better blend for people not keen on trying a more fruity coffee.
But I did find one interesting thing. Never try to blend more than five different coffee beans together.
If you try to do this with five or more beans, I’ve discovered it’s too difficult to get a suitable balance.
My Recap on Creating a Coffee Blend
Creating your own coffee blend is an interesting experiment to carry out. However, I’ve covered a number of points, so here’s my recap for the main things to remember.
- It’s very easy to create a coffee blend
- It’s best to use three different beans in your blend
- Do not go above five beans, as it makes life too difficult
- A 40:30:30 blend is best
- Use Brazilian coffee for the main body
- Add beans that offer a touch of sweetness to the coffee
- Remember a touch of acidity to balance it out
- Drop the acidity if you prefer coffee with more of a bitter taste
- Two blends will never be alike
- It’s tough using some beans significantly older than others
But do you know something? Making your own blend is excellent, and as long as you love the end result, then who cares what the ratio is or which beans you have used.
I found producing my own coffee blend to be a fun thing to do, and I was pleased with the results. I also felt good that no coffee beans were being wasted, leading to a decent cup of coffee at the end of it all.
I would recommend any coffee lover try this at some point. I think you may be surprised at the quality of the coffee you can then produce.