Last Updated on April 10, 2022 by John Moretti
There are several terms used in the world of coffee that can seem somewhat ambiguous. One such term is ‘house blend.’ This is a term that is seen printed on many bags of coffee and used to describe various coffees sold by individual brands and coffee roasters, but what exactly does this term mean?
House blend coffee is a blend of coffee beans curated by a coffee roastery that combines coffee beans from various origins to create a brew that is delicious and complex. House blends combine coffee beans with complementary flavors and brew characteristics to produce a unique coffee experience.
Does buying a house blend provide you with a good product? Or does the term house blend simply refer to a coffee that is not sold anywhere else? Let’s shed some light on this complex matter and explore the meaning of this confusing term as it relates to modern coffee.
House Blend Coffee: An Updated Definition
If you enjoy specialty coffee, you are probably familiar with the process of buying coffee fresh from a coffee roaster or buying coffee that is roasted to order. This also means that you are likely to have seen the term ‘house blend’ used to describe particular coffee beans provided by roasteries and coffee brands.
In modern specialty coffee, the term ‘house blend’ simply refers to a bag of coffee beans that contain a blend of various coffee bean varieties and origins, curated into one blend by the coffee roaster.
A blend like this is intended to be better than the sum of its parts. Each individual type of coffee and coffee from different regions taste and brew differently. When a coffee roaster or brand takes the time to put together a house blend, this means that the coffee is a blend of complimentary coffee varieties that will brew well and taste delicious in the cup.
Most blended coffees do not bear this same guarantee. Most blends are a result of leftover coffee beans, a lack of coffee bean supply, or to try and elevate a poor-tasting coffee by blending it with a different coffee of superior quality.
A house is not used to hide poor quality coffee, nor is it used to sell leftovers. A house blend created by a good roaster is made to be a delicious combination of complimentary coffee beans from various origins to produce a brew that is better than any of the single coffee varieties in the blend.
A modern house blend is delicious, good value for money, and well-made, as this is the coffee that the roaster will put its backing behind the most. House blends are interesting, they provide a break from the mundane of ordinary coffee varieties, and they are a trip into yet unexplored coffee taste varieties.
If your favorite coffee roastery produces a house blend, give it a try, and you are likely to be pleasantly surprised.
Is House Blend Coffee Good?
House blend has been a misleading term in the past. This term has been used to describe inferior quality coffee and try to make use of odds and ends leftover at the coffee roastery. This has produced a distrust for house blend coffee varieties.
However, modern third-wave specialty coffee has seen the rise of a new type of house blend coffee that is sure to be far superior to what you may know a house blend to be.
Modern house blends are very good. This coffee is made to be as good as possible, with every coffee within the blend used to serve or produce a specific and well-defined flavor note.
Blending a variety of coffee beans together into one brew can yield incredible results that are flavorful, interesting, and extraordinarily complex.
A good coffee roastery that takes the time to properly curate a good house blend will always put together an excellent product that can always be trusted. House blends are some of the best possible coffee blends that money can buy.
What Makes House Blend Coffee Special?
House blends have become more popular among modern specialty coffee roasters, but why are so many of these companies producing house blends? What makes them so special?
The magic of a house blend coffee is the combination of flavor notes, overall flavor profiles, and the brewing characteristics of a well-curated coffee blend.
Coffee beans from different places and regions in the world have different characteristics and different flavor notes. For example, West African coffee is known to be very bright, fruity, and acidic with fermented flavors and intense notes of berry. Central American coffee is known to be very rich, with low acidity, and with strong notes of chocolate and nuts.
These are only two examples, but coffee from every region has its own unique flavors. The same is true on a smaller scale, as coffee is produced in different countries, and even individual farms have their own flavors as well.
House blends are special because they combine these unique flavors into something greater, taking already good coffee and blending it with complimentary varieties that elevate the overall taste of the brew to another level.
Are All House Blends Worthwhile?
This question is worth asking, as there are so many house blends available right now. The truth is that not every house blend on the market is as good as others.
Very large coffee chains such as Starbucks produce house blends as a way of blending their own proprietary coffees to expand profit margins with a new product without the cost of growing or sourcing a new product, and shady coffee companies blend cheap coffee with good coffee to make more money per bag sold.
This means that not every house blend is good, but if you buy a house blend from your local coffee roastery rather than from a major company selling coffee at the supermarket, you are very likely to receive an excellent product that is well worth the money.
House blends produced by modern coffee roasteries are usually excellent and well worthwhile purchasing. These coffee blends are curated to be better than the sum of their parts, combining coffee flavors and characteristics from various origins into something truly special.
If you have never brewed a house blend from your favorite coffee roaster, give it a try, and you may just find yourself never buying another type of coffee again.