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Old 10-21-2008, 06:26 AM   #1
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Default Bean blending--custom blends--advice needed

I have a local roaster I frequent on a weekly/bi-weekly basis: Texas Coffee Traders.

Always a good selection of medium and dark roast beans from all the usual suspects--South America, Central America, Africa, etc. I tend to brew using a Mukka Express, but also have a Bodum Columbia french press and one of those tacky Gevalia free pots. The Gevalia is just for entertaining, really.

I've made my way through all their single origin beans in both medium and dark roast (it's taken me about 1.5 years to try them all at least a couple times), and am starting to experiment with 2- and 3-bean blends. Generally, I have them mix them in equal parts.

What I'm finding is that while I liked Central American single bean brews over South American and African, as I start to blend 2 and 3 beans together, I'm wanting more variety--I want something that remains smooth, but has some unique characteristics in the flavor profile.

This morning, I just brewed up my first batch of medium Guatemalan, medium Costa Rican, and dark Golden Aged Sumatran. This is really doing it for me. While I'm not a fan of regular Sumatran (too earthy), the GAS is edgy and lends a depth to the smooth Guatemalan and Costa Ricans I love so much.

Does anyone else experiment with blending like this, and if so, what have you come across that you like a lot?
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bean blending--custom blends--advice needed

Hand raised, but not an expert.

I've been mixing my beans for several years. To be honest, I cannot even remember (probably mid 90's) the last pot that didn't have at least 3 different varieties in it.

My fave mix is Guatemalan, Costa Rican, Columbian & Cuban. I like to make up batches and mix up just enough that each pot will taste a little different. Helps keep me interested in the flavor since some pots will have a little more of one and a little less than the other.
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bean blending--custom blends--advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by muziq View Post
...What I'm finding is that while I liked Central American single bean brews over South American and African, as I start to blend 2 and 3 beans together, I'm wanting more variety--I want something that remains smooth, but has some unique characteristics in the flavor profile.

This morning, I just brewed up my first batch of medium Guatemalan, medium Costa Rican, and dark Golden Aged Sumatran. This is really doing it for me. While I'm not a fan of regular Sumatran (too earthy), the GAS is edgy and lends a depth to the smooth Guatemalan and Costa Ricans I love so much.
I like CAs mixed with something earthy like Sumatran or Sulawesi (or some punchy Brazilians that come and go) too - you are in a tasty area as far as I'm concerned. Particularly because Guat is running very good right now. That could change with the next crop or the next hurricane or the next warehouse fire.

Blending is a regular dark art. I honor the roaster who can keep a signature blend both above average and consistent from year to year. It ain't easy. Enjoy your experiments and remember than variations in percentage of this/that can change things wildly.
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Last edited by Mister Moo; 10-21-2008 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bean blending--custom blends--advice needed

After trying this more than once, I find that I REALLY like equal parts of a City roasted Kimel A and FC+ Organic Timor Peaberry. It makes me woot! everytime!
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bean blending--custom blends--advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by drob View Post
After trying this more than once, I find that I REALLY like equal parts of a City roasted Kimel A and FC+ Organic Timor Peaberry. It makes me woot! everytime!
A few months back I was mixing RRA PNG (about C+) with dark roasted Sumatra (Mandheling, I think) and it was killer. Much better than either standing alone, and they were both pretty good standing alone. Timor sounds like a similar deal.
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bean blending--custom blends--advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by drob View Post
After trying this more than once, I find that I REALLY like equal parts of a City roasted Kimel A and FC+ Organic Timor Peaberry. It makes me woot! everytime!
DOYLE! How the heck are ya?! I'm going to google your terms up there...completely unknown to me.

Thanks all for the suggestions. I feel like I'm really hitting my coffee slide with these experiments in mixing beans and roasts.
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: Bean blending--custom blends--advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fumes View Post
A few months back I was mixing RRA PNG (about C+) with dark roasted Sumatra (Mandheling, I think) and it was killer. Much better than either standing alone, and they were both pretty good standing alone. Timor sounds like a similar deal.
I followed Fumes' advice on this blend and the transformation of both, together, was very dramatic.
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bean blending--custom blends--advice needed

Endless variations and tastes seem to be possible.
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