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The art of making the perfect coffee blend

No two blends are the same and here, at Lincoln & York, we pride ourselves on delivering customer satisfaction by combining our expert knowledge with a customer’s requirements. Some customers are fully aware of what they want – which we facilitate – and some come to us looking for our guidance and expertise. This means we are regularly creating bespoke blends for a wide range of customers.

So, what makes a coffee blend, a blend, and how do we achieve this? Below, we showcase what entails making the perfect blend of coffee

Single origin coffee vs. coffee blends

As a regular jaunt to your favourite coffee house might show, single origin is often seen as a better quality of coffee and often commands a higher price. Speciality coffee houses often use single origin over a blend to celebrate the distinctive characteristics associated with individual coffee growing areas. The more discerning consumer of coffee appreciates the multitude of complex flavours and aromas that single origins can offer. 

However, this doesn’t mean that blended coffee is something to turn your back on. As with most coffees, it comes down to personal preference. A coffee blend can enhance your coffee drinking experience as you call upon the different attributes of each origin to create a more bespoke coffee profile. For example, an Ethiopian mixed with a Brazilian may give you a variety of flavours to savour. By nature, Ethiopian beans tend to have a fruity note as opposed to the more chocolatey, nutty varieties offered from Brazil. Blending the two origins could create a well-balanced beverage with a fruity aroma, chocolatey flavour and a lingering nutty aftertaste. Therefore, combining various origins in a blend to bring together the best of both may work in your favour. 

The different species

As you may already be aware, there are two main species of coffee: Arabica and Robusta. Robusta is a very resilient crop that can endure less than ideal growing conditions whereas Arabica needs a little more looking after. Robusta is low grown and gives you that strong coffee flavour that many consumers enjoy. Arabica is higher grown, produces good acidity and a wide range of flavours depending on the region it was grown and the processing method used.

This is where blends can be adapted to provide a really well-balanced coffee. Combining the two species can offer a mixture of both the sweet notes of Arabica whilst driving home the strong kick of a Robusta. Fine tuning the blend is an art and is down to personal preference.

Three coffee q-graders stood around a round table about to taste coffee.

Percentages

This is where you can really get creative! At Lincoln & York, we have a number of in-house Q-Graders (including a certified QR-Grader might we add!) that taste over 150 cups of coffee a day. Whilst this is to ensure the highest quality control, it also gives the team the chance to put together some excellent blends for our customers. Mastering the art of the perfect blend isn’t easy. It takes time, care and a lot of testing to ensure we hit the right note for our customers. 

Whilst a preference might be a blend of Brazilian, Colombian & Guatemalan, the taste can come down to the percent in which each origin is featured. For example, an even(ish) 30/30/40 might hit the sweet spot, or you may wish to have a stronger Colombian influence, in this case a 20/60/20. If you are looking to bring in a range of flavours to your perfect cup then adopting and mastering the right percentage can make all the difference. 

Roasting

So, you’ve decided that you want a blend containing three different origins, some Arabica, some Robusta and then a mixed percentage with a stronger influence of one origin over another. You’d think the buck would stop there. Think again. The roasting process then offers another option. Roasting beans darker may give you that stronger taste. A lighter roast will bring out the aromas and fruity, chocolatey and nutty tastes that are unique to that origin. Therefore, it’s an extremely complex process defining the right blend for you. However, what you’re not short of is choice.

If you’re looking for a coffee partner to give you advice, guidance and create the perfect blend then the team here at Lincoln & York are on hand to guide you through the whole process. As mentioned above, we have a number of in-house Q-Grade tasters that enable you to work with us to master your perfect blend. It’s all about making a blend of coffee that is right for you and the customers in which you serve. By blending coffee, you’re able to have a unique, bespoke blend specific to you. 

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