Fresh blended coffee or in Slovak čerstvá zmiešaná káva is starting be our focus since the day when we started to offer our customers the chocolate blend at the beginning of 2018. The art of blending is a beautiful skill of understanding the taste of coffee and using them correctly in perfect blended coffee. In this article I will explain on how I developed my chocolate blend, the blend that our customers loved so much.
Step 1 - Finding the right taste
My goal was to find a blended coffee that tasted like chocolate, which would be less sweet and more chocolate. For the I used Honduras Santo Rosa, which had so much taste of chocolate, in fact this coffee a lone had so much taste of milk chocolate, but since it was acidic coffee I always missed the body after roasting the coffee darker. But again that is part of art of blending, which is all about fixing the problems with another coffee. Second coffee was Peru Cajamarca, this coffee also had so much acidity with a lot of sweet chocolate taste. This coffee had the similar taste with Honduras Santa Rosa but with more sweetness, howerver, I could not add much of this coffee since I did not want to increase the sweetness but I did want to have the perfect structure, and it could provide that interesting long lasting taste of dark chocolate when it is roasted little darker than usual. After blending these two coffees, and trying I was missing the most important thing and it was the body of the coffee.
Step 2 - Find the body
The body of the coffee is so important and unfortunately it is hard to roast as we want without losing the body, but that was not impossible to find after good experiment. Lucky for me I had one amazing Brazilian coffee Pink Star with so much body, this coffee had as much body as Robusta coffees but without harsh flavors. The Pink Star in fact for so fruity and acidic when it is roasted medium. But when I roasted this coffee darker it was just pure nutty taste with amazing body. I just knew that this was the key recipe of my blend. The question is how much of my blend should be coffee with strong body? That question can be answered by tasting the first two coffee, and also as a roaster I just know right after the roast if my coffees lost a lot of its body. Therefore, in chocolate blend I had to add at least 45% of my blend to be strong body coffee, that is because other two coffees also had body but lower than Pink Star. Other 35% was Honduras, since it had just straight forward taste of chocolate. The other 20% was Peru to give the full rounded finishing touch.
Step 3 - Grind size
After roasting each of this coffee or if I even roasted them together, does not mean that my blend would have been perfect, because the extraction of espresso would not have been perfect since the grind size of each coffee would have been different. It is easy to understand the grind size based on the density of the coffee. When coffees have more density then the grind size would have been lower whereas, the coffees with lower density would have higher grind size. Therefore, I would roast some of my coffees longer while the other coffees faster. In chocolate blend I roasted Peru fastest, since the coffee had lower density, and it really required strong attention of not missing even few seconds. If I roasted this coffee for as little as few seconds longer or little higher temperature, the oils would be out. After roasting this my grind size was at 4,2 at my grinder. The second was roasting Honduras Santa Rosa, this coffee had balanced body and density, therefore it was not that hard to roast, and I roasted this coffee little longer than Peru with higher temperature. At the end the grind size was also 4.2 with the same extraction time. The final coffee was Brazilian Pink Star, this coffee was huge in size and I roasted this coffee longer with lower charge temperature. I roasted this coffee almost 2 minutes longer than Peru. Regardless of roasting longer, it still maintained it's body more than other coffees. The grinder size for this was also 4,2, after blending all three coffees, the coffee had perfect extraction with just amazing taste of chocolate. This is my first ever blend, and it was successful due to my extended research on roasting the coffees and tasting each coffees as it needs to be tasted.
This coffee was perfect coffee for home use and for coffee shops, therefore, I always had this coffee at one our grinder at Bean Spot. Since then we had Caramel Blend, and now we have Honey Blend, and ovocný blend. Each of this coffees have unique taste, and they are very interesting blend. Therefore, I always have one of my grinder set for blended coffees.