What is a coffee blend?
To celebrate International Coffee Day on the 1st of October, we have decided to put the spotlight on coffee blends (the art of mixing & roasting two or more types of coffee beans from various origins to create one single great tasting coffee).
Large retailers use this process a lot but unfortunately, their recipe remains a well-guarded secret … too often to hide the lack of traceability.
Origin, variety used, treatment? Take the test in your supermarket by looking at the information given on the packet of your favourite coffee blend. You will notice straight away that there is very little information.
On the other hand, artisan coffee roasters are completely transparent about the coffee used in their blends.
This is also the main purpose of their job: to make you discover exceptional coffees from the best terroirs!
Like winemakers who choose, for example, to assemble merlot with cabernet, coffee roasters select several varieties of coffee to mix & roast together so they can produce a blend with a unique taste.
How do they create their coffee blends? We asked the coffee roasting team at Cafés Lugat with whom we share premises in the south of France…
Coffee blend secrets
==> Rule n°1: Cherish the origin of your coffee beans
To create a blend, it is important to start with a “neutral” coffee base, with consensual coffees like a coffee from South America. These coffees are consistent and well-balanced with natural sweetness.
Add a “punchy” note using a coffee with pronounced acidity and great aromatic complexity (a blend of fruity or floral notes). Coffees from Ethiopia have this particularity.
You now have the basis for a good coffee blend: balance, sweetness and a hint of acidity (to bring vivacity in your cup).
==> Rule n°2: Find the right balance
A successful coffee blend is a harmonious balance between:
– flavours (acidity, bitterness, etc…).
Your coffee mustn’t be too bitter nor too acidic. It must have body, be fragrant, fruity and have a nice mouthfeel.
Coffee roasters are always striving to get a well-balanced coffee with a round body (a nice texture). It is their Holy Grail.
It’s all about harmony! Up to you to test and adjust accordingly :-)
==> Rule n°3: Take care of your roasting process
Once you have picked your green coffee beans, you must roast them!
Our coffee roasting friends at Cafés Lugat prefer to roast separately in order to respect the nature of each variety of coffee beans.
It’s just like cooking… white meat doesn’t have the same cooking time as red meat. The same principle applies to coffee.
Each variety of coffee has a unique roasting profile. It’s up to the master roaster to determine this according to the nature of the bean, its humidity, its density etc… And depending on the desired sensory profile.
If you’d like to sample some of our coffee blends to celebrate International Coffee Day, we have put together a little selection for you:
Le Blend Italien (Italian Blend)
A blend of 80% Arabica and 20% Robusta. This “Special Espresso” coffee has undergone a medium roast to develop a generous body and powerful aromas. The presence of Robusta adds depth and also helps with the creation of a good crema.
This Arabica blend (Mundo Novo/Catuai) is a great introduction to Specialty Coffee. A light roast for a cup of coffee with notes of chocolate & peanut butter. This coffee blend carries a PGI label (Protected Geographical Indication) that guarantees the coffee is indeed from this region.
This pack includes 4 exclusive blends from the Cafés Lugat range. The four blends you will get to taste depend on our delivery of green coffee beans from all over the world. The content of your pack will therefore be a surprise. It is the best way to discover our blends!
And here is a little video below with English subtitles presenting Cafés Lugat, the team and the work they do :-)