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Blending at home

Published on under the Coffee category.

A black mug sitting on a brown coaster on a white table

When I went to purchase my coffee of “What I Know About Running Coffee Shops” by Colin Harmon on the Square Mile Coffee Roasters website, I was asked if I wanted a sample of coffee to accompany the book. The sample of coffee was El Desvelado, a washed Columbian coffee grown at 1900 masl in the Narino region. The tasting notes said “mandarin, grape, and jammy.”

Before I talk about the coffee, I must say this is an excellent idea. I know that Standart magazine ships with a sample of coffee (if you order from their website, at least). I got to try a coffee I probably would never have tried at no extra cost.

The coffee sample contained 30g of coffee according to the packaging, although I suspect there was a little bit more. I was able to make about two and a half cups of coffee with this sample and I use 14g of coffee in each. How can one make two and a half cups of coffee with a sample? I mixed the last six-point-something grams of the coffee with another coffee I had in my cupboard, an Ethiopian from Bale Mountain Farm.

This is not the first time I have blended at home. I got this idea on the internet a few months ago. I did not like throwing away the few grams of beans I had left in a bag so I thought I would mix the last of the beans to see what flavours I could create. I have so far had some good results, although none have been so outstanding as to come to mind immediately when I think about blending my own beans.

This morning I blended around six grams of El Desvelado and eight grams of Bale Mountain. I was happy because I thought there would be less El Desvelado left, meaning that its impact on the cup would not have been as great as it turned out to be. I ground the coffee together and made a cup as I usually would.

This coffee had a balanced citrus zest and a nice orange flavour. Later in the cup, I detected more fruits, most notably blueberry. I would maybe have been able to come up with more tasting notes had I: (i) had a notebook at hand and (ii) had more than one cup of coffee to taste. The coffee was sweet, a characteristic present in both coffees. I did not get many of the floral notes from the Ethiopian; those were replaced by the orange flavours from the El Desvelado.

This blend was a delicious surprise. Upon drinking the coffee, I started to think about the potential of blending beans at home. I am probably the only person who has had this combination of beans; this must be what it feels like to roasters who are developing a profile for a coffee. I now know how blending can affect the resulting cup. Some qualities remain whereas others go. Together, these two coffees created a well-rounded brew that I would happily drink again.

If you have any spare beans in your cupboard, I suggest that you blend them together and see what you can create. It does not matter what quantities of beans you have left. I use up whatever is left in my last bag before I open a new one. I am curious what you can blend. I’ll keep doing this to see what I can create.

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