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Blends and Blending: Blending Families

Always proceed the same way. If you have a favorite coffee that seems to lack something, combine it with a coffee that provides what your favorite lacks.

  • For brightness, briskness, and acidity, add a Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, or any high-grown Central America coffee.
  • For body and richness, add a dry-processed Brazil Santos or estate coffee or a good Sumatra Mandheling.
  • For body and sweetness, add a dry-processed Brazil Santos or a high grade India.
  • For flavor and aroma, add a Kenya, Guatemala, New Guinea, Yemen Mocha, or Zimbabwe.
  • To add aromatic intrigue at the top of the profile, add an Ethiopia Yirgacheffe or Kenya. To add complexity near the bottom of the profile add a Sumatra Mandheling or traditionally processed Sulawesi.
  • To add wine or fruit notes, make the acidy/highlight coffee a Yemen, an Ethiopia Harrar, or a Kenya.

The only real mistake you can make blending is to combine two coffees that are distinctive or extreme in the same way. Two coffees with similar bright, winy acidity, such as a Kenya and a Zimbabwe, might produce a pointless blend. On the other hand, coffees such as Brazil Santos are so congenially understated that they get along with everything. Others, such as Yemen Mocha, wet-processed Ethiopias and most good Central America coffees, are like easy going individualists who manage to mix with almost everybody, yet still maintain their distinction.

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Blends and Blending:  Introduction  | Blending Different Origins  | Personal Blending  |  | Blending with Chicory

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Adapted from Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing & Enjoying; Espresso: Ultimate Coffee; and Home Coffee Roasting: Romance & Revival. St. Martin's Press.
Copyright © 1996, 2001 by Kenneth Davids. All Rights Reserved.