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All About Coffee Blends

What is Coffee Blending?

Coffee blending involves mixing two or more different coffees. Typically, this means combining beans from two different regions (such as Yemen and Java for Moka Java), but it can also involve mixing beans roasted to different levels.

Why Blend Coffee?

People have diverse reasons for drinking coffee, and even the same individual might seek different experiences on different days. Some may love the unique, fruity notes of a natural Ethiopia, while others may prefer the consistency and mildness of a medium-roasted blend that pairs well with milk. There is no right or wrong preference.

Blends can be ideal for those seeking a consistent coffee experience. A well-crafted blend can offer more than the sum of its individual components.

For example, if you enjoy dark roasts but miss the acidity, adding a light roast can bring out the best of both. An earthy Indonesian coffee with a rich body might be elevated by adding a bright, fruity African or Central American coffee, creating a balanced and unique flavor profile. High-quality beans can often be enhanced by blending.

Espresso Blends

Espresso blending is another area where there are no definitive rules. The espresso brewing process highlights certain characteristics and mutes others. For instance, a dry-processed Brazilian coffee might taste nutty with good body in a pour-over, but become rich and chocolaty with impressive acidity in an espresso. Single origins can sometimes feel unbalanced in espresso form; a bright, fruity Colombia might turn overly sour when extracted as an espresso (not ours, though—I love our FTO Colombia COSURCA as a single origin espresso, so bright and juicy!). Therefore, blending for espresso is an artistic endeavor, aiming to balance and enhance flavors.

Coffee Agnosticism

I am a passionately agnostic coffee purveyor. Single origins allow us to celebrate the unique qualities of specific regions and support fair prices for growers, offering a direct connection to the terroir. However, blending also provides a rich sensory experience and does not have to compromise transparency. For instance, our blends are composed of coffees we also offer as single origins. Ultimately, you should drink what brings you joy.

How We Blend at Our Roastery in Albuquerque, NM: Necessity is the Mother of Vacuums

Over the years, we've developed a unique system to ease the physical strain of blending coffee post-roast. Instead of manual lifting, we use rolling carts and pneumatic tubes to move our beans. Additionally, we have two other vacuum hoses for various processes, meaning your coffee might have been vacuumed four times by the time you get it. 😂

Red Rock Staff Picks: Best Blends Edition!