Its been a year since I created and used my own blend of coffee. Not that Illy was not great, but I was forced to think about this issue commercially as a business. From the branding perspective, I took the plunge again and have been using my own blend of coffee since. And the coffee’s been better than ever.
A blend, means a mix. I have mixed coffee from a single estate call Fazenda Da Lagoa from Brazil where it is natural pulped coffee, with fully washed Guatemala (Hue Hues and Los Volcanes) and Sumatra Medheling as well as Papua New Guinea. The coffee in its original form (before roasting) were a beautiful whole beans that ranged from jade green colour to a warm sunny bourbon shade. They were mixed before being put into the roaster and roasted to a medium and just shy of a dark roast. I like to preserve the fruitiness of the coffee and not burn it away as a dark roast. There are many advocates of post roast blending or pre-roast blending, but its a topic of great debate among roasters. Ultimately, I let the senses of our customers decide.
The most important aspect I had to look for was to find a blend that works beautifully as an espresso and as a cappuccino or latte. Reason being, most coffee are either great as an espresso, being light, not too harsh or bitter, balanced and smooth, but turns out to be too light as a base for a cappuccino. This pursuit to find something that works for both comes from an economic point of view. In Singapore, the espresso drink has a small market. The majority goes for the milk coffee. However, I love espressos and coffee aficionados and Italians, Australian and most european tourists which I service goes for espressos and macchiatos to enjoy coffee in its purest form possible without milk dilution. Also, I have limited space in a counter and having two grinders for two blends to meet such a need is not economically viable. Thus, the current blend which I worked out with my roaster that is just currently great for my needs.
An interesting mix of Brazil’s Single Estate Fazenda De LaGoa, with Guatemala’s Los Volcanes region, Sumatra Mendheling and Papua New Guinea. The blend was mixed before it is roasted to a medium dark (more medium than dark) and exhibits a dry fruity Orange Peel taste on the palate with a hint of sweet on the tip of the tongue and slight bitter aftertaste with surprisingly low acidity (based on an extraction of 30 secs per 30 m shot). The The body is great as long we don’t let the opened bag stays more than 4 days (which never happens at the outlets cause they easily run through 2 kg per day). The coffee that arrives to the outlets also has a rest period of 2 weeks immediately after roasting, and great care was made by the roaster to leave the coffee in a sealed opaque silver bags with one-way valves in an air-conditioned ad low humidity environment before it is delivered. This particular care of looking after roasted coffee beans in storage speaks so much of the professionalism and the knowledge of the roaster that I am working with. Most would not bother, or do not under the effect of our natural elements on the rather sensitive roasted coffee, or simply do not have the means to store and transport coffee in the most optimal manner.
As we continue to build the coffee industry, I would begin to see both the roaster and the barista working really closely hand in hand to deliver the most fantastic cup to the client.