The Ultimate Guide to Coffee Blends
Whether you’re ordering a latte from a coffee shop or browsing for new roasts online, we’re sure you’ve come across the phrase ‘coffee blend’ a lot.
If you’re not familiar with this type of coffee, our below guide is a great introduction to the world of coffee blends. Aiming to give you a greater understanding of blended coffee, we’ll explore how this type of coffee differs from single-origin coffees, as well as provide some top blending tips and recommendations for the best blended coffees for your next online orders.
What are coffee blends?
A coffee blend is a roast made up of more than one single-origin bean (aka a bean from one geographical location). Blends are created by a process called ‘blending’ that involves mixing different coffee beans to balance out varying acidities, taste notes and aromas - creating new, dynamic flavours.
For example, you may love the sweet and smooth flavours of a roast from Costa Rica but feel like it's missing the intensity and kick of your favourite Indonesian coffee. By blending these beans from different origins, you can create an exciting new brew that will give you the best qualities of the two coffees.
How are coffee blends made?
The coffee blending process is somewhat of an art that can take different forms depending on the blend and its blender.
For most expert coffee roasters, the blending process occurs before the beans are roasted. A team of coffee aficionados will carry out near-endless taste tests to ensure the exact ratio of different single-origin coffee beans is right before roasting. Roasting beans at the same time allows coffee brands to produce large quantities of consistent and tasty coffee blends throughout the year.
However, as professional roasters know, there are exceptions to this process. Although beans from different origins can be roasted together, some blends need their beans roasted separately. Such blends include those that mix Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. Similarly, washed and unwashed coffee combinations tend to be roasted separately before they are mixed together.
You can also master the art of blending at home by mixing beans after they’ve been roasted. If home blending is something you’d like to try, we recommend you start by choosing your base coffee. Brew a cup and taste it carefully, thinking of the different ways you could improve its base notes. For example, what difference would it make if you added spicier flavours? Could it be enhanced with a more powerful aroma? Or is it slightly lacking in acidity for your taste?
Next, think of other roasts that contain the characteristics you want to add to your coffee. Brew these roasts then add to a new cup of your base coffee. As a heads up, this process may involve much trial and error to work out how different origin roasts complement rather than overpower each other. For the best results, any professional coffee roaster will advise new blenders to stick to two or three beans from different origins.
Once you have your perfect liquid mix, recreate the exact blend ratio with whole beans to produce your very own signature coffee blend.
The best coffee bean blends
With over 30 years’ experience producing speciality coffee beans, Coffee Direct offers a wide range of exclusive, high-quality coffee blends. Each combination is rigorously tried and tested, undergoing numerous taste tests to create new and delicious flavour profiles.
Like all our coffees, our blends are roasted to order and in small batches, ensuring you always receive the freshest beans to your door. You can find your next coffee blend by browsing our full range here or for inspiration for your next order, check out a list of coffee blends below.
Introducing our bestselling blend - Golden Crema. This strong, robust roast is much-loved for its bold and luxurious flavours and can be enjoyed as both an espresso or a flavour-packed base for filter coffees.
“Great tasting coffee beans for those who like a smooth, mellow taste. Just bought another two large bags of beans.”
Pete M. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Our Continental blend is a must-try for any strong coffee lover. The dark roast offers up intense aromas and complex, well-balanced flavours, making it the perfect espresso roast. Although its strength is best suited for espressos, the blend is ideal for rich filter coffees, thanks to its mild acidity and powerful kick.
“My regular brew, although I sometimes take a break with Italian or Director’s. I find Continental gives me a depth of flavour and is great for an espresso and a latte.”
David R. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
If you love our Continental coffee but want a less intense cup, our Italian blend is the one for you. The speciality beans are roasted slightly lighter, giving you the same flavour profile without more oiler characteristics. We recommend this blend for a smooth espresso, although like all our blends, it also makes for a moreish and rich filter base.
“The best flavour in the range, in my opinion. Beautiful rich crema and strong flavour without being bitter.”
Geoff B. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This medium-strength coffee blend was created to suit a wide range of taste preferences, with its gorgeous, mellow notes and smooth, subtle flavours. With little acidity or bitterness, it's the perfect pick if you’re hosting a business meeting or event and need a blend that will satisfy a diverse group of coffee drinkers.
“The best yet. Love this strong flavour that isn't too bitter. Lovely crema produced.”
Steve R. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
When it comes to single-origin coffees vs blends, what’s better?
Whether you prefer a single-origin coffee or a coffee blend will be a personal preference and choice. We recommend trying several varieties of each type of coffee from different countries and exploring different roast profiles (e.g. dark roast coffee, light roast coffee or medium roast coffee) and brewing methods, to get a better understanding of the types of coffee, bean qualities and tastes you enjoy. You can view our selection of over 100 different coffees.
Do coffee blends use Robusta or Arabica coffee?
Some speciality coffee blends use Robusta and Arabica beans, whereas others use 100% Arabica beans and others 100% Robusta. No way of blending is ‘the best’ as taste is purely subjective. If you have any questions about where the beans that make your cup of coffee are sourced from or would like more information about something before you order, you can contact us.
Can you make custom coffee blends?
Yes. You can make your own signature blend at home by mixing coffee beans from different single origins together before the brewing process. If you're a keen home roaster and prefer controlling the roast levels of your beans, you can also mix your beans before the brewing process. For more information on experimenting with flavour notes and your cup profile, see our advice above. Alternatively, if the idea of mixing your own single origins isn't appealing, you can skip the entire process and browse our range of exclusive custom coffees above.
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