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Thread: blending basics

  1. #1
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    blending basics

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    hey all,
    Im searching for some clarification on what makes a good base bean. Ive read through a heap of posts and have found... ... Brasil again and again. yes Brasil can be a fairly "even" cup with no real high or low points. i have also seen various other South/Central Americans used in this roll. what my concern is, some of these beans can be quite sharp on the palette, what then defines a base bean and how greater impact will this bean carry in the finished blend.


  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: blending basics

    Quote Originally Posted by 54515B614A47505F503E0 link=1245109317/0#0 date=1245109317
    hey all,
    Im searching for some clarification on what makes a good base bean. Ive read through a heap of posts and have found... ... Brasil again and again. yes Brasil can be a fairly "even" cup with no real high or low points. i have also seen various other South/Central Americans used in this roll. what my concern is, some of these beans can be quite sharp on the palette, what then defines a base bean and how greater impact will this bean carry in the finished blend.
    Hmmm,

    Theres no easy answer on this one mate and it all comes down to what you, yourself like. Personally, I prefer good Colombians, Peruvians, Bolivians and some C.A. varieties that possess more punch than most Brazilians usually offer. Naturally, there are exceptions to the usually subtle Brazil offerings but for the most part, I dont use them at all. Some of the Indian beans make terrific base beans too for more interesting flavours in the cup; varieties like the venerable Indian Tiger Mountain and the more recent Madikeri make for a beaut base-bean. Andys notes from that BeanBay....
    Grown in southern India this 18 screen size coffee produces a low acid, great body espresso shot that works well as a single origin or as a base bean to some wilder highlight coffees. Works best at CS9 but could be roasted either side to tweak the flavour base that you like. Easily the best Indian arabica that we have sampled for a long time.

    Best suggestion I can think of is to buy a bag of a decent Brazilian and a couple of beans from other regions and see what gets your palate fired up. All the best :)

    Mal.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: blending basics

    I am a mad experimenter and have come up with a few blending gems
    However I do drink mostly Single Origins
    And my internal memory will ask hmm I wonder how this SO would taste with that SO

    Basically I blend to my taste and no bean is out of bounds
    Even the Yemen Bani was blended with a Sumatra Mandheling

    KK

  4. #4
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    Re: blending basics

    I like my coffee generally to have good body and length, so they tend to be my personal parameters for a base.

    Ive had the odd combination that stunned me, such as a recent PNG Wahgi carefully roasted on the lighter side blended with a week older Nicaraguan on the darker, neither of which were stand alones under my parameters above, but together 50/50: I was blown away with surprise. The rest of those batches were immediately blended.

    Experiment. I roast around 3 different coffees each week just for the fun of it.

  5. #5
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    Re: blending basics

    Okay
    I am about to recieve my first shipment of green beans. Order as follows:
    starter pack 1
    PNG Wahgi AA 5.00kg
    Peru Ceja de Selva Estate 2.50kg
    Nicaragua Dipilto Estate 2.50kg
    Was planning on starting on just S.O.

    New to all this stuff so dont have a palette at all. I only drink flat white/latte. I cant describe flavours eg berry, chocolate etc
    Any suggestions on which of the above would be a good one to start with and how long from roast to first espresso, is it 5-7 days?


  6. #6
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: blending basics

    Start with one of beans from the Starter pack. It is more likely to contain relatively easy beans. Try a Brazilian if theres one in there.

    The best time to taste depends on the bean, your taste and, to some degree, the depth of the roast.
    Some say to taste from Day 1 to see how you like it. With lighter roasts I tend to start with a few days using a manual brewer such as an Aeropress or plunger. Others, I generally leave for about a week and consume within 1 week, noting when the bean appears at its best - usually after 10-12 days post roast.

    The standard advice is to try it progressively from roast date and find what works for your tastes.

  7. #7
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    Re: blending basics

    Thanks for the advice Flynn Aus.
    Yeah I dont get my greens until next weekend. I am seriously hanging out. Excited but quite nervous. I dont want to burn the lttle buggers or waste any of the "precious".

    I didnt notice any Brazilian beans in green bay. Are they normally sold through green bay or do I need to look elsewhere?

  8. #8
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: blending basics

    Hi Whoosha, start out roasting single beans and exploring their tastes and characteristics until you are familiar with what you are doing, trying to blend too early can get a little confusing. The joy of being a home roaster is that the only rules are the ones that you set yourself, enjoy your roasting experience and I hope to meet you at the pickup next week
    cheers gm :) :D :D

  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: blending basics

    I agree with gm...

    Trying to create coffee blends without first having a thorough understanding of all of your individual bean varieties is really no different than trying to arrive at a specific colour by mixing several unknown colours with a blindfold on.... At best, very hit and miss and at worst, extremely disappointing.... :(

    Get to know your individual bean varieties first, at a number of different roast profiles, a range of different rest periods and then via a number of different brew methods (processing). It takes a while to do but puts you in a position of knowledge and besides, its fun learning all the different traits of a bean and how it varies with different processing. 8-)

    All the best and Enjoy! ;D

    Mal.

  10. #10
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: blending basics

    Quote Originally Posted by 435C5B5B475C55340 link=1245109317/6#6 date=1253337118
    I didnt notice any Brazilian beans in green bay. Are they normally sold through green bay
    You might get some in a starter pack. Andys known to put beans that are not available for general sale in there - possibly because they are pre-packed???

    Dont be daunted. It was my biggest mistake - putting it off for fear I might get it wrong. Yes I did a few times but, as long as you learn from it, its OK and a necessary part of the roasting experience.

    I agree with gm and Mal not to get into blending straight up but if you roast a couple of beans separately and have a little of each lefty over, try mixing them.

  11. #11
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    Re: blending basics

    Whoosha, start with the Peru. Roast is even and cracks well, like a Brazil but tastes better. The PNG is also easy - I didnt like it before rolling SC though.


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    Re: blending basics

    Thanks Guys,
    Yep will stick with the basics. S.O. trying variation of roast lengths.
    Will let you know how it goes.

  13. #13
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    Re: blending basics

    I got a little tired of the Brazils - you will find the Peru you have is a solid base bean. Good body and very sweet (almost too sweet) as a SO but as a base in a blend I havent gone wrong to date. Given its sweetness you can really add some beans with bang to it like the Ethiopians (Gambella works well) - good luck ;)

  14. #14
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    Re: blending basics

    The Peru is a family favorite in my household as an SO, although a little too sweet for my taste, i have some Gambella Naturals at home too so ill give that a go, 50/50? thanks simsy!

  15. #15
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    Re: blending basics

    I roasted a blend of 50% peru, 20% Gemballa, 20% PNG and 10 Robusta on Sunday.

    I havent tried it yet, I am hoping the peru is sweet and full bodied enough to cope with the Gemballa and robusta.

  16. #16
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    Re: blending basics

    Cant wait to try the PNG as an SO, its got quite a following! going to do some serious roasts tonight to catch up with demand......of me ;D

    Ill definately have a play with blending the Peru, PNG, and the Ethiopians, finally im starting to get some real diversity in my greens, for a while there i had brazils coming out my...... ;)


  17. #17
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    Re: blending basics

    Ive found a 50-50 blend of the PNG and Nic to be quite pleasant, got that tip in the bean club thread for september, so kudos go to Intellidepth for that one

  18. #18
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    Re: blending basics

    Coffees from different origins are mixed for several reasons. Presumably, the goal is to make a coffee that is higher quality cup of ingredients. But the high quality Arabica coffee should be able to remain single, you must have a good flavour, good aromatics, body and flavour. Thus, one reason coffee is mixed in the commercial world could be the use of low quality coffee in the mix.

  19. #19
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    Re: blending basics

    Would have to disagree there kimsmarkin. Sure some commercial roasters throw in some cheaper beans but the majority wouldnt. There are real advantages of blending.

    By the way this topic is a year old!!!



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