Post By Bosco_Lever
Advice on creating an Italian espresso blend
I've been playing around with the classic Italian style espresso blend to try and create my own house blend to keep everyone happy but can't seem to nail all my requirements so looking for some inspiration!
I want a blend that works well as an espresso, long black and under milk to keep everyone happy! I've nailed the first 2 but can't seem to get it to punch through the milk. Any ideas?
I'm currently using:
50% Brazil Yellow Bourbon
20% Ethiopia Oromia
20% Bali Gunung
10% El Salvador Comasagua
The Brazil and Ethopia are roasted together to CS7/8 and the Bali El Sal are roasted to CS9. The current batch are the best tasting yet with the Brazil and Ethiopia lighter at CS6/7
If the aim is for italian espresso, you could try for C10 for the brazilian and C9 for the others. A tad darker can be a good compromise for the blacks and white coffees.
If you want, you can even add 5-10 percent of a quality robusta, but then that may be undesirable for black coffee.
Try doing darker roasts first before venturing into robusta.
Many Italian blends are heavy on Brazil and then add another origin of choice plus about 10% robusta. I agree with Gary that you will need to head into at least the beginning of 2nd crack (CS 9-10).
Robusta requires more heat and needs to be roasted separately.
It might only be an opinion but i would drop 10% of the Brazil and add 10% to the bali. I would take both the bali and Brazil a little darker also like the guys above have said but try to slow the roast towards the end to extend it after first crack.
Some typical espresso blends:
50/30/20 Brazil/Sumatra(Indonesian)/Ethiopia or bright Central American
50/30/20 Brazil/Africa/Indo also works.
Roasted 15 seconds into second crack.
This will yield a nice balanced espresso with body and a bit of interesting fruit (depending on choice of African or Central beans). Roasting it lighter does not develop enough body. Roasting darker will yield more cocoa tastes, but you will lose the characteristics of the Brazilian beans. Do not underestimate the humble Brazilian. There are some truly stunning coffees from Brazil that lend themselves for espresso. They just need the addition of character to tweak the taste.
I use a FZ-RR 700 Baby Roaster, so tend to roast a tad darker than if using other roasters, but with the same effects. I find that too light a roast does not agree with my Bosco or my palate, but that is MY preference. I enjoy espresso with lots of body and mouthfeel, and roast accordingly. This type of espresso lends itself to a true strong cappuccino (not too much milk), but gets lost in a FW or latte, due to the volume of milk. Still a very nice drink.
If you want the flavour to punch through the milk, then roast the Brazil and Indonesian beans together with a gentler profile to first crack. Roast the African or Central separately, taking it to just before, or on the verge of second crack. Do not extend the time between first and second crack for too long (keep it under 4 minutes, three is fine). Blend post roast. The aim is to retain the acidity, and working out a ratio that suits your taste.
I do not add Robusta as it does not agree with me, but enjoy adding MM to blends. The MM has to be aged for at least 15-20 days.
Something interesting to try:
A coffee venue had an espresso blend, but also an Ethiopian as a SO. I asked for a shot of each coffee to be poured into the one cup, and topped with milk. It made a delicious latte. As they had a grinder for each, and a 2 group, they were able to pour both back to back. It was an interesting and tasty exercise. A double shot of the espresso blend, with a single shot of the SO would have been more to my liking. Only try this when the venue is not busy, and the barista looks happy.
Enjoy the experimentation.
Last edited by Bosco_Lever; 25th September 2013 at 11:12 AM.
Thanks for the tips guys.
I have a batch resting at the moment with a higher portion of the Brazil at CS10 plus some Ugandan and Guatemala at CS9 so that should be an interesting combo.
I'm currently drinking this blend as a double ristretto if I'm having it with milk and it's pretty good that way too.
Originally Posted by Bosco_Lever
Good post Bosco.
I found the KKTO perfect for roasting larger and thus greater percentage of the Brazilian due to it's inherent gentle roasting, bringing out those chocolate, cocoa and caramels.
Also tend to roast all the medium grown beans like Columbians and Indians in the KKTO too.
Relatively moderate heat in the drying phase then a bit of a ramp in the Maillards zone.
The coretto tends to get used for the SHB/harder beans to highlight origin characters and I use a shorter roasting profile (2-3 minutes after first crack then cool. Definitely not into second crack) for a slightly lighter color ( but still not too light. C8-C9) for the blacks, aeropress and espressos.
Lots of heat initially in the drying phase then the Seattle dip in the Maillards zone til 160 deg, then ramp up again til first crack.
So far this has worked best in my set up but may I add this may not work well for others with their different requirements and tastes.
How has your espresso roast tasted so far Eaglemick?
When I,m roasting for others, the C10 for Brazilians, Columbians, Perus etc and C9 for Centrals and Africans is the standard, especially for the majority of milk based drinkers.
They will get those chocolates, cocoa, caramels and some spice with a balanced acidity with punch.
The C10 batch with Ugandan beans wasn't great but just getting to the end of a C10 batch of 50% Brazil 30% Ethopia 20% Sumatrta is awesome
Originally Posted by sidewayss
Great as a double shot in milk but still not standing up as a single though!
Is it the Kisoro? How long did you let it rest? I've found the Kisoro a bit flat, woody and one dimensional,
Originally Posted by eaglemick
until post day 10 when it becomes honey sweet and intensely chocolatey. An awesome bean!
Yep, but from my tasting notes I can see I ran out 8 days post roast so maybe needs more time. Thanks for the tip. I'm currently in the middle of roasting a new batch of 40% Brazil 10% Kisoro 30% Sumatra Lake Toba 20% El Salvador Comasagua.
Originally Posted by chokkidog
I'm loving this mix of Brazil, Afro, Indo, Central beans and have 1.5 batches resting in front of it so should get to 10+ days this time so will be interesting to see how the Kisoro develops and adds to the mix instead of the Ethopian Oromia that I've been using.
When using the Kisoro as an SO, how dark are you roasting it?
I find the KJM blend with 10% robusta added and roasted to the start of second crack gets very close to traditional italian espresso. I have just recently spent a week in Piemonte so refreshed my palate with the great flavour of italian espresso!
What machine are you using for roasting?