At Climpson & Sons we develop and roast our own espresso blends as well as single origin coffees. It is important to understand the individual coffees flavours - every coffee has its own special attributes and potentially some limitations. A high quality Arabica bean from a single origin should theoretically stand alone. It would be a shame to blend a fantastic Estate coffee; however coffee blending is necessary for espresso since a single coffee origin may lack the complexity desired.
A single origin comes from one estate or farm. It is what the coffee industry get excited about; often searching the world over for a coffee that hits the sweet spot by itself. A few years ago the industry went crazy for the Panamaian Geisha, taking the highest records ever in coffee auction history.
A blend has the ultimate goal of highlighting balance in a coffee, which is more pleasing in its totality than any of its unblended components would be alone. This is not as easy as you may think, as there are different coffees that bring out different flavours or characteristics. We start with a base or hard component, like a Brazil, which contributes to the body and sweetness of the coffee. Foil components are used in smaller ratios to add body and acidity. As these coffees are often quite acidic, only a little bit is needed. To add complexity and brightness a Kenya or Ethiopia may also be added. Another consideration is the processing method used; natural processed coffees like Brazil are used in combination with wet processed coffees like Kenya and Ethiopia as it balances the acidicity of this.
A roaster has their job cut out for them.
– watch out next month for our Austumn espresso.