Top 5 Blending Tips For Home Roasting

Top 5 Blending Tips For Home Roasting

We are continually amazed at the creativity and innovation our customers share with us about their roasting processes and “hacks”.  We are often asked how we assemble our curated blends and if you can do this at home.  Short answer – YES!!

But where to begin?  Here are 5 easy tips to help take your home roasting experience to the next level through BLENDING.   We are including a few classic blend recipes, links to recommended beans, and some special prices to help get you started.

Basic guidelines:

  1. Choosing Beans: Try to combine beans that have different but complimentary characteristics. For example, Costa Rica beans are medium bodied, have great aroma, and often exhibit bright citrus and chocolate flavors.  Sumatra beans produce coffee that is heavy bodied, and generates earthy flavors.  Blending them produces a complex cup that captures the best elements of each bean. A typical restaurant or coffee shop “House Blend” is 50% Costa Rican and 50% Sumatra.

 

Try this “House” blend:

Costa Rica Cafe Vida

Sumatra Aceh – Harimau Tiger

 

Finally, stick with only 100% Specialty Grade Arabica beans in your blends.  Avoid the temptation to blend lower quality Arabica or Robusta beans to save money – you’ll only lose flavor.

 

  1. Roast Together or Separate: Do you roast the beans together in one batch or separately?  Both methods are fine, and it really depends on the blend.  Let’s construct a classic “Breakfast Blend” which consists of 50% Costa Rica, 25% Ethiopian, and 25% Colombian.  If you roast them all together and follow your roast profile for Costa Rica to Medium Dark (Full City) which goes just into 2nd crack, you’ll notice that in the finished product the Costa Rican and Colombian beans are a bit lighter than the Ethiopian, which produces a deep flavored cup of coffee.  It has a hint of “roasty” or nutty flavor from the darker Ethiopian bean.  This element complements the brightness of the Costa Rican and the smoothness of the Colombian.  But there is nothing wrong with roasting them separately to different roast levels and combining when you grind.  It’s all good.

 

Try this Breakfast Blend” blend:

Costa Rica Cafe Vida

Colombian Excelso – Gran Galope

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

 

  1. Toss the Playbook: Have you ever heard the story about how 3M post-it notes were discovered as the result of a “mistake” in experiments that were trying to produce stronger adhesives? And the iconic yellow paper – it was just leftover stock?  Well, we had our own “Eureka” moment.   We were testing medium roast (City Roast) samples of some potential new offerings and had leftover Mexican Chiapas Cristal and Papua New Guinea Kainantu Organic sitting on our kitchen counter.   Marty was making coffee the next day and, on a whim, combined them 50/50 in the grinder – and the result was outstanding! Smooth, easy-drinking, and robust without any of the tartness you often experience at lighter roasts. We haven’t named this one yet, so we offer it to you as “Eureka Blend”.  Have fun with this one and experiment with different ratios and roast levels.

 

Try this “Eureka” blend:

Mexican Chiapas – Cristal

Papua New Guinea Kainantu Organic

 

  1. Share Your Results: As you experiment and develop your own personal favorite blends, we’d be happy to share your results with our customers.  Just email us at info@u-roast-em.com and we’ll include them on our website and in future newsletters. You will notice at the bottom of each page there is a “Leave a reply” (comment) section. Share your special blend on this blend page or on the page of the bean you are using. This will help others try new ways to blend their favorite bean!

 

  1. Buy ready-made. Still too much to think about?  No problem. Try a prepackaged blend and use that to learn.  U-Roast-Em has developed several curated blends that you can roast right out of the bag.

 

Comments and Questions: As you start your blending journey, feel free to contact us anytime with thoughts or questions and we’ll do our best to provide guidance.  Voice/text us at 612-518-6080 or email us at info@u-roast-em.com.  We also respond to messages on our Facebook/Instagram pages within hours (usually minutes).

Comments

  1. Jonathan Horen says:

    A timely post! (of course, “how-to blend” is always timely)

    WRT #2: Roast Together or Separate[ly]? During my decade of home roasting, I learned this about that: If the components are not of equal weight or mass *and you roast them separately*, you’re gonna end-up roasting too much of one (or not enough of another).

    I found that the importance of roasting separately was more “frou-frou” than factual, so I embraced “togetherness” and discovered, again, that “the whole is more than the sum of its parts.”

    Wishing you and yours continued good health, prosperity, and happiness in this new year of 2021.

    • Martin Russo says:

      Jonathan,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. We couldn’t agree more, and your explanation is much more humorous than ours!

      Frou-Frou…still chuckling.

      Here’s to togetherness!

      Marty and Jane

  2. Diane Mueller says:

    There ya go, Marty! Love this tidbit of info! Thanks to both of you for the opportunity to develop our own blends without freaking out too hard about it (raises a timid hand).

  3. Laura says:

    Great tips, always love the taste of a freshly roasted blended coffee. I prefer to do it at home because it just tasted better this way. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Tex Hooper says:

    I like what you said about finding a roast that fits your taste buds. I need to get a coffee that my wife and I both love. I’ll have to find freshly ground coffee.

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