Sometimes the only way to find a coffee that has the flavor and characteristics you want most is to create it yourself. The art of blending coffees will produce special flavors and character not available with a single type of bean. Blending is something of an art and not really just mixing coffee beans together. The coffee's aroma, flavor and body may be tuned for a desired outcome by carefully selecting, roasting and blending in specific proportions.
Each of the bean types within the blend will have their own characteristics such as water content, surface area, optimum roasting temperature and depth of roast. This provides a bit of a challenge to the coffee roaster.
Blending Before Roasting: This is common for large retail and institutional roasters. Coffee with similar characteristics may be mixed as green beans and roasted together in a large batch. This will limit the types of beans that may be successfully roasted together to their optimum flavor profile. It does ensure a consistency of flavor but at the cost of achieving the best flavors available in a blend.
Blending After Roasting: Proper development of flavors requires that each coffee be roasted seperately. Each coffee requires a different time and temperature to achieve the best possible flavor. Only then are the beans blended. This requires careful monitoring and extra steps in the roasting and blending process that large retail chains are not willing to undertake. Our goal at Rappahannock Coffee is to provide excellent flavor and we will only blend our coffees after roasting.
A straight varietal, such as a French roasted Sumatra Mandheling, will make a good cup of espresso. Our Roastmaster started experimenting with blends and created our Rappahannock House Espresso Blend made from several specially roasted coffees mixed in proper proportion. The recipe of our House Espresso is now a closely guarded secret once we learned how unique and appreciated it was. We can't share that recipe with you but we can share some of the more commonly available blends .
Mocha Java is a favorite among coffee lovers. This is a blend of the Yemen Mocha Mattari and the Indonesian Java. These two countries were some of the original coffee producers. Mocha Java is described as creamy and sweet, full bodied with excellent flavor and distinctive aftertaste.
New Orleans Blend has other names like "French Market Blend" or "Louisiana Blend". Typically, a light roasted Brazilian and a dark roasted Columbian is combined with Chicory giving the coffee a flavor preferred in the South.
Kona Blend is sometimes considered a way to economize on some of the world's most flavorful, and expensive, coffees. You might also think of it as a way to introduce the wonderful flavors of Kona to your regular coffee.
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