ART OF THE BLEND
PART 1: SOURCING & ROASTING WITH WENDY
Our coffee sourceress Wendy gives us the full run down on blends – part art, part science & how it all comes together for a delicious milk coffee.
THE CASE FOR BLENDS
Single origins taste amazing. Some company in Sydney went so far as to name itself after them. So what’s the case for blends, then?
Just like crafting a memorable cocktail, or an amazing bolognese sauce, everyones loves to play with flavour to make something unique and original.
The satisfaction of creating something which is greater than the sum of its parts is the motivation for everyone in the food and beverage industry; it’s something we’re always chasing, always trying to perfect.
Huge question, but how do you build a blend for a profile?
Sucessful blending in any situation reqires having a thorough knowledge of your ingredients and how they will perform. Master whisky blenders use many barrels to make their signature brand flavour.
In coffee, we are always juggling flavour and freshness. Everybody knows coffee ages, so we’re always looking to have an ingredient in our blend for just around 6 months, at the peak of its flavour potential. We roll in fresh harvest ingredients into the blends, to keep them as flavourful as possible!
SOURCING & INSPO
Tell us about some of the most instrumental current single origins featuring as blend parts?
Knowing your ingredients helps take some of the guesswork out of the process, but there is always the element of surprise!
In order to maintain the signature flavours of our 4 blends we are constantly looking at many origins to deliver on a desired flavour note.
Some origins we have on showcase at the moment include:
Guatemala Sarchimor – This Sarchimor (Vila Sarchi/Timor) hybrid from Huehuetenango slots into our Killerbee blend. Showcasing the potential of hybrids when grown at great altitude and processed with care. Creamy, sugary sweet with just a hint of green apple.
Costa Rica El Conquistador – A special selection just for us from our long time partners at Hacienda La Minita. This eco-friendly lot epitomises the delicious contrast that is Paradox. Think ripe berries and rich milk chocolate.
India Sunderbagh Robusta – We extensively cupped through many lots to find this ripper Robusta. This was followed by the team running a full day workshop; blending, slurping, tweaking and repeating until we found the perfect ratio. This coffee is an essential ingredient to help Yeehah! deliver its signature depth & punch.
Any blend heroes/inspired by blends in other industries?
I’m obsessed with the perfume world, which is a bit ironic, since I can’t really wear perfume.
(N.B. Odours like perfumes distract the senses and make it difficult to taste, evaluate and compare coffee flavour and quality consistently, so they’re a no-go for the cupping lab)
What’s involved in Quality Control for blends?
We cup every roast of every component every day (that’s right, every day!) We are evaluating each coffees performance on a daily basis to make sure the roasting stays in sync with the coffee as it ages and to ensure each new coffee that is introduced through the year continues to perform its best for the blend.