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Author Topic: Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'  (Read 6904 times)

ash

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« on: 01/02/2015, 10:24 AM »
It's time for me to start having some fun blending beans for my morning espresso's. SO is interesting, but it's time to change things up slightly, so I'm putting together an order  with the following beans:

Indonesian Sumatran Wahana Estate - Longberry - 3kg

Indonesian Sumatran Mandheling - Blue Batak - 2kg

Brazil Daterra Estate - Sweet Collection - 3kg

Brazil Fazenda Laranjal - Yellow Bourbon - 3kg

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Dumerso - 2kg

I've also got the following still at home:

Australian - Green Cauldron Estate - 1kg

Cuban Turquino - 1kg

Indian Monsoon Malabar AA - 1kg

Peru Grace Estate - 1kg

From what I've read around the place, a blend of 50% Brazilian, 30% Indo and 20% Ethiopian appears reasonably popular, hence my order is biased this way. Hopefully with enough variety for me to come up with a nice combination. I'm going to roast some of the Wahana as SO, as it sounds very interesting to try by itself :-)

Any other suggestions for blends with what I'm ordering and what I have?


Cows with Guns

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Brett H

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #1 on: 01/02/2015, 10:38 AM »
I found the Wahana to be very nice but on my equipment it required a really fine grind and some up-dosing.  Let us know how hype go mate!
Diadema Junior Extra PID, La Pavoni Professional, Compak K10 Conical, Compak A8 Automatica, Fiorenzato F5, Rancilio Rocky, Behmor 1600, BBQ Roaster (retired), KKTO

ash

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #2 on: 06/02/2015, 08:01 PM »
Well the beans arrived yesterday (Thanks Bean Green!) and I'm about to dive into my first blended roast - purposely blended roast that is. Going for a mix of Brazilian Daterra, Sumatran Blue Batak and a bit of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Dumerso to finish it off. For a second blend I'm going to use some of the Sumatran Wahana instead of the Blue Batak.

Time to get the taste buds working... at least they have about a week or so to warm up! ;-)
Cows with Guns

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Brett H

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #3 on: 06/02/2015, 09:12 PM »
That sounds spot-on mate!
Diadema Junior Extra PID, La Pavoni Professional, Compak K10 Conical, Compak A8 Automatica, Fiorenzato F5, Rancilio Rocky, Behmor 1600, BBQ Roaster (retired), KKTO

ash

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #4 on: 07/02/2015, 09:29 PM »
Well a couple of roasts of my first blend are done. Interesting roasting it from green, FC was slow to start and seemed to be extended. Putting that down to three different kinds of beans in the mix. First roast seemed to go a little slow, so I tried to compensate in the second, only for it to keep charging ahead. Both roasts were into SC, the first gently, the second with a bit more energy.

It'll be interesting to see how they taste next weekend!
Cows with Guns

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Brett H

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #5 on: 08/02/2015, 08:13 AM »
Keep us in the loop mate!  Cheers!
Diadema Junior Extra PID, La Pavoni Professional, Compak K10 Conical, Compak A8 Automatica, Fiorenzato F5, Rancilio Rocky, Behmor 1600, BBQ Roaster (retired), KKTO

C-man

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #6 on: 10/02/2015, 11:25 AM »
I think you need to consider the density of the different beans

the Cuban, Indian and most likely the Brazilian are soft beans requiring a more sensitive touch. IMO
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ash

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #7 on: 15/02/2015, 05:59 PM »
Well I've just finished a bag of my first roasting blend ???. The one that coasted ever so gently into FC then dribbled onto SC. Lots of malt/ cocoa flavours with a light fragrant finish, that unfortunately disappeared as the bag went on. So far, I think I'll need to wind back on the Brazilian Daterra, I think it's dominating this blend a bit to much for my liking.

During the week I also got a couple of IMS Competizione Baskets. So far I'm liking them very much. Onto the the first bag of my Second blend!!!
Cows with Guns

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Lacehim

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #8 on: 15/02/2015, 07:17 PM »
hi ash,

I don't mind the Brazilian Daterra in a blend but I usually do a 4 bean mix 30/30/20/20 or 3 bean mix 40/30/30, usually with the brazilian on the bigger side.  How long have your roasts been resting for?  Only about a week?  It should be just starting to develop!  Maybe try it a bit later on, see if it has improved.

Start a new thread on your IMS Competizione Baskets please!  I would love to know more, I've never heard of them. :)

ash

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« Reply #9 on: 20/02/2015, 11:58 AM »
Don't worry Lacehim, I've got another batch that I roasted the same day to start tasting this weekend! ;D

I tried the first bag of my other blend this week, which featured a different different Indonesian - Sumatran Wahanna Estate. A distinctly different taste! Might be due to a bit more ageing before opening the bag though, as I did four roasts that day, two of each blend. Not quite strong on the malty/cocoa flavours and some more sweetness coming through.

Right now I'm having fun getting the grind adjustment right on my grinder. SWMBO changes it to suit her taste buds, then I have to hunt around to find the setting for my taste buds.....then she complains that I make better coffee than her!  :rofl:

One thing is for sure, I certainly won't be going up against professional roasters anytime soon :D After all this time of roasting and drinking SO espresso, my palate is still woefully undereducated. Still it's an interesting thing to do!

The next couple of batches I do I think I'll wind back on the Brazilian component a bit and up the Ethiopian, a 40/30/30blend. I was contemplating putting some of the Indian MM in with it, but I think the combination of the malty / cocoa flavours, the tobacco notes and the Yirg might be a bit to much for my tongue to decipher while I'm still learning and experimenting.
Cows with Guns

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Brett H

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« Reply #10 on: 20/02/2015, 09:12 PM »
You know... I may offend here BUT:

I reckon Brazil Daterra is the coffee equivalent to the Toyota Camry.  Lacklustre, cod-ordinary, boring and frankly dull.  If I could choose one bean to not take with me to a deserted Island......

I'm not real thrilled with the Wahana either but at least it's interesting!  I reckon the last paragraph Ash is where you start mate...GO HARD SON!!!!
Diadema Junior Extra PID, La Pavoni Professional, Compak K10 Conical, Compak A8 Automatica, Fiorenzato F5, Rancilio Rocky, Behmor 1600, BBQ Roaster (retired), KKTO

Lwowiak

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #11 on: 20/02/2015, 09:31 PM »
I have to agree with you Brett.
I have found a lot of Brazil's very lacklustre.
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Lacehim

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #12 on: 20/02/2015, 09:34 PM »
Everyone has different taste buds BH.

Personally I can only tell you what I like and what I don't like when I try it.  I know a lot of people came tell me blow by blow what it taste like but i just don't get it.  If I like it I drink it, if I don't I give it to someone else!  Haha.

I've had the Brazilian as a SO and it wasn't bad but it didn't really stand out but it works well in a blend for me.

ash

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« Reply #13 on: 21/02/2015, 07:34 PM »
I reckon the last paragraph Ash is where you start mate...GO HARD SON!!!!

Going Hard mate...  ;D

About to start 3rd batch of the afternoon / evening and it's still 31C and 75% humidity at 6:30pm. Sweating my backside off just sitting next to the Hottop!
Cows with Guns

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Brett H

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #14 on: 22/02/2015, 10:12 AM »
Going Hard mate...  ;D

About to start 3rd batch of the afternoon / evening and it's still 31C and 75% humidity at 6:30pm. Sweating my backside off just sitting next to the Hottop!

I was sweating it out in Townsville not long ago mate so I can sympathise.  With every batch try to make a plunger coffee after 48 hours to taste.  No hiding the warts and all flavours with million dollar espresso machines.  Hot water and grounds in a cup can be very humbling for the burgeoning home roaster.
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ash

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« Reply #15 on: 22/02/2015, 10:57 AM »
Now thqts something I hadn't though of doing before... Must try it out!
Cows with Guns

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mwcalder

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« Reply #16 on: 23/02/2015, 07:55 PM »
I miss the joys of home roasting/blending!

Sounds like you're having success ash. Have you tried post-roast blending?
Michael,
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ash

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #17 on: 23/02/2015, 08:22 PM »
Haven't got around to post roast blending yet. I think if I go that way, I'll be making some larger batches of the same blend. My Hottop works well with 250g of green for a batch, and that's the weight I have most experience with.

I may have to start experimenting with some smaller batch sizes before I attempt a post roast blend.....*fading into the distance* now where's the Peru Grace Estate bean.... I always liked roasting that one....  :coffee2:
Cows with Guns

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ash

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #18 on: 28/02/2015, 04:10 PM »
Well Brett H, I tried one of my blends as you suggested, 48hrs post roast. At first I thought -  'What have you done you idiot! :pan' There was a surprising amount of bitterness and acidic bite. I wasn't expecting that...

But as my long black cooled, the flavours started to come through and I started to appreciate it more. I tried the same beans again the next day and the difference was extraordinary  ???  The bitterness and bite had gone, and I was left with a nice deep flavoured coffee that I have enjoyed all week. Still haven't tried that particular blend through the machine yet, I can only hope that the deep flavours are evident as an espresso.

The last couple of blends that I've roasted have been a 40/30/30 mix which has reduced the Brazilian component, and upped the sweetness from the Yirg. This seems to have balanced my blend and given it a really nice fragrance from the Yirg that carries over in the cup. I also changed my Brazilian to a Fazenda. It'll be interesting to see if the Daterra reacts the same way with the different blend ratio!

I'll be roasting a couple of blends this afternoon to see how it goes, along with some straight Yirgacheffe Dumerso and my first 30/30/20/20 blend  :)
Cows with Guns

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Brett H

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #19 on: 28/02/2015, 09:12 PM »
Mate!!!

You champion you've cracked it!

You know it's a funny hobby this one because those little brown beans are always changing in ways that continually surprise and delight.

Your blending sounds great Ash and your next trick will be to notice what that fine Lever Machine does with those flavours.  Those it dulls, those it hits out of the park.  Then decide if you like it. 

I'm thrilled being a home roaster and when I'm told by ladies who visit (no darn it, the Mums from daughters school :/) that they love my coffee and they can drink it without sugar (yep, Friday afternoon a recent 'best friend's' Mum said "I didn't have a coffee out because I knew we were coming here for a play (once again all above board) and yours is the only coffee I drink without sugar")... I was really touched (dammit, That's your last warning) but more so because I roast for what I enjoy first and foremost.  It's humbling that others share the same taste!

Now while that may seem like a 'get a life' comment, think of compartively how little I've invested to have a life enhancing hobby that others acknowledge, appreciate and enjoy the fruits of!  Also, grammatically I'm allowed to finish a sentence with a preposition if the lack of said article would change the meaning or validity of said sentence. 

I like wine too.
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ash

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #20 on: 03/03/2015, 10:03 AM »
Don't know if I've cracked it yet, although the tastes are nice :coffee2: I think I've still got plenty of roasting to go before I settle on a blend, only for the beans to disappear for ever!

I've now got 6 bags of coffee resting in the cupboard, with two more ready to go. I'll have to do some more roasting before the week is out though - I have family visiting and they're coffee lovers as well. It'll be interesting to hear their thoughts on my coffee as they're Americano drinkers mainly.
Cows with Guns

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Lacehim

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Time to start the fun of 'Blending Beans'
« Reply #21 on: 03/03/2015, 10:05 AM »
Sounds like fun Ash, and it's always good to get feedback on your roasting/coffee.

Make sure you let us know what you like and dislike.  Will be interesting.

I always find it hard to replicate my roasts, I must write down what works and what doesn't but I always forget, but I bought a app a while ago that might help. :)

ash

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« Reply #22 on: 07/03/2015, 01:37 PM »
I must write down what works and what doesn't but I always forget, :)

I've done up an excel spreadsheet so I can track my inventory and blends. A bit more tweaking of it and I think I may be able to automatically calculate bean quantity remaining for a blend, but that's a work in progress...

I'm liking the blends that have the Brazilian Fazenda in them, but not so much the ones that have the Daterra in them. Funnily enough everyone one else around the place is liking the Daterra based blend :-|  So I'm going to roast up some of the Daterra by itself to see how it goes like that. I think I'll end up going the post roast blending route if I can nail each bean roasted individually. 

Either that or learn more about the beans and their relative hardness and profiles so I can mix and match appropriately, which wouldn't hurt either! Anyway I've created some more blends to play with and see what happens in the cup  :coffee2:
Cows with Guns

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Brett H

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« Reply #23 on: 07/03/2015, 02:47 PM »
A spreadsheet...?  This is getting serious!!!
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ash

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« Reply #24 on: 07/03/2015, 03:47 PM »
Had a spreadsheet for ages to keep track of the beans, an addition of the blends just made sense. So far I'm coming up with plenty of subtle variations, so I need to keep track of them☺
Cows with Guns

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