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Blending with Columbians.

edited January 1970 in Roasted Beans or Blends
I have not roasted too many Columbians, and am exploring this origin at the moment.
In the past, what I bought was either drunk as a SO, or used up in a blend (20 to 30%).
Some Columbian coffee is just too good to blend, but others may benefit from mixing.
Please share your adventures.

I sometimes find that the acidity of a Columbian may be too pronounced for espresso, but works in milk. Body and syrupy sweetness tends to vary with Columbians, hence my interest in matching it with other origins.


  • I've really enjoyed roasting Colombians lately. I haven't had anything too unusual- 1kg of Supremo and now have 1kg of Excelso. Both are great as a SO espresso, with that beautiful sweetness and mouthfeel you expect from a Colombian. Neither of them are all that great with milk, even roasted a bit darker as they just don't cut through the milk. They're not bad, just bland. I've tried blending with them as well, but in a very simplistic way by roasting slightly darker and blending 50/50 with a Timor FTO. For whatever reason I haven't liked this at all, but haven't had a chance to try a different approach. I do like my Colombians so I'm looking forward to trying more. That's what it's all about.
  • Folks, A while back (maybe a year or so) I posted some thoughts about how many of the old rules and definitions we used for single origins no longer apply in the modern coffee age. I read a lot of comments and there are many times when I feel compelled to engage and debate statements that may not be entirely correct or valid, or more to the point may be tending to define coffees from an origin into very narrow context. Farmers have been experimenting with alternative processing and preparation methods for years now. They also experiment with numerous varietals and engineering new cultivars. This practise is applicable across almost all origins and the result is that to some extent coffees are morphing and our original ideas and expectations are being challenged. Guatemalan coffees that exhibit attributes like Colombians, Costa Rican naturals that behave like Ethiopians, Panamas that cup like Kenyans, Indian specialty that mimics jBM, Brazilian coffees that deliver truckloads of tropical fruit instead of nut and chocolate. It goes on and on. Pigeon holing an origin is a dangerous assumption and I think there needs to be an improved level of qualification when making statements, such as origin, region, varietal, grade and processing method and farm or lot number if available. On the topic of is perhaps one of the most diverse and complex Ethiopia. It's is also one of the only origins that produces coffee year round....yep that's right, the diversity and sheer size of Colombia means that one of their regions will be in harvest (whether ist early mid or late).....whereas other origins are just twice a year or one big harvest or a smaller or fly harvest. The point is........Inza will be dramatically different to Huila which is different to Narino and on it goes. Colombians are superstars of the coffee world. The range of low to high quality is astounding and if you play at the upper levels the coffees are spectacular and complex. Keep an open mind about origins and possibilities. Colombian coffees cut through milk extraordinarily well. For this reason many roasters deem Colombians as absolute essential in their portfolio.
  • Thanks for the response Jeff. At the moment I have a columbian excelso that I am drinking. As a single origin it is ok (my opinion). The acidity is too grapefruitlike and very pronounced. Sweetness is good, but for my tastes, it needs tweaking. In milk the acidity is not to my liking. I have blended it 60:40 with an Indonesian (Lake Tawar), but find the acidity is still too pronounced. The Lake Tawar is full of body and caramel. For my preferences, a blend of 40% Brazil (Ipanema yellow bourbon) 30 to 40% Columbian excelso Munchique (if possible) and an Indonesian Sumatran looks good on paper. This is all subjective, as each crop is different and has to be judged on its merits. For my tastes, I find that acidity is the key. Berry and stone fruits is nice, lemon and orange works well with chocolate, toffee and nut overtones (from a Brazil or similar), but grapefruit is too overbearing. Blending is an art, and those who do it well are true masters.
  • I've just had a bit more luck with my latest batches. I roasted a batch each of Brazilian Paracatu, Timor FTO and Colombian Excelso over the weekend. All seemed to go well, even the Brazilian which was something new to me. I'm just starting to get into them yesterday and today and am very happy with a blend I tried yesterday. It was 50% Brazilian, 25% Timor and 25% Colombian. I think 25% is probably just about the highest you can go with this type of Colombian (as well as the Timor which is similar to a Sumatran). Obviously it depends on getting the roasting right and the quality of each coffee, but this blend in a small latte yesterday morning was very nice. I've been experiencing the same thing with the Colombian overpowering a blend when making up 40-50% of it, so I was happy to finally find something that works. Some coffee from Mexico and the Congo just arrived so I'm looking forward to trying to incorporate them too.
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