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Why do we do Commercial Blends?

Coffee roasters blend coffee beans in a combination of different varieties from different regions. This helps to balance the taste, aroma and body of the coffee and achieve the desired flavor profile.

Coffee beans grown in different regions have different flavor profiles. Blending is an important factor in balancing these various flavor profiles to achieve a more consistent flavor. So why and how can a third wave coffee roastery adopt this blending process that is common in second wave coffee?

Here's how: For many years, both specialty coffee professionals and consumers have largely favored single origin coffees. This is mostly a result of the growing demand for more traceable and transparent coffee. In addition, single origin beans tend to better reflect a coffee's unique terroir. This means they have more distinct flavor profiles as a result and are highly influenced by seasonality.

Specialty coffee is still the minority in the world. Both in terms of consumption and production. For a coffee to be classified as specialty coffee, a 300-gram sample must be free of primary defects (e.g. black beans) and no more than five secondary defects (e.g. chipped beans) and score 80 or more out of 100 points in the Specialty Coffee Association's tasting protocol.

As such, the harvest of a farm may necessarily produce a sub-segment product. What happens to these beans? These beans find a place in the market again with different price policies. In fact, the volume of these beans is so large in the market that after harvest, they turn into a giant blend in the cooperatives and warehouses where they are collected.

Imagine you are drinking a coffee from the Sidama region of Ethiopia. This coffee is actually a blend, because Sidama is an area of 75000 square kilometers. We see no harm in blending these beans which are the locomotive of the coffee industry, with other beans for our own flavor motivation. In fact, we generally prefer beans that score between 70-83 on the aforementioned scale.

Just like when you get a new update to your computer's operating system, you don't use the new version because you like the old version better, there is a large majority of people who prefers the same experience in coffee. There are still many people who preserve, defend and consume the old version of coffee. We can still see classic cars and motorcycles on the streets, or people still listen to music on vinyl records. As a roastery, we feel like we should act as a bridge and defend the rights of both audiences to find a response to their desires.

Because coffee is a medium of communication.

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