One of the most compelling reasons to blend coffee is the Melange, a blend of coffees roasted to different degrees. A good reason for a Melange may be perhaps that you want the carbony flavors of a dark roast but also want the acidy snap of a lighter roasted Kenya or Central American coffee.
Here’s an idea for a blend that has dark roast flavors, good body, and an acidy snap to it:
- 40% Colombian, Nicaraguan or Brazilian roasted Full City to preserve body
- 30% Mexican (or other mild Central American) roasted French for sharp, carbony flavors
- 30% Kenya Estate roasted City for bright acidy snap (var. bright Costa Rican or other Central American)
If you want a Melange that has good body, good bittersweet flavors, but still has acidity, without the carbony flavors:
- 60% Colombian roasted Full City
- 40% Kenya or bright Central American roasted City
With a really good Central American that has nice balance, acidity and body, you can even blend two roasts of the same coffee with each other:
- 60% Colombian or Nicaraguan roasted Full City +
- 40% of the same coffee roasted City, just past the finish of first crack.
Sweet Maria’s has found that our association trade show is a great place to taste popular blends that are showcased by bigger roasters (they pay to serve their coffee between seminars) and taste what some roasters consider as benchmark quality blends. At the 1998 SCAA trade show in Philadelphia it was amazing how many Melange blends feature 30%-40% Kenya for acidy snap. It’s an easy way to create dimension in the cup, and highlight acidity against the depth of bittersweet roast tastes and better mouth feel (body) than Kenyas normally exhibit.