Coffee Blends are an opportunity for roasters to get creative with their raw materials, roasting craft, and product development skills. At the most basic level, coffee blends are just that: Different coffees that are blended together to make a new/unique product. (Therefore, the opposite of Blends are Single Origin coffees.) The number of coffees used in blends is typically 2 or 3, and they are most often developed with an end goal mind, one that usually factors in which brewing method will ultimately be used (for example, Drip Coffee or Espresso) as well as what flavor profile is desired (for example, Bright & Fruity or Chocolatey & Smokey). Seasonal blends are also common, such as our winter seasonal release, “Merry & Bright,” first released in 2018.
When coffees are blended in the production process is a subject of debate amongst coffee roasters, with some advocating that coffees be blended before roasting (pre-blend) and others advocating for blend components being mixed together after roasting (post-blend). There are pros and cons to each approach, and here at Ross Street Roasting Co. we tend to pre-blend most of our blends with a few exceptions.
We developed our lineup of signature gourmet coffee blends over time, responding to customer demand as our business grew in the early stages of development. Jack’s Feed Store, our medium roast blend for drip coffee makers, was the first blend we developed, and our goal was to create a “coffee drinker’s coffee,” one that could be set in front of pretty much any coffee drinker and have them say “Ah, now that’s a good cup of coffee!” It’s gone on to be our best-selling blend.
Next came Dr. Doolittle’s Espresso Classico, our medium-dark roast blend for espresso. We do wholesale to foodservice businesses such as cafes and restaurants, and most cafes have espresso machines. Most espresso shots immediately go into milk drinks such lattes, so the end goal of this blend was for the coffee flavor to stand up well when steamed milk was added, but still have a rich, chocolatey, sweet, and only slightly smokey flavor profile to enjoy as a straight shot or in an Americano.
The rest of our gourmet coffee blends fell into place as we grew, to where our drip coffee blends now have options at Light, Medium, & Dark roast levels and our espresso blends have options at the Light-Medium (wholesale only) & Medium roast levels. And finally our latest winter seasonal release, “Merry & Bright” was such a hit in the brief time we released it in late 2018, that we will definitely bring it back in the future.