What Is A Coffee Blend – Discovering the Magic of Coffee Blends


Alex DeCapri

Alex DeCapri is a specialty coffee roaster and curious coffee writer. He started sourcing his own green beans to roast and ship worldwide and later became the head roaster at OOP Café in Belo Horizonte. Now on a road trip from the U.S. to Brazil, Alex visits coffee farms and shares his firsthand experience from field visits.

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Coffee blends are a staple in the world of coffee, but have you ever stopped to wonder what exactly goes into making a blend?

As a coffee roaster, I have always been curious about the different blends available and what makes them unique. From bold and rich to smooth and mellow, there is a blend for every taste preference.

In this article, we will explore the world of coffee blends, from the methods that coffee roasters use to create blends to what you should look for when buying this type of coffee.

roasting coffee
Roasting coffee at OOP in Belo Horizonte (More details)

Get ready to discover the art of coffee blending and how it can result in a truly delicious cup of coffee.

Key Takeaways

  • A coffee blend is a combination of two or more types of coffee beans.
  • Coffee roasters blend coffee to create unique flavor profiles and achieve consistency.
  • There are different types of coffee blends, including blends from different origins and blends of different coffee bean types.
  • Espresso blends are common and typically use a combination of Arabica and Robusta beans.
  • When buying coffee blends, consider the roast level, flavor profile, and freshness.
  • A good coffee blend offers a complex flavor profile with a balance of acidity, sweetness, and bitterness.
  • Coffee blends are versatile and can be enjoyed in various brewing methods.

Understanding Coffee Blends

First things first. What exactly is a coffee blend?

A coffee blend is a mixture of different coffee beans from various regions and farms, blended together to create a unique and balanced flavor profile. Coffee roasters often use blends to create a consistent flavor profile, as beans from different regions can vary in taste and quality.

A coffee blend can simply be two or more different beans from the same region, or it can be as complex as having many beans from different countries, like a South American blend with beans from Colombia, Brazil, and Peru.

Previously we sampled and reviewed a coffee subscription Yes Plz. They pick and create a new coffee blend each week so you can explore the unique flavors of your morning coffee.

For example, the blend we tried was a combination of coffee from Peru and Guatemala

Why do coffee roasters blend coffees?

There are several reasons why coffee shops choose to use coffee blends over single-origin coffees. One of the main reasons is to achieve a consistent flavor profile. Coffee beans from different regions can vary in taste and quality, and blending allows roasters to create a consistent flavor profile across batches.

If one region produces coffee that tastes different than it normally does, a roaster can simply substitute that coffee for another in the blend to maintain the same flavor profile.

Roasters may vary the percentages of different beans in a blend to achieve the desired flavor profile, and they might also use beans that are roasted to different levels to add depth and complexity.

Coffee blends from Intelligentsia – Brazilian and Guatemalan blend

Another reason for creating blends has to do with stock and inventory.

This is a bit of a secret in the coffee world, but many times blends are created to get rid of older coffee that will go bad soon if not consumed. Roasted coffee gets stale like many other foods when left in contact with oxygen for too long! This is true whether you are using specialty coffee or coffee of a lower grade.

Because of this, blends are usually medium to dark roasts to hide any unpleasant flavors from aging or defects. This results in a more full-bodied coffee with common notes of nuts or chocolate, a flavor profile that pleases a majority of coffee consumers.

Famous Coffee Blends

In many cases, high-quality roasters often have famous blends that keep customers coming back time after time for a familiar flavor profile. Here are some examples of the most well-known signature blends I tasted from popular roasters.

Signature Blends from Stumptown
  • Peet’s Coffee has several signature blends, including one of their most popular ones called Major Dickason’s Blend. This is a rich and complex blend of beans from Indonesia, Latin America, and Africa. It’s roasted dark for a full body.
  • Starbucks’ Pike Place® Roast is a medium roast blend that is smooth and balanced, with subtle notes of cocoa and toasted nuts.
  • Intelligentsia Coffee’s House Blend is a combination of beans from Latin America and Africa, roasted to a medium roast level. It has a balanced and sweet flavor profile, with notes of milk chocolate, caramel, and citrus.
  • Blue Bottle Coffee’s Bella Donovan is a blend of organic beans from Colombia and Ethiopia. Expect a hint of jammy berry notes in an otherwise chocolate-heavy foundation.
  • Stumptown Coffee’s Hair Bender is a blend of beans from Latin America, East Africa, and Indonesia. Like many of the other roasts, this one also has dark chocolate notes with a touch of citrus.
Coffee blends from Blue Bottle – Ugandan and Sumatran blend

How do coffee roasters create blends?

Getting a coffee blend to taste exactly how you want requires a lot of trial and error. The process that coffee roasters use to create blends is usually a tedious and complex one, involving testing different combinations of beans and ratios until they achieve the desired flavor profile.

While you can blend coffees before or after roasting, most coffee roasters blend their coffees after roasting. Since each type of coffee bean usually requires a very specific amount of heat and time during the roast process, it makes a lot more sense to roast each bean to perfection and then mix the roasted beans together for a delicious blend. (1)

The ratio of beans used in the blend can vary depending on the desired outcome. Roasters normally use the standardized process of “cupping” to taste various ratios until the exact result is reached.

Can you create your own coffee blends?

Are you a home roaster? You can also try your hand at coffee blend creating in the comfort of your house. Here are a few tips for creating a better coffee blend:

  1. Start with high-quality beans: Choose beans that are fresh and of high quality to ensure a good base for your blend.
  2. Experiment with different ratios: Try different ratios of beans to find the right balance of flavors. Keep track of your ratios so you can replicate the blend in the future.
  3. Roast the beans separately: Roast each type of bean separately to achieve the desired roast level for each bean.
  4. Taste test: Use the practice of cupping to taste your blend frequently.
  5. Grind the beans together: Once you have created your blend and weighed out the correct amount of each coffee for your ideal ratio, you should grind the beans together to ensure an even distribution of flavors.

Creating your own blend can be a fun and rewarding experience. Plus, it allows you to experiment with different flavor combinations to find your perfect cup of coffee.

Types of Coffee Blends

There are different types of blends that coffee roasters can create, depending on what result they want. Here are a few different types:

Blends from different origins

These blends combine beans from different regions to achieve a balanced flavor profile. For example, a roaster might blend beans from South America and Africa to create a blend with both chocolatey and fruity notes. Certain areas of the world are known for general flavor characteristics, but it’s important to note that not all coffees from the same area taste the same!

Blends based on coffee bean types

Some roasters create blends using different coffee bean types, such as Arabica and Robusta. These blends can have different flavor profiles and caffeine content. Robusta is generally much cheaper than Arabica, which helps reduce the price of the blend. Roasters may also choose to create blends using different varieties, such as Bourbon and Caturra.

Blends based on coffee flavors

This one may seem obvious, but this is one of the most important reasons to make a coffee blend. Let’s say a roaster has two coffees: one is very sweet with a pleasant acidity but doesn’t have a nice body, and the other has notes of dark chocolate and a very full body.

These two coffees may make a perfect medium-bodied, sweet coffee blend with chocolate notes once the correct ratio is discovered.

For example, this coffee from Greater Goods Coffee is a blend of different varieties of beans, different processing methods and different origins. However, it tastes really good in our testing.

Coffee blends from Colombia and Ethiopia, mixed varieties and processing methods

What is an espresso blend?

An espresso blend is a type of coffee blend that is designed to be used specifically for making espresso. These blends often include beans that are roasted to a darker level than other blends, which helps to bring out the flavors and aromas that are desired in espresso.

Also read: What’s the difference between espresso beans and regular coffee beans?

Many blends created for espresso use a combination of Arabica and Robusta beans, increasing the caffeine content and creating a heavier body and richer crema.

They often include beans from different origins, which allows roasters to create a well-balanced flavor profile that works well in espresso drinks. They are popular among coffee shops because they provide a consistent and flavorful shot with wonderful crema when using an espresso machine.

For example, Intelligentsia’s black cat and Peet’s Major Dickason’s blend are two of my favorite espresso beans.


Benefits of Buying Coffee Blends

The are two major benefits to buying coffee blends: a consistent flavor profile and an accessible price.

Blends are carefully crafted to create a specific flavor profile that is consistent from batch to batch. This means that coffee drinkers can enjoy the same delicious taste every time they brew a cup of coffee. This also means that the same blend can work great in different brewing methods, such as a French press, pour-over, or espresso. This isn’t always the case with single-origin coffee.

Blends are also less expensive than single-origin coffees because they combine coffee beans from different regions or grades. This can make them a more affordable option if you want to enjoy high-quality coffee without breaking the bank. However, some of the best coffee beans in the world are also coffee blends.

Coffee blends from YesPlz

What to Look For When Buying Coffee Blends

When choosing a coffee blend, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you select a blend that suits your taste preferences. Here are some things to look for when buying coffee blends:

  1. Roast level: Coffee blends can be roasted at different levels, from light to dark. Each roast level will result in a different flavor profile, so it’s important to choose a roast level that you enjoy.
  2. Origin and variety: Some blends will list the origin and variety of the beans used in the blend. This can give you an idea of the flavor notes that you can expect.
  3. Flavor profile: Many coffee blends will list the flavor notes that are present in the blend, such as chocolate, citrus, or nuts.
  4. Brewing method: Consider the brewing method that you will be using to make your coffee. Will you be drinking espresso or using a pour-over?
  5. Freshness: Look for coffee blends that have a roast date listed on the package, as this will ensure that you are buying fresh coffee. Try to buy coffee roasted within the last 30 days.

What are the differences between coffee blends and single-origin coffees?


While coffee blends utilize beans from different areas, single-origin coffees source their beans from a specific geographic location, such as a particular farm, region, or country.

The main difference between single-origin coffee and coffee blends is that single-origin coffee allows the unique flavor characteristics of a particular location to stand out, while coffee blends are designed to create a specific flavor profile by combining coffee beans from multiple locations.

Single-origin coffees also tend to be more expensive than blends.

Both types of coffee have their own unique benefits. I recommend trying as many blends and single-origin coffees as you can to see what you prefer.

Final Thoughts

Coffee blends are a wonderful way to experience the diverse flavors and aromas of coffee from different regions and origins. With so many options available, it can be a fun and exciting journey to explore the world of blends and find the perfect one to suit your taste preferences.

Whether you prefer a light, medium, or dark roast, there is a blend out there waiting to be savored. So why not take a sip and discover the delicious complexity of a well-crafted coffee blend today?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mocha java blend?

A Mocha Java blend is a coffee blend made by combining beans from two different origins: Mocha (Yemen) and Java (Indonesia). It is a popular blend that offers a unique flavor profile with earthy, spicy, and fruity notes.

What is a good blend of coffee?

A good blend of coffee is subjective and depends on individual taste preferences. However, a well-balanced blend should offer a complex flavor profile with a good balance of acidity, sweetness, and bitterness. Most people tend to prefer medium or dark-roasted coffee blends, unlike single-origin coffee drinkers that usually like light or medium roasts.

What are the best coffee blend ratios?

The best coffee blend ratios vary depending on the beans used and the desired flavor profile. Generally, a ratio of 60% Arabica and 40% Robusta is common in blends for espresso, while other blends may use a 70/30 or 80/20 ratio. Specialty coffee blends tend to use 100% Arabica beans, sourcing their beans from different regions of the world for different flavors. It ultimately comes down to experimentation and finding the perfect balance for your taste preferences.


  • [1] Is it better to pre-blend or post-blend coffee? – https://www.mtpak.coffee/2021/08/pre-blend-or-post-blend-roasted-coffee/

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Alex DeCapri

Alex DeCapri is a specialty coffee roaster and curious coffee writer. During his time living in Brazil, he spent months learning directly from producers how to pick and process coffee the right way. One thing led to the next, and he started sourcing his own green beans to roast and ship worldwide and later became the head roaster at OOP Café in Belo Horizonte. Currently, Alex is traveling slowly from the United States to Brazil in his self-converted camper van, trying to visit as many coffee farms as possible along the way. If you see him on the road, be sure to say hi!