The problem with the blend….

Inevitably we are moving closer and closer towards controlling certain aspects of espresso. Be it experimentation with brew pressure from the folks down at Versalab or Andy Schecter, we are getting into the details. So – we evaluate the effects of changing one parameter at a time, from a sensory point of view.

Now say you are using a simple 4 or 5 bean blend. Which will change the taste in the cup more: 0.1bar or a slightly different ratio of the components in the blend? Could a stronger sweetness simply come from the sweeter component being found in a larger quantity? How many times should you pull each shot to test the variable? And in pulling that shot are you absolutely sure you didn’t updose by 0.2g? How much of a difference does that make?

So – would testing with a single varietal, single estate shot, screened to size 17 and profile roasted coffee?
In fact – should a roaster building blends now look for coffees that have a similar ideal brew temperature, and work from there? By hunting for the sweet spot in a blend are we too late in the process and ultimately looking for compromise?

I remember Chris Tacy posting about multiple sweet spots within a blend whilst messing around with the GS3. Imagine if you had a blend where all the sweet spots peaked at the same place. A difficult blend to work with, no doubt, but one that would be immensely rewarding when you got it right.

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