Why do coffee roasters blend their coffee? Well, the altruistic answer is: the true purpose of blending the beans enables the roaster to highlight each attribute of the coffees in the blend thus creating a coffee experience like no other. Realistically and more times than not, they are actually creating a blend so they can add/hide a much less expensive coffee bean in the blend to increase their profit margin.
The phase “proprietary blend” gives a company legal license to not have to release as much information about what is in the coffee. Let me share an example with you. Coffee from Hawaii commands a high price because of the expense of the land, labor and taxes. In fact, the wholesale price of a truly great 100% unroasted Kona coffee is much higher than most store retail prices. So how can a Hawaiian blend at the grocery store be the same price as the other coffee? Because the Hawaiian blend will contain as little 10% Hawaii coffee and the remaining 90% comes from somewhere else. People are attracted to the Hawaiian label and the roaster can also increase their profit margin.
Another common practice is to blend the better tasting mountain grown Arabica bean with a bitter tasting lowland grown Robusta bean. There are different types of bitter. There is the citric acetic bitter of fruit. Then there is the acrid sour bitter that upsets your stomach. The Robusta bean can contain as much as 50% more caffeine and the acrid sour bitter compound. But by blending the two, the drinker gets a bigger caffeinate rush and the bitterness is eased by the Arabica bean, and yes, the roaster can again increase their profit margin.
An espresso is a blend. By design espresso is bitter/sweet. Many espresso blends sold to coffee shops are as high as 50% Robusta beans. This creates a very bitter/acrid espresso. The owners are not that concerned because they want to sell the lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas which contain lots of milk, sugar, etc. to cover up some of the bitterness. The lower cost for the blend and the higher mark up on the drinks is very profitable for them.
Tap Dancers sell single origin specialty grade coffee. All the coffee we roast is very complex and will delight your palate with lots of different notes of flavor. So much so that we feel that blending them would do them a disservice instead of enhancing them. That said, we also realized that we were not able to satisfy those individuals who love to drink espresso….until now that is! We have been working with a top coffee consultant to help us create a truly great espresso blend. We are seeking to find the right combination to blend the boldness of the Sulawesi medium roast with the sweetness of the Ethiopian Kenabata and then combined them with our extra dark chocolaty nutty Ethiopian Wata Dara to create a very specialty espresso blend that you will simply LOVE!