A coffee blend is created when two or more coffee varieties are blended together. Those coffees may originate from the same growing region or different regions. Additionally, coffee beans can be blended prior to roasting (pre-roast) or after they are roasted (post-roast). When coffee is not combined as a blend, it is known as a “Single Origin” coffee or “Varietal”.
Pre-roast blends allow the different beans to have nearly the same roast profile, whereas blending different coffee beans post-roast allows for the mixing of relatively lighter and darker roasts. Also, coffee beans with similar roast profiles, but have markedly different flavor characteristics, can be blended together.
Blending can be done for various reasons. One such reason may be to ensure that a particular coffee has a consistent flavor profile from month-to-month and from crop-year-to-crop-year; For example, when coffees are blended, the coffee flavor will not be dependent on the flavor profile of a single-origin coffee being identical all of the time. Also, coffee bean varieties might be blended to allow for the creation of a “signature” coffee. Additionally, a flavor might be blended with coffee beans to create a flavored coffee.
One important coffee blend is the espresso blend. And, although there has been somewhat of a desire in recent years to employ single-origin coffees for espresso brewing, the blending of coffees still helps to bring a better balance to the espresso.