Saturday, 13 November 2010


Over the past few months we have been hard at work with our long term plans and that is to develop a coffee blend. This we know is a long process and one that will develop over time; we need to ensure in the long run we come up with a coffee that is consistent, unique, enjoyable, and saleable.

Having a clear objective of the type of blend we wanted to produce was important but we had to remember that what we liked didn’t necessarily mean the public would like. We wanted to achieve a cup that’s a little on the acidity side that’s clean and hopefully memorable to taste but without a heavy feeling in the after taste.

We decided to use 100% Arabica beans but also to try some Robusta beans on occasion to heighten the earthy flavours of the cup as well as to ensure a much thicker crema.
The beans were roasted separately and as slowly as possible to a level higher than we would normally take the bean too, and released the beans from the roaster a few seconds beyond the second crack and then quickly cooled them down. After leaving the beans to settle for a few days we then got on with the fun part of the job that of combining the beans at different percentages hoping to have the right amount in each blend to produce a decent cup.

We roasted the beans separately for a number of reasons one it reduced the amount of waste, a single roasted batch could be used for a number of experimental blends and two we felt that the flavours of each individual origin could be recognized within the blend as well as their contribution to enhance the blend.

We mixed between 3 and 6 different coffees together, although we found that mixing too many made for a complicated cup, we understood to achieve consistency of taste this is the normal practice for big companies to employ. As coffee is a harvest the beans will change from crop to crop and year to year, so the greater number of bean types you put in the less noticeable is the change, However we found that 3 to 4 coffees blended together was enough for what we wanted to achieve.

We did roast the beans to a higher profile than we normally do as this too helps with the consistency of the taste because then it’s the roast that is tasted and not the coffees. We at Caer Urfa tried to take this to the limit of the individual’s coffees profile so the origin could still be tasted within the blend.

After a lot of cupping sessions we discarded many of the blends because we didn’t think they fitted into the criteria we were trying to achieve. Eventually we came up with four which we thought worthy blends, the outcome of which we developed for a short period for our market stalls and found they sold very well.

Blend A- Roasted to a higher level gives this coffee a stronger cup with fragrant floral tones that has a pleasant tangy flavour.

Blend B – Special blend – a blend of Brazilian, Costa Rican and Ethiopian beans that were roasted to a higher profile, this well balanced blend had a sweet chocolaty taste that resonated across the spectrum of the palate.

Blend C - French roast - A combination of South American and African coffee beans gives this cup its full bodied strong earthy flavour.

Blend D - A combination of beans from around the world ensures a strong flavoured cup with its woody lingering after taste ideal for relaxing with after dinner.

We get asked on many occasions for a strong coffee and most of the time we inform the customer that the blends that they would normally drink taste stronger because the bitterness they taste is produced when roasted at a higher level. We roast to a lower level to bring out the flavour of the origin of the coffee and what they perceive to be strong may well be the earthy flavour which we have found to be so in most of the African coffees anyway.

We hope in the future as we develop our blends roasting them to a higher level would ensure the wants of a bigger audience and encompass many more and different customers.

We have now purchased a new selection of beans from different farmers and countries and continue to develop our blend, which will very soon be available on our web site and market stalls for you to buy.