ptervin wrote:All personal preferences, of course, but my take on the matter.
And this is the reason why one should, or not, bother; Taste preference.
ptervin wrote:I'm not convinced that the wine analogy is completely wrong.
From my very short sighted point of view, the analogy is not wrong at all. There was/is/will always be the same discussions in the wine world about blends and single cepage/origin. There are many wine producers that blend wine from vary large region such that the terroir is essentially different from one end to the other. Heck! The same argumentation is ongoing with whiskey (as alluded before).
Blends merge different attributes using components that, in the view of the blender and maybe the consumer, are good at some attributes but weak at others and benefit from the addition of another component with different attributes.
A single malt whiskey / single origin coffee / single cepage wine has a taste that is specific (terroir, varietal, ...) and will vary from batch to batch of course). If that taste is what you are looking for, than it is the right choice. But that taste/flavour/aroma specificity is not better than any other single origin or any blend. If a blend gives you a taste that is more to your liking that is also the right choice. It is all a matter of preference.
I love the taste of Sumatra's, Sulawasi's and Yergacheffe's. They have great flavour attributes, but IMHO, I do not enjoy them on there own as much as I enjoy them blended together or with another origin.
I drink/taste every single batch of coffee I roast as a single origin espresso before I make a blend. I never blend before roasting but I trust that there are professionals that can do that with great success. Sometime I find that the single origin tasted better on its own than in the blend but that is part of my personal learning experience.
When it comes to Pro/Artisan roaster that market a blend with a brand name, as was stated numerous times, I would expect a "Brand named" blend to show some consistence over time. Otherwise just call it "Today's dark/soft/light or whatever blend". Now this consistency, like for wine or whiskey or another "food" product, does not have to be frozen in time. It is expected that any given roaster that finds a way to make a product that taste or sell better will do so. This is called improving (or trying to) the product.
Finally, I am not competing with anyone as a Barista or as a cupper. But if I cannot make the difference between a single origin or a blend makes no difference to me as long as I enjoy what I taste.
P.S. We are not comparing the wine world with the coffee world! We (at least I am) are comparing the final product and the final production step. What we can taste! The marketing Bull*** is meant to make you pay more. It does not change the taste of the product.
Just my 2 Canadian cents worth...