How often do you change espresso blends?

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.

How often do you change espresso blends?

Never (one blend only)
Every couple weeks
At least once a week
Every couple days
Other (explain)
Total votes: 55

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#1: Post by HB »

Because changing the coffee requires redialing in the grinder, I typically stay with the same blend for a couple days, averaging 2-3 espresso blends per week. Do you change less or more frequently?
Dan Kehn

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#2: Post by rgs1218 »

I've only been pulling my own shots for a little over a month now so I've just started experimenting with various blends and SO. Generally, I order a pound each of something new (2 lbs at once as I usually burn through that much in 10-14 days), dial it in (or do my best to), try it various ways (straight, macchiato, cappa), and make a few notes for reference.

I've tried the following

CCM's espresso and vienna roasts as well as their Brazilian (cheap and in town, so no shipping)
Caffe Fresco Ambrosia and Luna Nouva decaf
Coffee Emergency Code Brown and CBX blends
Intelligentsia's Black Cat (using now) with Kid O on deck.

Really like Ambrosia and Code Brown straight and Black Cat more so in milk (though I've started this bag so the jury is still out). CCM's coffee is OK, though much of their stuff, including their espresso blend, is roasted too dark. Vienna roast is probably their best blend. Their stuff is my choice if I need to burn through some beans while practicing technique.

Next orders will probably be Stumptown's hairbender or Metropolis Redline. Obviously, hitting the popular favs first.

So longwinded explanation beans every 5-7 days.

So many beans, so little time.


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#3: Post by cannonfodder »

I home roast, so I usually change once a week, even if it is something as simple as changing a percentage. When I hit something I really like, I will do a couple of roasts just to check consistency.
Dave Stephens

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#4: Post by papalatte »

My Little roasting venture is roasting Santa Elena from El Salvador and peaberry from Papua New Guinea. So I'm sampling each roast, that keeps me in coffee. Right now I'm not interested in blends...............


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#5: Post by another_jim »

I have a "House Blend" that I'll stick with for about 3 to 6 months; coming up with a new one when the old greens run out. Currently it's 20% Aged Sumatra, 40% Mao Harar, 30% Daterra Yellow Bourbon and 10% WP Oromia Yrg, with occasional forays with robusta or other beans.

The idea was to get something close to vintage port, but this blend is more like an indifferent tawny, lots of sweetness, oaky funk and caramel, but never developing enough dark fruit and chocolate notes. This blend will run out in another month to 6 weeks. I'll see if I can get more subtle with the aged sumatra and work in the notes I want.

Along with that, I do SOs or any blends I get curious about; usually 2 or 3 a week, with good ones getting return gigs.

My guess is that the blend isn't really as bad as I think, since I'm feeling increasingly blah about all the blends I try. Rather, I think that combining the overall taste balance and everyday comfort food usability of an espresso blend with the interest of an SO is an inherently difficult job.
Jim Schulman

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#6: Post by luca »

Yeah ... I tend to home roast about 1/2kg every week. I tend to start off with an idea for a blend and tweak it each week. Every now and then I'll get coffee from another roaster or roastery to try, so I'd usually have two or three blends going in any given week. I'm getting better at guessing how they need to be dosed/tamped etc in relation to each other ...

Currently I've got three coffees going:

-A blend for milk drinks; mandheling, bugisu, PNG kimel and a touch of robusta. This is designed to give me a relatively boring espresso, but to give me the largest margin of error possible (I'm using a rocky/silvia combo).

-Yemen Ismali SO

-A blend based on Dominican Baharona, with Kimel and Bugisu. This was made for my boss' Synesso, but my exam schedule jammed up too much for me to get it down to him. Guess that means that I'll just have to use it and give him the 2nd iteration ... and stop procrastinating!



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#7: Post by roblumba »

I've had something like an Evolution in Coffee Beans.

I started on a local Lost Gatos Coffee Roasters for a length of 1 year. I didn't know about online roasters, so in my mind, this was the best roaster in the area.

I moved to Barefoot Coffee Roasters for around 3 months after learning about them in the Best of the Bay publication in The Wave Magazine (a free, popular local mag). Driving back and forth grew tiring and sometimes the beans would be 1 week old on the shelf and they didn't have a consistent roasting schedule. Even if I called ahead of time, they couldn't tell me if they would roast the particular blend I wanted. There were some blends I really liked and others I didn't care for.

I tried a variety of online roasters for several months after learning about the variety of online roasters from the online forums. I also tried a local roaster called Moonbeans, but they couldn't guarantee to have enough espresso beans to sell me a 1lb a week. I would go in there, ask for a 1lb, they would look in their supply of roasted beans and consistently tell me they couldn't sell me a 1lb. So now I just use them for 1/2 lbs when I'm out of my regular supply.

I now have settled on Ecco Caffe ( for the last 4 months or so. I've signed up for a subscription service and just let the beans come once a week. I love all their espresso blends, so I leave it up to them to send me something from their Monday roast. The beans come especially fresh because they are located only a few hours from where I live. I don't need to drive anywhere, coordinate roasting schedules with my schedule, or fill out online order forms. I just sit back and relax, and they come in the mail once a week. I'm always satisfied.

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#8: Post by VS_DoubleShot »

I usually rotate between the following roasters (not always the same blends):
Terroir Coffee
Gimme! Coffee
Bluebottle Coffee (.net)
Klatch Coffee
Kean Coffee (local roaster/cafe owned by Martin Diedrich)

Will probably order a roaster soon and start home-roasting.
Thinking I may cut out the Klatch and Gimme soon as they don't really do it for me anymore.

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#9: Post by HB (original poster) »

roblumba wrote:I've signed up for a subscription service and just let the beans come once a week. I love all their espresso blends, so I leave it up to them to send me something from their Monday roast.
I met Andrew at the USBC and really enjoyed talking with him. I'm glad to see he has an e-commerce site going, but I'm puzzled by the shipping charges. The least expensive option presented for one pound was USPS Parcel Post at $10.90. :shock:
Dan Kehn

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#10: Post by zak42 »

HB wrote:The least expensive option presented for one pound was USPS Parcel Post at $10.90. :shock:
Yowza!, that's gonna hurt. It would appear that it depends on where you are, to San Francisco for 1Lb, the cheapest option was $4.20 Priority mail. Are you on the east coast ? I rarely buy from east coast roasters because its expensive and/or slow to get it over to the west coast.