How to make a chocolate blend?

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
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#1: Post by Merlino »

Hello all!

I've roasted and drunk a lot of SO's but lately I've been trying to experiment with blending coffees. What I would like to make is a chocolate blend with the addition of some floral and/or citrusy notes for which I'll use a Yrg or an Harrar. But how do I go about composing the ever so popular chocolate blend? I drink mostly straight shots on the ristretto side. Oh, and I like light roasts e.g. city to fullcity.

Thanks! Merlijn

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#2: Post by Beezer »

Well, I know nothing about blending and roasting. However, Sweet Marias has some good guidelines on their site.
Here's a great starter blend for a sweeter, cleaner espresso. The absence of North African or Yemeni coffee takes out a little bite from the cup and possibly some lurking fruity ferment flavor. this is, as noted above, a sweet blend used at a street level roasterie/caffe in Rome. They use a Guatemala Antigua for the Central:

50% Brazil Dry-process
25% Colombian Wet-process
25% Guatemala or other brighter Central American
I don't think Colombians really pull their weight in a blend (though many people use them as a base or part of their blends), and like using some Sumatra better:

50% Brazil Cerrado Dry-process
25% Guatemala or other bright Central American
25% Sumatra -Premium like Triple-Pick, Lintong ...,
Some sharp sweetness (Central American) hides behind the nutty Brazil flavors and the wonderful Yemeni aromatics. Mandheling adds body and depth. Yemeni coffees are fun for espresso blends, where they can be used like spice to give zest the aromatically or enzymatically flat blends. Roast to Agtron 40 to 35. Good crema production from this blend due to the many dry-processed coffees

40% Brazil Cerrado Dry-process
20% Panama or other bright Central American
20% Yemen
20% Sumatra Mandheling
Ah, too sweet, too boring. You want something more aggressive, chocolatey? Drop the Centrals:

50% Brazil Cerrado Dry-process
25% Ethiopian Sidamo or Yemen
25% Sumatra Mandheling Dry-Process
You can certainly keep going along this route by adding other coffees (monsooned, aged, robusta) to discover what they add and what they subtract from the blend.

For an potent Indian Monsooned-type blend you could do something like this:

60% Indian Monsooned Malabar -this high percentage will cup very musty
20% High Quality Robusta: Wet-processed Indonesian or Indian
20% Wet-processed Arabica, for aroma and balance: perhaps Indian, Timor, Java or Sulawesi.
For an potent Aged coffee blend you could do something like this:

40% Aged Sumatra
30% Sumatra, or Sulawesi
30% Guatemala or other bright Central American for aroma and balance
(Aged Java is very potent and should probably not exceed 1/3 of the blend or so...)
Lock and load!

Merlino (original poster)
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#3: Post by Merlino (original poster) »

I read that page a couple of times but I had forgotten there was an example of a chocolate blend on it, thank you! I'll go try this one out then as soon as my new batch of Brazil comes in.

Any other thoughts?

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#4: Post by mike »

Chocolate tastes for me tend to be as much about the roast level as the beans. Your preferred roast level will probably not get you the chocolates you desire. Go a little darker, say light Vienna. For me, that means dumping the roast when you see blue smoke and have active 2C. If you are using a roaster with coast (BBQ, Behmor, etc), account for that time.

Beans which produce a nice chocolate effect at that level are Brazils and some Indonesians (Sulawesi, Sumatra). Particularly on the latter if you can stretch between 1c and 2c, and roast slowly, that will benefit you. Nice accent beans with a bit of chocolate can be Yemen, and occasionally some Ethiopians.

Merlino (original poster)
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#5: Post by Merlino (original poster) »

Due to some problems in shipping it took a while for my new batch of Brazil to come in, but this morning I was finally able to roast the recipe that Beezer posted (50% brazil / 25% yemen / 25% sumatran mandheling). I did my best to stretch between 1st & 2nd as per Mike's suggestion and I went further into 2nd than I normally would. Hope that worked out since I don't normally roast beyond the first couple audible snaps of 2nd crack. Thanks for your comments!

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#6: Post by prof_stack »

Last weekend I roasted some SM Liquid Amber in the awesome Behmor (P4 setting). I took it about 30 seconds into 2C.

Today's capp at lunch reminded me of a hot chocolate drink. It was really good.

Just my 2 beans worth of input. This SM blend is a good one.

Merlino (original poster)
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#7: Post by Merlino (original poster) »

I'd love to try the SM blends (or INTY or Stumptowns Hairbender etc. for that matter) sometime but I don't like paying $$$ in shipment and import taxes to The Netherlands...