Choosing the right espresso blend for your coffee ☕️

If you know your coffee or at least are on your way to being a coffee connoisseur, you’re likely to have come across these two terms: single-origin coffee and coffee blends. What are they and what is the difference between the two? Understanding these two types of coffee and the impact they can have on your beverages could be the first step to choosing the right blend for your coffee.

  • Single Origin Coffee

As the name suggests, this coffee consists of only a single origin of beans. The specialty coffee industry thrives on single origin coffees and generally speaking, coffee enthusiasts would prefer single-origin blends. Why? Single-origin coffee is stereotyped as being exotic and distinct, and although this might be true to some extent, they also have their flaws.

  • Coffee Blends

Likewise, the basics of coffee blends are easy to understand – they are created from a combination of different beans. Coffee blends produce a unique flavour profile. And with different blends, it produces different flavours. However, not all blends are created equal and there is a fair amount of skill (and trial and error) involved when it comes to the roasting process. A poorly designed blend may produce a bland cup of coffee, while a professionally designed blend could be heaven in a cup.

Guerilla Coffee
Single Origin Indonesian Coffee
Guerilla Coffee
Single Origin Indonesian Coffee
  • While coffee blends might not be for everyone – we’re looking at you, coffee connoisseurs and java snobs – they do have some obvious benefits compared to single-origin coffees.

    • A Flavor For Everyone

    It is known that single-origin coffee tends to be more expensive than blended coffee- usually because it is of a higher quality.

    However, do note that just because the coffee has a high price tag, does not mean its flavour will appeal to your customers. Look for coffee with an agreeable level of acidity that is well balanced overall. High levels of acidity may be enjoyed by some; however, the potential for sales is generally small. 

    Most consumers will prefer the sweeter fruit notes, rather than the strong citric notes that some coffee possesses. 

    Coffee blends allow you to mitigate the harsh flavours that some coffee may have.

    For example, Ethiopian coffee has distinct floral flavour notes and bright acidity. Coffees like these usually do not have much of a middle ground- your customers will either love it or hate it altogether. 

    However, if say that Ethiopian coffee is blended with a milder Brazillian coffee, the flavour profile will completely change to create a more balanced flavour and as a result, your customers, in general, might enjoy this beverage a little more than the one above. 

    • The Best For Espresso

    Coffee blends are necessary for espresso. While single-origin espressos do exist, most die-hard espresso fans will tell you that blends are the right way to create a true espresso. Single-origin coffee lacks the complexity desired from an espresso. Blends are favoured for espresso because they have a consistent and complex flavour profile with the right acidity, body and aftertaste. 

    Understanding Flavor Profiles

    If you’ve been shopping for beans or reading extensive blog posts that have been written by self-proclaimed coffee aficionados, then chances are that you’ve seen descriptors like “fruity”, “smoky”, or “floral” being thrown around. All coffee plants may belong to the same genus (Coffea) but that doesn’t mean that they all taste the same. Several factors – such as its location, elevation, climate, and selective breeding – all come together to influence the final flavour profile of the beans.

    If you want to truly become a true coffee blend connoisseur, then understanding flavour profiles is the first (and most important) step that you need to take on this journey. In addition to this, a large portion of choosing the right espresso blend is the simple process of trial and error; trying different blends to see if they work well in your recipes and if they will ultimately appeal to your customers.

The Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel, by the Specialty Coffee Association of America

  • Some examples of common flavours are:

    • Fruity – orange, lemon, apple, grape, strawberry, coconut, etc.

    • Spices – pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, etc.

    • Sweet – honey, vanilla, maple syrup, molasses, etc.

    • Roasted – smoky, burnt, malt, grain, tobacco, etc.

    • Nutty/Cocoa – peanut, hazelnut, almond, chocolate, dark chocolate, etc.

How Do You Plan Out A Coffee Menu?: The Basics

Blends aren’t the only thing that you should keep in mind when you’re creating your menu. Let’s take a quick look at some of the basics that you should consider for your menu. 

  1. Start With Coffee Brewing

Take a look at trends and adapt your menu. What brewing methods are popular for your concept, customers or your region? ? Generally speaking, espresso-based milk beverages are a safe bet in Singapore but perhaps alternative milk-based beverages are also something to consider.

  1. Simple or Speciality?

Will most of your menu be filled with creative and complex drinks or will your primary focus be beverages that are simple and straightforward?

  1. Specifications 

This can range from obvious factors like temperature (hot, cold, blended) to beverage sizes or even more niche factors like sustainable packaging and unique garnishes.

  1. Non-Coffee Beverages Option

Yes, it’s technically your “coffee” menu but that doesn’t mean that you have to avoid catering to non-coffee drinkers; beverages like hot chocolate, chai latte, and tea are worth considering.

Need Help Choosing The Right Espresso Blend For Your Coffee?

For many newcomers (and even some industry veterans) choosing the perfect coffee blend can often seem daunting. The good news is that this is no longer an issue that you have to face alone.

At Guerilla, we believe that every customer’s story is unique. We start by listening to understand what’s special and then discovering what our customers truly need, not want.

Contact us today for a consultation and let us help you choose the right espresso blend for your coffee.

Who decides if your coffee is yucks?

If 2 customers order a cappuccino, will both cups taste the same?

At Guerilla, our primary goal is to help our customers make every cup so delectable, they’ll keep coming back for more.

In reality

All cafes have issues in maintaining consistency and quality. This could be a result of either staff turnover or training and might never be resolved.

Staff turnover is a reality that all F&B establishments have to face. It’s demanding for baristas to stand all day. On top of that, they also have to engage with customers and keep them happy. Customers are always right- right? Over time, this can put stress on the baristas and cause low morale.

Poaching by competing cafes and job-hopping are also unavoidable realities.

The dilemma

Can’t find a trained barista? Coffee brewing is a complex process that requires a specific skill set. From espresso machines to the accessories, they all need expert hands to be fully utilised. In some cases, training them on our own seems to be the only solution.

As a service staff, Baristas are also expected to give great customer service. Therefore, customer service trainings need to be held to ensure constant service experience. These vital conversations are the key to exceeding customer expectations.

The dilemma occurs when after spending your time and resources on training these baristas, they choose to leave for better opportunities.

We’re here to help

At Guerilla we understand these pain points all too well. Our dedicated Quality Assurance team focuses on helping our customers manage these unavoidable realities. We start with in-depth conversations to understand what the real needs are.

Very often the issue is that customers don’t grasp the complexity of the task at hand. Preparing and serving coffee has many parts that encompass entire areas of expertise. 

The following are some of the factors that we consider for each part of the coffee process from seed to cup. Only after we understand the solutions required do we move ahead with the action plan. 

  • Coffee
    Sustainability, harvesting method, quality grading, varietal, processing method, oxidation, roast degree, roast development, blend development, batch variation, seasonal variation, espresso roast vs filter roast, freshness, small-batch vs large batch, direct trade, organic e.t.c., recipe planning, blend matching, e.t.c. 
Guerilla No.1
  • Aroma – Nuts and spices
  • Flavour –  Dominant flavour notes of  stone fruit and notes of cocoa-toned.
  • Texture, Mouthfeel and Acidity – Balanced body with a medium mouthfeel, medium acidity and clean finish.
  • Recommended brewing – Although this is an espresso blend, we’ve found that in brewed coffee it works very well too!
Guerilla No.2
  • Aroma – Nuts and spices
  • Flavour – Dominant flavour notes of stone fruit and with cocoa undertone.
  • Texture, Mouthfeel and Acidity – Medium to full body with a medium mouthfeel, medium-low acidity and clean finish.
  • Recommended brewing – Designed to pair harmoniously with milk to produce a strong, complex milk beverage.
  • Coffee Equipment
    Budget vs performance, form vs function, PID vs non-pid, pre-infusion, post-infusion, volumetric controls, have muti-boilers, pressure profiling, temperature profiling, automation, workflow, equipment layout e.t.c. 
  • The Barista
    Skill level, morale, attitude, punctuality, certification, teamwork, communication skills, experience level, calm under fire?, e.t.c. There are many benefits of having our QA work with you side by side on your coffee programme. For starters, we help increase your productivity. But the most important thing we can do is to shift focus from detecting issues to issue prevention. In simple terms, we help you to prevent a bad cup of coffee from reaching your customer.

The never ending story
The reality is that making every cup taste the same is a never-ending process. Our Quality Assurance services will always be in need regardless of what cycle of the business you are in. If you are thinking of starting a new cafe, in the middle of running one, or about to open your next amazing concept, there will be a need to tap on our knowledge and abilities. The earlier we can help, the more impact we can create for your coffee programme. 

Call us now for an initial consultation. 

Parting shot
Our Quality Assurance team works with you to serve coffee that makes your customer come back. The rest, however, is on you.