Seasonal blends. Not a new idea, I know, but one which has more and more appeal to me, and which I plan to introduce to the Ministry Grounds line up soon.
The backdrop to this is actually a good story.
With the rise and rise of genuine, high quality, specialty coffees, it’s hard to escape the fact that many such coffees are effectively in short supply. That may be due simply to higher demand, or reduced output at the source due to the quest for better quality.
Now that’s a gross over simplification because the coffee supply chain is far more complex than that, but my point is, many small roasters are finding that very good coffees are increasingly only available for relatively short periods. So if you use some of these beans in one or more of your blends, you can quickly get stuck as supplies dry up.
Of course, the really big commercial roasters don’t suffer this problem as they tend to use poorer quality beans, often roasted to the point where you can’t pick the individual component beans anyway!
But I said this is a good story, and it is – if we are prepared to embrace the challenge!
Now I readily admit that developing blends is a complex task, requiring a lot of skill and experience – things I only have in moderate amounts. Nevertheless, I find quite often that a simple combining of 2-3 beans results in some very acceptable and drinkable blends. Most of those never go further than the Ministry Grounds kitchen, but every now and then, I get asked to make them available more widely – usually just as I run out of one or more of the ingredient beans!
So it’s interesting that I’ve been hearing more about ‘seasonal blends’ – some reading suggests that the phrase has a number of different interpretations, but for my purpose, I take it to mean: simple blends that exist only for the period that their ingredient beans last. That easy.
So, at the moment, I’m drinking a blend of Brazil Daterra ‘Bruzzi Espresso’ , Ethiopian ‘Blue Horse’ Harar and Zambia Terranova Estate AA. It works really, really well, but the Terranova has nearly run out, and the Bruzzi won’t be far behind, so the blend won’t last long.
But I hope to now share more of blends like this by putting them up in the store for whatever period they last for.
So I guess this is an extension of the logic surrounding seasonal coffees: enjoy them while they are here, try different blends/origins when they are not. :)