4 Of The Best Coffee Blends In The World

In this article we talk about what makes a great coffee bean blend.  We talk about what you might look for when combining two or more coffee beans.  And, then we’ll finish up by reviewing The 4 Best Coffee Blends in the world.

First we’ll talk about what factors go into deciding what coffee beans to blend together.

Then, we’ll go into what a Coffee Bean Blender (one who blends) is looking for when blending coffee beans.

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After we get a better feel for what makes the Best Coffee Blends, we can look at some commercial blends, and some home made recipes.

What Are Reasons to Coffee Blend?

“i’d heard about those crazy kids at eightpointnine.com” by bobcat rock, via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

When trying to understand what makes the best coffee blend, we need to first understand why in the world anyone blends in the first place.

First, there are two major ways that coffee blending occurs:

  • Commercial Coffee Bean Blends
  • Homemade Coffee Bean Blends

Let’s look into each reason a little deeper.

Commercial Coffee Bean Blending Factors

First we’ll look at why coffee bean companies provide blends.

There are reasons the company wants you to understand.  And, other reasons that they would prefer that you just didn’t know.

Here are some reasons we found that coffee companies blend:

  • To Try and Make a Better Cup of Coffee
  • To move a coffee bean that isn’t selling on its own
  • Trying to make more money
  • To take advantage of Market Trends

So, some are honest, above board reasons.  And, then there are some Other reasons that the coffee companies might not want you to understand.

Just Make it Better

Most companies will tell you that they created a blend because the blend is just better than the sum of its parts.

Most of the time, if you recognize a coffee brand, it is because the company is more interested in putting out a great product than just trying to make a buck.

“Enjoying a #smile latte after another good Coach Cafe” by Deb Nystrom, via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

But occasionally, that’s exactly what happens.

In some instances, a company may have just been trying to solve a money Situation.   But, even when they don’t necessarily start off looking for a great new product, they accidentally stumble on something really good.

In those cases, its just a case of serendipity.

Either way, it is very difficult to determine a companies motives.  So, in the end, you just have to gauge their intentions by the resulting product.

Either way, if the product is good, then does it really matter what the motive is?

Get Rid of Below Average Coffee Beans

Sometimes, a company may purchase coffee beans in bulk (to get a great price), but later they find out that the coffee bean itself is just not as good as they originally thought.

Usually it’s the end customer that ends up providing this verdict by simply not buying the inferior coffee.

In this case, the coffee company may search for a way to combine this Inferior coffee bean with a superior coffee bean as a way of saving the original purchase.

Usually, if this is the case, the resulting product won’t turn out to be that good.  And, usually its just that you can’t hide the inferior coffee bean.

Make More Money

“Money” by 401(K) 2012, via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Most coffee companies are not this dishonest.  But, there are a few out there to avoid that participate in practices that are not really Above Board.

One example of this is when a company buys Very cheap coffee beans with the idea of marketing the more expensive coffee bean in the blend.

Companies like this are not in search of the Best Coffee Blends.  Instead, they are in search of the be$t bottom line.

Take Advantage of Coffee Bean Trends

Another less than noble pursuit, is to buy a Trending coffee bean name, and combine it with a much cheaper coffee bean.

The goal here is to get the bump in price from the Marketing.  But, to pocket the savings made from the inferior coffee bean.

We usually see this for expensive coffee beans like Kona or Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee blends.

Home Brew Coffee Bean Blending Factors

Some prefer to use their own reasons for coffee bean blending.  Some of those factors may come from necessity.  Others, may be derived from a true love of coffee.

Some of the factors for blending coffee that we found when doing research (and from personal experiences) are:

  • Bought an average or below average coffee bean an need to get rid of it
  • We like coffee bean X and coffee bean Y, but they are missing something
  • Just don’t have enough left to make a big carafe, so Let Try This
  • This is a hobby we love

Necessity Who is the Mother of Invention

“Necessity is the mother of invention. Cindy needed a cup holder” by Tom Trelvik, via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

One of the best coffee blends I’ve ever tasted was an invention by me.  And, it was truly the result of Necessity is the Mother of Invention.

I wasn’t really looking for a great blend.  I was really just trying to use up some coffee beans I purchased that were unbearable when brewed alone.

The coffee beans that I was trying to get rid of were a Shade Grown organic dark roasted beans that sounded wonderful when I read the marketing on the bag.

As far as the marketing on the bag was concerned, these were one of the best coffee blends in existence!  And, sucker that I am, I bought it.

I had purchased them at a discount store against my better judgement.  The coffee beans turned out to have a burnt smell and taste.

I do typically like a dark roast.  But, these were past what you would expect for a dark roast.

My Invention was to hide these burnt coffee beans by mixing them up with a medium roast.  And, then to really try to hide the over roasted taste, I threw in some cinnamon flavored beans.

To my surprise, the result was fabulous!

What to Look for when Coffee Blending?

When looking to blend, here are some things I keep in mind.

Of course, everyone has their own preferences.  And, the final judge will be your own taste buds.  But, here is what works for me.

What I try to do is have the different coffee beans compliment each other.  The characteristics I try to compliment are:

  • Body
  • Roast
  • Cupping Notes
  • Bitterness
  • Acidity
  • Processing
  • Aroma (not so much)
  • Flavor
  • Aftertaste
  • Caffeination

So, if you take the lesser qualities of a bean and try to offset that coffee beans deficiency with another coffee bean that is strong in that quality, you can end up with a coffee blend where all of the Bad qualities of each coffee bean are cancelled out.

Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way.  But, if you keep those goals in mind, you will do better than if you just try throwing what ever you have together.

The Blend Taste

“Got Coffee?” by David Saddler, via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

With taste and after taste, one of the best ways of choosing two or three coffee beans to blend is to have the different notes compliment each other.

Some coffee beans have a very distinctive taste.  We wrote an article about Ethiopian Coffee Brands, and during that research we found that coffee beans from that region have a very distinctive taste.

One possible reason is that typically coffee beans from that region are Wet Processed.  This process can leave the coffee bean with a cleaner taste and brighter acidity.

Some coffee beans have fruity cupping notes (blueberry, lemon, orange).  Others have more savory notes (pepper, oregano, other spices).  Some have sweet notes that are not in the citrus family (caramel, chocolate).  Others can have floral notes.

What I recommend is to find several cupping notes that appeal to you and to put them together.  The complexity of the resulting coffee blend can be amazing.

Cost Savings

“Savings” by Tax Credits, via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

We talked earlier about companies using cheaper coffee beans in a blend to allow them to use less of the good stuff.  And, they then pocket the difference.

That is a terrible thing for a company to do.

But, there are times when it’s a good thing for you to do.  For example, when you accidentally buy too much of a coffee bean that it turns out you hate.

Or, when you want to splurge on a very expensive coffee bean and you want it to last longer.

To do this, you want to includes a more bland coffee bean that gets overwhelmed by the higher quality coffee bean.

Quality of the Blend

The quality of the blend is, of course, the sum of the quality of individual coffee beans included in the blend.

What is sometimes fun to do is to mix high quality coffee beans from different regions.  For example, beans from Ethiopia are considered high quality.  And, beans from Colombia are also considered very high quality.

But, each of these types of beans bring their own distinct qualities from each of the regions.

Caffeine Factors

“Kick” by Aldaron, via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Another factor to take into consideration is how much Kick you want to get out of your blend.

Many people don’t like the taste of Robusta beans.  But, Robusta beans give you more caffeine than Arabica or other types of beans.

Many companies do this already.  But, there’s no reason you can’t do this yourself.

Just find as high a quality Robusta coffee bean as you can.  And, blend it with a favorite Arabica coffee bean.

You can play with the percentages of each to come up with the best combination of flavor and kick.

4 Of The Best Coffee Blends in the World

During our research we found a lot of potential candidates for the title of Best Coffee Blend.

So, we’ve narrowed it down to three different Groups of best coffee blends:

  • Traditional Coffee Blend
  • Espresso Coffee Blend
  • K-Cup Coffee Blend

The Best Traditional Coffee Blends

Here are two quality products that we found that could be anyone’s list of Best Coffee Blends.

1. Death Wish Valhalla Java Whole Bean Coffee

The folks from Death Wish love to brag about their ability to put maximum caffeine into their beans while still managing great flavor.

This Valhalla Java product is a huge winner as Death Wish has blended beans from Indonesia, Central America and South America.

Death Wish Valhalla Java Whole Bean Coffee also offers their Super Strong version of coffee beans that have the skull and crossbones on the package.

This coffee blend is reported to be right up there in strength with their flagship coffee bean.  But, this bean is described to be much less harsh and much smoother with a silky delivery.

Valhalla comes roasted towards the darker side of medium.  But, cannot be classified as dark.

Cupping notes that can be found in these bean are vanilla, chocolate, and some light nutty notes.  Some also describe the flavors as earthy.

This is a very strong cup.  But, people are reporting almost unanimously that there isn’t bitterness with the strong flavor.

2. Roaring Lion Ethiopian Yirgacheffe High Caffeine Blend

For this next coffee blend, we found this somewhat small player that is making big noise (pun intended) in the Best Coffee Blends category.

Roaring Lion has put together this fantastic blend that uses one of the blending tricks that we talked about earlier.

Roaring Lion Ethiopian Yirgacheffe High Caffeine Blend mixes Arabica and Robusta to combine two great traits together to create one high quality coffee.  This combination includes Arabica beans that provide a sweeter and less bitter taste.  And, then sprinkles in some Robusta to give this blend a jolt of caffeine.

If you’re looking for a sweeter cup of coffee, this is a great coffee bean to try.  Many that consume these coffee beans make the claim that you don’t need to add any sugar or sweetener.

Roaring Lion boasts a complex mixture of coffee beans to combine subtle fruity notes with sweet chocolate flavors.

From a roasting perspective these beans are along the lines of a French Roast.  So, if you are all about light or medium roasted coffee, this will have a much stronger, darker roast flavor.

The Best Espresso Coffee Blend

What would an article about Best Coffee Blends be without including a recommendation for the best espresso coffee blend?

Well, we think we’ve done very well with this selection.

3. Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso

Coffee Bean Direct is a coffee company that has made many appearances on The Coffee Bean Menu web site.

We believe this deserved as they are consistently delivering in which ever category of coffee beans we are writing about.

The Italian Roast Espresso blend is one of the top sellers for Coffee Bean Direct.

The bag includes coffee beans from India and South America that are blended together and roasted to an Italian roast (see this chart of roasts to see how Italian roast is pretty much the darkest roast that still is tasty enough to have a name).

Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso makes a medium acidity cup with a somewhat heavy body.

When making espresso, these beans provide a good, thick crema.

The Best K-Cup Coffee Blend

We are also throwing in this K-Cup Keurig compatible coffee blend from Peets.  The feedback for this product was too high to leave out.

If you want to know more about Keurig machines, this article we put together about all of the different Keurig systems is a great resource.

4. Peets Coffee Dark Roast Major Dickason’s Blend

The folks at Peets Coffee and Tea have been around for 50 years.

They really know coffee and have come up with this Major Dickason’s Blend that is truly creating a buzz in coffee circles.

Peets is keeping a lot of the details about this blend close to the vest.  They only will say that this product is made up of “the best origin coffees from the world’s premier growing regions”.

A cup brewed in a Keurig system has a very full body and a well balanced acidity.

Peets describes this K-Cup as a Deep Roast coffee.  That’s not a typical description.  Most feedback is that Deep means Dark.  Some describe it as French Roast.

So, if you prefer light or medium roast taste,  this might not be the product for you.  Although, if you have thought about going to the dark side, Peets Coffee Dark Roast Major Dickason’s Blend is as good a place to start as any.

Best Coffee Blend Conclusions

We know this is just a small set of factors that go into creating the best coffee blend.  But, hopefully you can take something away from this article.

Do You Want the BEST Coffee Blend?

YES - GET IT NOW

We’ve tried to give you some of our best suggestions for how to go about experimenting with your own blending.  Now that you are armed with some of the top tips we were able to find for coffee blending you can now go out and create your own Best Coffee Blends.  Don’t forget to post your great blending results so the rest of us can participate in the exploration!


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