For this special occasion we had created a Coronation Blend and so we decided to demonstrate how the blend was put together by holding three cupping sessions each day.

We often think of single estate coffees as the solo instruments in an orchestra. They can be enjoyed on their own for their individual characters but sometimes it is nice to combine them into a trio or quartet.

Four coffees were eventually selected after a lot of tasting of the single origin coffees. The blend would need to work in all types of coffee maker which can be tricky as it would taste slightly different according to the method used. Often coffees designed for filter or cafetiere don’t always suit an espresso machine.

The base notes are provided by the Brazil Daterra Bruzzi dark with its smooth rich after-taste. The very top notes come from the Tanzania Kibo Chagga medium, a coffee with more acidity and very aromatic. Then we combine the gamey and almost cheesy Ethiopia Harar Longberry and the Sumatra Wahana Natural for its cherry richness.

In order to balance the flavour an equal proportion of each coffee was selected at first and then tinkered with for a while until it was decided to stick to 25% of each coffee in the blend. This ensured that none of the coffees overpowered the others.

At this stage the blend was prepared using various methods starting with an espresso and fortunately the results were excellent, a sweet cherry flavour with a rich after-taste.

The Coronation Blend was ready and is now available until the end of this year.

Visitors to our stand at the Coronation Festival took part in a cupping session and many were very surprised by the experience which is not much like drinking a cup of coffee at all.

We prepared 2 bowls of each constituent part of the blend as well as the blend itself. Each bowl contained 14g of medium ground coffee to which we added hot water. A crust forms on top of the liquid while we wait for the grounds to sink and for the cups to cool down.

Having broken and removed the crusts we take a small cupping spoon, gently take a spoonful from just below the surface of the liquid and slurp it up with as much noise as possible. The more air in the mouth the better as the nasal cavity is opened and the flavours and aromas more easily distinguished.

As is usual during a cupping session much debate ensued between everyone as initial confusion gave way to confidence and after a few more sips the flavours started to become clearer.

We also had some of the unroasted coffee beans on display and many were surprised to discover that they “don’t smell of anything” or “they’re really hard!”.

Thank you to all who came to see us and find out all about coffee and how we go about creating a new blend.