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Santiago Blend - Mr Higgins Recommends

The coffee I have chosen for the month of March is our Santiago Blend. I created Santiago Blend in the 1960s because customers returning from visits to Southern France, Italy, and Spain told me about the coffee they had enjoyed on their travels and were looking for a matching coffee in our selection.

Some of these customers brought me samples of coffee beans which I was able to taste and identify. From all the descriptions of flavour, and samples of beans I tasted, I could see that no single origin was the answer, I would have to create a new blend. 

 The coffee needed to present a powerful under base of strength, but it must also be subtle; strength was indeed important, but subtle acidity and fruity undertones must not be lost.

To achieve the powerful under base, it needed to be a dark roast. However, a challenge when roasting coffee dark/very dark is that the coffee can become very smooth and lose some of the more exciting flavours that are there to enjoy, and some coffees are not suitable for this style of roasting. Those same customers were also telling me of exciting red wines they had discovered on these same visits, so this new blend had to be able to stand up to being enjoyed with other dominant flavours.

After many hours of sampling and tasting, a new very dark roasted blend came into being. I used very fine quality coffees from Central and South America, and I called it Santiago, because many of the coffee samples brought back by customers had come from their visits to Spain. 

 It is a blend to enjoy at any time, following a meal or just on its own. It works best prepared in cafetières (plunger pots), stove top espresso pots and pour over filters. Because of the degree of roasting, the beans' natural oils have come to the surface, and this makes it difficult for bean to cup espresso makers to cope with.  

Look for hints of acidity, dark chocolate with a lingering fruity aftertaste when you try it. It can be enjoyed black, with cream or hot milk. I hope that you will enjoy its unique flavour.

With my very best wishes,

Mr Tony

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