Coffee Blend Buying Guide | Kaldi's Coffee Blog

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Blend Buying Guide

You love coffee. You drink it every morning. You have your favorite blend that you buy again and again, and its familiar smell and taste are a part of what starts your day out right. 

But... how does a coffee roaster (like us) make that happen? And what Kaldi's Coffee blend is right for you?

WHAT ARE COFFEE BLENDS?

Coffee blends are simply a mixture of coffee countries, farms, or producers that come together to create a unique taste profile. This is opposed to "single origin" coffee, where the specific coffee you're drinking just has one producer, farm, cooperative, or mill. 

Coffee blends are designed to be as consistent as they are delicious. Due to harvest schedules and crop freshness, the components of blends change throughout the year, but a roasting team uses its expertise to craft blends that taste very similar in your cup, regardless of whether you’re drinking them in January or June (check out more about how we source coffee on our Coffee Sourcing page).  

Our own coffee blends are also designed to appeal to the wide range of tastes in the specialty coffee world. You will see several roasts and names, ranging from lighter to more developed. Moreover, each comes with different coffee origins and components designed to hit a unique flavor profile. With all this choice, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. So, to make it simple:

COFFEE BLENDS ARE:
  • Designed to be consistent.
  • A mix of fresh harvests from around the world that meet a similar taste profile.
  • Range in taste profiles and roast levels - there's a blend for everyone! 

Below, we’ve prepared a general buying guide of our own blends, putting them in order from our lightest roasts to our darkest and describing their taste.

Happy tasting, and happy exploring!

Last updated: 6/28/2022

WATCH KIERSTEN WALK YOU THROUGH OUR BLENDS IN OUR BLEND BUYING GUIDE VIDEO


Terminology key:

Development: How long the coffee is roasted for in certain stages of the roasting process. Less development leaves more acidity, more development caramelizes sugars in a deeper way and leaves less acidity, or none at all. 

Sweetness: Coffee has natural sugars in it that caramelize as a coffee roasts. It can be described as simple sugars to caramel to dark chocolate.

Acidity: This is just another way to describe the “brighter” flavors in a coffee. If you see tasting notes on our bag listing apples, citrus fruits, or grapes, that’s the natural acidity in the coffee and it’s what gives a coffee a lot of its character. We find it delicious!

Balance: If we had to sum up our roasting philosophy in one word, it would be “balance”. A balanced cup is one that is not so overly acidic that it leaves out a coffee’s natural sweetness, and is not so deeply developed that it removes all of its character. We like to use Cafe Kaldi as a great example of what balance can mean. 

OUR BLENDS 

Kaldi's Coffee blends broken down by development times - lighter coffees to more developed, or darker, coffees

Less Development / Lighter Roasts 

Breakfast - (view coffee)

Our Breakfast Blend is a lighter roasted blend designed to maintain sweetness while being acidity-forward. If you like a coffee that's warm and inviting while still having a little fruit-forward pop, this is your blend. Look for a milk chocolate finish. 

Haya - (view coffee)

Haya is a blend of Ethiopian and Latin American coffees. We formulated Haya to be brewed as cold brew because its components yield the deep chocolatey notes you’re used to while having a delicate, floral overtone from the Ethiopian component. We believe this sets it apart from other cold brew offerings and yields an extra layer of refreshment to your cold beverage. But it works just as wonderfully as drip coffee, and chances are you’ll find a new favorite whatever way you make it. 

Cafe Kaldi - (view coffee)

Our house blend since we opened up our doors in 1994 and started roasting in our DeMun location. It is a blend of two roasts - one more developed to bring out deep sweetness, the other less to add complexity - that results in a perfectly balanced cup. Read more about the history of our flagship blend in our blog, Much More Than a Blend: Cafe Kaldi.

 

Medium Development / Sweeter Coffees 

700 - (view coffee)

A coffee with a caramel sweetness, smooth body, and dark chocolate finish that tastes great as both drip coffee and espresso. A staple for the home and for the espresso bar, and the perfect everyday coffee for any coffee lover. Read more about the never-ending quality control and effort we put into our espresso blend in our blog, Much More Than a Blend: 700

Fair Trade Organic Birds & Bees - (view coffee)

A medium roast of our certified Fair Trade Organic coffee, this blend features an approachable acidity and a balanced sweetness. Perfect for any occasion. Check out our blog, "Much More Than (FTO) Blends: French Roast and Birds & Bees" to learn more about its history and roast profile.

Half Caff Kaldi - (view coffee)

The perfect coffee for the late afternoon or all day sipping. Modeled after our house blend, it's made up of 50% Swiss Water Decaf Cafe Kaldi and 50% regular. The result is a perfectly balanced cup with exceptional sweetness atop a deep chocolatey base. And just the right amount of caffeine. 

Decaf Cafe Kaldi - (view coffee

A decaffeinated version of our classic house blend. Our green coffee undergoes the Swiss Water Process which allows for a coffee to maintain its flavor without the use of chemicals. Our roast accentuates the coffee's sweetness and brings you a perfectly balanced cup for any time of the day.

Longer Development / Darker Roasts

Fair Trade Organic Natural High - (view coffee)

Sourced to always be a blend of Fair Trade and Organic coffees, our FTO Natural High is one coffee roasted two ways and blended to showcase a deep, chocolatey sweetness while leaving a subtle, crisp acidity. 

French Roast and Fair Trade Organic French Roast - (view coffee)

A crowd-favorite, we carefully develop this coffee until almost all essential oils rise to the surface. The result is a darker roast that features a warm and inviting sweetness, reminiscent of caramel and dark chocolate with almost no acidity. 

Malta - (view coffee)

One of our most developed blends and perfect for the lover of deep, rich notes. Roasted dark and slow as a tribute to coffee's heritage in Southern Italy, this blend's full body and bittersweet chocolate flavors taste great as both drip coffee and espresso.


Fair Trade Organic Coffees

In 2001, we were one of the first retailers in St. Louis to offer certified Fair Trade Coffees and we still offer a selection of these blends today. Over the last several years, we have started focusing on new programs (see Kaldi’s Relationship Coffees) that reward quality and taste as well as help small farmers who may not qualify for Fair Trade certification.  

Which coffee blend is right for you? 

Why choose just one? Our Blend Sampler Box offers 4oz bags of Haya, Cafe Kaldi, and 700 so you can get a sample of each, get some context, and find your new favorite.  

Coffee Blend Sampler Box featuring Cafe Kaldi, 700, and Haya Cold Brew Blend

COMPARING CAFE KALDI AND 700

Our two most popular blends provide exceptional coffee experiences with mass appeal. But which should you choose? Take a deep dive before you buy with our blog!

12oz bags of Cafe Kaldi and 700Go to blog

 

READ NEXT:

WHY FRESH ROASTED COFFEE MATTERS

Why Fresh Roasted Coffee Matters Blog, Sniffing the trier of a coffee roaster

 

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