Without a shadow of a doubt, coffee is the benchmark for everything we do at BEAR. If you have visited us in store or purchased previous coffee roasts via our online store, you’ll know just how incredibly important the coffee we roast and serve is to us. But why a blend and what does this mean for your daily brew? We’re here to shed some light on the reasons behind this decision.
The coffee world is changing
The coffee supply chain is becoming progressively strained and, as a result, prices are becoming increasingly volatile. Global warming is impacting the coffee supply chain in a huge way. Changes in rainfall, increased risk of pests and degrading soil quality are just a few of the factors intrinsic to inconsistent seasons.
Arabica coffee, accounting for over 60% of the world’s coffee production, is facing even greater challenges than its hardier relative - Robusta coffee. Delicate and difficult to grow - Arabica coffee production, which requires stable growing conditions, is facing increased pressures which are only intensified by these ongoing global changes.
Worldwide repercussions of recent events, such as the COVID pandemic and the Russo-Ukrainian war, are also having a huge impact. Increased travel restrictions, rising shipping costs and increased demand for goods worldwide are only intensifying pressures on an already strained industry.
What this means for your daily brew
With both the increasing demand for great tasting coffee and the consequences our all-important coffee producers are facing, the speciality coffee industry is adapting. This change, however, does not at all impact the quality of a great brew. Rather, quite the opposite. Many other speciality coffee roasters have gradually transitioned to blends for their milk-based offerings, alongside increased sightings in (and even winning) SCA world coffee competitions. This, in part, is due to blends possessing a flavour variety not found in just single origins.
Considering these ongoing changes throughout the speciality coffee world alongside the continuing growth of BEAR, we wanted to protect the consistency of our high standards which we pour into every single brew we serve. As we continue to open more stores, it goes without saying that this also means a higher volume of coffee will be needed. Creating a blend allows us to offer a more consistently great tasting coffee to our customers for even longer. All of the coffees in our Hometown range have always been carefully selected and roasted to pair perfectly with milk, but also really hit the spot when brewed without. Our brand new Hometown blend is absolutely no exception to this.
Our main brief for our very first blend was for it to taste just as good as our usual single origin Hometown, with a similarly accessible and pleasing flavour profile. We have been working closely with our roastery behind the scenes on our first ever BEAR blend over the past year, and will continue to do so to adapt to ongoing global changes.
This current blend consists of 60% Honduran and 40% Brazilian coffees, roasted to reduce acidity but not too long to add bitterness to the roast - producing a more balanced yet delicious profile.
Located in the Cortes region in Honduras, San Pedro Sula is classified as Strictly High Grown (SHG) and processed by Cafés Finos de Exportació S. de R.L. Grown at an altitude of 1200+ masl, this washed coffee consisting of Catuai, Caturra and Bourbon varietals are hand picked and pulped using eco-friendly depulpers and sun-dried in parchment, helping to reduce the use of waste water.
Primarily made up of tropical grassland savannah and home to around 935 species of birds, the Cerrado region in Brazil is relatively new to producing coffee. It covers around 1.2 million square miles of central Brazil - the world’s 5th largest coffee growing area. SMC, the producers of this coffee, were founded in 2009 and cater towards the speciality coffee market, where sorting and grading takes place at the SMC base in Guaxupe in southern Minas Gerais. Benefitting from a more consistent climate and altitude in these areas, this allows the producers to focus their efforts on quality and production. Consisting of Catuai, Mundo Novo and Bourbon varietals, this naturally processed coffee is grown at an altitude of 950 - 1200 masl.
With this being BEAR’s first ever speciality blend, we recognised and considered the importance of consistency as a key factor throughout the entire process:
- Consistency in both flavour profiles and experience for our customers.
- Maintaining consistency in our standards.
Although consistency is of utmost importance for our Hometown range, we still want to maintain the option for customers who wish to come on an adventure with us. Adding a Hometown blend creates more space for us to explore further with our Adventure range - allowing us more change, more quickly and more often. We will always maintain our Adventure range as a single origin coffee - typically being more complex than our Hometown range - for our lovely customers who want to take their coffee exploration even further.
So whether you’re grabbing your morning brew, having a catch-up over coffee with a loved one, or brewing at home - you can rest assured that both consistency and maintaining our standards is at the heart of selecting all of our coffee offerings.