Bean Profile: Mocha-Java Blend
Port of Mokha
Mocha-Java is the world’s oldest blend of coffee that started its name in history in a port town called Mocha (Mokha back then). In the 15th century, Mocha was an essential port to trade with Mecca and produced some of the first cultivated coffee. A common trade route would bring traders from Java, an Indonesian island, into Mocha regularly. These sailors would bring beans from their home island that would be mixed with the Yemen mocha to produce what we call today the Mocha-Java blend.
Traditionally, the Mocha would be naturally processed with a full-bodied winey acidity. The Indonesian was typically wet processed leaving a fuller, earthy taste with a prominent and lingering finish. When combined, you get a very complex cup; bright acidity from the mocha and the full bodied earthy aftertaste from the Java.
While we use beans from different regions, our take on the blend stems from the basic qualities provided by the beans. For the Mocha, we use a naturally processed Ethiopian to provide more fruitiness in the cup than a wet processed bean. For the Java, we use a naturally processed Sumatra, which is earthier than a traditional Java and adds to the fruitiness provided by the Ethiopian. The overall effect is a brighter, fruitier cup than the traditional blend.
Our Mocha-Java Blend before roasting
While we continue to experiment with this blend we have found that using more of the Ethiopian than the Sumatra gives us a brighter cup with more subtle earthy tones. This blend is extremely versatile and we enjoy it almost anyway you can brew it. The brightness of the Ethiopian shines through on a pour over, but you don’t get overloaded with earthy tones when you prepare it in a French press.
Whether it was a fortunate coincidence or a calculated combination, the Mocha-Java blend is one of the worlds most popular blends to this day. For good reason too; you will be hard pressed to find such a versatile blend with such complex tastes.