Remember the heyday of the multi-roaster, where you’d walk into a cafe and have 20 different single-origin pour-over options from like, 11 different roasters? Those were wild times, and looking back on it, maybe things got a liiiiiiiittle out of hand. Well, one coffee roaster has distilled that entire experience into a single bag of coffee. For their 20th anniversary, Vancouver’s Milano Coffee Roasters has created a 20-bean espresso blend.
As reported by Vancouver culture pub The Georgia Straight, the mega blend is known as Turks Crown and is being touted as the world’s first 20-bean coffee blend. (Please read Jackson O’Brien’s recent article on Elf and coffee marketing claims.) The details of what, exactly, goes into this blend are not given. Is it 20 different countries? 20 different regions? It is unknown of the “gold medal winning blend” that has flavors of nuts, spice, fruit, and flowers.
What is known, though, is that only batch of the Turks Crown blend will be created, and 1lb bags will retail for $100 CAD ($74USD). “This is the Bugatti,” co-owner Brian Turko tells The Georgia Straight. “This is innovation right on the edge,” going onto say that blending is “where the real art is.” Those not looking to drop a bill on one pound of coffee can try the blend as an espresso at Milano’s Vancouver cafe, $6 CAD for a single and $10 for a double.
Here’s the thing: if we get down to brass tacks, there is a decent chance that you’re not going to get all 20 of those origins in a single shot of espresso. We’ll round up and call it 10 grams of coffee per single. Conservatively putting the weight of a single coffee bean at .1g, that means there are five beans per origin, assuming they are evenly distributed, which they probably aren’t, but we don’t know. (Less conservative numbers would put it at something like two.) The likelihood of you getting the perfect distribution of 200 beans is basically zero, meaning you’ll never actually taste it in the appropriate blend proportion, and further, there is a chance some of those origins may miss your shot entirely.
Still, a 20-bean blend, that’s a record. Until someone creates a 21-bean blend, that is. What is the theoretical maximum number of single origin coffees that could be used to create a blend for a single shot of espresso? Are we hurtling towards some sort of infinity blend?