Today, September 29th, is National Coffee Day here in the US. International Coffee Day is a couple of days from now, on October 1. No matter which Coffee Day you celebrate, this is a great time to think about and enjoy coffee. At Coffee by the Roast, we decided to celebrate International Coffee Day by creating a special coffee inspired by the first truly international blend, Historic Mokha Java.
Until the late 17th Century, all the coffee in the world came out of the port of Yemen. This Yemeni Mokha was a dry processed coffee famous for its complex flavor, very lively and fruity with strong chocolate notes. Unfortunately, some of that complexity was perceived as “wild” or harsh. Mokha was also very expensive. Dutch traders smuggled cuttings from coffee plants out of the port of Yemen and eventually planted them in their colonies, first in India and then, more successfully, in Indonesia. The rich, volcanic soil and high elevation produced a smoother, heavier-bodied coffee with a sweet, slightly spicy flavor. Soon, Dutch Java was competing with Yemeni Mokha.
European coffee houses now had two styles of coffee available to them, complex and chocolaty Mokha, traditionally brewed with hot water, and the sweeter, smoother Java. Java was often brewed with a method invented by the Dutch using cold water. Like today's Cold Brew, this method of brewing heightened the coffee's smooth sweetness.
It didn't take long for someone to realize that blending the two coffees together would offer the best of both worlds, a sweet, full-bodied coffee with rich chocolate notes and a hint of spice. A coffee that would taste smooth, even when brewed using hot water. The first, and most famous, coffee blend was born.
Mokha Java has changed over the years. The cultivation of coffee spread around the world, new methods of processing coffee beans were developed, and disasters, both man-made and natural, decimated the original coffee growing regions and the ports that served them. Today, most coffee roasters offer a Mokha Java blend, usually a mix of a lively washed coffees from Africa or South America, and fuller-bodied Mandheling processed Indonesians.
Wouldn't it be fun to go back and try a cup of the original coffee blend? We thought so, and this Coffee Day we're sharing our recreation of the first coffee blend. Made with dry, naturally processed coffees from growing regions as close to the original two as possible and roasted at the original roast level, Historic Mokha Java will be available in both full and ½ roast bags through the month of October.
Sharing great coffee is the best way to celebrate National and International Coffee Day.
Coffee Day photo courtesy of Day of Org