When Stefano began working at the roastery 4 years ago, his unofficial title was facchino, the all-purpose go to person for all the jobs that needed doing. Being Emanuele’s brother meant that he would start at the bottom, work hard, gain knowledge about coffee, and prove himself. And although he did these jobs with enthusiasm, he had his eye on the big beautiful red roaster.
Stefano’s first origin trip to Peru in 2015 was a memorable trip for many reasons – the food, the coffee farmers and their families, and the coffees. Here he discovered the Peru Condor Puna, which provided the inspiration for this new Espresso Blend.
Our coffee blends are well known for their unique characteristics – distinct, flavorful and balanced. Stefano created this limited edition Leone Blend to adhere to those characteristics and appeal to the educated coffee enthusiast. He set out to create an espresso blend that would satisfy the contemporary coffee palette, something unique with bright, fruity and earthy flavors, that would maintain our philosophy of having very balanced coffees.
Stefano carefully picked the coffees that would be building blocks for this new blend:
Brazil is a staple in Italian blending. Brazilian coffees are well known for their balanced and mild flavors. The great harmonizer, Brazilian coffees can help soften any extreme flavor notes from other origins.
Colombia adds fruit forward flavors, specifically apricot.
Peru Condor Puna is a coffee Stefano discovered on his first trip to origin and holds a special place in his heart. This is a great coffee with exceptional clarity and acidity, and Stefano loves the taste of it as a single origin.
Ethiopia is a familiar choice for a single origin and has an amazing flavor profile. Pulled as a single origin espresso, this coffee offers amazing sweetness and notes of blueberry. As the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia has a rightful place in a new blend!
By roasting the coffee on the lighter side, Stefano was able to bring out more of the flavor notes. While there is noticeable acidity, this blend is rounded out by a nice sweet fruitiness and very clean finish, with a balance in flavor notes. There is a little bit of magic in this coffee, a blend that presents many of the characteristics that we look for in our Single Origin offerings.
Stefano’s coffee was the winner in the “blend off” between him, Master Roaster Emanuele Bizzarri and Roaster Pete Maskiell. They each made two blends for the initial round, and conducted blind tastings. There were two blends in the final round, and with a few adjustments, the Leone Blend won.
Download the Leone Blend Brew Guide (pdf).