BEHIND THE BLEND: SHAKA
At Bad Hand we roast blends with purpose. There’s a reason Shaka tastes the way it does, why it’s our signature blend, and why it’s our most popular coffee
Creating a blend ain’t easy, and if you want to make something of substance, there’s a lot more to it than simply slinging a few different coffees together.
We know this, painfully so. You might already be aware, but our roots run deep into the cafe scene. We ran them for years and worked with all the big name roasters in speciality coffee - and plenty of small ones too. Now, the people serving your coffee can sometimes have very niche preferences when it comes to coffee. Some hipster barista might be super into complex fruity coffees with funky natural processing, but that coffee might not necessarily be what most people are looking for when they rock up for a flat white.
Why we created Shaka
We paid attention and tried to work out what kind of coffee got people coming back for a second cup, rather than barely finishing their first. The answer was not the super trendy lighter roasts, and finding those coffee blends that delivered were few and far between.
We first started playing around with roasting coffee in 2014, and in the beginning our goal was to create a blend that worked on that two-cup benchmark. It needed to be a proper workhorse, our signature blend, something that worked great in flat whites, but also stood up as a knock-out espresso in its own right.
The ultimate flavour profile
We wanted a sticky, marmaladey espresso that could cut through milk and still deliver a strong, bold tasting coffee with a sticky sweetness in the finish that leaves you wanting more. But the journey to get this right wasn’t an easy one. As well as finding coffees that had the qualities we were looking for, we would need to roast them in just the right way in order to coax out the flavour profile we needed. With crops fluctuating each season, this has always meant constant and consistent assessment of the beans, adjustments to roasts, and also the blend. With deeper experience now under our belt, we’re able to deliver the cup we want consistently from week to week, and year to year.
How we make Shaka
Shaka is currently a blend of Peruvian and Colombian coffee. We use the Peru to bring body and that heftiness we were looking for. It brings the big chocolate flavours, and some intensity. Then the Colombian lifts everything, brings a little bit of brightness to the cup with it’s orange citrus characteristics. The result is a coffee that just hits all the right spots. It’s our go-to, and it’s arguably the most satisfying coffee we do.
But in order to get it tasting right, we had to roast a little darker than you’d expect. At a time when it was trendy and most common to roast lighter, we had to break away from the crowd and go heavier – we knew what we were after.
Why Shaka is our house blend
The name espresso blend is actually a bit confusing. It’s created for espresso machines first and foremost, but any good espresso blend should taste amazing through any filter method too. All the hard work and the balance has been done to deliver a super satisfying cup of coffee, and Shaka is a blend that proves this.
Whether you're drinking a flat white, a long black or taking this one through your favourite filter method, Shaka’s got the goods - and then some!