Australia’s largest independently owned coffee business has created its first new blend in five years.
Named ZURI, the new Merlo coffee blend is a combination of beans from Africa and is floral and fruity, with a clean cup and high acidity.
Head roaster Steve Olorenshaw said the concept for ZURI came from a desire to create a completely different blend for Merlo’s wholesale customers.
"As I started to investigate coffees with different characteristics to our current blends, I kept coming up with various African and Indonesian coffees,” Mr Olorenshaw explained.
"The challenge was to find a variety of complimentary profiles to create a well-balanced blend.
"Most African beans I came across tended to be quite delicate, with high acidity in a very clean cup. These are delicious as stand-alone origins but creating a blend required balancing them with fuller bodied African beans.
"I won’t say it was an arduous task - tasting amazing beans from all over the world is definitely one of the perks for a roaster - but we deliberated for a long time to find exactly the right ones.”
Head roaster Steve Olorenshaw.
After 18 months of trialling ratios and different roast degrees with beans from Rwanda, Zambia, Ethiopia and Kenya, they hit the sweet spot.
"We worked hard to enhance the florals and fruits that are generally pronounced in African beans, yet dark enough to have a full-bodied cup that wouldn’t be lost in a milk-based coffee,” Mr Olorenshaw said.
Merlo’s founder Dean Merlo said arguably the trickiest task was to come up with a name for the new blend.
"We turned to our brilliant customers and had an incredible response to the naming competition,” Mr Merlo said. "Luckily, it wasn’t just me having to choose from about 500 entries!”
The winner – ZURI – means beautiful in Swahili.
ZURI will be available from Monday, July 2 at Merlo stores and online here.