It’s the holiday season, and that means for many of us, it’s time to spend time with family. In the United States, Thanksgiving takes place this Thursday, November 27th, and to celebrate we’ve put together a tasty list of five coffees for your consideration.
Here’s our unabashed, uninhibited, unadulterated guide to coffee suggestions paired with the traditional American Thanksgiving table. Like any good family gathering, it’s a regular cast of characters, with a few timeless classics, a couple of controversial statements, and even a festive newcomer or two to make the family feel old.
5. Thanksiving Coffee Company — Mirembe Kawomera
Thanksgiving Coffee does the turkey trot of truth when it comes to hot dinner table topics like sustainability, environmental stewardship, and paying fair wages to farmers. Plus, the name of the company is Thanksgiving Coffee. It’s a home run. Try the Fort Bragg, California based roaster’s Mirembe Kawomera from Uganda, part of the Delicious Peace interfaith coffee growing project recently featured by Smithsonian Folkways. Available in dark and light roasts.
4. Colectivo Coffee — Turkey Trot
You know how there are like a million classic Christmas movies, but arguably only one classic Thanksgiving flick? (John Hughes’ Plains, Trains, and Automobiles, natch.) There’s heaps of awesome Christmas and vaguely “Holiday” blends out there in the specialty coffee world, and you better believe we’ll make a listicle for that in December, but for now, lean in to all things walking bird with Colectivo Coffee’s Turkey Trot. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin team at Colectivo can barely keep this stuck in stock before the big day.
Turkey Trot is a three-bean blend of coffees from around the world, and it’s got an approachable roast profile that won’t turn off Aunt Gladys, but won’t wind up on your little cousin’s lame list. Plus look at how cute the cartoon turkey is.
3. Olympia Coffee Roasting Company — Decaf Asterisk
Decaf is not your enemy. Decaf is your friend. A delicious decaf unites the non-believers, makes for a tasty cup any time of day, and won’t keep you up doing dishes after the family heads home. What we’re saying is, decaf shade is #basic, basically, and our partners at Olympia Coffee Roasting Company have long featured some exemplary decaffeinated offerings as part of their diverse (and frequently Direct Trade) coffee portfolio.
You might be thinking, “You know, I’ll buy a bag of this stuff, but then it’s going to sit there until Christmas when everyone comes over again.” You’re wrong. You’re just, you’re wrong.
2. AM Coffee — Fall Flavor Sampler
Here’s a chemically sprayed cornucopia of flavor-enhanced delights, sure to bring a smile to the faces of…alright, we can’t fake it. AM Coffee is home to some of the more, shall we say, diverse flavored coffees on the internet, and that’s saying something–we profiled them back in 2013 for their “Spicy Taco” flavor coffee, and today we’re bringing your attention to their Fall Flavor Sampler, featuring sure-to-please holiday table delights like Vermont Maple, Southern Pecan, and Pumpkin Spice. No judgement here–just look at the glowing reviews!–but if you are gonna go this direction with your Thanksgiving table, we recommend you stock up on the Urnex for all your brewing devices post-service.
1. Speedwell Coffee — Pretty much anything from their web store.
Is the above stylized rendering of the first Thanksgiving–an event whose historical veracity is questioned and whose meaning is fraught with complication–culturally insensitive? Yes. Is buying your Thanksgiving coffee from a small batch roaster in Plymouth, Massachusetts culturally insensitive? No! Speedwell Coffee is a quality-focused specialty coffee roaster located in Plymouth, home to the Pilgrims, the first Thanksgiving, Squanto, and all the rest.
Those pilgrims were the original American immigrants, and each year this nation of immigrants grows richer by taking part in the rituals of our people: stupid cartoon parade floats, the Dallas Cowboys playing American football, Friends Thanksgiving episodes on repeat, and the official Presidential turkey pardon. This holiday iconography is forever accepting new arrivals; when both houses of the U.S. Congress passed a resolution in 1941 making Thanksgiving an official federal holiday, few could have never imagined the scene below, from the 1993 film Addams Family Values: