In what's become a beloved annual custom here at Sprudge—no fooling, I actively look forward to working on this every year—we are thrilled to present this here 2020 Holiday Blends Guide. Releasing special coffee blends with seasonally festive names is a cherished part of specialty coffee tradition, one that continues aplomb today.
Amavida Coffee's holiday blend is called… Holiday Blend. That's fine—the coffee may not have some wild name, but it comes dressed up in a seasonal gift box and features a blend of Honduran and Ethiopian coffees with notes of baked fruit and jam.
What do you get when you team up organic Nicaraguan Segovia cooperative coffee with Honduras Cerro Azul? In the hands of Black Acres Coffee you get the 2020 Winter Acres Blend, with notes of apple, caramel, and—wait for it—chocolate chips. That sounds great thank you!
B&W make their annual holiday blend a time for charitable efforts, and this year they're teaming up with Sprudgie Award-winning coffee producers La Palma y El Tucan to help support their farmer advocacy project, Biodiversal, working towards food security and financial independence for coffee producers across Colombia. Befitting this project, all the coffees in B&W's blend hail from Colombia as well, including a spot of most choice Cantillo Family Gesha. Not bad for a holiday blend, one must say.
There's not one but two holiday coffees on offer this year from Blue Bottle, both under the banner of Winter Blooms. In a single-origin airing, Ethiopia Chelbesa aims for floral, sweet notes of jasmine and blueberry; as a blend, Winter Blooms sports a flavor note that's “lusciously fudgy.” Both sound kind of good? Get them as a set, alongside a reasonably priced $10 online brewing class card.
Ah, here we go. Give me all the blend puns! Camber's delightfully named Cambrrrr blend marries Guji with Sulawesi peaberry for a coffee that zooms and zips, equally at home on Christmas morning as it is at your next socially distanced holiday cocktail hour Zoom call.
Indianapolis, Indiana's Circadian Coffee is offering up a whole dang mince pie worth of flavors in this year's holiday roast: figs, brown sugar, nutmeg, and wonderful winey acidity.
The tasting notes on Equator's 2020 Holiday Blend sound like some sort of dream treat, or perhaps the perfect winter cocktail: “pear, nutmeg, milk chocolate”. Let that melt your brain for a second.
What even is a humbuggle? I have serious questions beyond that which can be answered by GGET's info page, which informs us the blend includes Kenyan and Colombian coffees with notes of cinnamon cocoa clove. “Humbuggle” sounds like a lost The Presidents of the United States of America b-side from 1994. It also sounds like something I'd like to drink.
Intelli's annual blend release is much-loved around these parts, like a comfortable favorite sweater you bust out each year at Christmastime. This year's blend features Kenyan, Guatemalan and Mexican coffees, and Intelligentsia will donate to Chicago non-profit My Block, My Hood, My City for each bag sold.
Rwandan and Peruvian coffees get along just fine in this pleasing annual blend from Joe, from which $1 for each bag sold is donated to Community Voices Heard. There may not be much skating this year in front of Rock Center but there *was* a charming northern saw-whet owl, so you know what, in 2020 I'll take it.
Olympia Coffee has gone all out with this year's holiday offering, sourced from a COE-winning farm, Finca El Aguila, under the expert direction of the Ariz family in El Salvador. This is an impeccably sourced coffee, a veritable stocking full of bakery spices and chocolate floral creaminess.
I literally cannot do better than the description of this coffee from Onyx's website: “BEWARE: This unfriendly Holiday coffee will destroy you. Long gone is the time of families gathered around the fire singing songs of joy, feasting in abundance to all this year has brought. Instead, all that lies under that sad, decrepit tree is this dark roasted Kenya coffee. Pure black and smelling of sweet tobacco, this Kenya auction lot still boasts of caramelized sugars, fired roasted citrus fruits, and a rich, thick body. Performs diabolically well as a filter or espresso.”
Here's a charming little coffee blend that comes decked out in cheeky “Miracle On 6th Street” packaging, a nod to Partners' Williamsburg hub. There is an impressive amount of information on the web listing for this coffee—who publishes an Agrton score?!—which comprises no fewer than five distinct coffees from cooperatives and individual producers around the world. I love that one of the tasting notes is “malbec”—normalize using wine terms in coffee!
PERC Coffee's Holiday Blend is really gonna perk you up! Sorry, sorry, but they didn't give this blend a pun name and so I went for it. This coffee comes highly recommended from a cryptid known as the PERC Holiday Yeti, a form of swamp ape with a predilection for stuffing stockings. As per the official listing website, its origin is “The Heart”. ‘Nuff said.
Pilot's Holiday Seasonal Blend joins together coffees of disparate origins—Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Ethiopia—for a sweet and balanced cup that doesn't just taste good, it does good. That's because, for every purchase, $1 will be donated to Toronto's The Red Door Family Shelter
Atlanta coffee superstars Portrait has blessed us this season with Kindred, a holiday blend of Ethiopian and Honduran coffees offering citrus tones and smooth sips. You can more or less taste it now, the perfect coffee over breakfast on a nice holiday morning, maybe with a little pastry or somesuch, and ideally some close family to share. Sounds perfect.
Not unlike the Pacific Northwest evergreen tree from which it takes its name, Stumptown's Evergreen blend makes its presence felt each holiday season. This year you'll get to try a melange of Ethiopia Duromina and Torres Family Costa Rica, perfectly offset to yield notes of bright citrus and caramel.
In the pantheon of 2020 holiday blend descriptors, you have your baking spices, your notes of pie, your omnipresent chocolates and cherries. But there is no note more evocative, more sing-songy in its siren's call than the note that blesses this bag of Verve Holiday Blend. That note is “Percinnamon” and reader, it sent me down a rabbit hole of trying to figure out where in the hell this term came from. It sounds like a mash-up of “cinnamon” and “persimmon”—did someone on Team Verve invent this neologism? Is it a wholly new imagined flavor, like pinepear or cantaloupotato? It turns out that “Percinnamon” is a new variety of the persimmon fruit, developed only recently by Kingsburg Orchards of California. Distinct from the hachiya, fuyu, vanilla, or other common varieties of persimmon, Percinnamon has an ochre flesh and perceptible cinnamon flavor note. That is one hell of a coffee descriptor! Thank you Verve, for gifting the world this coffee, and gifting me a lexicographical point of inquiry at the end of this guide. Cheers.
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