Tis the season for curated gift guides of all shapes and sizes. Whether it be visiting your in-laws for your pre-Christmas pre-funk or whilst attending your colleague’s uproarious holiday-time festive jamboree get-together, it’s customary to bring a bottle of hooch and a bag of fresh-roasted holiday blend coffee. One to pair with the salmon cracker spread, one to pair with the pumpkin pie. Or whatever. Holiday Blends are as delightful as a Peppermint Mocha – and as LTO as the McRib – so start buying! Buy! Buy! Buy!
We’ve got your definitive curated list of Holiday Blends for you.
Batdorf & Bronson – Holiday Blend – Batdorf’s long-running Holiday Blend series returns for 2013, with a “full bodied” coffee that’s “sure to compliment any of the rich foods and desserts we all wish to enjoy during this festive season.” Oof, tell us about it. This next month is gonna be murder on the waistline.
Bow Truss Coffee Roasters – Hoist Espresso Blend – Made up of pulp natural & washed coffees from Brazil and Mexico, the Hoist Espresso Blend wants to evoke all things winter treaty in your palate. Think walnut, chocolate, and caramel. You know that Christmas cookie tray with the kind of like, fudgie brownies that you can’t stop eating? This is that coffee.
Caffe Ladro – Fireside – This new holiday blend from Seattle’s Caffe Ladro is avowedly “dark roasted”, and comprised of Central and South American coffees. If you want to dish a forkful of pumpkin pie whipped cream into your mug, well, we won’t tell.
Ceremony Coffee – Asymmetries – The Asymmetries project at Ceremony Coffee rolls on, and would make for a great gift for your favorite coffee nerd. Expect holiday blends to be announced from Ceremony in the coming days.
Colectivo Coffee – Turkey Trot – The delightfully named “Turkey Trot” blend from Milwaukee’s Colectivo Coffee comprises coffees from Guatemala, Brazil, and Sumatra. Medium roast, low acidity, heavy body…like a perfectly roasted walking bird.
Counter Culture Coffee – Holiday Coffee 2013 – Never one to do things halfway, Counter Culture’s 2013 holiday offering comes with a dedicated $1 donated to the company’s producing partners in Burundi, plus an eye-catching box designed by Durham-based creative agency McKinney. The coffee itself is a blend of two Latin American coffees and two Ethiopians. CCC takes this holiday coffee business seriously, and there is heaps more information on their website.
Dark Matter Coffee – Warm November Rain – “When I look into your cup, I can see no love restrained and Darlin’ when I drink you, you’ll never taste the same. Nothing lasts forever, and we all know our blends change, and it’s hard to hold a candle to our Warm November Rain.”
Dogwood Coffee Company – Mariah Carey Christmas Album Blend – Very little information is known as of yet about this Christmas blend, except that it’s meant to inspire a timelessness and seasonal devotion akin to the album for which it’s named. Developing…
DOMA Coffee – Santa’s Little Helper – We’re hardcore old school The Simpsons fans here at Sprudge (see our pseudonymous byline), so this delightful melange from DOMA earns double points in our book for being named after Bart Simpson’s dog. Santa’s Little Helper (or Santos L. Halper) is comprised of Kenyan Peaberry and coffee from the Mexican growing region of Chiapas, and is inspired by “punk rock, hipsters, rock and roll and Teddy Roosevelt.”
Equator Coffees – Holiday Blend – How about a seriously delicious sounding blend of natural processed Costa Rica Tarrazu, a honey processed Costa Rica West Valley, and some Guatemala Huehuetenango? This might be the perfect blend for those who make their own cranberry sauce. And best of all, each of the individual blend components are also available via Equator’s website.
Intelligentsia Coffee – Celebration Blend – A revered annual holiday treat, this year’s Intelli Celebration Blend is comprised of coffees from Intelligentsia partners in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica. We think it’s charming, how very sincerely enthusiastic and engaged Intelligentsia is when it comes to their annual holiday release – for more, read this short and sweet essay on Celebration Blend by Intelligentsia founder Doug Zell.
Kickapoo Coffee – Organic Winter Solstice – One need not even believe in a holiday to enjoy this wintery blend, a non-denomenational delight made of coffees from Peru’s well-loved CENFROCAFE Coopeartive, married with coffees from southwest Colombia’s Caucua growing region.
MadCap Coffee – Holiday Fusion – The listing for MadCap’s holiday blend starts thusly: “The holiday season in Michigan always feels extra special with falling snow, glowing fireplaces, shared meals, and rich flavors.” Doesn’t that just make you want coffee? Specifically, some Michigan-blended delicious holiday coffee? This year’s Fusion is 80% Kenya and 20% Guatemala, and its suggested pairings include “chocolate, mixed nuts, eggnog, or gingerbread.” Just hook it up to our veins.
Metropolis Coffee – Hullaballoo Holiday Blend – Webster’s Dictionary describes a “Hullaballoo” as “a very noisy and confused situation”, but the folks at Metropolis are doubtlessly using the term as a synonym for party. A party in your mouth, surely, featuring “a combination of seasonal South and Central American coffees with an Ethiopian twist.”
Portland Roasting Coffee – Holiday Roast Coffee – The folks at PRC have a strong tradition of holiday blends, including an annual donation made from proceeds to a local charity. This year it’s the Cascasde AIDS Project, a well-regarded local charity focused on prevention, education, and cultural acceptance of AIDS-reltated issues. A worthwhile cause for a delicious coffee, comprised of West Valley Costa Rican coffee and a little volcanic El Salvador estate-grown goodness, from the slopes of El Cachillo.
Olympia Coffee Roasting Company – Holiday Blend – Another eagerly awaited holiday favorite, this year’s seasonal offering from OCR “reflects a wintery flavor ideal: what we want our coffee to taste like on a cold, holiday morning.” Comprised of coffees from Llano Bonito in Costa Rica and San Sebastian in Colombia, the resulting coffee is meant to have big cranberry-like flavors with a baseline of sugars and body. This wants to be the coffee you drink all day while cooking (which is, of course, the greatest way to spend any holiday).
Ritual Coffee Roasters – Cabin Fever Seasonal Espresso – This one probably wins the award for “funniest holiday-themed blend product listing.” Let’s just excerpt from it:
In an homage to the familiar comfort that a house full of family invokes, as well as the drama and trauma that can spring forth, we offer our latest limited-time-only seasonal espresso blend: Cabin Fever.
Dad’s uncle Murray is the worst. Anyway, it’s got two Costa Ricans and a Kenyan as components, and although it’s marked for espresso, you can get away making it in a big French press for the whole family.
Verve Coffee Roasters– Holiday Blend – A three-origin blend of fine coffees from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Costa Rica, this is a versatile holiday blend from Verve, whose website says it tastes great as both filter coffee and espresso. They even go so far as to supply shot parameters (if you speak geek), and suggest that a splash of milk to “highlight the ginger snap” (holler). The coffee’s tasting notes include “fig” and “cheer”, because Verve.