It’s the holiday season, friends, and that means one thing around these parts—gift guides aplenty, each more indispensable and authoritative than the last. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be moved to e-commerce. This is the Sprudge 2014 Holiday Coffee Box Set Gift Guide.
Olympia Coffee Roasting Company–Guatemala Finca El Socorro Variety Series Tasting Set
Coffee grown in: Finca El Socorro, Guatemala–Coffee roasted in: Olympia, Washington–$69.95
Olympia Coffee already pretty much won the holidays with this limited edition marmot sweatshirt, but a boxed set of coffees from producer Juan Diego De La Cerda and his Finca El Socorro is no consolation prize. What we love about boxed sets like this one is that they're geared towards education in a really natural way; you can't help but reflect on the influence of variety and genetics on coffee as you taste your way through the box. The El Soccorro Tasting Set includes Maracuttra, Pacamara, Dwarf Bourbon, Red Caturra, Yellow Caturra, Red Bourbon, and Yellow Bourbon coffee varieties.
Equator Coffees–Auction Lot Collection
Coffee grown in: Honduras, Guatemala, and Panama–Coffee roasted in: Marin County, California–$66.45
This collection features three pretty different coffees, all with absolutely sterling pedigrees. Topping the list is the only coffee you can truly call a Geisha (with the “i”), coming from Hacienda La Esmeralda and the Peterson family of producers. Next up there's a bag of Pacamara variety coffee from Finca El Injerto, the most honored farm in Guatemalan Cup of Excellence history. Last, there's an exemplary Honduran coffee from producer Oscar Edgardo Tinoco, himself a multi-time COE winner. If there's a single thread that unites these coffees, it's a dedication to quality at origin, and the hard work and money put in by Equator to pay tribute to that work.
Intelligentsia Coffee–Cafe Inmaculada Collection
Coffee grown in: Valle de Cauca, Colombia–Coffee roasted in: Chicago, Illinois–$40
Inmaculada is back again, after making waves in early 2014 with never-before-seen varieties and striking packaging produced in collaboration with Chicago's noted Rohner Letterpress. She returns just in time for the holidays, sporting more rare varieties like Sudan Rume, Laurina, and the ever-prized Gesha. Coffees from the Inmaculada collection are exclusive to Intelligentsia in North America, and the set itself begins shipping December 19th. This is an extremely limited quantity set of rare coffees, so if you intend on purchasing, be so compelled in a prompt and timely fashion!
Workshop by La Colombe–Geisha Collection
Coffee grown in: Panama and Colombia–Coffee roasted in: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania–$30
More Geisha with an “i” goodness from Hacienda La Esmeralda and the Peterson family in Panama, this time sourced by La Colombe and presented as part of their “Workshop by La Colombe” portfolio of boutique coffees. Workshop by LC is helmed by James Tooill, a finalist at the 2013 US Brewers Cup, and in his hands the rarest and most expensive coffees bought by La Colombe are roasted with care and consideration. Try Workshop by La Colombe coffees at LC's newest cafe in Fishtown, Philadelphia, or online via the link above.
Madcap Coffee–Kenya Set
Coffee grown in: Kiambu region, Kenya–Coffee roasted in: Grand Rapids, Michigan–$37
There's just something about Kenyan coffees. Madcap's twin hit of coffees from the Kirura and Kiaria factories in the Kiambu District of Kenya, and display plenty of that big acidity we love from Kenyans, paired with a subtle mouthfeel and even a bit of savoriness, with plenty of floral tones on the nose. Coffee production in Kenya is complicated, but the coffees grown there are utterly unique and highly prized by coffee dorks of all stripes, including the people who write this website.
Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters–Hartmann Geisha Series
Coffee grown in: Panama–Coffee roasted in: Calgary, Alberta–$65 CAD
The Hartmann family in Panama grow some of the most prized Gesha variety coffees in the world, and Phil & Sebastian have purchased three distinct production lots from them: honey processed, natural processed, and a traditional washed process. Pair all three up side by side for an epic taste test, or enjoy them separately and marvel at the effect processing has on the finished product.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters–Finca El Injerto Trio
Coffee grown in: El Salvador – Coffee roasted in: Portland, Oregon – $90
Stumptown & El Injerto have a relationship stretching back many years, forged originally by Stumptown founder Duane Sorenson and El Injerto producers Arturo Aguirre and Arturo Aguirre Jr. Each season it's a coffee to look forward to from the Stumptown portfolio, and this box set collect three varieties from El Injerto for your drinking pleasure, including Bourbon, Pacamara, and Gesha. This is delicious stuff, and has graced countless barista competition stages and the hoppers of top-notch coffee bars across the United States.
Flight Coffee–New Coffee Taster Pack
Coffee grown in: Panama & Kenya–Coffee roasted in: Wellington, New Zealand–$44 NZD
Get amongst it with three coffees from Flight, a Wellington independent roaster/retailer located on the iconic, perfectly pleasant, and occasionally loutish Dixon Street miracle mile. This tasting pack gives you a chance to explore three new coffees from Flight, including a Hartmann Estate field blend (Caturra, Typica & Catuai), a lovely washed Typica from the Guatemala Santa Rita estate, and a bombastic Kenya Kirinyaga. International shipping is indeed available.
Tony's Coffee–Alta Series
Coffee grown in: Colombia, Kenya, and Costa Rica—Coffee roasted in: Bellingham, Washington—$55
Three beautiful coffees presented with distinctive packaging by Tony's, presented in gorgeous 150g tins with custom labels and powder coating. Enjoy a rare Sudan Rume variety coffee from Colombia, a lovely Gesha from the noted Brumas Del Zurqui micromill in Costa Rica, and a Kenyan coffee from the Muthongo Estate in Kirinyaga. On aesthetics alone, this is one of our favorite coffee sets of 2014.
Design Coffee—The 2nd Collection: Direct Trade Coffee
Coffee grown in: Rwanda, Nicaragua, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador—Coffee roasted in: Korea–$40
Korea's premiere collection of microroasters returns for a second edition in this lovely boxed set, featured extensively elsewhere in these pages. Round two presents a delicious assortment of “direct trade” coffees from Korean roasters Coffee Libre, Momos Coffee, and El Cafe Coffee Roasters. These quality-focused Korean companies are roasting some of the best coffees in the world, and this boxed set is sure to get the coffee enthusiast in your life wiggling with nerdish delight. International shipping is available!
PT's Coffee—Kilimanjaro Process Box
Coffee grown in: El Salvador—Coffee roasted in: Topeka, Kansas—$47.50
Arguably the most famous coffee producer on the planet, Aida Batlle's Finca Kilimanjaro is one of the jewels in her network of farms in Santa Ana, El Salvador. Batlle's picky about whom she chooses to work with, which means only companies like PT's Coffee in Topeka, Kansas have access to experimental processing lots like the ones contained in this box set. The box collects a traditional washed process coffee, an experimental Kenyan processed coffee, and a rare Burundi processed lot of coffee, subjected to multiple 24 hour underwater fermentations and dried on raised beds.
Blue Bottle Coffee—Small Lot Geshas Tube
Coffee grown in: Guatemala, Panama, and Colombia—Coffee roasted in: Oakland, California—$100
Gesha, gesha, gesha! That's what you'll be saying when you get a load of these tubes. Blue Bottle's SLGT (Small Lot Gesha Tube) gift pack includes delicious coffees from Finca El Injerto, Granja La Esperanza, and Los Lajones–three revered farms stewarded by notable producers. The tube contains three 150g tins, and makes for a perfect stocking stuffer in that it is literally a tube, and should fit perfectly in your holiday stocking.
Dogwood Coffee—The Coffees Of La Lia
Coffee grown in: Costa Rica—Coffee roasted in: Minneapolis, Minnesota—$32
Dogwood Coffee has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with producer Luis Alberto Monge Ureña in Costa Rica, whose La Lia farm separates nine distinct coffees by variety into tiny lots of joy. This boxed set pairs a La Lia Typica coffee with a Dogwood mug, along with an informational booklet about La Lia (written in Dogwood's typically charming style). The whole thing is sealed with a sticker bearing the likeness of Yirgy, Dogwood's resident border collie. This boxed set wraps up nicely and would look great under your tree.