Be merry, bright, and delicious this holiday season with our curated selection of holiday blends from some of the best brands in specialty coffee. Some are newcomers, others are longtime staff favorites—but every one of them will make a fine gift for this year’s celebrations, whether you’re wrapping it up under the tree or brewing up something tasty for the loved ones.
We know there are many, many more holiday blends out there than the 18 we’ve listed here. Since we can’t feature them all, we’ve got comments open below if you’d like to chime in with more suggestions. Seasons brewings!
Batdorf goes all out each season for the holidays, offering one of the best collections of seasonal offerings in the business. And while their 2015 Holiday Blend doesn’t have a funny or unusual name, it *does* have tasting notes like “cherry, cranberry, roasted malt and molasses”—which to us just sounds like “pie, pie, drink it with pie.”
Something like a holiday blend need not be a secret sauce, and at Ceremony Coffee they’re offering two delightful single origin coffees—Ethiopia Wazzala natural and Honduras “Jaguar Land II” washed—together in a perfect two-bean blended harmony. This union was forged “with sweetness and warmth in mind,” which really was very thoughtful of the folks at Ceremony.
Caffe Ladro roaster and 2002 North American Barista Champion Dismas Smith has a very special holiday roast this season, a family-run side project called The Smith Six. They’ve roasted up some tasty Ethiopia Limu 3 natural coffee from producer Lemma Edeto and family, and now it’s ready for you to enjoy this holiday season. Give the gift of Dismas for Christmas!
Fresh off their “Nicest Package” nomination in this year’s Sprudgie Awards, Counter Culture’s holiday blend “Iridescent” fuses holiday cheer with tasteful design, all for a good cause. Sales from this blend are projected to help raise around $20,000 USD for community building initiatives where coffee is grown; recent projects from this same fund have helped communities in Rwanda, Burndi, and Guatemala.
Snow is no big deal to folks in Minneapolis, although the stuff’s been sparse so far this year. We’re huge fans of the branding and design work coming out of Dogwood Coffee in the Twin Cities, and this year’s holiday blend is no exception. Snow Emergency unites coffees from Colombia and Ethiopia in a two-bean blend, with notes like “toffee, caramel and fruit candy” as it cools. The packaging has vibrant reds and golds, with little snowflake accents.
Top quality coffees are such a hugely important factor in building a quality blend, and the folks at Equator have it dialed in something fierce.Coffee in this blend comes from producer Anibel Pineda at the San Vicente mill in Santa Barbara, Honduras, as well as from Cup of Excellence winners Sitio Baixadao in Brazil, and Finca Santa Sofia in Guatemala.
Naughtiness: it is a scourge of the holiday season, and must be punished duly using the traditional “Lump of Coal” correctional method. But for those times when coal is in short supply, PT’s Coffee has created the “Lump O’ Coal” blend to serve in its stead. These lumps are darkly roasted, robust even, which makes this the ultimate gag gift for the Scandinavian coffee lover in your life. And if you’re gifting for someone on the “Nice” list, PT’s has you covered there as well with their decidedly less punitive “Silver Bells” holiday blend.
The hot ticket item from Intelli this season is their Tres Dimensiones box set, what with its pouch of rare, delicious coffee flower tea, but Celebration is no slouch—this annual offering is a much-loved tradition from Intelligentsia. East African and Central American coffees unite to form a coffee with “hot toddy” flavor notes of “spiced rum, red fruits and mulling spices.”
The Bellinghamsters at Tony’s Coffee have put together a perfect two-bean blend for those of you who seek the adventure of nature under inclement weather. This is a combo of Peruvian and Timorese coffees with a “syrupy body” and “naturally sweet cocoa notes.” Get hiking!
Basically the perfect name for a New York City-centric brand like Joe, the “Rockefeller” holiday coffee offering evokes ice skating at The Rink at Rock Center, one of the city’s most iconic holiday traditions. This year’s coffee hails from Fincas Mierisch in Nicaragua, a nominees for Notable Producer at this year’s Sprudgie Awards (vote now!). This isn’t a holiday blend, per se, but it is a very special holiday offering from our friends at Joe, and really, NYC is so magical this time of year…
Roasted in beautiful Helsingborg, Sweden and shipping worldwide, this delightful coffee from Koppi is made up washed Catuai coffee processed at the renowned Monte Copey micromill in Tarrazu, Costa Rica. Koppi has been nominated for a 2015 Sprudgie Award for Notable Roaster, and if you want to learn what they’re all about this is a great place to start.
A fusion of delicious coffees from Ethiopia’s Sidama region and Sumatra’s Aceh region, ‘Tis The Season by Kaldi’s is a riff on the classic “Mocha Java blend”. The bag for ‘Tis The Season is made from Kona Paper, a post-consumer waste paper that’s 100% recycled. Drinkers should enjoy dark fruit notes from the Sidama, alongside vanilla and oak from the Sumatra. Delicious.
Olympia Coffee’s annual Holiday Blend release is cause for celebration around these parts, and is some of our favorite coffee to brew at holiday gatherings and parties. This year’s blend is a three-bean melange of coffees from Honduras, Kenya, and Ethiopia, hailing from the Capucas Cooperative, Kiunyu washing station, and Banko Cooperative, respectively. Pair a bag of this with some of Oly’s consistently delicious and intriguing Asterisk Decaf, one of our favorite recurring decaf offerings in all of specialty coffee, and you’ll be well set for any holiday occasion.
Holiday fusion is a concept to which many can relate. For some, the holidays are a fusion of family time and private time away from the demands of the normal working week. For others, the holidays fuse together multiple traditions—like a menorah ornament on a Christmas tree. In coffee blend form, Holiday Fusion from Madcap unites two parts Kenya Gaturiri with one part Guatemala Las Aguas Altas, for a cup with big fruit notes and a caramel finish. One of the tasting notes from Madcap for this coffee is “Applejack”, which, if you *really* need some fusion fuel this holiday season, Clear Creek Distillery makes an absolutely wonderful apple brandy that we heartily recommend. Pair it with a bag of Holiday Fusion and thank us in the New Year.
There’s no more festive suffix than “eux”, which is reason enough to include Populace Coffee’s Joyeux Blend in your holiday plans this season. But if you need more cajoling, this is a blend of Kenyan and Colombian coffees, and it pairs well with the brand’s Habitual: A Coffee Brewing Guide printed book. In fact, the book & beans have been bundled together for some ideal gift giving. Enjoyeux!
Reanimator Coffee’s Holiday Blend offers flavor notes of “juicy, tropical fruit acidity, with candy sweetness.” It also offers a glimpse of a terrifying skeleton creature being revived by some kind of old-timey apothecary. This is the perfect holiday blend to give to someone on your list with a morbid sense of humor. Extra points if you decide to draw a Santa hat on Mr. Skeleton.
It wouldn’t be the holidays without a tasty blend from the folks at Verve. This year’s Verve blend bands beans together from Colombia, Costa Rica, and Ethiopia, for a coffee with notes like “candied orange” and “cranberry”. It’s an awesome Christmas gift, but if you really want to take things up a notch, pick up a tin of Verve’s Panama Elida Estate Green Tip Gesha, from 2015 Sprudgie Award nominee for Notable Producer, Wilford Lamastus.
This feature is part of our 2015 Festival Of Guides.