It's around this time of year—when red cups return with a vengeance and Frank Sinatra holiday tunes phase out the calming guitar acoustics at coffee shops—that gold, red, and green-wrapped coffee beans return to the shelves. The "Holiday Blends'' stand apart from their fellow brown-bagged companions, dressed up with ornaments and snowflakes, but (as we're of the belief that it's what's on the inside is what counts) are they actually different? What makes a holiday blend a holiday blend?
There are two main types of holiday coffees: Those designed for the season (these can range from Gingerbread Spice to black coffee that feels more winter-appropriate), and those that have about as much in common with the holidays as the Grinch (that is to say they're just bad beans dressed up in a Santa costume). Here are all the reasons why roasters and sellers put out holiday blends—and what's really in them:
Why do it?
- It's a great way to introduce potential buyers to the company: Because a lot of holiday coffees are given as gifts, it can be the first time that the recipient of the beans is trying that brand, so the company wants to put their best foot forward and use the best beans.
- People love the holidays: People buy holiday blends as gifts to take home to relatives' houses.
What’s in it?
- It's a chance to make a coffee that's more suitable for winter: In the winter, people gravitate towards "something a little bit sweeter but nuanced and chocolatey." And a holiday blend, in many coffee sellers' eyes, is the perfect place to house that flavor.
- It's approachable—something your entire family can drink: Holiday blends are something that even non-coffee drinkers can enjoy over pumpkin pie. "What can we do that's simple, approachable, and goes with the flavor profile of winter?”
Whether it’s indulging in sweeter blends because of the fun packaging or sipping on a limited holiday brew to feel more festive, Holiday Blends remain some of the most comforting brews for the winter period. Maud’s Holiday Blend is a medium-dark roast coffee with an earthy flavor and notes of citrus and spice. The holiday touch all comes from the Sumatra Coffee process known as the wet hull method, making these blends rich and strong, what’s not to love?! Cheers from San Diego to the North Pole and wherever you might be, to the perfect holiday brew!
(Article excerpt from food52.com)