In what has surely become a beloved annual tradish here at Sprudge, now it is time to turn our attention to the beloved specialty coffee subcultural practice of the Holiday Blend. Each year, beginning roughly around Thanksgiving, coffee companies around North America (and indeed, around the world) produce special edition coffees with unique branding and blend components. The goal is to help coffee lovers celebrate the holidays over a mug of something delicious, but for many companies featured below, there’s something bigger afoot. This is a chance to show off the work of incredible producers, and also many incorporate charitable giving and fundraising into their holiday blend efforts.
No matter how you celebrate, or who you’re celebrating with, a wonderful bag of holiday blend coffee is a most welcome addition to the table. We love taking this annual look at the blends of coffee, and featuring our longtime roaster partners is part of the fun, as is discovering new and exciting blends from roasters around the world.
Happy holidays and merry coffee drinking from all of us at Sprudge!
This year our friends to the north at Monogram Coffee of Calgary, Alberta have whipped up a special edition coffee blend of Fruitcake. Now before you start with the anti-fruitcake talk, *this* batch of FC is comprised of washed Ethiopian and anaerobic Costa Rican coffees, for a blend positively fruit-soaked with “warm spices, caramel, and wonderful pops of dried fruit.” This sounds absolutely perfect alongside a delicious crumb of holiday dessert.
This year’s Amavida Coffee holiday blend is sourced from Lot # “ELF” (lol) and comprises coffees from Yirgacheffe (Ethiopia) and Marcala (Honduras), with a medium roast profile and notes of “jam, baked fruit, and brown sugar”—which is also what roast elf tastes like, or so we hear.
Holiday coffee shopping is a whole ~situation~ at Blue Bottle, from gift sets to rare mugs to Moleskine collaborations and much, much more. But at the heart of it all is the charming Winter Blend, a “warm, rich blend…that prominently features a natural Ethiopian coffee to remind us of the origins of the coffee bean.”
Camber’s holiday 2022 blend unites Guji Suke Quto (Ethiopia) and San Pedro Necta Bella Elizabeth (Guatemala) in a coffee with notes of “maple and cacao nib.” This annual holiday offering is always a highlight from the team at Camber.
A blend of coffees from Mexico, Colombia and Ethiopia dressed up in a lovely bag—perfect for your next holiday sleigh ride through the park or festive urban ice skate fun-time.
Comprised of coffees from Kenya, Ethiopia, and Zambia, this year Equator’s blend is roasted to accentuate sweet, light, expressive notes—think “raspberry jam, nutmeg, apples and shortbread”. Subtle herbal notes are introduced thanks to the Zambian coffee, courtesy of the Kateshi Estate, and all the coffees in this blend are washed. As is tradition at Equator, the holiday blend coffee is chosen via friendly competition within the company’s roasting team; this year’s blend was crafted by roaster Alex Spishakoff. It goes beautifully in a special edition Ayca Kilicoglu designed Fellow Carter Move tumbler (they did the bag art as well).
A tasteful melange of washed Ethiopian, Kenyan and Costa Rican coffees, Intelligentsia’s Celebration Blend evokes “caramel and stone fruit”—and we’re dare to guess that’s the influence of coffees from Tarrazu, Costa Rica, home to some of the most beautifully delicious coffees in the world (in our opinion, humbly). Elsewhere on the holiday section of Intelligentsia’s site there’s all manner of curated bundles, suggested selections, and essential gear for brewing delicious coffee at home.
This year’s edition of Joe Coffee annual New York City crowd-pleasing Rockefeller is a blend of a different color: one producer, multiple coffee varieties. It all starts with the work of mother-daughter duo Miriam Florence Aguirre Wyld de Urruela and Florence Aguirre de Fanjul in Antigua, Guatemala, whose lot of washed coffee is comprised of Bourbon, Catimor, and Sarchimorcoffee varieties. The result is jammy, sweet, and perfect for the holiday season (whichever holiday you might celebrate). To make things even sweeter, a $1 from every bag sold benefits 9 Million Reasons, a New York City charitable pantry.
Things are getting a bit natural at Olympia Coffee Roasting Company this holiday season, where a natural processed coffee from El Salvador’s Finca El Aguila is the shining star in a holiday release with notes of “berry, wine and chocolate”. While you’re at Olympia Coffee’s web shop be sure to check out their always fun and fabulous merchandise—this year they’ve got marmot socks—and consider adding a bag of Asterisk Blend, long one of the specialty coffee world’s most delicious decafs.
Uganda, Colombia and Panama are the name of the game for this year’s Black & White blend, with notes of “cinnamon, cherry pie, praline, and mulled wine.” They describe it as “a big, warm, liquid hug” and isn’t that all any of us really needs?
Two unique coffees from Rwanda and Brazil are on deck for Atlanta’s Portrait Coffee, whose annual “Kindred” blend always features excellent artwork. Look for notes of “cranberry and lemon” like a beautiful holiday dessert.
Let us never forget that Christmas time is Krampus time, and at Onyx Coffee Lab wicked ol’ Krampus is given pride of place in this “dark-roasted Kenyan coffee, deeply developed and smelling of sweet tobacco.” It’s the perfect gift for someone on your naughty list, or your cousin from Rochester who dabbles in the dark arts.
Fritz Coffee of Seoul have put together an utterly charming holiday release this season, dressed up in a festive gift box adorned with the image of the brand’s beloved spokes-seal. This blend is built from four distinct coffees, hailing from India, Costa Rica, Colombia and Ethiopia, respectively. Delight the coffee drinker in your life with this coffee as a gift—it’s sure to stand out this holiday season.
With one of our favorite blend names and some of the most beautiful holiday bag art, we’ve come to really look forward to this annual Miracle from the team at Partners Coffee. This year’s blend is a global affair, with coffees from Rwanda, Honduras, Mexico and Brazil, all in a gorgeous gift-ready bag featuring really cool original wrap art.
Stumtpown’s popular Evergreen blend looks to two points of origin, cultivate by outstanding producers: Moisés Herrera and Marysabel Caballero of Finca El Puente in Honduras, and the Duromina Cooperative in Ethiopia. It’s a lovely blend, and perhaps even better as part of Stumptown’s Holiday Trio, which allows to try the single origin components that go into Evergreen.
It’s a 100% Guatemalan coffee situation for this year’s Winter Bloom, featuring two distinct coffees: Augusto Castillo’s washed lot from his farm Miracerros (Huehuetenango), and a honeyed lot from José Hernández’s farm, Santa Isabel (Antigua). There’s notes of maple syrup in the ground coffee, giving way to flavors of “sugar plum and rum raisin” in the cup.
Candied pecan, chocolate cherry, and pear. Indonesia, Costa Rica, and Ethiopia. The sum of these parts is Verve’s 2022 Holiday Blend, a medium roast marvel comprised of both washed and natural coffees, resulting in “a balanced cup of cheer.” I’ll have a second cup, thanks.