As well as being a great time to drink beer Christmas is also a great time for coffee.
Cool dark snowy weather goes hand in hand with a warm cup of java by the fireplace or in front of the television with Netflix on.
This year I made my way through a number of delicious Christmas coffees. They were Starbucks Christmas Blend, JJ Bean Coffee’s Banco Gotete Espresso, a Holiday Blend Coffee from Delanys, and Burundi Mabrizi and Skookum Dark from Strait Coffee Traders.
Starbucks Christmas Blend
Say what you will about drinking coffee from a large chain like Starbucks this coffee does deliver and has been a long time staple for many coffee drinkers including myself.
With dark roast coffee beans from Guatemala, Colombia and Papua New Guinea, the real secret to this coffee is the beans from Sumatra, which are aged. Starbucks has been carrying its Christmas Blend since 1984.
The coffee tends to vary a bit from season to season based on the varietals in it but it is always a good cup of dark, rich coffee that goes well with Christmas food and desserts.
Ethiopia Banco Gotete JJ Bean Coffee Roasters
This is another seasonal coffee with a rich history given its origins.
The town of Banco Gotete is located n Gedeo County. This county is part of the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia. I’ve tried Yirgacheffe coffees before from other coffee roasters including Starbucks. Yirgacheffe is really part of the Sidamo region in southern Ethiopia, another name you may recognize if you like and drink African coffees. but since it’s coffees are so well known it gets it’s own micro region.
Ethiopia has widely been called the birthplace of coffee.
The African Coffee profile as it tends to be knowns always has fruit like, citrusy notes with a bean that doesn’t look dark or is roasted too heavily.
I would say that this coffee has that profile and was best made in a drip coffee maker versus my Stovetop espresso maker or French Press. I have always loved these coffees cold over ice and with some bits of fruit thrown in.
JJ Bean also has a Run For Water project that they are involved in in Africa within these regions.
Strait Coffee Burundi Mabrizi
Strait Coffee is one of my favourite coffee places. If it were in Vancouver and not on the Sunshine Coast I would be there likely every day.
They have been roasting coffee for 25 years and honestly you can tell. The Burundi Mabrizi arrived in a delightful purple cellophane bag for Christmas and I enjoyed it immensely.
For whatever reason I seem to have gravitated to African coffees over Christmas and in doing some research on the origins of and the history of this region I found out some interesting things.
Places such as Ethiopia and Kenya are well known for coffee but Burundi apparently also has an economy that is based around agriculture with coffee and tea according to Wikipedia “accounting for 90% of foreign exchange earnings, though exports are a relatively small share of GDP.”
Organic Skookum Blend
Next up on my list from Strait Coffee was the Organic Skookum Blend. I’m not sure what they put in this coffee in terms of how they blend it or what they use but it was delicious. This is honestly one of the best coffees I have tried in a long time. I’m not sure they will give away what the blend is.
Delany’s Holiday Blend
Delany’s Coffee is a Vancouver based company with five locations. It’s own by Robyn Delany and family and is well established on the North Shore with locations in North and West Vancouver.
Dig a little deeper and you’ll find out they use Caffe D’arte as the roaster of their coffees using Dark Roasting with complex flavours.
I couldn’t find anything online about their Holiday Blend that related to blending and coffees used in this blend but it is a solid entry. It was also a holiday deal on sale for 10 dollars for one week during Christmas when I bought it.