brewing on a chemex

Candy Canes and Holiday Blends – Anchorhead Coffee

Holiday Blends – I love coffee blends which are created to a particular theme and experience. There's nothing like drinking a cup that reminds you of a pumpkin pie. Before we dive in though … A series of blunders led to the lateness of this particular episode. I had originally planned to record and publish this just before the new year. Then I got sick. It's really hard to make videos on the taste of coffee when I can't taste anything. So that was a bit of a bummer.

Then CoffeeCon came along and I kind of sidelined some of the video production while focusing on the show. Unfortunately, this meant a severe delay in the video showing off Anchorhead's lovely holiday blend, Winter Warmer. They are an excellent roaster and I highly recommend getting any of their coffees.

Back to the holiday blend! I know I know…it's not the holidays anymore. BUT. It will be again. As I explore more of the intricacies of the coffee world I want to keep you apprised. Let's consider this holiday blend by Anchorhead coffee here, and holiday blends in general.

A couple episodes ago on Coffee Lovers Radio, Jesse and I talked about Conduit Coffee's Winterlake blend. We tasted it on the show, talked about his approach to making it, the blends purpose, etc. If you are reading this thinking “the blend's purpose???” just stick with me for a few moments here…

It's a much longer article to write on the topic of a blend's purpose. But, suffice to say that every blend and single origin is roasted with a particular experience in mind. For single origins these are often roasted in order to showcase the origin tastes and aromas (well, the roaster's interpretation anyways). For blends these are often made to create a specific taste experience. This is why you see ‘espresso' blends. There is no special ‘espresso' bean in coffee, these blends are simply made with the precise espresso technique in mind (again, a much longer article, so I won't go into more detail here).

Holiday blends are much the same. They are made to be enjoyed around the spirit of the holidays. The reason I brought up Conduit's Winterlake in this video/article about Anchorhead's Winter Warmer is because they represent two completely different approaches to the purpose of the holiday blend, which is pretty cool. To get the full picture of what I'm talking about, watch the video on Anchorhead's coffee – you can also listen to the podcast episode we did on the Winterlake.

Here's the gist. Anchorhead here has created a delightful experience I described (as they did on the bag) like Candy Canes.  Well, like holiday mint without the mint flavor. It's difficult to express experience, but it made me think of candy canes by an open fire. So they have created an experience that is synonymous (as much as you can be with a taste and aroma) with the holiday spirit. On the flip side Conduit created a blend that goes magnificently well with the rich and satisfying food that you enjoy during the holidays. It's the perfect pairing for your turkey dinner, or your pumpkin pie, adding an extra layer of joy and satisfaction to the whole holiday experience.

Two completely different approaches to the a similar concept. Pretty cool!

Now if only I could figure out how to transfer taste and aroma over the internet…

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Coffee Lovers TV Episode 003 – Anchorhead Coffee

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On the show this week is a Colombia coffee by Anchorhead.  Mike and Jake at Anchorhead Coffee just opened a new cafe downtown Seattle – it's a beautiful space, they serve great coffee, and fantastic pastries as well (including what they call a Quaffle, which is when you take a cinnamon roll and smash it in a waffle iron).

Anyhow, as I was checking out their new space I thought it would be a fine time to show off their work.

Anchorhead started out about 3 years ago. I met them originally via Jesse at Conduit Coffee, and then interviewed and had their story in the magazine. They began with cold brew, and moved into selling their own roasted coffee before too long (it's very hard to make a business solely around cold brew year-round). Since then they have grown as a business as well as aristans of a craft. Their roasted coffee is very excellent, and quite worth your time. I definitely recommend getting a bag of the coffee I talk about on this show.

You can't get this coffee anymore, but Anchorhead often carries Colombia, Guatemala, and other fantastic origins –

I am excited this week to be brewing now with the Kalita Wave – I've moved over to this brewing method from Chemex, as the Wave can give me cups of coffee with more overall flavor and body than the Chemex. Not to say that the Chemex is bad. I would describe a cup from a Chemex as cleaner and crisper than the Wave, but as I am storytelling on very complex flavors I decided it would be better to brew from something like the Wave.

I'll certainly put together a video on the Kalita Wave itself – maybe even a little review of sorts.

I also have an introduction that I'll be putting together for this show. If you checked out my Cup of Joe from this week, you will have seen the new introduction I made for that show. I”m going to do something similar here, but I need to gather a number of video clips which will take me some time to get together.

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