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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