Every year in early November I begin the process of creating the year's Sidecar Holiday Blend. It starts with me thinking about the foods I love to eat during the Holiday season. Then I think about what flavors I want to highlight and what coffees I have or need to buy in order fulfill my vision for the blend. Then there's tasting. Lots and lots of tasting.
My goal is pretty simple. I want a coffee that is great by itself, but tastes best with a piece of pie. There are no right or wrong ways to create a blend, but here is my approach:
First, there are two main ways to blend coffee: pre-roast and post-roast. Pre-roast blends are blended before roasting and post-roast blends are roasted then blended. Both are terrific, but when it comes to the holiday blend, I'm thinking post-roast 100%! It's the best way to let the individual character of each coffee shine without the balancing (or middling) effect of pre-roast blends.
The backbone of the Holiday blend comes from a darker roasted Colombia. It's bold and heavy, but surprisingly smooth. It gives the blend strong body and welcome roasty flavors. For a little texture and brown spice we've added a sweet and savory coffee from Papua New Guinea, roasted to a medium level. It adds body and flavor without a lot of extra roastiness.
Two lighter roasted coffees round out the 2017 Holiday Blend. The first is a sweet and fruity, naturally processed Ethiopia. The winey notes adds greatly to the overall complexity of the blend. Finally a bright, lemony Guatemala brings it all blend together with a pleasant acidy snap.
Once we decided on the coffees, we made a ton of pourovers, adjusting the ratios and adding and dropping coffees until we nailed it.
At Sidecar Coffee Roasters we would like to wish you a happy holiday. We hope you'll enjoy it with our 2017 Sidecar Holiday Blend.