Region: Ethiopia & Guatemala
Cup: Tiramisu, Caramel, Almonds
When seeking to create a blend, many factors are involved. But we normally seek to strike a chord between what people find favorable in many coffees melded into one. With our Christmas blend, it can be even more complicated; and the main drive of this year was only to outdo last year, which was a smash hit. This year’s blend takes two coffees to make a 50/50 blend. The initial goal was to find gingerbread-type notes in coffees that would really put the stamp of Christmas into the coffee. Gingerbread, however, is not a typical note for coffees. I thought of our special washed Ethiopian (used in our espresso), which has distinct cinnamon notes, yet it was sort of abrasive in aftertaste. Pondering what would blend well, it was only a short jump to our new Guatemala from Biarte. This organic coffee has such smooth big body and deep sweetness that we thought surely it would work perfectly together.
Not only did it work, but we got this pleasant surprise: tiramisu! While not specifically a Christmas dessert, it has components—vanilla, rum, cinnamon and raw cocoa—of Christmas wrapped up in one treat. All of these flavors combine to give you the taste of that delectable Italian delight at first sip. It's very deep and complex, and while each component stands out at different times, when we swished it around our mouths, all we could think was tiramisu! The sweetness of the coffee combined with the rich cocoa tones are identifiably caramel in taste and somewhat in texture as well. We pondered for a while the specific nut tone that's present in the coffee, and we landed on almonds. Almond extract is surprisingly often an element in tiramisu as well, so it's not really an addition as much as it is an extension of what's already there. This coffee has been a real crowd-pleaser in the shop and still has a present acidity from the Ethiopian coffee, which many will find to be exactly what they are hoping for. Merry Christmas from us here at Peregrine!