Christmas Symphony

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Roast: Medium
Region: Peru, Rwanda
Farms: Palmira (Peru), Hingakawa Women’s Co-op (Rwanda)
Process: Washed
Elevation: 1,600-2,100m
Variety: Typica & Caturra (Peru), Grade-A Bourbon (Rwanda)
Cup: Milk Chocolate, Gingerbread, Orange Marmalade


peregrine coffee roasters christmas blend
coffee cupping

Cupping Notes:
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Our signature Christmastime blend has returned. . . and this time, it cannot be oversold!”

When we say we labored over this blend, we aren’t merely talking it up. We went through an extremely thorough set of tests and trials to land on our final combination.

What does that mean exactly?

Well, here are the different combinations of coffees we tried:

  • 50/50 of Colombia Willian Sancho & Burundi Natural
  • 75/25 of Colombia Willian Sancho & Burundi Natural
  • 50/50 of Colombia Willian Sancho & Nicaragua “Jairo & Fatima” Microlot

Each of the above blends we were extremely excited about—and yet, each time, we knew they could they better. 

For more than a month, we engaged the “research and development” aspect of coffee blending. Finally, we were able to present the final product—one that we take great pride in. For this year’s Christmas Symphony, we landed on a 50/50 blend of a Peruvian coffee and a Rwandan coffee. 

Our Rwandan component is a familiar coffee from the Hingakawa Women’s Co-op and our Peruvian is from Yolanda Alvarez.

Both coffees are revered Peregrine single-origin offerings, but “Man!” (as we often say), are they special together!

Now, let’s break it down to what it tastes like…

Chocolate: Starting the holiday notes off strong, this blend is full of delicious milk chocolate flavor. (Where would a Christmas coffee be without a nice base of sweet chocolate?)

Citrus & Spice: However, chocolate alone does not complete an ideal Christmas blend. Christmas is a holiday that brings rich, complex smells and flavors. Around the holidays, we are often full of nostalgia for the fragrance of citrus, or for the taste of spices. Christmas Symphony delivers exactly that!

Gingerbread: Delivering on Christmas spice, a cup of Christmas Symphony is full of sweet gingerbread notes. They are absolutely delightful and sure to boost Christmas cheer.

Marmalade: While gingerbread is often associated with Christmas (for us westerners), there are also traditional bittersweet flavor combinations of citrus marmalades. 

When first discussing this marmalade note, there was an intense debate. Marmalade was a flavor we were familiar with, but what differentiated a marmalade from a jam or a jelly, a compote or a preserve? What about a chutney?

As you probably know, a marmalade contains the whole citrus fruit, containing both fruit and peel; hence, you often find delicious bitter flavors alongside the sweetness of fruit.

That is what we taste in the acidity that’s present in Christmas Symphony: delicious, oily, bitter and sweet orange marmalade.

We find that these complex holiday flavors pair together incredibly well.

Please enjoy the finished product this holiday—wherever the joyous season takes you.

Merry Christmas!

peru coffee farm
Farming Notes We have separated the farming notes for Christmas Symphony into two separate sections for the two coffees in this blend. Peru: We sourced this coffee from Red Fox, a sourcing relationship company that has become widely known in the industry over the last few years. Here’s what Red Fox said about Yolanda’s coffee: Yolanda Cabrera Alvarez has been producing coffee for over 32 years and a member of Valle Inca for 3 years. We are excited to offer Yolanda’s coffee as a first-time quality separation. Nestled in the Yanatile Valley in the Department of Cusco in the south of Peru, Valle Inca functions as a producer group where Prudencio Vargas Saenz, who created and runs the group, buys parchment from farmers, reinvesting premiums in the community’s infrastructure to help them continue to improve quality. Prudencio, who lives in nearby Calca and brings the benefits of his former experience as an agricultural loan officer, once operated outside the aegis of a collective, but after years of running Valle Inca informally, he formalized the organization this year in order to gain organic certification, Fair Trade certification and the ability to export on his own. Member-wise, Valle Inca is growing fast with 101+ farmers currently in the fold. It’s no surprise that more and more farmers want to work with Valle Inca. In the community, Prudencio is known for his honesty, trustworthiness, dedication and drive to invest and reinvest in his community, genuinely engaging their goals and concerns. He also pays higher prices than farmers had access to prior to the founding of Valle Inca, which has helped to improve quality as well as overall community health over time. Leaders like Prudencio are rare, and the quality of connection between leadership and producer shines through in the cup.  At their best, coffees from Valle Inca display elegant honeyed florals, crisp red apple, and a pleasant tannic quality like oolong tea. These coffees cup beautifully, but where they really shine is in a brewed cup off the production roaster. And while they have a lot to offer specialty professionals in the way of nuance, they’re also wonderfully approachable for consumers. One of the things that makes Valle Inca so exciting is that there’s still so much untapped potential there. There are many more hills and mountain peaks where producers we haven’t yet connected with are growing great coffee; and Prudencio is working hard to find them and bring them into the specialty market. Right now, Valle Inca is producing an exceptional amount of beautiful 85–86-point regional quality coffee. Going forward we expect to see even more 86–87+ lots. In fact, a lot of the coffees we’ve purchased this year are actually out-scoring themselves as they mature post-harvest. Over the last four years, Valle Inca has grown alongside us. From our first year where we bought two lots from Valle Inca, to the present year where we’re lucky enough to have over 1,000 bags from them, they’ve never ceased to impress us. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Valle Inca and are excited about the coffees this harvest has yielded.
rwanda coffee farm
Rwanda: The Hingakawa (“Let’s Grow Coffee”) Cooperative was established in 2004 as a part of the larger Abakundakawa-Rushashi (“Those Who Love Coffee”) Cooperative. Both halves of this larger cooperative are 100% woman-operated. If you know anything about the tiny country of Rwanda, it is probably their violent history of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war. For years, the Hutu ethnic group fought to completely erase their counterparts—the Tutsi—from the earth. Many Rwandans lost their lives during the bloody conflict. Today, Hutu women and Tutsi women farm alongside one another at the Hingakawa Cooperative. These women have come together to uplift their country through coffee production, and it is truly a privilege to roast such a meaningful coffee. We want to say thank you to Emily at Mercon Coffee for partnering with us to bring in this coffee.