You know it’s the holidays when you use coffee mugs for every drink that hits your mouth throughout the day. We’ve briefed you on some boozy brews to sip on, PSL alternatives and tea lattes galore, but what about regular old joe? Before you head out to Starbucks for a cup of holiday-spiced coffee, why not brew a cup right at home? We’ve found the best seasonal blends enhanced with holiday spices and fruits to ensure that every coffee break gets the sugar plums dancing in your head. Bonus, these also make *fab* hostess gifts. Especially if you’re coming over to our house.
1. Holiday Coffee ($15): This blend from Counter Culture is wintertime in a cup, and with each bag of beans they sell, a portion of the funds go to improving the communities from where they source the coffee. And can we talk about that gorgeous, sustainable packaging? It’s perfect for gifting.
2. El Salvador Santa Ana Valiente ($22): This blend from Blue Bottle Coffee doesn’t mention anything winter-related in the name, but its flavors are perfect for the season. With hints of maple syrup, plum and candied orange, this will make you think of a rustic winter cabin in the woods, complete with sap dripping from trees… which you then turned into maple syrup and added to your coffee.
3. Holiday Blend 2014 ($17): Peet’s Coffee is keeping it rich and sweet with a holiday brew that has hints of dark chocolate and brown sugar. These beans were grown in Guatemala, Kenya, Sumatra and Ethiopia and combined to create a flavor masterpiece.
4. Holler Mountain Blend ($30): Stumptown Coffee is rolling in with a heavy blend perfect for after-dinner chats by the fire. Accented with blackberry, hazelnut and toffee and rich with chocolate sweetness, this is a definite go-to for a dessert beverage alongside a plate of cookies.
5. The 1950 ($15): It’s time to get spicy. Verve Coffee brings floral flavors grounded in some serious spice, most prominently clove. It also flaunts hints of pecan and brown sugar, making for an exotic shot of espresso.
6. Celebration ($18): What would a coffee list be without an appearance from Intelligentsia? They’re blending two East African coffees, and the flavor will remind you of a hot toddy. So basically, they’ll bring the coffee, and you bring the booze.
7. Starbucks Christmas Blend ($15): Believe it or not, this iconic holiday brew tastes good even without the red cup. This blend brings on the rich spices that you’ll probably be smelling throughout every shopping mall from now until January 1st.
8. Threadless Blend ($15): No, this is not a coffee made of t-shirts. Bowtruss Coffee is an indie roaster out of Chicago that teamed up with Threadless to make a killer bag design for their winter blend. The illustration is titled “Campfire Coffee,” and we think that’s right where we’ll drink it.
9. Holiday Blend ($17): Forget what you’ve heard, because fruit cake can be delicious. This coffee from Olympia Coffee proves it with an homage to all things fruity during the holidays, including cranberry, wine and candied citrus.
10. Holiday Blend ($16): Fair trade? Check! Organic? Check! Equator Coffee and Teas prides itself on its mission of sustainability, and the result is amazing coffee. This blend combines the flavor of milk chocolate with notes of cherries and berries.
11. Holiday Fusion ($18): From Madcap Coffee comes the only brew on this list with “Applejack” listed in the tasting notes. They suggest you pair it with chocolate, mixed nuts, eggnog or gingerbread. We think we’ll try it with all of them. (via The Coffee Compass)
What are you brewing up for the holidays? Let us know your go-to winter coffee in the comments!