In English-speaking countries in particular, the Christmas blend seems to have become a tradition, as well as a commercial opportunity: in London, Fortnum&Mason offers a blend specially created for Christmas celebrations, packed with Indian Malabar beans that lend it spicy and caramel notes.
Starbucks offers a lightly roasted blend from the Caribbean islands and Sumatra, featuring sweet and spicy notes and warm, woody aromas that go well with nutmeg, pepper, ginger, sweet pears and baked apple.
Jingle Blend is a Venetian, limited edition by the Diemme roasters: with its sweet, full-bodied profile and sensory aromas, this blend contains light-medium roasted beans from the Kaffa region and from Brazil Alta Mogiana. The result is a coffee that recalls the aromas of tradition thanks to the notes of raspberry and raisins, followed by a pleasing aftertaste of milk chocolate and caramel, in which the addition of milk accentuates the natural hints of almond and caramel.
In a Los Angeles bar, they even offer a Pumpkin Spice Latte, only on Christmas day, a blend with a base made up of ginger, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Combined with milk, it is served in a biscuit wafer cup with kombucha cream.
The aroma of Christmas
Throughout the world, there are many curious ways of making coffee: from classic additions of cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and chilli to blends involving the addition of pistachio cream, rose water, pumpkin, mint, Indian masala with aniseed, coriander and fennel seeds, lime, persimmon and even curry and balsamic vinegar.
Generally, flavoured coffee is produced by storing the “added” ingredient (such as vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and star anise) in ground coffee for a couple of days before making it, or by adding a syrup made of water, sugar and ginger or orange marmalade to the cup. It may seem excessive, but a good remedy after Christmas binges is a coffee with a few drops of lemon.
Coffee at… Christmas
The classic zabaione coffee is a true delicacy, featuring cream added in a small glass inside a hot coffee. The version with mint-flavoured white chocolate drowned in espresso and the crème brulée version with caramelized cane sugar shown above are very intriguing. Or you can enjoy the distinctly contemporary, free interpretation of classic Viennese coffee, covered with cream, but made as a cold brew topped with chopped hazelnuts.
At Christmas, caffè corretto is an excellent digestive: you can add a dash of bourbon, whiskey – especially Irish whisky –, brandy, dark rum or amaretto, or enjoy it with a glass of Passito di Pantelleria or Monbazillac jelly.
It is essential to offer coffee with typical Christmas sweets: from classic panettone to bisciola, cremini, pralines, gingerbread, cookies with cranberries and dark chocolate chips, almonds, glazed hazelnuts, cantucci and honey and mandarin cakes.
Finally, it is always a surprise when Christmas coffee is presented with a marshmallow and blended with a teaspoon of chocolate or with a classic white and red candy stick.
Merry Christmas to all #CoffeeLovers!