Holiday Blend 2023
Candied fruit, pistachio, mulling spices, chocolate
Tasting notes: Candied fruit, pistachio, mulling spices, chocolate
Origins: Papua New Guinea Jiwaka Arufa, Brasil Fazenda Boa Vista, Kenya Narok Mara
Each year the winter holiday season presents a combination of the new and the familiar--an opportunity to reflect on events of the current year and embrace the traditions we’ve known for many. To that end, here at Fonte we like each iteration of the Holiday Blend to evoke the season in a different and unique way. It is now our pleasure to offer the 31st version of the Fonte Holiday Blend.
Many interesting coffees crossed our cupping table this year in pursuit of the elusive yuletide cheer that both celebrates and comforts, and we are thrilled with the coffees that made the final cut and the quality of the resulting blend.
Jiwaka Arufa is a natural coffee from New Guinea containing the Blue Mountain variety among other strains. This coffee jumped off the table with juicy candied fruit flavors and lively, port wine-like acidity. One cupper was reminded of gummy bears and another of the chocolate covered raisins, Raisinets.
While big and compelling, we found the New Guinea to be almost too loud of a party on its own. Luckily, we had recently roasted a micro-lot auction winner from the renowned Mantiqueira growing region of Brasil that immediately came to mind as a potential partner, with its creamy body and nutty cashew butter and pistachio aromatics, the Fazenda Boa Vista did not disappoint, providing a soothing base and thick mouthfeel upon which the livelier flavors of the PNG shine but don’t overwhelm.
The blend was a hit, but as nicely as those two coffees played together with their wild fruited candy and soft creamy nuttiness, the cup did not quite say Holiday to us yet. We found the last piece of the puzzle in an unusual natural coffee from Kenya, a Batian cultivar rarely grown on its own and barrel aged for 4 days before drying. The Kenya Narok Mara brought flavors of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg… basically holiday mulling spices in a cup. Using it as a small percentage of the overall blend succeeded in adding cinnamon-y spice cheer in the finish without masking the liveliness of the PNG or the warmth of the Boa Vista. Our roaster said the addition of the Narok Mara somehow transformed the Raisinet character of the Jiwaka Arufa into that of a chocolate-covered cherry.
We are looking forward to drinking this version of Holiday Blend as much as possible over the next two months, and sincerely hope you will join us in enjoying this cup of holiday cheer.