Coffee is one of the ways we bond with friends and loved ones. Whether you’re looking for something fun and comforting for a socially distanced holiday celebration, or looking for ways to connect and grow together, we’ve got some ideas to help you out (involving coffee, of course).
#1 CUPPING: A COFFEE DEEP DIVE
Cupping is a worldwide practice in specialty coffee. But it's not just for quality control and scoring lots. Done at home, it can help deepen your appreciation of the nuances of different coffees.
Cupping is all about mindful brewing and drinking and serves as a new way to expand one’s horizons. We especially like it as a way share a new experience with loved ones! Cupping can be as easy or as complex as you’d like to make it, and apart from getting some fresh coffees, can be done with items you probably already have.
Here’s a short list of things you and your cohort will need to cup together:
- A spoon. Soup spoons work a little better, but anything will work
- A scale
- A few bowls or coffee mugs - enough bowls for each of the coffees you plan to cup
- Something to heat water in, doesn’t have to be fancy
- A couple spare mugs for rinsing your spoon and shoveling off grounds
While you’re cupping, think and talk about:
- What does this coffee “feel” like (mouthfeel, body)? Is it thick, thin, tea-like, or creamy?
- Is this coffee deep with roasty notes, or does it leave a slight tingle on my tongue (acidity)?
- Do I taste any kind of fruitiness? What does it remind me of?
- How do this coffee’s various flavor dimensions all interact together? Use our spider graph tool to map out this coffee!
Cupping is fantastic for grabbing this kind of context from cup to cup. How deep you want to go on this journey is entirely up to you, but at its core, cupping is about really experiencing the coffee, especially while sharing with others. Plus, hearing what your cohort thinks about a coffee can be very revealing and eye opening!
For more information on flavor calls, see our blog “Spider Charts and Flavor Calls: Choosing Your Next Single Origin”.
#2 FRENCH PRESS WITH THE BEST
Cupping is fun and a real learning experience, but can take some time to set up. Also, while the slurping really is a useful method for getting that coffee aerated for maximum flavor detection, it can put some folks off. In light of this, there’s an alternate way of brewing that does the trick.
If you're mostly used to coffee out of a machine, proper French Press coffee can be a real treat and it’s hard to beat its understated visual elegance. The iconic French Press is a great introduction to manual brewing, delivering a uniquely full-bodied cup that highlights the coffee’s natural oils and flavor compounds. It may seem deceptively easy to brew- just pour hot water and voila!- but it can take some practice to get a perfect cup!
If you want to try something new in your coffee life while also daring a loved one to a little friendly competition, look no further than the French Press.
#3 UNLEASH YOUR INNER BARISTA
Most of us secretly want to have the skills of a trained barista. But for those of us without the marvel of an espresso machine at home, there’s still plenty of ways to jazz up your coffee with some barista-inspired recipes.
Challenge your mom to try whipping up the Brown Sugar Rosemary Lattes (here's the recipe for the delicious syrup, just add coffee!) for some shared holiday joy. Or chill out and do a socially-distanced taste test of different alt-milks for the Honey Alt Milk Cold Brew!
Whichever of our At Home recipes you choose, pick something your circle or cohort can agree on, and that everyone can get ingredients for. See who can win bonus points for best presentation!
MORE THAN JUST COFFEE
Kaldi’s Coffee believes in the value of hospitality and sharing the experience of quality. Coffee is a drink that invites companionship and shared experiences, and our coffee can always help you create those experiences no matter the time or distance. Create a new holiday tradition this year by sharing coffees with your loved ones, and trying out new brewing methods and recipes!