Tips for Your Holiday Coffee Brewing
It's that time of year - there's a chill in the air, safe gatherings with friends and family again, and a serious need for a delicious cup of coffee.
As we get ready for more holiday celebrations and the end of the year we thought it'd be the perfect time for some holiday refreshers for your brewing setup!
Cleaning and Maintenance
The biggest tip we can offer is making sure your machine is refreshed and ready. If you have a superautomatic that means following the instructions presented in the manual and on the machine itself, so you should be good there. Still, it doesn't hurt to check your filters, give the drip tray and grounds bin a good scrub, and maybe even run some SuperGrindz through the grinder. If you've got a semi-auto machine, now's the time to make sure it's up to date with descaling, and to give it an extra backflush. It doesn't hurt to give that shower screen a scrub, check the gasket for replacement, and clean the steam wand as well! All of these steps will ensure some fresh shots this holiday.
More into slow brewing? There's plenty you can do on that front as well. If you use a drip brewer you probably already know about descaling with something like dezcal. You can also use a product like Cleancaf to clean out the oil that accumulates from regular brewing. Even if you use a press or pour over setup, these maintenance steps are important! You'll want to descale your hot water kettle every so often depending on use, and cleancaf can help break down oil buildup on your pour over dripper, Chemex, or Press that regular dish soap can't quite get.
Finally, there's your grinder. Arguably the most important part of any coffee setup, grinders need some love too! For a quick clean you can use some Grindz tablets. If you haven't taken the burrs out in a while and are comfortable with it, they can be cleaned to remove oil buildup as well! Giving all of your equipment a fresh clean can really help with coffee flavor, which is important for introducing your friends to delicious new coffee!
Next, there's selection. You'll want to pick some coffees that are flavorful without overwhelming your guests' palates. A great way to start is with some more traditional holiday blends. These coffees are usually developed to be approachable and agreeable with a wide range of taste preferences. You'll also want to watch out for different types of processing. Natural and honey processed beans are usually stronger in flavor. This can be great to help broaden the horizons of some of your friends, but they may prefer a more balanced washed roast.
Brew method also matters. If your guests haven't had espresso before then it might be a bit of a shock for them regardless of coffee type! That's why we like to keep a pour over setup on hand, most people who have had drip coffee will be able to enjoy a pour over coffee! Still looking for gift ideas? Sharing some coffee with a guest and then gifting them a gift coffee subscription is a great way to get them more into it! The best part? Even if it won't arrive by your holiday gifting time, you can let them know they can expect one or more deliveries right to their doorstep!