Put some thought into Christmas coffee.
“Christmas coffee” is a growing trend: There are coffees flavored with nutmeg and cinnamon; with bakery flavors such as almond, caramel, coconut, and vanilla; and even candy cane-flavored coffee.
But you don’t need flavored beans to create a Christmas vibe around your coffee. Here are some tips from Eight O’Clock Coffee and THE NIBBLE editors:
1. Enable Guests To “Flavor Their Own.” Put toppings such as cinnamon, cocoa, ginger and nutmeg.
2. Offer Flavored Creamers. We’re very fond of Bailey’s Irish Cream flavored creamers. Also look for Caramel, French Vanilla and Hazelnut flavors.
3. Add A Liqueur. Put out all of your coffee-friendly liqueurs: Amaretto (almond liqueur), Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur), Irish Cream liqueur (such as Bailey’s and Carolan’s), Kahlúa (coffee liqueur) and Sambucca (anise liqueur) go especially well with coffee.
4. Decaf & Lowfat. Be sure to have a decaf coffee (and tea) option, as well as nonfat milk, if people in your crowd prefer it. (We know…it seems like the last thing calorie-counters need to worry about during Christmas dinner—but that’s the point.)
5. Coffee Before Cocktails. If it’s cold in your ‘hood, guests may appreciate a hot cup of coffee when they walk in the door.
6. Blender Drinks. Take out the blender so you can make iced lattes and blender drinks for those looking for something cold. Freeze coffee in ice cube trays prior to the event.
7. No Surprises. If you have a new coffee maker or brewing gadgets, test it long before company comes.
8. Coffee To Go. Find holiday-themed “to go” cups and lids so you can send guests home with a hot cup of coffee for the road. Those with a long ride ahead will be grateful. We found a cache of inexpensive green, red and silver travel mugs that we bought as party favors. Every guest is leaving with one, filled with hot coffee or tea.
9. Coffee For Large Groups. If you’re brewing coffee for a crowd in a high-capacity urn, consider storing and serving coffee in carafes after brewing. Carafes keep coffee hot and fresh, while urns may “burn” your brew over time.
10. BYOC. Be different and bring coffee—especially Christmas coffee. While most guests bring wine, you’ll be as distinct and tasteful as your gift of Eight O’Clock Coffee.
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