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As if there isn’t enough to prepare for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, there’s also the after-dinner coffee to consider.
Here are some tips from the experts at Eight O’Clock Coffee and THE NIBBLE:
Test new equipment in advance. Don’t wait until the dinner to try your new French press or Nespresso machine. Play it safe and test new coffee makers and brewing gadgets long before company arrives.
Don’t wait until after dinner to offer coffee. Coffee can be enjoyed from the moment guests arrive, and some guests may prefer it to a cold drink.
Provide a fine coffee shop experience. Set out shakers of cinnamon, cocoa, ginger, nutmeg and flavored creamers.
Provide a choice of milk. Some people like cream, some people prefer fat-free and some even require lactose-free milk. If you only want to deal with two choices, we recommend half-and-half for the cream crowd and lactose-free, fat-free milk for the rest. There’s no difference in the flavor between lactose-free and regular milk. People who want something in between the two choices can combine half and half with fat-free milk.
Have you thought about coffee service?
Photo by Ermek | IST.
Add some “holiday cheer.” A spoonful of brandy, whiskey or liqueur turns a cup of coffee into a holiday treat. It’s a great occasion to pull out the liqueurs you don’t use often. Chocolate liqueurs, coffee liqueurs, cream/creme liqueurs, honey liqueurs, some herbal liqueurs (anisette, benedictine) and nut liqueurs all work well. You can also provide shot glasses for those who want to sip separately.
Don’t forget the decaf. Be prepared for caffeine-conscious guests. Some people will want caffeine for the ride home. Others need to avoid it for medical reasons, or so they can get to sleep.
Coffee for large parties. If you’re brewing coffee in a high-capacity urn, consider storing and serving the coffee in thermal carafes after brewing. Carafes keep coffee hot and fresh for up to two hours, while urns may “burn” your brew as it sits. (We recently traded up from our glass carafe brewer to a Cuisinart thermal carafe brewer for just this reason.)
Coffee to go. Stock up on holiday-themed to go cups with lids, and send guests home with a cup of coffee for the road. Guests with a long ride ahead will appreciate it.
Consider A House Gift Of Coffee
While many guests bring a bottle of wine, consider bringing a bag or two of coffee. You can make the gift special by choosing a seasonal blend for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Especially if you’re one of the caffeine-conscious, feel free to BYOB (bring your own bag) of decaf.
COFFEE LOVERS: Check out our Coffee Section for recipes, reviews and lots of great information on brewing and serving coffee.
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