Our Holiday Blend is one of the most anticipated releases we have each year. There’s something about the festive packaging, nostalgic aroma, and bold flavour that truly gets you in the holiday spirit.
Although for you, it’s as simple as purchasing and preparing the coffee at home, our Holiday Blend goes on quite the journey before it’s in the mugs of your loved ones celebrating the most wonderful time of the year.
Our story begins in Uganda & Honduras where our Holiday Blend beans are grown.
Like any crop, the process begins with planting the seeds. Our producers utilize rich soil, organic and regenerative growing practices to build a healthy farm and high quality crop. This includes but is not limited to shade growing their crops which is the most natural way to cultivate coffee. There is no need for pesticides or herbicides because within a shade-grown coffee crop, every organism serves a purpose. Once the coffee crops have grown, and the coffee cherries have started turning red, it’s time to…
Harvest - Coffee cherries can be harvested in one of two ways… By strip picking an entire tree all at once (both ripe and unripe) & sorting out under ripe or damaged beans; or by hand picking. Hand harvesting ensures the cherries are picked at the peak of ripeness. Though selective harvesting is a bit more of a lengthy process than removing all the cherries regardless of their stage of ripeness, this extra labour of love results in an overall better cup of coffee at the end of the day.
Next, depending on the desired flavour profile, the coffee beans go through different processing stages including:
Pulping & Fermenting - where the pulpy fruit layer is removed from the berry, leaving the beans exposed and further removal of the sugary layers on the outside of the coffee bean which helps develop the desired flavour characteristics.
Once the processing has been completed, the beans move on to drying. This is where the coffee beans are spread out in the sun on raised beds or on concrete patios to dry, making it stable and consistent in terms of moisture content.
After the beans are dry, they go on to be milled. Milling is the process where the outer papery layer is removed before the green coffee is sent to dock for shipment from the country of origin to us, here at Salt Spring Coffee!
Next our coffee roasting team receives a sample of green beans and does something called cupping. Cupping actually takes place before AND after shipment of the beans to verify quality and determine how each batch of beans will be used throughout our offerings.
During the cupping process, our head roaster makes a sample roast to evaluate the flavour & consistency of the coffee beans in that shipment.
Once the coffee beans arrive at our roastery, the roasting fun begins (and our office smells AMAZING.) In roasting the green beans, we caramelize the built in sugars and bring out a variety of delicious flavours. Our holiday blend for 2022 has been roasted to the perfect balance of rich & bold flavours with a dark chocolate finish. This coffee has a dark caramel aroma, which then develops into cocoa powder, nutty, and baking spice notes throughout.
Once roasting is complete, the finished coffee is packaged into our festive holiday bags & shipped to select locations of various grocery shops… or directly to you through our online store! Finally, after a long process and ample planning, you have the coffee beans in your hands & are able to celebrate the season's greetings with the ones you love over a great cup of coffee.