The holidays are almost upon us, and with them come entertaining family and friends.
While many hosts and hostesses often spend a lot of time thinking about the dinner and what kind of wine they will serve, they typically don’t put the same kind of thought into what type of coffee they will serve, says Starbucks coffee master Kathleen Cook.
So how does one create the perfect cup of coffee to satisfy their festive guests?
During a coffee tasting in downtown Toronto recently, Cook offered these tips for brewing the perfect cup.
- To start, use two level tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water.
- Use filtered water if possible. If not, use nice, fresh, cold running water.
- For the freshest coffee, keep it whole bean and grind it just before you brew it. The brewing method you choose determines what kind of grind the coffee should be – coarse, fine or somewhere in between. If you are unsure, Cook suggests asking a barista.
- If you do choose to grind it in advance, store the grinds in an air-tight, opaque container at room temperature. (Storing it in the fridge or freezer causes the coffee to pick up the smell of other things, which will affect the taste.)
- If after brewing your coffee to the specified amount, you find it too weak, Cook suggests not adding more coffee, but instead changing the way you brew. For instance, if you are using a standard coffee machine, perhaps try a French press.
- Similarly, if you find the coffee too strong, try a milder coffee.
So what kind of coffee might a Starbucks coffee master suggest serving during the holidays?
“I’d probably still go with the Christmas Blend,” she says. “There’s a nice, bright, clean flavour to the coffee.”
Starbucks Christmas Blend is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary and is now available in blonde, espresso and decaffeinated varieties as well.
“Christmas Blend is just one of those iconic blends of coffee,” says Cook. “I think it just brings back that holiday feeling for customers.
“It goes so well with what people are typically eating at the holiday season, whether that’s savoury items or sweet items, whatever they might be enjoying – it’s just that perfect pairing.”