How to keep your Thanksgiving guests caffeinated
On Thursday morning, before you preheat the oven, before you clear the table to make room for the gravy and the squash and the fried rice and the so on, likely you’ll make a cup of coffee. Or should, anyway.
It’s also not a bad idea to have coffee on hand to offer to friends and family who prefer caffeine to alcohol, or to gift a bag of beans to your host. And so, while you’re shopping around town for last-minute ingredients, maybe add coffee to your list. A few suggestions for where to go for beans, and what to pick up when you get there:
The Assembly: Owner Shi Jun Ng recommends Counter Culture Coffee’s Iridescent blend. Not only is it a chocolatey sweet coffee, she says, it’s a limited-edition holiday coffee, and Counter Culture will donate a portion of the proceeds to organizations in the communities where it sources its coffee. “We always want to support social efforts locally and beyond,” Ng said. “So this is perfect.” She also suggests Counter Culture’s single-origin Colombian coffee, Los Rosales, which has hints of black cherry, plum and milk chocolate. 634 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, (424) 245-4954, www.theassemblycafe.com.
Cognoscenti Coffee: For your holiday festivities, Cognoscenti Coffee’s Yeekai Lim recommends the El Amate from Heart Coffee Roasters, a Guatemalan coffee that he’s been brewing at his shop lately. “It’s super-sweet through and through,” he said, “with notes of brown sugar and chocolate-covered tart raisins on the finish.” 6114 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 363-7325 and 3156 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village, (323) 664-8633, www.popupcoffee.com.
Found Coffee: Annie Choi suggests Demitasse Coffee Roasters’ Bulaago AA, a medium-roast coffee from Uganda (how often do you see a coffee from Uganda on the shelves of any coffee shop? Not often). It’s a well-rounded and balanced coffee, Choi says, so you might want make a large batch in your Chemex and keep it warm on the stove for easy refills. After the feast and about the same time the Packers-Bears game gets going, you might want to brew Peri Coffee’s Kenya Kayu. “Its tomato and dark chocolate notes make for a lovely post-meal drink,” Choi said. 1355 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, www.foundcoffeela.com.
Healing Coffee Roasters: You will smell fresh coffee when you walk into Healing Coffee Roasters -- the roaster’s right there, next to the front window, after all -- and if you ask owner Miran Oh what coffee everyone at your party probably would like, she’ll probably suggest the nutty Brazilian coffee, or the Indonesian coffee, which is earthy with hints of dark chocolate. For the more coffee-adventurous, Oh suggests Healing’s coffees from Colombia or Ethiopia. The Colombian coffee has hints of pineapple, caramel and chocolate, and you may be able to taste honey and berries in the Ethiopian one. 5007 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, (323) 934-3837, healingcoffeeroasters.com.
Paramount Coffee Project: Another vote for Heart Coffee Roaster’s El Amate coffee comes from the team at Paramount Coffee Project, who, like Cognoscenti Coffee’s Yeekai Lim, appreciates the coffee for its versatility. “At Thanksgiving, you’re probably serving coffee to a wide audience: your parents, your cousins, your best friend’s mum,” they said. The El Amate is “rich, sweet and full bodied and while it is complex, it fits the mold for a perfect espresso before or after your meal.” Other highlights from the shop’s enormously diverse line-up: the Ethiopian Reko coffee from Denver’s Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters, and the Agua Blanca, a Colombian coffee from Seattle-based Elm Coffee Roasters. 456 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax Village, (323) 746-5480, www.pcpfx.com.
Tierra Mia Coffee: Tierra Mia’s Hacienda La Esmeralda Gesha coffee from Panama is what owner Ulyssess Romero’s recommends you serve before the festivities and at the table. “It’s one of our best offerings of the year,” he said. “It’s fantastic by itself, nuanced and delicate with notes of jasmine, citrus and honeyed sweetness.” As it happens, the Gesha is popular among many coffee folks, so it’d make for a great gift for the hosts and cooks who love coffee. Romero also recommends a Peruvian coffee that Tierra Mia will release on Thursday. With crisp pear, almond and chocolate notes, it’s a great option for the fall, he says, and would be good after the meal or with dessert. Multiple locations at www.tierramiacoffee.com.
Verve Coffee Roasters: The Santa Cruz-based roaster recommends its Holiday Blend. It’s a coffee that “represents the flavors of the holiday season,” the roaster said, which means you might be able to pick out flavor notes of candied orange, baker’s chocolate and mulling spice. Given all that, you can well imagine this would be especially nice alongside sugar cookies and pumpkin pie. Multiple locations at www.vervecoffeeroasters.com.
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