What is a perfect coffee to give the coffee lover in my life? What palate-pleasing coffee should I buy for my discerning in-laws? What is the best coffee right now? How do I buy sustainable coffee?
As the golden wings of commerce spread over the coffee landscape this time of year, these are the kinds of questions we routinely field at DCN.
For a relatively simple comestible — ground coffee meets water, solids are strained, and a brown liquid remains — the coffee industry has managed to fabricate a complex labyrinth through which conscientious consumers must navigate.
This leads holiday shoppers to crazy-making questions like: “What is ‘premium select’ and why is it only $4.99 a pound?” or “Is a coffee grown at 1,600 meters better than a coffee grown at 1,400 meters?” or “What does candied jackfruit taste like?”
These questions and 10 million more are reasonable given the smoke-and-mirrors treatment consumers have faced since the dawn of corporate industrial roasting.
We’re here today to help clear some of that smoke with our authoritative guide to holiday coffee gift shopping.
Unlike other list-driven gift guides found on popular consumer sites, DCN does not receive affiliate income for links directed at any specific products or companies; nor do we feel particularly justified in promoting any one coffee brand over another, given the vastness of coffees available and our B2B focus.
Thus, we are in a unique position to put forth an honest, practical resource for consumers seeking the best coffee options this holiday season.
So here it is, in full, DCN’s step-by-step holiday coffee shopping guide:
Step 1) Buy coffee from a local, independently owned coffee roaster or coffee shop
[Note: For additional gifts, repeat Step 1.]
Nick Brown is the editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine.