Holiday parties, get-togethers with friends and family, with all the hustle and bustle of the season it’s easy to let some of the finer points of entertaining fall to the wayside, like which coffee to get for all these functions. When you finally get the chance to pick some up, you’re faced with an entire wall of selections. It can be daunting, particularly when you have no idea what your guests might like. Not to worry. Vincent, our head roaster, and Ian, our resident coffee scientist, offer their crowd-pleaser and crowd-wower picks to help you narrow it down.

It’s hard to please everyone, but the fact that you’re shopping for freshly roasted coffee is automatically a vast improvement over canned or brick coffee. Some people like dark roast, some like a light roast. In cases like this, it’s best to pick a versatile coffee. Vincent suggests European Blend, a mixture of medium roast African and Latin American beans with a dash of French roast to give it a balanced richness and a tinge of smokiness. Ian suggests Brazil Espresso, a single origin coffee roasted a little past full city medium, which lends a beautiful depth of flavor while still exhibiting a softness not unlike cocao. Both suggestions will work amazingly well with any brew method you choose, drip coffee, French press, pour over, whatever! Heck, you could even use either of them as an espresso and make some custom holiday lattes if you want to get really fancy. (Did I mention we have 1883 syrups at our retail location?) Either one would hold its own next to any milk your guests desire.

But what if you’re looking to really wow someone with an interesting, dynamic coffee they’ve likely not explored? We’ve got that too. Vincent suggests Celebes Sulawesi, a medium roast, low-acid Indonesian coffee grown at 3600-4300 feet above sea level. This elevation yields a sweet, smooth, full-bodied cup with a bit of a syrupy mouthfeel. Ideally, this coffee should be enjoyed black, so all the subtle nuances can be experienced, but if you prefer your coffee with milk, ease into it a little at a time, or use a milk alternative, so those lovely little nuances aren't drowned out.  Ian, on the other hand, suggests Bali Kintamani, another medium roast, low-acid Indonesian, but this one is a natural process coffee. (For more information of natural process, click here.) There is nothing subtle about this coffee’s naturally occurring blueberry flavor. It’s full body and velvety mouthfeel will absolutely make your guests’ eyes widen with surprise.

Of course, there may be other factors to keep in mind when entertaining or gift giving. Do they prefer flavored coffee or traditional coffee? Do they need a low-acid coffee? What about decaf? You get the point. We are here to help you narrow down all the options with a little bit of information. Whichever route you choose, crowd-pleaser or crowd-wower, we’ve got plenty of variety to accommodate even the pickiest of guests.