It’s that time of year, and time for CoffeeMate’s first annual gift guide!
I’ve rounded up things on my personal wish list, things I’ve bought in the past and some unique new finds for the coffee lover in your life (or yourself)!
Without further ado, here’s your caffeinated gift guide to kick off the new year right:
DYK? A banyan is a type of ficus tree native to Florida, India, the Carribean and elsewhere. When you think of Tomb Raider or Baton Rouge, you probably picture these twisted-trunk trees with vines hanging from the branches and historically spiritual roots (see what I did there).
With symbolic Floridian pride, Josh and Abbey Schmitt of Bradenton, FL decided to name their coffee venture after the iconic tree, and in 2018, Banyan Coffee was born.
“Banyan trees grow so unique and are considered one of, if not the largest, trees in terms of coverage,” said the husband/wife founder duo. “I guess it's how we wanted our business model to be -- we wanted to offer something unique in Bradenton.”
Josh and Abbey had been roasting for their own personal coffee needs for almost a decade before deciding to make a living from it!” We started in our garage with a single popcorn popper and eventually ended up with about 20 in our garage. We began sharing our coffee with others and then it took off and... we realized that roasting out of several popcorn poppers wasn't going to meet demand.”
They emphasize freshness as key to their methodology. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their adorable mobile coffee cart! Locals can rent it out for parties/weddings/corporate events, etc. and it’s part of how they deliver the freshest-roasted coffee in the Bradenton/Sarasota area.
Banyan was kind enough to gift me a variety of coffees to taste and review, and it’s a good thing, because I had to pace myself to keep from binging …
In the early days of COVID-19, I asked my humble amount of IG followers how their coffee habit had been impacted.
About 80% said yes, it had been impacted and they were drinking more coffee as a result. Months later, it was a resounding 100%, and 100% were drinking “more coffee than before the pandemic.” Now obviously my poll is biased, filled with coffee drinkers, long-time caffeine addicts, but market research is showing my poll was not far from the trending truth...
LET’S TALK ALL THINGS AUTUMN.
If you thought I was corny before -- just wait, this is MY season, which means it’s peak pun time.
Pumpkin spice, chestnut praline, apple cider, gingerbread… I feel like those are the core, epitomized fall flavors. Whoever says maple is a fall flavor can go to hell. Maple is available year-round.
Now that “fall” flavors are established, let’s talk brands: Monin, Torani, DaVinci, Ghirardelli and 1883 are the most commercial brands you’ll find at your neighborhood coffee shop… I would exclude chain-made brands like Starbucks, Peet’s or Coffee Bean since those are only available at said locations, but honestly, there are some fall flavors they just nail...
Abra means “open,” and Abra Coffee means “delicious.”
The founder and co-owner Paula runs Abra Coffee with her husband in Miami. Coffee runs in Paula’s blood, as she’s a 3rd generation roaster and spent years managing her family’s coffee farm in Brazil. Abra was founded in 2018 with a mission to serve as the gateway into the world of better coffee for their customers. She reached out to me for a review and was kind enough to send a couple samples of coffee and they did not disappoint! One Ethiopian Guji and one Columbian Cauca -- both categorized as medium but I think all signs point to light roasts.
Similar to past subscription-based coffee company reviews, I can only comment on the particular coffees, delivery, presentation, etc., not the subscription experience...
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