Mercon Specialty's Guide to the Perfect Holiday Blend

Mercon Specialty's Guide to the Perfect Holiday Blend

Coffee companies experience a surge in business during the holiday season as customers seek out delightful and festive beverages, experiment with new coffee flavors, and gift their favorite brews to friends and family. This presents a considerable potential for increased sales but poses a significant challenge in proper execution. Here are some expert tips on creating the perfect holiday blend and boosting your business to capitalize on this opportunity.

Know Your Audience

Holiday blends cater to a unique demographic distinct from those who fancy single-origin coffees. Customers seeking to immerse themselves in the festive cheer or to give the coffee enthusiast in their life a thoughtful gift often find holiday blends alluring. They make a regular appearance at gatherings or even find their way into the homes of potential customers. A blend that can resonate with many people in terms of cup notes and accommodate cream and sugar should be a consideration.

Capture Your Own Unique Market

Instead of simply buying a "Holiday Blend" from a large chain store, customers seek out your business for something unique and distinct. They are eager to support your unique brand and experience the atmosphere of where your coffee comes from. To enhance this experience, choose a name for your blend that reflects the personality, humor, or landmarks associated with your company. Be sure to weave this story throughout the packaging, promotions, and interactions with your team. Your holiday blend should reflect your brand's individuality and values, attracting customers who want more than just a generic coffee experience.

Rekindle Holiday Memories

Why do many people think the best coffee comes from Kona or Jamaica? Memories. With every sip, individuals are taken back to their serene mornings spent savoring coffee while observing the waves crash against the beach. A perfect holiday blend has the same effect, allowing customers to reminisce about their cherished holiday memories. Incorporating holiday flavors into the coffee is a great way to achieve this. You can achieve this by including holiday flavors in the coffee itself or utilizing holiday vocabulary in your tasting notes. Words like "sugar cookie" for "vanilla," "fudge" for "chocolate," "gingerbread" for "spice," and "praline" for "nutty" can create a fun, festive twist to the coffee. Furthermore, including additional descriptive words can spark joyful memories, like "Grandma's frosted sugar cookies" for hints of vanilla.

However, creating a successful holiday blend involves more than just marketing strategies. It must taste phenomenal, as it will be enjoyed by potential customers discovering your coffee for the first time. Therefore, implementing craft strategies in your coffee-making process is essential to perfecting your holiday blend.

Here are some craft strategies to consider when creating your perfect holiday blend:

Re-gift and Use What You Have

Examine your current coffee inventory and seek to include it in your holiday blends to avoid detracting from your existing blends. Utilize as much of your contracted coffee as possible to keep up with your contracts during this busy season. Moreover, the coffee you already have on hand has undergone quality control, and you have likely gained experience in roasting it. Using these coffees in your blends can save you valuable time during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

Sprinkle In Some Sparkle

Elevate your coffee blend by incorporating a new and exciting coffee option. The holiday season offers plenty of fresh choices, such as Central American coffees from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and El Salvador, which are in prime condition. Although seasonal Ethiopians should arrive during late summer and fall, it's important to remain cautious as delays can occur. In addition, Asian Pacific coffees like Papua New Guinea and Sumatra also arrive fresh towards the end of summer and provide a distinctive "spice" note found in many holiday blends. For an added touch of sweetness, consider blending in a natural or anaerobic coffee, which boasts a candy-like flavor. These sparkle coffees can also be offered as a limited holiday single-origin, appealing to coffee enthusiasts and the public. Incorporating these fresh and unique coffee options will make your holiday lineup stand out.

Keep a Holiday Budget

Adding sparkle coffees to your blend can be tempting, but it can also quickly drive up the price. The alternative is to consider keeping your holiday coffee at a reasonable price to make it more giftable and accessible for holiday sales and wholesale opportunities. Using Brazil as your base can be cost-effective, offering fresh, crowd-pleasing flavors in the fall. This approach can help you achieve significant value without compromising on quality.

There are many ways to infuse your holiday blend with festive flavors. For instance, incorporating Sumatra Aceh or Lintong into your blend evokes the warmth of hot spiced cider or hot toddies. Alternatively, Nicaragua Red Cherry Project Natural Process could be the perfect addition to accentuate the fruity flavors reminiscent of fruitcake during the holidays. If chocolate is your main craving, a blend of Brazil Ipe Amarelo and Guatemala Ave de Paraiso will fulfill your dreams of a sweet, rich, and chocolatey coffee.

Add spice notes with:

Indonesia Sumatra Lintong TP:

Flavor notes: medium body, cumin spice, basil, roasted green pepper, complex acidity, and aroma.

Indonesia Sumatra Aceh Organic Gr1 TP:

Flavor notes: Heavy body, distinct baking spice and green pepper, herbal and complex

Add fruit notes with:

Nicaragua Matagalpa Red Cherry Project Esmeralda Community Natural LIFT

Flavor notes: Complex ripe tropical fruit, pineapple, nectarine, papaya, kiwi, grape, milk, chocolate, juicy, bright, and dynamic

Add chocolate notes with:

Brazil Ipe Amarelo Cerrado Mineiro LIFT 15/16

Flavor notes: Brown sugar, cocoa, peanut butter, honey, slight red currant, heavy body

Guatemala Ave de Paraiso SHB EP LIFT

Flavor notes: Balanced dark chocolate, floral, apple and citrus acidity, juicy body

Mercon Specialty's expertise in developing blends and roasts tailored to the needs of its clients is precisely what is required to enhance the overall brand experience. No matter which direction you choose on your holiday blend journey, rest assured that the Mercon Specialty team is readily available to support you and your team.