There's nothing quite like waking up on a chilly winter morning to a big mug of freshly brewed coffee. Recently, with the temperatures dropping and the holidays fast approaching, my go-to beans have been from Vancouver's 49th Parallel Roasters. Their "Holiday Celebration Blend" is a step outside the box for the company, which usually focuses on single-origin coffees from a single farm or a specific coffee-producing consortium. This blend couples beans from two Honduran farmers, Miguel Enamorado and Juan Evangelista, both of whom have recently shifted from producing commodity-market coffees to harvesting specialty-quality, premium beans. Their combined handiwork creates a sweet, complex cup with intense aromas of chocolate, spices, and dried fruit. Unlike most holiday coffees, which flaunt charred, over-the-top dark roasts, 49th's blend exhibits merciful restraint: Their light roast allows the coffee's clean, natural flavors to shine. The blend also makes a great holiday gift paired with 49th's tasteful robin egg blue mug and wrapped in a natural fiber jute bag.
49th Parallel Holiday Celebration Blend, $18 for a 12-oz. bag or $30 for a 12-oz bag and coffee mug gift set, at 49thparallelroasters.com