Every year I get people asking me how to prepare for the onslaught of visitors to their house. a decent percentage of the adults all drink coffee in one form or another and being the Coffee Guy I feel it is my duty to impart the 5 tips for better Holiday Coffee Experiences.

First off this isn’t a tip but relax for the holidays, they come with enough built in stress don’t feed into your own cycle of crazy, take a step back and two breaths before issuing your standard comeback or retort. Better to loose a battle than start a war.

  1. Buy a glass lined carafe. This simple piece of hardware can keep coffee fresh for hours. If the people who are coming are equal amounts regular and decaf then you might need two. For under 20 dollars you can have a ready reserve of coffee already hot and ready for your guests. When they request coffee, start a pot and pour from the carafe. Brew the coffee a couple hours before anyone is supposed to show up and you’ll be set.
  2. Buy Whole beans, and an inexpensive grinder. While pre-ground coffee is a time saver it also doesn’t have the same full flavor profile. Grind the coffee earlier in the day, right around the same time you start your pot for the carafe. Grind one serving at a time and place them into individual baggies in the freezer directly after grinding. The coffee will taste better.
  3. Pull the pot. Place a trivet, coaster or some other device to rest your pot on directly after its done brewing. Remove the pot from heat as soon as the drip stops, coffee left on the warmer for any longer than 10 minutes starts to get bitter, even if the initial brew was smooth. Burning the coffee is a common mistake. Your better off having to nuke a cup of coffee than have sour faces.
  4. Sugar and Spice. look over our guide to sugar and spices and make sure you have all of the weapons that you would like to offer available. Check the sugar bowl and use a creamer, it makes for better presentation and an easy setup. Also consider using small jelly jars for any other spices you want to offer, or a unique sprinkler. Remember to put out the Vanilla extract
  5. Avoid flavored coffee. Nothing polarizes a room quicker than brewing a sickly sweet pot of hazelnut vanilla only to find that half the room detests hazelnut. Use flavored syrups or spices instead to add flavor.

Bonus: When picking your coffee, choose a medium roast. Dark roasted coffee tend to have a stronger flavor, and can come off burnt even when they are fresh brewed. a nice medium roast should suite most palates nicely.

I hope this little foray into Martha Stewart’s Territory can help you prepare for the entertaining ahead. One last thought as you leave me. Know your audience, ask ahead of time who drinks what, uses what and try your best to have a ready supply of cream, milk, sugar and artificial sweeteners. You would be surprised at just how many people have very strong opinions on just which artificial sweetener they like.

Thanks and stay Safe and Caffeinated this Holiday Season.