A few gold lights framing our menu board. A classy start to the festive season. The focus on the coffee.
Some be-ribboned gift sets in Claus-red bags. But the focus still on the coffee.
Then the St. Nic hats appeared today and suddenly the "Global Sounds" playlist on Spotify has been eschewed for the sentimentality of Bing's Christmas. Christmas has been thrust upon us.
But a bit of crooning never hurt anybody, it reminds me of my Grandparents and, despite my humbug facade, I enjoyed humming "Winter Wonderland" whilst making a syphon coffee this morning. It probably won't happen again until next year. It's still all about the coffee. The blog I had planned was going to be related to people using coffee shops as offices until I realised half way through Dean Martin's "Let it Snow" that it was the 23rd of December and reading something that bone-dry would have been the last thing on people's holiday priorities.
I know what you're thinking though, coffee is about as relevant to Christmas as the oranges punctured with cloves are to the other 50 weeks of the year. But Christmas can be coffee too. It shares a heritage with that other Christmas staple, Chocolate. (this is conjecture on my part, I haven't fact checked this for scientific basis.) All those Christmas spice notes and citrus feature in our various roasts particularly our latest bean, the Ethiopian Limu. Maybe add a shot of espresso to the brandy before you flambé the Christmas Pud? You can even coat your meat in it. Apparently.
Its the hot beverage keeping you warm at the carol service around the town square christmas tree. It's the perfect end to a heavy Christmas dinner, or the pick me up after a heavy New Year's. The stand-by gift for that awkward to buy for uncle that doesn't drink, has too many socks and can't eat cheese. In fact I bagged 20 bags of beans today and the shelves still don't look full. The last minute Christmas Shoppers have made it this far from the town centre, and not just to get a caffeine hit.
The more I consider it, coffee might just be the most Christmas appropriate drink. It even grows as red cherries. Green and red. You could make a wreath out of that and nail it to your mantlepiece with your stockings made of coffee sacks. Christmas Party to host? No worries, dust off that cocktail shaker and grab the Kahlua for the rather misnomered Espresso Martini.
The way we're making it (available after midday in the shop,) is this:
Double shot Vodka. (something at the smoother end but don't bother going premium.)
1 1/2 Shots Coffee Liqueur. (We're using Kahlua but there are plenty of interesting options to experiment with. I even tried making my own with Hot numbers coffee - they'll be a blog once I perfect it.)
Single Ristretto Espresso (A nice intense, tight shot to deliver maximum flavours with minimal dilution, go for a fruity bright coffee to cut through the sweet Kahlua.)
Shake vigorously over ice to get that foamy head and top with a couple of whole beans for that 80's appeal. Stick on Wham's Last Christmas and you'll have a party worthy of Del Boy and Rodney.
We'll be open usual hours Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day, then back to work 27th.
So you've still got tomorrow to get those 11th hour presents. Be quick though, we have limited supplies of coffee equipment and determined looking people laden with department store bags have been cruising up to the counter all day whilst I've been writing this.
We'll Also be closed New Year's day, probably because operating expensive coffee machines and a 180 degrees-Celcius panini grill under the influence of New Year's Eve would be irresponsible. So make sure you have plenty of coffee in at home, or 1st of January might be tense.
I suppose all that's left to say is Happy Holidays, spare a thought for those less fortunate over the festive period. Some of us will inevitably have to visit relatives with nothing but tea and the dowdy Egbert's they'd forgotten at the back of the cupboard.
Hope to see you in the new year!