This Christmas marks the creation of Pact’s first Christmas Blend coffee and the start of an exciting partnership for us with Hummingbird Bakery. If you love coffee and cake, settle in as we tell you the story behind how we came up with the blend, and why we think it goes really, really well with a very special cupcake from Hummingbird.
A coffee blend is created when roastmasters combine different beans to bring together different characteristics and flavours in a single cup of coffee. While the majority of coffees we sell at Pact are single origin, blending coffees isn’t a bad thing and can be done to great effect.
Creating a really good blend is a masterful process. With Christmas in mind, our coffee team, lead by the ever masterly Head of Coffee, Will Corby, embarked on a series of strenuous tasting cupping sessions and test roasts. They wanted to create something fruity that reminded the senses of Christmas.
Two coffees from Guatemala were selected – Filadelfia Natural, grown high in the mountains above the town Antigua and showing really strong strawberry flavours, and Ojo de Agua, which has flavours of spices and nuts.
By Jove, it actually tastes like mince pies with double cream!
They roasted them a bit darker than if they were single origin filter and found that a ratio of 60% Ojo de Agua to 40% Filadelfia Natural is what they were looking for. After a couple more cupping sessions at Pact HQ, people were blown away with the naturally Christmassy flavours coming through, leaving Will to announce a flavour note of ‘mince pies’! When milk is added it gives it the full ‘mince pies with double cream’ experience.
Does it get any better than coffee and cake?
When the opportunity to partner with the amazing folks at The Hummingbird Bakery came up we jumped at the chance. You will have heard us extolling the virtues of fresh roasted coffee, and even comparing the roasting of the coffee bean to the toasting of good quality bread or baking a cake. Freshness is key and when we put our coffee alongside dull supermarket coffees we can really taste that!
The Hummingbird Bakery understands the value of freshness as well. All their baking is done on-site at their bakeries on the day so it is super fresh. Like our constantly rotating menu of coffees, they are also experts at creating innovative options for their specials each month,trying out exciting favours and handmade decorations.
Pairing our Christmas Coffee with the Hummingbird Christmas Spice cupcake
You may know The Hummingbird Bakery for their iconic cupcakes such as the chocolate, vanilla and Red Velvet, or from one of their six bakeries around London, or from their range of best-selling cookbooks. Founder Tarek, who opened the first Hummingbird Bakery in Portobello Road in Notting Hill in 2004, got together with Pact Coffee Founder, Stephen, for a photoshoot over coffee and cake in our grindhouse and roastery.
The Hummingbird Bakery recently launched their special Christmas range. When our Head of Coffee Will was asked to pair our Christmas Blend with one of these Hummingbird cakes he sighed… “Man, this job is tough” he said, as he made his way through the selection of delicious options. When pairing coffee and cake he was looking for flavours that complement and supplemented each other.
It turns out Hummingbird have nailed it with their amazing specials alongside their normal range of American cupcakes, layer cakes, mini cupcakes and more. The eggnog and gingerbread specials are well worth a try, but it was the Christmas Spice cupcake that caught Will’s attention. He was impressed with the way it complemented the flavours in the Pact Coffee Christmas Blend. Here it is in all its glory…
Hungry? We thought so. If you’re in London we will be serving our Christmas Blend as a filter coffee all day in the Hummingbird Bakery shops in Soho and Spitalfields on Friday 4 December. Come by, grab a Christmas Spice cupcake and try the combination for yourself. Or click here to place an order through their site.