Day 3: The Gift That Comes With Your Barista’s Blessing

December 10, 2014

A solid coffee-themed gift list wouldn’t mean much without at least one item hand-picked by your favorite barista, which is why we asked A&E Manchester Barista John for his recommendation.

He didn’t hesitate. It was a two-fisted grab bag moment, resulting in a shopper’s choice: An 8-ounce bag of Norma’s Coffee or Kenya Muiri, each $9.99.

“You can’t go wrong with either of these,” said John, who describes Norma’s as “earthier,” while the Kenya Muiri has slight subtle fruity notes.

Both coffees are top shelf and sure to please even the most discriminating coffee connoisseur. However, when it comes to coffee talk, it’s hard to beat a gift with a good backstory, and Norma’s doesn’t disappoint.

This coffee is produced by Norma Lara, a widow and single mom who grows coffee on a small two-acre farm in Ocotepeque, Honduras, close to the border of El Salvador. Her father gave her the land land 2010 to help her support herself. Norma also works in the cupping room at Cocafelol co-op, and says her goal is to grow the best coffee possible. In 2014, she produced about 20 bags, and A&E Roastery was honored to purchase four of those bags, which makes this coffee especially rare and wonderful.

malita-pouroverOf course, John wasn’t finished with his recommendations.

“These two coffees are the best when used with pour-overs,” said John, directing us to a Melita pour-over for $12, a handy gadget which sits right on top of your mug for a single-serving cup of pure indulgence.

If you missed the first two days of Christmas, coffee style, you can see what our clever elves have picked out for Day 1 and Day 2.

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