The first ‘seasonal' products have begun to appear in the beverage market in the form of the first of this year's Christmas coffee blends and, for what may be the very first time, a plum-pudding cookie.
The first of the Christmas coffee blends has come from Cherizena, which is an independent blender in Wartnaby, Leicestershire.
The company specialises in the production of small batches of flavoured coffees, generally in the conventional manner of nut and chocolate flavours, but with some unusual variations.
The limited-edition Christmas Coffee features a medium-roasted Colombian coffee with Jamaican rum, toasted pecan nuts, nutmeg, cinnamon and orange. The blenders say the result has an aroma reminiscent of Christmas pudding.
For trade use, it is available in ‘snip-and-pour' filter packs, or in a variety of foodservice packs up to 2.5 kilos.
At exactly the same time, beverage-trade distributor Beyond the Bean and Byron Bay Cookies have got together to create the latest of their ‘limited-edition' projects, a plum-pudding cookie.
The concept of the ‘limited-edition' product is to create something which attracts a lot of attention for a short period, after which it is withdrawn and replaced by another attention-getter.
The Byron Bay cookies were originally from Australia, but since they began to be made in Britain, the company has had some success with its limited-edition ‘specials'. The most notable was summer's strawberry-and-cream cookie, which certain tea-rooms actually did serve as a special menu ‘deal', as a kind of simplified afternoon-tea treat.
Coffee House magazine, who report that the item does have a recognisably authentic taste.
By Ian Boughton