BY Allison Gaudett
Photos by Steve Smith, VisionFire Studios
Keeping a well-stocked coffee (or any hot-beverage!) station is a simple, cozy way to take advantage of those indoor days, while eliminating the stress of hosting. Whether your guests want to savour a mug of dark roast coffee, a velvety hot chocolate, a spicy cider, or steaming cup of tea, here are some easy ways to build your own winter beverage station:
SET THE LOOK. The mugs you choose can help set the tone. An all-white scheme says simple, winter, classic. If you prefer a unique, mismatched set, consider choosing mugs with a similar colour scheme or pattern to keep an element of cohesiveness. If colour is more your style, amp up the display with bold personality. Mug charms are a great way to keep track of your drink (and could make for a fun DIY craft for a get-together as well!).
STAGE YOUR STATION. Consider your space.If your kitchen is on the smaller side, a tiered tray is a great way to minimize your footprint and can be picked up and moved around. Embrace the opportunity to curate a seasonal display with a fully serviceable station stocked with all the bells and jingles.
ADD IN THE ART. Frame your station with seasonal art and decor. Shop your home and local stores for creative items to display. Mix high and low priced art to create a collected focal point – framing holiday cards, kids crafts, second hand pretties, antlers, and wreaths are simple affordable ways to layer in texture and interest.
TOP IT OFF. Clear canisters, collected pottery, seasonal sets, and cherished china. Encourage your guests to dress up their beverage themselves by having everything readily available in dishes that are candy for the eye. Cinnamon sticks, spoons for stirring, mini marshmallows, shaved chocolate, sugar cubes, all beautifully gathered.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED. While the list is far from exhaustive, keep in mind that you can tailor your coffee station to suit your needs. These items would also make a great hostess or Christmas gifts for the hot-beverage lovers in your life. (Be warned that proper execution of this station could lead to a never-ending stream of guests who won’t want to leave!)
Warming Up for Winter
Nova Scotia winters have a special way about them. Their beauty pulls you out to play and explore, while a quick shift in weather can send you inside to warm up.
Equipment: coffee maker or French Press, kettle, mugs, and stirring spoons
Drinks: coffees, cider, teas, hot chocolate
Mix-ins: Milk, cream, sugar, and local honey
Toppings: cinnamon, nutmeg, marshmallows, crushed candy canes, whipped cream, chocolate shavings
Extras: festive flavoured syrups, liquors for the adult get-togethers, coasters, fresh frozen baked good or doughs
Add texture with a basket and seasonal greenery.
Encourage your guests to dress up their beverage themselves by having everything readily available in dishes that are candy for the eye.
Shop your home and local stores for creative items to display.
Frame your station with seasonal art and decor.
Mug charms are a great way to keep track of your drink.
Mix high- and low-priced art to create a collected focal point.