Aadam Soorma & Maya Carter explore Adda's Global Gift Basket
In an effort to keep things fresh and be mindful of my own blindspots, I’m switching things up a little for this particular guest blog.
Instead of focusing on my thoughts and reactions to Adda’s Global Gift Basket - I asked a trustworthy friend to cozy up and vibe with it.
Maya Carter is a veteran Pittsburgh barista and independent coffee industry insider. She’s a fierce supporter of the indie coffee movement and carries herself with poise, self awareness and humility. Maya’s ability to express food & beverage knowledge through gentle, focused conversation struck me as the perfect fit to drive a thoughtful narrative around this curated basket.
Between sips of coffee, Maya begins: “There are things we let into our bodies - coffee, tea, food, alcohol; any of these can alter how the rest of our day will go.”
“When we share these things with someone else, we indulge in that curiosity together. We experience things together.”
While nodding in agreement, my mind wanders to some of my own shared experiences - in craft beer, in restaurants and in coffee. What cafes choose to serve - and how they serve it - can come from how they interpret culture.
When a café designs its space around who they aspire to be - wherever they are in the world - these expressions are timestamped. And when these elements suddenly reappear in new places, they form relatable nuggets of nostalgia.
Although the Adda Global Gift Basket is not a one-way ticket to global entry, it is a universally cozy, thoughtfully curated collection of goods. Try it out for yourself or, better yet, gift it to a friend. Send it to someone who’s wanderlusting and longing for the return of non-isolated times. They’ll appreciate the gesture.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect to find inside the Global Gift Basket from Adda.
For reference, Maya and I tried out the ‘Deluxe’ size basket. There is also a smaller ‘Medium’ size basket available that comes sans tea and magazine.
2 x Specialty Chocolate Bar from Renowned International Chocolate Makers
1 x Bombabird Ceramics Handmade, Internationally-inspired Coffee Mug
1 x 12oz. Verve Coffee Roasters Single-Origin Whole Bean Coffee
1 x Issue of Cereal Magazine, a Travel and Style Publication
1 x Signature Spice Mix from Jalsa By Veda
1 x Rishi Botanicals Loose Leaf Masala Chai Tea
I asked Maya to walk me through her FIVE favorite high points that make the Global Gift Basket an easy choice to treat a friend who loves travel; or to treat yourself.
Maya kicked things off by manually grinding the Verve Coffee (Kenyan single-origin) for a pour over.
“I used a Chemex and honestly - it’s a great pour over. I really love the way the tasting notes are described. Instead of a direct descriptor like blueberry or tangerine fruits, this particular coffee says ‘candied with hints of earl gray.’ It’s more subjective - like, we’re not gonna say grape is the right answer. It’s your experience; enjoy this coffee in your own way.”
Adda’s partnership with Bombabird Ceramics gets Global Gift Basket recipients set up with a handmade, internationally inspired mug. It’s a beautiful vessel that - according to Maya - will “look good in anyone’s house.”
“It’s a gorgeous conversation starter.”
For the Signature Spice Mix, Maya flexed her creativity and mixed it into greek yogurt to create a flavorful dip.
“It was very easy to open, which is always nice. And it went great as a little greek yogurt dip for pita chips. It felt perfect for this cooler weather; I’d feel comfortable adding this spice mix into chili or even try it in other dipping sauces. It’s so versatile.”
Probably the most straightforward part of the entire Global Gift Box experience was the selection of international chocolate.
“Satisfying and very thoughtfully packaged too. For anyone who craves chocolate, this is a perfect little addition.”
“So, I’ve seen chai packaged in plastic or other containers,” Maya says. “This packaging just makes you want to try it. Like, think about having whiskey or bourbon out of a flask - this reminds me of that. A cool container that comes together in a welcoming way.”
“I went into the chai with a heightened curiosity. It felt like trying a tea blend - the spices are really front and center without being overwhelming. If you’re a seasoned chai drinker, expect traditional aroma and tasting notes.”
Positioned as a lovely coffee table book, the addition of Cereal Magazine to the Global Gift Box is sort of exactly what you might imagine enjoying with a light snack or a good pour over.
Relaxing and visually-centric without many words, the magazine evokes a feeling.
“Literally having a picture book to go with what you’re tasting in the Global Gift Basket...the best comparison I can think of is like going to a museum and looking at artwork over some hors d’oeuvres. It’s almost an Instagram-in-real-life experience. Instead of a written transcript, it’s photos. So relaxing.”
As we wrapped up, Maya shared a bit of a closing monologue. We both agreed that the mix of products found in the Global Gift Box are structured for easy conversation.
She says: “Curiosity is consistent. Many people explore their cities through coffee shops. Those are the same folks who might be gifted a coffee passport; they are also the same people who would love a combination of things like the Global Gift Basket.”
“Since it includes things that are both local and non-local, it taps back into the nostalgia factor. Everyone misses going out and doing things right now. If we are going to try and experience things from home, this allows you to appreciate what’s out there. And you’ll appreciate those things even more when we can return to going out, gathering and doing all our favorite things again soon.”
Photography courtesy of Julie Kahlbaugh