As the holiday season draws ever closer, most of us are scrambling to find unique, useful gifts. If you have some coffee lovers on your list, then you’ve come to the right place! I will give you several coffee related gift options, several of which, most coffee drinkers do not already own. Brewing better coffee doesn’t have to be expensive, and neither do the majority of the corresponding gifts. I’ve included exceptional coffee products, in every price range in this coffee gift buying guide, suitable for any occasion.
It is a common misconception that one must purchase an extravagant, expensive coffee maker to enjoy exceptional coffee. The best coffee brewers are frequently the simplest designs. Sure, you can make an awesome cup of coffee from a $10,000 machine, but you can make a cup that is almost as good from a $40 french press! Here are a few of the coffee brewers that are simple to use, offer repeatable, high quality results, and are just about dummy proof.
The Bodum Columbia stainless steel french press, offers durability and excellent performance. After my family busted 3 glass press pots, I chose the Bodum (1308-16) Columbia press. Along with the ability to take a beating, the plunger assembly is much easier to clean than those found in the glass pots. The bottom of the plunger is a single piece, which contrasts to the 3 pieces of the glass Chambord. The 8 cup model is $80, while the 12 cupper is $100. Although the glass models are less expensive, I recommend the Columbia…especially if you have children!
The Bodum Chambord is the gold standard of french presses! This redesigned model features more chrome, which appears to aide with durability, as well as provide an attractive appearance. Brewing coffee with a french press is very easy to do, and provides a much more tastier cup, as opposed to automatic drip coffee makers. Cleanup is a bit more involved than with the Columbia model, but only takes a minute. Drip and other enclosed brewers collect mineral build up, which impacts the flavor of every cup. All of the parts of the french press are easily accessible and you can see the clean!
The Bodum PEBO (formerly SANTOS) is one of my absolute favorite coffee brewers! It is an exceptional combination of practical coffee brewing and coffee theater. Its effective vacuum brewing method extracts all precious oils of your favorite coffee, while leaving the sediment behind. The syphon brewing process is practically dummy-proof with this product. You can brew between 4-8 cups in this 34 oz. coffee brewer. $80.00
The AeroPress may appear to be a piece of drug paraphernalia, but it is actually and easy to use, coffee brewer. Amazingly enough, the makers of the Aerobie Flying disc stumbled upon an exceptional way to brew coffee. Even the snobbiest of coffee snobs enjoy the affordable AeroPress brewer. I love this brewer, when paired with the metal DISK filter from Able brewing. It allows more flavor to enter the cup, instead of getting trapped in the paper filter. The AeroPress is about $26.00
The Chemex is a classic coffee brewer, which looks like a glass pitcher with a funnel at the top. The filter is placed into the funnel portion, insert the coffee, then pour hot water onto the coffee. This method will highlight different aspects of the coffee, as compared to other brewers. It works best when paired with the Able Brewing KONE filter, but works well with the standard Chemex filters…provided they are thoroughly rinsed with hot water. This brewer is a must for any coffee nerd. From $30
A proper coffee grinder is the single most important addition to any coffee drinker’s collection. No other purchase can make such a dramatic impact in the cup, as a grinder does. The typical coffee grinder that most people own, are those with the little blades in the bottom. It looks like a mini blender. These are NOT acceptable. The reason is due to the fact that each method of brewing coffee, requires a very specific, uniform size of coffee grind. The blade types cannot produce uniform sized coffee particles. They also create a lot of dust, and this makes your coffee bitter. What you need is a burr type coffee grinder. This is the only way to achieve the necessary uniformity and consistency in your coffee grind. It is not uncommon to invest more into a quality coffee grinder, than into a coffee brewer. In fact, it is typical. Here are some economical options of burr type coffee grinders.
The Bodum Bistro conical burr grinder is an exellent, all purpose option for grinding coffee. I do not recommend this grinder for brewing espresso, but it does a decent job with other types of brew. I have owned a couple of these units, and the typical user can expect to get about 2 year’s worth of use from it. The nice thing about this model, is that the receptacle is made of glass, reducing the amount of static to about nil. Many cheaper models are plagued with static cling issues, with ground coffee getting spewed into the air with each use. $120
The Breville BCG450XL is built a bit more sturdier than the Bistro, with more metal parts. The receptacle is made of plastic, but static is minimal. The little receptacle cover is somewhat susceptible to breaking at the hinges, so be aware of that. The unit will continue function just fine, but you’ll have to replace the lid with each use. I have owned or gifted 6 of these units, and have yet to get a negative remark. It is easy to maintain, just follow my tutorial. Again, not recommended for espresso grinding, but this unit is great for daily brewing from Moka pot to Press Pot. Enjoy! $99.95
Brewing espresso at home can require a significant investment into a grinder and an espresso machine. To make it easier, the Hario Skerton hand grinder may be a good fit for you. This unit grinds perfectly for espresso brewing, but will not set you back $500. This unit only costs about $40, but gets tedious if you are grinding for more than two shots at a time. The hand grinder is also an excellent option fro traveling, and brewing in your hotel or on the camp site wit your AeroPress!
Miscellaneous Coffee Gifts
If the person on your gift list is sufficiently equipped with a selection of brewers and an excellent grinder, hope is not lost in finding a great gift. These items are specifically chosen for coffee lovers at all levels, even super coffee geeks will be surprised at your informed purchase of one of these items!
The Bonavita Variable Temperature kettle is the hottest item in coffee brewing, this year. Specifically designed for brewing with a Chemex, French press, or pourover methods, the Bonavita’s gooseneck spout allows for precise pouring and exceptional brewing. This kettle also features temperature control, to allow the user to achieve optimal brewing temperatures without having to use an external thermometer. (No more steam burns!) $89.99
Great coffee on the go is a tough do! With the travel french press, you will enjoy great coffee no matter where you are. Just bring along some extra coffee, and acquire some hot water. You will no longer have to suffer the woes of drinking the swill at the local diner. Order your breakfast with a side of hot water. This model is stainless steel as well as vacuum insulated, to keep your beverage hot. $30
Fresh roasted coffee is packaged in sealed bags, with a one-way valve. This isn’t a vacuum seal valve, it is to allow the CO2 to escape the fresh roasted beans, while keeping the freshness killing Oxygen out! The same method is used with the CoffeeVac! It’s easy to open and close, and very economical. About $10, available in various sizes.
Another travel french press, but this one is different. It also comes with a second lid, which is a traditional lid. It also features a secret compartment, in the bottom, where you can store an extra dose of coffee grounds. The mug is sturdy, and the customer service of the company is excellent. I had one of the older designs, and the handle fell off. I had owned the mug for 6 months, and they replaced it with the new version, no questions asked.
Find other products that I recommend in the CoffeeNate Shop!