The 2017 Coffee Compass Holiday Gift Guide

As November draws to a close, it’s time once again to start thinking about what Christmas presents you’re going to get the coffee lovers in your life. Sure, you could get that cheap grinder you found on sale at your local department store, or you could get them something they actually want. Lucky for you, we have the inside scoop on the latest, hippest, trendiest coffee swag around. 

Breville Precision Brewer 

Many of the best cafés in the world are moving away from pour-overs and towards really delicious batch brew. Simply put: making a perfect cup of coffee isn’t rocket science. You just need to control some basic variables like water temperature, ratio, and grind size. Breville’s new Precision Brewer aims to give consumers the same amount of control as a commercial coffee brewer. The Precision Brewer utilizes a PID for state of the art temperature control. An adjustable flow rate means you have the customization of a pour-over, with the convenience and repeatability of autodrip.  Is the Precision Brewer’s $299 price tag a little steep for you? At $153 the Bonavita BV1900TS is still our best coffee maker for the money. 

Coldwave Coffee Chiller

It might be winter in the Northern Hemisphere, but it’s never too early to start thinking about iced coffee. The Coldwave Coffee Chiller, quite simply, is the only iced coffee maker you’ll ever need. The device uses 90 frozen cylinders to rapidly chill hot coffee in a matter of seconds. Chilling hot-brewed coffee allows for a full extraction without any dilution. More refreshing than cold brew, sweeter than Japanese iced coffee. We speak highly enough of this device.

Drift Magazine Subscription 

They might say print media is dying, but we believe there will always be a place for gorgeous periodicals like Drift. Each issue of the journal focuses on a different city’s coffee culture. From Tokyo to Havana, whether it’s Third Wave or traditional, Drift is telling stories that no one else is.  Issue six on Mexico City is preordering now.

Customized Push Tamper 

Yes, we did have the PUSH Tamper on our holiday gift guide last year. But now you can get them customized with your café’s logo, your name, or anything you else you want to put on your tamper. The PUSH Tamper continues to be the tamper of choice for many elite barista competitors, but now there’s another reason to pick one up: a recently published journal article shares research that suggests the PUSH Tamper helps reduce repetitive stress related injuries. 

December Dripper 

December Dripper

There’s never been more pour-over devices on the market, though we find most are simply reinventing the wheel. The December Dripper is a notable exception. With an adjustable flow rate that allows brewers to more precisely dial-in their brew times, the December Dripper offers the control that coffee nerds crave.  We use our Kickstarter edition almost every day, but the second edition features an improved silicon gasket for better performance. 


Gift-giving is more of an art than a science, but there is one universal rule that applies in all times and places: you can’t go wrong with a beautiful coffee table book. Brew by Brian Jones is the approachable guide to craft coffee we wish we had written. Brian Jones is something of a personal hero of ours. His popular blog Dear Coffee, I Love You was one of the main inspirations to start this very website. The illustrated brew guides make this a great present for aspiring enthusiasts, while the stunning design ensures even the most seasoned coffee professional would like to have this on their shelf. 

Precision Milk Pitcher 

Perhaps the great irony of being a working barista is that you spend more time steaming milk than actually making coffee. And considering baristas spend so much time with a milk pitcher in hand, it’s shocking more thought hasn’t been put into design a proper one. Even our favorite brands are notorious for having irregularities from pitcher to pitcher. Matt Perger and the rest of the team at Barista Hustle set out to rectify that. The Precision Milk Pitcher has a laser-welded handle that is guaranteed to be perfectly aligned with the spout. Perhaps our favorite feature: there’s no gap in the handle for gross milk gunk to accumulate in. Barista Hustle is currently taking preorders for the Precision Milk Pitcher, which is due to arrive before the holidays.

Onyx Coffee Snapback

Arkansas’s Onyx Coffee Lab had something of a year in 2017. At the 2017 US Coffee Championship, Onyx took top honors in the roasting and brewers cup competition, and owner Andrea Allen took home the second place trophy in the barista competition. While any of their blends or single origin microlots would be a fine present, we’ve had an eye on one of their stylish snapbacks for a while, if you’re inclined to get your favorite coffee bloggers a little something for the holidays. 

Ancap Cupping Bowls

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to improve your palette in 2018? Then you need to start cupping. For over 100 years cupping has been the standardized process that coffee farmers, green buyers, and roasters use to evaluate quality. It’s also one of the best ways to improve your tasting abilities. We’ve used a lot of different cupping bowls, but our favorites are Ancap’s. Made in Verona from Italian porcelain, these cupping bowls are elegant but durable. Customers of Ancap USA can have custom logos added as well. Coffee Subscription

There are a lot of coffee subscriptions to choose from, but only one that is an official sponsor of The Coffee Compass. Unlike most subscriptions, allows you to queue the coffees you want as often as you want them, meaning, you’re not going to get stuck with any bags you didn’t want. With over 20 specialty coffee roasters, you’re bound to find something you love. One of the most memorable coffees we drank last year was we recieved through this subscription: a special lactic acid process from La Palma y El Tucan in Colombia, roasted by PT’s.

One thought on “The 2017 Coffee Compass Holiday Gift Guide

  1. Wow! Great guide, Michael, thank you! I hadn’t seen that Breville Precision Brewer until now. I don’t know about this year’s gift, but it’s on my wish list now. I think it’s very interesting that Breville seems to be making seriously high quality coffee tools for home use. As a gift for my partner in coffee crime this year, I pulled the trigger on the Behmor Brazen batch brewer. It’s SCA approved and Amazon had it on sale for $100 on BFCM.

    I could never recommend the December Dripper to anyone, though. Their customer service is deplorable and their Kickstarter campaign a cautionary tale for anyone who values honesty and integrity. I’m checking out Drift right now- great recommendation. And I don’t know how I’ve missed out on Dear coffee, I love You and Brian Jones’ book. I’m on it.

    Thank you!

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