The holiday season is upon us, and you need relevant gift ideas. Whether you’re looking to find something special for the caffeine-addict in your life or a hint to drop around your rich relatives- we’ve got the coffee gift guide to meet all of your consumerist needs.
1. The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffmann
Coffee professionals have long lamented the absence of an authoritative, single-volume introduction to coffee. Coffee luminary James Hoffmann’s The World Atlas of Coffee aims to change that. Hoffmann is a former world barista champion and the founder of one of England’s most esteemed coffee companies, and he claims writing the book was his most challenging endeavor yet. After reading it, we understand why. The World Atlas offers concise, clear explanation about coffee varieties, farming practices, brew methods, and history. Perhaps most impressively it has a profile of every major coffee producing country, from America to Zambia. This book belongs in every coffee drinker’s library.
2. Baratza Forté
We can’t say it enough: your grinder is the most important piece of coffee equipment you own. There’s no grinder we’d rather have on our kitchen counter than the Baratza Forté. The Forté features 54 mm flat ceramic burrs, simple, precise adjustment, and a built in scale and timer. If the Forte’s $900 price tag is a bit steep, the Encore is our favorite entry-level grinder.
3. Dragon Brewer
For the coffee geek in your life who has it all, it’s hard to get more elusive or elegant than Todd Carmichael’s Dragon Brewer. This hand-blown twist on a siphon brewer was commissioned by Carmichael for his 2014 US Brewer’s Cup Routine. In our experience, the Dragon is especially suited for delicate, tea-like coffees such as the famed Geisha variety Carmichael used in his routine. Added Bonus: The Assassin’s Kit includes a Hario Scale and samples of some of La Colombe’s most expensive coffees.
4. Camping Mug
Perhaps the only thing better than drinking a delicious cup of home-brewed coffee is enjoying it next to a camp fire in the great outdoors. Even if you’re not much of an adventurer, a camping mug is a great accessory. Whether its backpacking or bike commuting, you can rest assured that this enamel coated stainless steel mug from Verve is going to keep up with your lifestyle. It pairs well with a vacuum-sealed thermos or alongside your collection of vintage enamel mugs.
5. Single-group Slayer
Coffee nerds, meet your dream machine. Slayer’s hotrod-like espresso machines have been attracting oohs and ahs in boutique coffee shops for a number of years now, and their new single-group model offers home enthusiasts a chance to jump behind the wheel. Slayer’s unique water delivery systems produces a shot of espresso unlike any other machine. It’s by far the most expensive item on our holiday wish list, but hey! even baristas have dreams.
6. Hottop Coffee Roaster
It’s an inevitable impulse that overtakes every coffee nerd at some point in their life: the desire to roast. The more budget conscious might modify a popcorn popper or heat gun, but the best results are procured by a device designed for the task. We love our Huky 500 sample roaster, but the completely integrated Hottop might be more practical for most beginning home roasters.
7. The Coffee Roaster’s Companion by Scott Rao
There are few experiences more frustrating or rewarding than trying to learn how to roast coffee. Author and consultant Scott Rao has more than 20 years of roasting experience and he’s written a concise and informative guide that has the potential of saving the home roaster in your life a lot of trial and error. From an analysis of acid degradation and maillard reactions, to his three roasting commandments, Rao offers a resource that is simultaneously informative and practical. We have no doubt that careful readers will find their home roasts improving thanks to Rao’s meticulous research.
8. Espro Press
There are few brew methods simpler or more familiar than the French press. Unlike a paper filter, the mesh filter allows more of the lipids through, resulting in a heavier mouthfeel. Even though we’re all about that base, we can’t get over the gritty bitterness of that last sip. The Espro Press offers the best of both worlds. The ultra fine double filter traps far more coffee particles than a traditional French press, offering a surprisingly clean cup with the same rich body we know and love.
9. Acaia Coffee Scale
We’ve already given you Five Reasons to Own A Coffee Scale and if you’re going to get wet, you might as well swim. The Acaia Pearl offers tenth of a gram accuracy, a timer, and the ability to record brewing data with your smart phone via bluetooth. In short it’s the highest tech scale on the market. Not interested in all of the bells and whistles? The American Weigh Scale is simple, cheap, and gets the job done.
It’s strange to put an ice coffee maker on a holiday wish list, but in 5 months your future self will be glad you asked Santa to back the Coil on Kickstarter on your behalf. The Coil promises to make a flash chilled coffee with a copper pipe coil, eliminating the need to dilute your coffee with ice. Inventor Chris Heiniger and designer Tyler Deeb are not strangers to coffee, and have both been featured on The Compass before.
Bonus Stocking Stuffer: Filters.
There’s no worse feeling than prepping your morning pour-over only to find you’re out of filters. Find out what brew method the coffee lover in your life prefers and get them a stockpile of filters.
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Please, not the annual commercial-advertising-as-article pieces…