Serious Eats: Drinks

For the Love of Coffee: 5 Great Valentine's Day Gifts

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[Photos: Liz Clayton]

There's no more romantic present than something shared—unless it's a cup of wonderful coffee brought to you in bed, that is. Assuming your favorite person already has that base covered, here are a few loving suggestions for the coffee person in your life.

Panama Finca La Valentina by PT's Coffee Roasting Co.

What says "I Love You" better than a rare, romantically named microlot of one of the world's most esteemed coffees? This crop of Panama Geisha beans, roasted by Kansas roasters PT's, hails from one of Panama's richest coffee-growing regions, the mile-high mountainsides of Boquete. Described with hints of white grape and honeysuckle with a high acidity, the small quantities and high quality of this coffee may result in a little bit of sticker shock (how much per ounce?)—but that just means you'll savor it together that much more lovingly.

Home Coffee Brewing Classes

We've finally acknowledged that manual coffee brewing at home is the proverbial jam, and most major cities have coffee companies willing to help you hone your skills. Give a romantic gift that keeps on giving (back to you) by sending your sweetie to a home brewing workshop, then demanding he or she make the coffee for as long as you can get away with it.

Shops like New York's Joe offer affordably priced pourover coffee workshops, as well as more advanced espresso and milk training, as do national companies like Counter Culture Coffee, and look for occasional classes at your local independent, too, like San Francisco Four Barrel Coffee. Be warned that your partner's new expertise may win them a few arguments about your pouring technique.

A Coffee-Themed Dinner

Whether or not you're near enough to Los Angeles to reserve a spot at a Valentine's Day dinner in Intelligentsia's Pasadena café, you can still take caffeinated inspiration if you plan to cook at home. From basic mole sauces to complex chilis to after-dinner liqueurs, you can move beyond the Valentine's cliché of plain-ol'-chocolate and keep your lover up all night. Due to sleeplessness, I mean.

Something for the Coffee Table

Are you and your beloved still brewing coffee at home in a crummy automatic drip machine? There are few things that express coffee's romance more visually than the iconic Chemex. The larger sizes (ranging from six cups and upwards) are perfect for brewing a couple of cups of clean, delicious coffee, morning through night. The six-cup one-piece Chemex with built-in handle makes pouring easy and...sure, we'll say it—kinda sexy.

Something for the Bedside Table

For many of us, our true love is coffee, but few have ever written such a love letter as Alon Halevy's new book, The Infinite Emotions of Coffee. Halevy, a senior research scientist at Google, has traveled the world romancing coffee while following the thread that connects the beguiling bean worldwide. Infinite Emotions documents its social implications through stories and pictures, told from a professionally-curious-person's angle, and a coffee lover's inspired perspective.


About the author: Liz Clayton drinks, photographs and writes about coffee and tea all over the world, though she pretends to live in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently compiling photographs of the best coffee in the world to be published by Presspop later this year.

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