Serious Eats: Drinks
Gift Guide: For Coffee Aficionados
Tired of hunting high and low for just the right seasonally decorative tin of priceless coffee excreted by an Asian cat? We offer you instead this short list of hot-ticket items for the coffee-lover, coffee-lifestyle-liver on your gift list. Peruse our choices and you'll be giving Santa a run for his money.
Coffee Contraptions Prints
For those for whom there's no finer meeting point of left and right brain passions than the infographic, select these handsome art prints from San Francisco's Jason Permenter, who's illustrated a series of sexy brewers perfect for framing. The price is scalable to your designophilic thirst: choose from a small print at only $20 or buy the whole set of four (Chemex, MokaPot, Vacuum Brewer, and Atomic Espresso machine) in a variety of sizes.
Prints $20 to $70, from Jason Permenter at Society6.
Coffee Subscription from Verve Coffee Roasters
There's nothing quite like giving the gift that keeps on reminding people of you month after month, at their most sensitive early morning moments, and for this we recommend a coffee subscription like this delicious offering from Santa Cruz, California's beloved Verve Coffee Roasters. Verve offers subscriptions tailored to multiple tastes—whether you prefer to drink from particular countries of origin, espresso blends, decafs, or other styles—but we recommend the Roaster's Choice Single Origin subscription, which offers a rotating tour of seasonal coffees from the stylish Verve shelves.
Available for $56.25 for three months, and up, from Verve Coffee Roasters.
Brewing Scale With Timer
Aren't there just too many steps in preparing super-precision cups of coffee? Esteemed coffee equipment purveyors Hario have done manual brewing a step better with this sleek brewing scale with built-in timer (it can't take your coffee's temperature yet, but what are you, a princess?)
Available for $70 from Able Brewing Company.
Plush Coffee Bean
Collecting stuffed animals doesn't have to stop with childhood—or even animals. New York's Cafe Grumpy offers their plush, anthropomorphic coffee bean pals in both green (unroasted) and brown (roasted), and each comes in an individual jute coffee sack—admittedly not quite to scale. Sure to bring a smile to any fan of frowny faces.
Available for $25 from Cafe Grumpy.
Blue Bottle Coffee Table Book
Chances are someone on your list has a coffee table that's feeling a little naked right now, and it's up to you to step in and fill that void with the handsomest coffee gift book of the season, The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting, and Drinking, with Recipes. This charmingly curated collection of coffee stories and recipes for sweets and baked coffee pairings will be a page-turner for anyone coffee-and-baking-minded on your list—and hopefully you'll be the first one they try out the recipes on.
Portable Kantan Drippers
Whether stuffing a stocking or arming your giftee for a remote holiday adventure, the portable, ingenious Kantan dripper is surely something Santa's elves haven't already got covered. These handy little compostable single-brew drippers tent right over your cup to brew pourover-a-porter—now your loved ones can travel light and nerdy at the same time.
Available for $9.95 for a pack of 30 from Wrecking Ball Coffee/Kalita USA.
How else will the naughty and nice on your list prepare for the World Ibrik Championships without a shiny new ibrik? Lucky for that special someone, Oakland's Sweet Maria's has imported a selection of these beautiful (but functional) Turkish brewers to suit any taste. It'll be up to them to refine their cezve/ibrik technique in time for the 2013 competition, however.
Various styles available from $21 from Sweet Maria's.
Where else but in Portland would someone solve the biking-with-a-cappuccino problem so perfectly? The cycling accessory wizards at Portland Design Works offer the Bar-Ista, a sturdy cupholder for your handlebars built to last, with an adjustable and easy-to-release clamp. Remembering the lid is your own responsibility.
Available for $20 from Portland Design Works.
For the espresso-inclined seeking a bit more pressure in their personal flair, opt for an adorable miniature tamper necklace from Canada's premier espresso tamper crafter, Reg Barber Enterprises. These charming necklaces are fun and affordable, but they aren't guaranteed to fit your espresso machine (unless you live in a dollhouse).
Available from Reg Barber Enterprises for CAD $21.95
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 in 2013.
Looking for more gifts for coffee lovers? Here are a few more ideas.