1 Dec 2015

The Christmas Gift Guide 2015 for Coffee Lovers

It's almost Christmas time! That means fairy lights, Christmas trees, warm drinks and thoughts. Plus, of course presents. Now buying presents for a coffee geek is quite hard, especially if you do not know a whole lot about coffee yourself. You do not want to end up giving a blender grinder, some dark roasted Kopi Luwak or pre-ground Holiday blend from some mainstream company.

And so, just in time for some Christmas shopping and shipping, a guide for some lovely  and useful gifts every coffee snob will thank you for.

Great Coffee 
EU7,50 - EU71,00

A lot of specialty coffee roasters bring out special Christmas roasts. And specialty coffee is always a good idea. Here are a few examples.

Solberg&Hansen - Tim Wendelboe - Roestart

Java Coffee
Solberg and Hansen, a Norway roaster has a Christmas roast from El Salvador with notes of nuts, spice, tangerine and chocolate. While Roestart has a very unique coffee from Capo Verde, which I know very well has it originates from my place of work. A juicy and fruity natural coffee. Don't you just love the Christmas label? Tim Wendelboe, also from Norway has a Christmas packaging with a Colombian coffee inside with notes of plums, herbs, brown sugar and green apple.

Java Coffee from Poland always has fun and playful packaging, and their Winter Blend is not any different, with the cutest well-dressed fox.


Five Elephant
Five Elephant from Berlin also has a Holiday gift box, filled with three of their coffees. The box is pretty awesome and custom hand made. Hurry, hurry, because there are only 100 available.

Of course there are many, many more. Such as Counter Culture Coffees iridescent and many others. But not only could you try to get your hands on a special Christmas coffee, you could also go for something amazing, exclusive and limited edition. Such as Stumptown's Grand Cru, a Gesha variety from Guatemala. I have to say, not only is the coffee one of a kind, so is the packaging. It looks stunning. What a great gift.

Blue Bottle
The last gift set I want to mention here is the Blue Bottle Dick Taylor Chocolate Bar and Coffee Pairing set. A lovely box with a bar of chocolate and a bag of coffee beans, both from the Alta Verapaz region in Guatemala. Blue Bottle describes both as follows:

Taking its influences from the rich volcanic loam of the jungle floor, the chocolate smolders with gunpowder and oolong. The coffee, meanwhile, reaches up toward the canopy of trees with delicate florals and sunlit fruit. Clouds part, heaven and earth collide.
Now, who wouldn't want that in their Christmas stocking?


Beankeeper
EU0,10 - 2,30

While you're at it buying coffee, why not add something that can keep the coffee fresh for as long as possible? I've been a fan of these, long since before they have been brought out for coffee bags, using them mostly to keep my cat food crunchy for my impossible cat.

You can buy an official Beankeeper, or try to find them on ebay, alibaba or your local store for a brandless cheaper option.





Travel Kits
EU100,00 - 330,00

Now I've written before about travel kits for coffee lovers. There are some beautiful ones out there. Of course you can go out and make your own kit, for tips you can read about what I carry in my kit here. Or you can go out and buy one that is already complete.

Blue Bottle Travel Kit

Blue Bottle also has a limited edition travel kit. It's very expensive, but it carries a lot, such as a travel dripper by Bonmac, a Porlex hand grinder, a Tsuki Usagi kettle and a Hario scale, just to name a few.

A bit too expensive? They carry a smaller kit as well, for around EU170,00.







Cafflano

Or buy an all in one system, like the Cafflano. This system has an adjustable grinding system, a drip system with a reusable metal filter, a cup and the lid serves as a pouring kettle. What more could you need?

Depending on where you buy it, it will cost you around EU100,00.


Something to read
EU27,00 - 38,50

I do not know any coffee lover that is not interested in learning more. More about coffee, more about taste, more about anything remotely related to their hobby. These are the books to buy.

Water for Coffee - Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood and Christopher Hendon


This book as been the most anticipated coffee book of the year. A collaboration between a leading UK barista and a successful chemist, this book explores the influence of the main ingredient in coffee: water.

Do make sure, however, that this book has not already made it's way to your coffee loving friend's bookcase. Because it is very likely it already has.







Bitter - Jennifer Mclagan


I was introduced to this book through an amazing podcast on the BBC, on bitter. Coffee lovers and bitter, it's a love-hate relationship, and this book is fascinating:
"In this deep and fascinating exploration of bitter through science, culture, history, and 100 deliciously idiosyncratic recipes—like Cardoon Beef Tagine, White Asparagus with Blood Orange Sauce, and Campari Granita—award-winning author Jennifer McLagan makes a case for this misunderstood flavor and explains how adding a touch of bitter to a dish creates an exciting taste dimension that will bring your cooking to life." (Amazon) 




Chemex
EU8,00 - 46,00

Okay, okay, bear with me. I know it was on the list last year. But not only is the Chemex awesome, but there are some amazing Chemex related things out there this year.


First of all Toms, a brand you may know for their awesome shoes and apparel, is also a well established coffee roaster. And now they have a special project. An 8 cup glass uniquely branded Chemex.
Not only that, but for every Tom's Chemex sold both companies will give one week of safe water to a person in need. So not only are you giving an awesome and unique gift, you are also giving to charity. A great Christmas gesture, no?







Now with Etsy, you can customise the Chemex even more! Chemex cozy's, Chemex socks, in any style or colour you can think of. Or buy a little Chemex Moleskine, you know, for brewing recipes and such.

Sock - Moleskine - Cozy


Amazing Kettle
EU112,60


Copper, it's the colour of fashion. Plus, all baristas love gooseneck kettles, as it gives higher precision when pouring water on your coffee bed, giving you more control.

Also, the name 'Monarch Kettle', what more do you want? Okay, it is quite expensive. But it is a work of art.

Designed and made by Chris Chekan in Toronto, Canada.




Latte Art Dice
EU 23,46 - 27,91


If your friend is not only a coffee lover, but a barista. And he or she is a barista that enjoys latte art, you can get them a latte art dice. What's that? A dice with 6 different latte art figures. Throw the dice, and the barista can pour the figure the dice lands on. Let customers throw the dice, use it for practise, or organise a latte art throwdown competition.

You can buy the latte art dice, pictured on the left, or if you think those figures are too easy, buy this one. Guaranteed high level of difficulty.




Cupping Spoons
EU8,00 - 60,00

Okay. So. All coffee people I know love coffee cuppings. This is a gift for a coffee professional though, not necessarily for the coffee hobbyist. Cupping spoons are used to taste coffees, during coffee tasting sessions. Either at importers, sourcing companies, coffee roasters or at trade shows. And having your own cupping spoon is very, very cool.

There are multiple ways you can go. You can either go the official route, and buy a cool cupping spoon from a coffee company. Such as the cool red handled Invictus, or the large Ritual Roasters spoon. Or the more classic spoon from any other coffee company, such as Espresso Parts and many, many others.

Invictus - Ritual Roasters

Or, you can go and browse and find a one of a kind spoon. To be able to do this, you need to know the following; 
  • Ideally a cupping spoon is made of silver, although stainless steel also works. These materials conduct temperature perfectly and do not alter the taste of the coffee.
  • The spoon bowl should be more round than oval.
  • The spoon bowl should be deep enough to get some liquid in there
  • The spoon bowl should not be too big or too small, probably between 3 and 5 centimetres in diameter.
So something like this, or this, this, this or maybe even this, you know, for looks.

some spoons of ebay

And then...not only should you get a sock for your Chemex, you should get a sock for the cupping spoon. The cupping spoon sock can be bought on Etsy for EU15,00 and is hand made in the Netherlands by coffee lover and SCAE Education Field Coordinator Kim Staalman.



Why? Because it keeps the spoon clean while it's roaming around in a bag, plus it breaks a fall. Just look at this video from the coffee sock maker Kim, find her on Instagram for more inspiring visual input.





Merry Christmas, everyone!

pictures are of webshops linked in the article, unless otherwise stated

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