For all the joy and merriment of the holiday season, the stress of finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list can be a little overwhelming.
But if you keep in mind that EVERYONE loves coffee, then there’s always a solution.
So we’ve put together a gift guide that covers every java drinker, caffeine addict, and fan of black gold you have to buy for. From the first-time-caller-long-time-listner to the all-time aficionado, this is your coffee lovers guide to gifts:
With the constant flow of new cafés opening on a seemingly daily basis, there are also a lot of new coffee drinkers out there that want to love it, but might not know how. And while most baristas will be happy to talk to them about what’s brewing, they aren’t necessarily coffee instructors. However, many cafés, like Victoria’s Hey Happy, offer regular classes on how to brew at home so your morning cup can taste a little bit more like how you get it at your favourite local.
For the book-learner on your list, check out Scott Rao’s masterful series of tomes on everything from brewing to espresso to roasting. They are the most in depth coffee instruction manuals you can find.
The Wannabe Barista
If you know someone that really admires their favourite barista, and you feel like splurging on them, a home espresso machine would be a pretty nice way to show them you care. If you go too cheap, the machine won’t have enough pressure to properly extract a shot, so on the low end I would suggest a Breville Barista Express or the Dual Boiler model. On the “prosumer” side of the spectrum, the La Marzocco Linea Mini is pretty much the next best thing to opening a café in your kitchen. (Keep in mind, these might seem pricey at first, but subtract all the money you spend on coffee out and you’ll be paying these off in 1-3 years.)
The (Actual) Connoisseur
In my experience, there are faux connoisseurs that can be sussed out by comments like: “I drink dark roasts – you know, the gourmet stuff” or “I’m Italian so I’ve been drinking coffee since I was a baby.” Let’s be clear here: Real connoisseurs can be identified by their gear not by their gab. To really make coffee well, precision is everything. In isolation or as a package: a great burr grinder (Baratzas are a personal favourite), scales (Acaia is the gold standard), a variable-temperature kettle (by Bona Vita) in tandem with just about any pour-over method (Hario V60, Chemex, NotNeutral) and some fresh beans would make for the ultimate gift.
The Wants-to-Love-It-But-Doesn’t-Know-How Type
If you’ve got someone to buy for that knows they like coffee, but doesn’t have a preferred caffeine dealer, there are a couple different subscription models that could work. On one hand, most specialty roasters will offer a monthly delivery of their best beans so you can try out coffees from different countries and roast profiles. There are also several coffee subscription services have popped up over the past couple years (here’s a good one) that send you coffee from multiple roasters on a monthly basis. In either case, the opportunity to experiment and try many different coffees will give someone a chance to hone in on what they really like in their cuppa joe.
For that person that is really into pickling, making their own beer and wine, and generally hates anything that they haven’t made for themselves, a home roaster and some green coffee will take their home-steading to the next level. A simple popcorn popper from Canadian Tire or a cast iron pan can do the trick, or you can go all out and get them a “Hottop” ($800+) if you really love them. SweetMarias.com is the be-all-end-all website for home coffee roasters – you can get everything from the roaster to the beans for roasting all in one place.