The holiday season is upon us once again, and with it comes the pressure to get the perfect gifts for the special people in your life. You already got the trendiest new toy for little Ava, the shiny watch for Uncle Steve, but you are stumped on what to get for the coffee nerd in your life who seems to be WAY more into coffee than any one person should be… That’s where we can help.
For them, it is the same gift every year: a “Don’t talk to me before I’ve had my coffee” mug, a gift card to the big green coffee chain, or a bag of “exotic coffee” found in the back corner of a Marshalls. While they are usually pretty happy that somebody thought of them, it’s not really what they had on their coffee wish list.
Here are a few holiday coffee gifts that are actually on their list (or at least should be):
COFFEE: This is what they are passionate about, so it should be a no-brainer. However, finding good coffee can be a bit more challenging.
Here are a few roasters that we recommend:
All of these roasters also offer coffee subscriptions which will send fresh coffee to your gift-recipient EVERY MONTH!
IMPORTANT TIP: No matter which coffee you choose, buy whole bean coffee and make sure to purchase it as close to the time you will be gifting it as possible. This will ensure it is at its peak of freshness.
COFFEE CLASSES: This really takes the whole coffee experience to the next level. An educational opportunity is probably the most powerful gift you could give any home enthusiast or professional barista. Coffee classes will allow your coffee geek to brew better tasting coffee everyday through understanding the techniques associated with quality oriented coffee brewing and espresso. They will also further develop their coffee tasting palate and learn how to troubleshoot off tasting results. (It’s a gift that keeps on giving!)
- At Texas Coffee School we offer Gift Certificate options in flat dollar amounts, or you can gift an actual class. Just select the class you want from the drop down, purchase the class gift certificate, gift it, and the recipient can use it to register in any upcoming class date within a year. The best part for you? They arrive fast! We send them digitally (but they still look nice enough to print off and give like a classic gift certificate.) We have our classes every month, and we post dates at least 3 months in advance. Our most popular consumer classes are our Coffee Cupping classes and our full-day Espresso & Milk Skills classes and Quality Coffee Brewing classes.
- If you want to give a life changing gift (literally), send them to the Texas Coffee School Coffeepreneur® 3-Day Business Master Class where they will learn everything they need to open a successful independent coffee shop business! (They will totally owe you free coffee for life!)
BREWING EQUIPMENT: There is a lot of trendy, fancy, and overly complicated brewing gear out there. A lot of it will get used once or twice and then collect dust on a shelf. Here is some coffee gear that won’t:
- The Cold Bruer is for the cold brew lover. Not only does it make amazing cold brew, but it takes up far less space and is much faster and more affordable than the towers you may have seen in your local specialty coffee shop. This cold “slow drip” method of brewing will blow a steeped cold brew out of the water!
- AeroPress Go is the new, compact variation of the classic AeroPress. If your coffee lover is a fan of traveling and needs a coffee brewer on-the-go, this is a great choice.
- Bonavita’s 8-cup coffee brewer is the quality alternative to the standard coffee pot. Not only is it certified by the Specialty Coffee Association’s standards (which is a pretty nice perk), but it is also a great bargain for a high quality home brewer.
- Bonavita’s Gooseneck Kettles are great for the pour-over coffee fan and also have an available variable-temperature version. Water temperature is HUGE when it comes to brewing coffee and this will keep it consistent every time.
- The Fellow Stagg Variable Temperature Electric Pour-over Kettle is an amazing gift if you have a little more budget for a kettle (and you really want to impress your pour-over coffee enthusiast.) It not only looks beautiful but it has fantastic ergonomics and performance. They will know you did your homework for sure!
- Following in line with the “They will know you did your homework for sure” angle, another gift sure to blow your coffee enthusiast’s mind is a purpose built Acaia bluetooth scale. This would be a perfect gift for the “geek level 1,000” coffee enthusiasts. They have several options, but if you want the safest bet for most uses, get them the Pearl.
- Slow Pour Supply Co. Milk Pitchers are great tools for the espresso drink lover. If they work in a coffee shop or happen to be making espresso at home, these pitchers will take their milk steaming up a notch. This narrower pitcher allows for more incorporation of air during steaming and the spouts are perfect for latte art. We recommend the bundle that includes a 15oz pitcher (geared toward cappuccino, macchiato, and cortado size drinks) and a 22oz pitcher geared towards (latte and mocha, size drinks). Added bonus – They have lots of amazing colors and finishes to choose from too!
COFFEE GRINDERS: Grinding fresh is vital to making coffee at its peak flavor. In only 15-30 minutes of being ground, it can lose up to 80% of its aroma and flavor. In addition to this, a quality grinder will ensure a consistent grind particle size, which makes a massive difference in the way the coffee will taste.
- Baratza has a nice variety of high-quality burr grinders ranging from entry-level electric grinders to high-end programable machines. When it comes to home brewing there is no substitute. They also won’t break the bank. (PRO TIP: While any coffee enthusiast would be excited to receive a Baratza grinder, you can definitely taste the difference when you get into the higher end, more expensive models. The performance steps up by leaps and bounds across the board. Since this is an item they will likely use every single day for YEARS, buy the very best your budget will allow. This is the most important piece of home brewing equipment. Our staff uses the Vario-W (steel burr version) at home for all brew methods other than espresso. If you need one for espresso, you want the ceramic burr version instead.
- Another option is the Handground Percision Coffee Grinder for the coffee enthusiast who likes to take their gear with them. This is one of the most consistent, easy to use, manual grinders out there.
ADDITIONAL STOCKING STUFFERS:
- Department of Brewology has some awesome coffee art, apparel, and accessories. Whether its vinyl pins of their favorite menu item, or an artistic rendition of a coffee for some decor, they are guaranteed to love it.
- While gift cards may not be your first choice, they make a great addition to any coffee themed gifts. Instead of buying a gift card to the largest chain, give them the option to use their gift on their favorite local shop or online offer retailer.
- Specialty Instant Coffee can actually be a viable option for some coffee lovers who just need a quick source of caffeine. Companies like Swift Cup and Sudden Coffee use brewed specialty coffee and turn it into a powder you can just add water to. These are great for camping, hiking and travel, as they are light weight, compact, and easy. (We use them on backpacking trips and trips where we know there won’t be any access to local independent coffee shops)
- Rishi Teas (yes, I said tea) is also a great gift. Sometimes, coffee is just too overpowering and the closest alternative is a high-quality tea. Rishi supplies a huge supply of amazing specialty teas like their “Jade Cloud” green tea or the well-named “Iron Goddess of Mercy oolong tea.
- Coffee Mugs from notNeutral or a local coffee roaster are a nice way to enjoy an excellent cup of coffee. After all, you need to drink coffee out of something! (We primarily use the “Lino series” here at the school)
- Bundle complementary gifts together. A travel-ready AeroPress Go and a portable Handground grinder work great together for the travel enthusiast. You can also get a mug, a bag of coffee, and a gift card from their favorite roaster to create a whole set.
- Cyber Monday is right around the corner on December 2nd and several online retailers for these items are going to be having huge deals! Make sure you keep your eyes peeled on that day.