3rd Annual Holiday Gift Guide

also see my 2018 and 2019 guides

As terrible as the year 2020 has been, the holiday season gives us a chance to end on a positive note and get ready for better days ahead. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the coffee obsessive in your life, or want to treat yourself, here are a few ideas for you. All are available online for those unable or unwilling to do in-person shopping. I also encourage you to take a look through my previous gift guides (links above), as most everything in there is still available and still makes for great presents.

Shop Local
If your giftee’s favorite coffee shop is still open, you can bet they’re fighting for survival. Give a gift that will be appreciated by the recipient and the merchant. Look up the website of that favorite shop, there’s a good chance you can find electronic gift certificates, beans, and merch.

A Better Cup
As cute as you find it, the coffee lover in your life may not be thrilled to receive a ‘funny’ coffee mug. Give them a new and different way to enjoy their coffee at home from a couple of glass alternatives that are functional, versatile, and look great.

If you prefer a modern look, Bodum offers many double walled glasses which allow you to hold your hot beverage without worry. Offered with or without mug handles and in a variety of sizes. Available from many homeware/kitchenware merchants, Amazon, and the Bodum website. And if your coffee lover prefers making coffee at home with a French Press, Bodum offers lot of choice there as well – but get the Chambord (if they don’t have it already).

Bodum Pavina double wall glass. photo bodum.com

For those whose tastes are more classic, you can’t go wrong with the Picardie range of glass tumblers from Duralex. Made of a heavy tempered glass that resists heat better than ordinary glassware, these beauties come in a variety of sizes and are great for coffee drinks, water, juice, beer, cocktails, or really just about anything hot or cold. Offered in a variety of colors and finishes, but you’ll want the clear ones for that Parisian café touch. Available in sets from many online retailers and the Duralex website, and can be purchased by the piece from replacements.com.

Picardie clear tumbler 3.25oz, photo Duralex website

For the Finicky High-End Pourover Snob
This gooseneck kettle is, to my eye, gorgeous. If the $150 price tag ($170 for the wood accent upgrade) doesn’t scare you, and you or someone special to you likes making pourover coffee, would appreciate being able to boil water to a specific temp, and/or is enslaved to modernist aesthetics, the Stagg EKG electric kettle is the perfect choice. If that were me, and it is not, I’d go for the matte black with the walnut handle.

photo Fellow Products website

Fit them to a Tee
I mentioned merch from local shops above, and in last year I suggested branded merch, including this beauty from Little Red Fox.

still soft as all get out

Tee shirts from coffee shops, coffee roasters, and any kind of coffee business are generally awesome. Here’s a few more that have caught my eye.

De La Soul tee
Onyx Coffee Labs, $25

Black Cat Espresso tee
Intelligentsia, $23

H5 Shield tee
High Five Coffee, $25

And, in addition to tees and other items, Austin’s Flat Track Coffee offers a……. shall we say, unique bit of merch.

Something Sweet with your Coffee
DC’s Baked & Wired serves awesome coffee, and also makes amazing baked goods. They ship their holiday treats, which make a great gift. A prepacked cookie tin ($44) will be on its way soon to some of my family.

Learn Something
For the person making espresso at home, pre-COVID the best way to improve was to go to a small group class at a local roaster and learn better technique on their machines. Today, there are opportunities to get better at home on your own rig. While La Marzocco has teamed up with ChefSteps for a series of free online tutorials, nothing beats being able to ask your instructor questions while getting feedback on your efforts, even if over a Zoom connection. Onyx Coffee Lab’s training is fantastic. While not currently scheduled, keep checking their public courses listing for virtual opportunities to take their Espresso and Milk Steaming class.

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