A Guide to Coffee Gifts- How to Buy Gifts for Coffee Lovers

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Buying gifts for coffee lovers can be a bit overwhelming . The coffee gift space is vast. It runs the spectrum from punn-y cat mugs to the super obscure Bripe, a manual coffee brewing pipe. How do you find the right gift for a coffee enthusiast? Hopefully I can help.

How to Buy Gifts for Coffee Lovers

Finding the best gift for a coffee enthusiast starts with some observation. Not all coffee lovers are the same. Some are really into espresso, some are into pour-overs, some just really love good coffee. There are coffee nerds, coffee snobs and the ‘everyman’ coffee lover. You can start by observing what your gift recipient values.

A great way to make these observations is to turn a conversation towards the coffee sphere. Most coffee lovers will like to talk about their passion, so ask them a few questions. These questions can be simple, direct or more covert.

Where do you go from there? The more you know about the person you are buying a gift for, the easier it will be to pick a gift.

If you don’t know much about your coffee enthusiast, don’t despair. Here are some ideas from a wide range of the spectrum. From coffee subscriptions to coffee artwork, the Brewing Coffee Manually blog has you covered.

A Bag of Coffee and a Sweet Mug

A quality bag of coffee and a cool mug is my go-to gift for those who want to keep it easy. I have seldom met a coffee lover that isn’t at least a little into the quest to find the perfect mug and coffee lovers like coffee. Why not give them some?

If you are having trouble finding the perfect mug as a gift, I’ve written a blog post about selecting a great mug and even listed out a bunch of my favorites. Check it out: Best Coffee Mug and How to Choose the Right One.

As for selecting a bag of coffee, this can seem a little intimidating. Don’t sweat it. There are a lot of great options out there. Here are some of my favorites.

Subscriptions

Coffee subscriptions are a great way to gift coffee without having to actually choose a specific coffee. There are subscriptions that send samples and also ones where the recipient can select which coffee they would like to try (like Netflix). Here are my favorite coffee subscriptions I have tried:

  1. Angels’ Cup– I have been a subscriber to Angels’ cup pretty much since the beginning. It is a fun way to sample four different coffees blindly on a regular bases. Angels’ Cup has quite a few different subscription models now but their original model is still my favorite: four 30 gram samples of unique coffees, you choose the delivery frequency.
  2. Atlas Coffee Club– I recently sampled Atlas Coffee Club’s coffee of the month subscription box. You can read the full write up here. There is something fun about being a coffee tourist and focusing on the geography of coffee.
  3. Misto Box– Misto Box is a great coffee subscription that has you work with a curator to find coffee that you enjoy. This is a great gift for those people that like coffee but you aren’t exactly sure where their tastes are.
  4. Crema.co– Crema.co has some similarities to Misto Box. If you are giving Crema.co as a gift, your recipient will have the opportunity to select a coffee they would like to receive from a large pool of roasting companies. You can read a review of Crema.co here.
  5. Bean Box– Bean Box has several subscription models to choose from but there is a twist. Bean Box only ships out coffee roasted in the Seattle area. As Seattle is the ultimate coffee city for many coffee lovers, this might be the perfect subscription choice. You can read more about Bean Box here.
  6. Trade Coffee– I have not personally tried Trade Coffee’s subscription program but it is similar to Misto Box. Brian from Freshly Brewed recommended them saying they have a great variety and really good coffees.

Coffee Roasters

There are so many good coffee roasters out there, it is hard to single out favorites. It is fun to support and explore local coffee culture. If you have some coffee roasting companies that are local to you, I would encourage you to visit and purchase coffee from them directly.

There are quite a few roasters that feature subscription programs as well. Check to see if a favorite roaster does a subscription, this could be a great option.

Many coffee roasters also do Christmas blends. Some of my favorites are Ruby’s Cheers Holiday Blend and Populace’s Joyeux.

Instant Coffee

That’s right. Instant coffee is also on the table for craft coffee lovers.

There are quite a few quality instant coffee’s on the market that would pair perfectly with a stylish coffee mug. Here are three that come well recommended.

  1. Sudden Coffee– Sudden Coffee review here.
  2. Swift Coffee
  3. Viola Coffee

Coffee Apparel 

As I was browsing through all the various coffee websites looking at their mugs, I came across a few other noteworthy merchandise items. If your recipient has an overflowing mug cupboard maybe think about a t-shirt. Does their favorite coffee roaster (or coffee blog) sell shirts? Here are a few to get you started:

  1. La Columbe Dove Pocket T-shirt– A comfortable looking shirt that is not overtly coffee. Throw in a 4-pack of draft lattes to round out the gift.
  2. Little Wolf Illustration Tee– Another cool T-shirt from a roaster I am not familiar with.
  3. Choose Your Weapon T-shirt– It would be remiss if I did not mention that I have a few t-shirts to sell. The Choose Your Weapon T-shirt celebrates some of coffee’s most iconic manual brewers.
  4. Verve Trifecta Palm Tree Tee– Palm trees and coffee. I can get behind that.
  5. Onyx “Never Settle for Good Enough” T-shirt– A simple slogan from a dynamite coffee roaster. Check out their coffee while you are looking at shirts.

For the kids: My kids love watching and helping me make coffee so I made a shirt just for them. This kid’s Aeropress tee is one of those shirts you wish was made in an adult size.

Coffee Artwork

Every home coffee bar needs a little coffee art. Here are some of the best prints out there:

  1. Guide Aeropress Linocut “Press On” I love this linocut made by the folks over at Guide coffee. Coffee art and printmaking just go together.  Pick up a bag of coffee, this “Press On” linocut and share you favorite Aeropress recipe (handwritten of course) and you’ve got yourself an extremely thoughtful coffee gift.
  2. Chemex Limited Edition 75th Anniversary Prints For the Chemex coffee lovers on your list this set of three Chemex screen prints are pretty amazing. The prints feature art that was inspired by the original Chemex packaging.
  3. The Wild Wander Arabica Letterpress Print– I have a few prints from The Wild Wander and this coffee one is probably my favorite. Clara Cline has a great style and does many nature illustrations. Be sure to check out the rest of her shop.
  4. CoffeeinHandPrints V60 Print– Amy Schubert is an Australian barista who recently began print making as well. Here current collection includes a Kalita Wave, a V60, a Moccamaster and the much lauded EK43 coffee grinder.
  5. Ruby Coffee Nelsonville Screenprint– I’m a huge fan of Ruby Coffee Roasters and they have gift options for most of the categories on this page. Besides their coffee, this screen print has always stood out to me. I have one hanging in my house and I love it.

The “Old Standbys” Gear List

If you have been reading this blog over the years, this section is not really going to hold many surprises. The basics of a good cup of manually brewed coffee are simple. It starts with a manual brewer, good coffee, a scale and a burr grinder. Though not required, a gooseneck kettle is a very popular entry level manual brewing gift as well. Here are some of my quick picks for each category:

  1. Manual brewing device- You can’t brew coffee manually without a manual brewing device (unless you are doing cowboy or mud coffee). Manual brewers range from the 6 dollar Melitta “Ready-Set Joe” to the over-the-top Dragon Brewer. My number one pick for the beginning brewer is the Clever Coffee Dripper (brew guide and review here) but for a few more glamorous options check out the Kalita Wave or the Hario V60.
  2. Digital gram scale- A scale is an inexpensive way to make a huge impact on your coffee brewing. Your gift recipient may crack a few Breaking Bad jokes upon opening this but they should see a big difference when they actually begin using a scale for brewing. My budget scale pick is this American Weigh Scale. It is inexpensive and accurate to a tenth of a gram (it has a 60 second time out which is a bummer but it travels well). If you are looking to go top shelf, the stand out in the scale category is the Acaia Lunar scale. It has a hefty price tag but will probably be the last scale your gift recipient will ever need (and possibly their grandchildren too, the Lunar is a tank).
  3. Gooseneck kettle- A kettle is one of the more fun items on the list. There is something about a gooseneck kettle that just makes you want to brew coffee. I like this option as a gift because it is often an item that an individual wants but is unwilling to purchase for themselves. The two tried and true kettles are the Hario Buono Gooseneck and the Bonavita Variable Temp Kettle. The stand out for this category is the Fellow Stagg EKG electric kettle.
  4. Burr coffee grinder- Talking about coffee grinders opens up a sizable can of worms. Good electric burr grinders are expensive and there are also a wide variety of hand mills on the market. The Hario Skerton (or Slim Mill) and the Porlex are great, low-risk entry level hand mills. I hesitate to recommend buying an electric burr grinder as a surprise gift (unless you know they want a specific one). An electric burr grinder is an expensive gift that will often take up a good amount of countertop real estate. When in doubt, ask questions first.
  5. Good Coffee- (See section two.)

This is a very quick and short list but it should point you in the right direction. If you have questions pertaining to gift ideas for the coffee beginner or intermediate, feel free to contact me or ask in the comments below.

Coffee Gear Items of Note

It is no secret that I love all the coffee equipment (both the new stuff and the old standbys). Here is the gear I found most interesting (and giftable):

  1. Prismo by Fellow Products– I’ve put this Aeropress accessory through the paces over the last couple years and I love it. This pairs nicely with the Able travel cap (make sure they have an Aeropress before you accessorize it for them).
  2. Hario Woodneck Drip Pot– For me, the ‘Nel Drip’ is one of the most enjoyable methods for brewing and drinking coffee (although it does take a little extra effort, brew guide here).
  3. The American Press– This is a brewer that was sent to me for review. It brews a great cup of coffee and has some advantages over the French Press. I have also brought this brewer with me camping and for some coffee outside excursions and have found it to be durable and a lot of fun. Brewing guide here.
  4. Knock Aergrind Hand Grinder– I had the opportunity to briefly check out this handmill on a chance meet up with Brian Williams (of Brian’s Coffee Spot Fame). I loved this grinder. It has steel burrs for a fast (and quality) grind and it even fits inside an Aeropress. It is a little on the expensive side for a gift but if you are looking for something coffee in that price range, it will not disappoint.
  5. Ode Brew Grinder– Okay, I said that I was hesitant to recommend an electric burr grinder but I feel like I should mention this one. I purchased one a couple months ago and it is a solid grinder.
  6. Wacaco Cuppamoka– This is an interesting looking coffee outside pour-over/mug combo. It is also fun to say. I do not have any personal experience with it.
  7. Miir Coffee Canister– Coffee storage is always a hot topic. In most cases, storing coffee in the bag it came in is perfectly fine. However, this Miir canister is new on the market and look promising.
  8. Roast Vision by Espresso Vision– This is a device for the home coffee roaster and it is making a bit of a splash. This is a device that will objectively measure the roast level of particular coffee. As this gift is on the expensive side, you might want to ask a couple leading questions before purchasing this for someone.
  9. Hasima Porcelain Coffee Dripper and Teapot– For the coffee aesthetics lover, this dripper and teapot combination is stunning.
  10. Pure Over Coffee Brewer– This all glass brewer exploded on the coffee scene via a very successful Kickstarter campaign. I have yet to receive mine but I hope it arrives soon.
  11. Oxo 8 Cup Coffee Maker– This is not a manual brewing device but I thought I should mention it. Oxo sent me one of these to review and I have been impressed with it. It brews a great cup or pot of coffee and is a SCA certified automatic coffee maker.
  12. Origami Pour Over– Brian from Freshly Brewed also brought this dripper to my attention. It is a beautiful pour-over brewer with the ability to use both V60 style filters and Kalita 185’s. Made of porcelain with a separate wooden stand, the only problem I can see is choosing only one from the 11 great looking colors. (Dark Matter Coffee is the exclusive distributor of this dripper in the United States).

Stocking Stuffers

I’ll end this gift guide with a couple stocking stuffer ideas for the coffee lover. Here are a few quick coffee stocking stuffer ideas:

  1. 30 Pack of Kalita Kantans I’ve written  a brew guide about these handy little disposable brewers. The Kalita Kantans are the perfect gift for the people who don’t need extra coffee stuff. They take up almost no room, are disposable and are fun to throw in for on-the-go coffee brewing adventures. Win, win…. win. I put together a post (and video) featuring my minimalist coffee brewing travel kit. It is a pretty solid kit for being so basic. The immersion heater/stainless pitcher combo really makes this kit portable and useful (you could even throw in a pack on Kalita Kantans).
  2. Coffee Makes Me! Sticker by Kyle White  I really like this “Coffee Makes Me!” Sticker. I put mine on my airpot I use when I bring coffee for my co-workers but it would also look good on a water bottle or coffee journal.
  3. Baratza Encore Accent Kit– Baratza has released a series of different colored accents to add a little flare to your Encore. They offer green, orange, blue, white and yellow.
  4. Third Wave Water– No coffee stocking is properly stuffed without a little Third Wave Water. I absolutely love this stuff. Make sure you include a gallon of distilled water so the brewing can commence immediately.

What is missing for my list? If you know this I should add or opinions on the things I have listed, let me know in the comments. Merry Christmas from the Brewing Coffee Manually blog!

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