The specialty coffee lover on your list is sure to be one of the hardest to please, and definitely one of the most difficult to shop for. Don't worry if you don't know a Chemex from a Keurig: here are a few easy go-to gifts for the home barista, with a little local flair.
A Silent Flight Cold Brew Subscription
For the iced coffee lover in your life. Silent Flight offers local delivery of cold brew, housed in a massive 64-oz growler. Subscriptions start at $25, and are offered monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly, with a $5 credit each time you recycle the growler. One-time delivery is also an option. For more information, check out Silent Flight's Website.
Fresh Coffee Beans By Mail
We recommend staying away from buying coffee beans as a gift - they will likely start to lose flavor before the recipient can make use of them. A better option is to buy a subscription. If you're interested in giving the gift of coffee, Mistobox may be able to help you out. They allow users to personalize their subscription based on their individual tastes, and work with a bazillion different roasters around the world to procure the best possible coffees. The beans arrive by mail as soon as three days off roast. Mistobox offers a variety of different subscription levels, which cost about $21 per delivery.
Barista Lessons from the Coffee Chop
Perry Czopp, owner of The Coffee Chop, would love to be your barista tutor. He even offers one-on-one training to anyone interested in expanding their coffee knowledge. $75 will buy you an hour of dedicated group or individual instruction. For more information, visit The Coffee Chop's website.
Books about Beans
There are a few really great books about coffee that everyone - everyone! should own.
For the cafe-hopper, Liz Clayton's Nice Coffee Time is a great choice. Clayton has traveled the world in pursuit of the perfect cup, and has published her beautiful stories and photographs in this collection. Nice Coffee Time is the perfect coffee book to adorn your coffee table.
For the coffee-swiggin' history nerd in your life, we recommend Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World by Mark Pendergrast. This book explores the complicated history preceding this now ubiquitous beverage, as well as some of the modern-day social and political impacts of its consumption.
And let's not forget the home brewer: Everything But Espresso by Scott Rao is basically a users manual for manual brewing. Rao explores the science behind coffee extraction and provides tips for creating the perfect cup in the comfort of your own home. Note: this book is extra nerdy, and full of charts and graphs, so save it for the extra nerdy, chart-and-graph-loving coffee aficionado in your life.
A Complete Home Brew Setup
The by-the-cup brewer in your life would love a few new tools for their trade. A complete set-up, including scales, kettle, grinder, and brewing equipment can be a little pricey - but Cartel offers many of these items separately so you can pick and choose the perfect combination.
We recommend everyone have a Hario Buono Kettle - its thin, elegant spout make it perfect for pourovers, but its also sturdy enough to last a lifetime.
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Don't forget the scale and filters! A nice kitchen scale will do the trick, but these Acaia scales are kind of the best.
When buying a grinder, its best to look for one with burrs. These will allow for a better, evenly sized grind. Baratza makes a few great models - you can't go wrong with any of them, but the Virtuoso is what we'd recommend for home use. Cartel doesn't currently retail these, but they're definitely worth the investment.