17 gifts for coffee lovers
There’s probably a coffee gift that’s perfect for anyone on your holiday list, whether that person is inclined to make coffee with a manual dripper or is more interested in pods, is someone who drinks Intelligentsia espresso or sips Dunkin’ Donuts mocha mint, downs three coffees a day or prefers coffee in cake form. Here are 17 caffeine-inspired gifts for those who love (or even just like) coffee.
Coffeegraph one-week pass. Coffeegraph is a “coffee show about art” at downtown’s Think Tank gallery (939 Maple Ave., Suite 200). A Coffeegraph weekly pass includes free admission for the first 50 Coffee Pass holders to all events (discussions, screenings and a latte art tournament) during Coffeegraph. Plus all-you-can-drink coffee (while supplies last) at the coffee bar installation for seven days. For more event info, go to www.lacoffeeclub.com. Tickets are $10 at www.eventbrite.com.
ROK espresso maker. A non-electric espresso maker powered by you. It’s a manual-pressure coffee maker made with engine-grade metal, fitted with two arms that you raise and then lower to pull a shot of espresso (it generates five to nine bars of pressure, depending on your technique, according to the manufacturer). It also comes with a frother for your lattes, cappuccinos and macchiatos. About $200 from various retailers, www.kohls.com, www.staples.com, www.wholelattelove.com. Also see www.rokkitchentools.com.
Snow Peak fold-down coffee drip. Talk about portable. Meant for campers, this stainless steel dripper folds flat and weights only about 4 ounces. Perfect for coffee-loving travelers, campers and backpackers. About $25 from various retailers, www.rei.com, www.backcountrygear.com, www.snowpeak.com.
Bonavita gooseneck variable temperature electric kettle. An essential for drip brewers. I have one of these. I use it every single morning. I can’t imagine living without it. I wake up, push a button and in seconds I have hot water for both my coffee and for rehydrating my dogs’ freeze-dried breakfast. Done. About $100 at various retailers, www.clivecoffee.com, www.amazon.com.
Groundwork Holiday Blend coffee. Groundwork’s limited-offering Holiday Blend: Ethiopia Kaffa Forest Estate Honduras Las Capucas Co-op and Bolivia Illimani are some of the coffees that were reserved during the year for this blend. Two natural-processed coffees, one from Ethiopia and one from Brazil, are the base of the blend, complemented by a new crop of beans from Peru. It’s intended to work well as both a brewed coffee and as an espresso. 12-ounce bag for $14.95, available at Groundwork locations in Los Angeles, www.groundworkcoffee.com.Intelligentsia House Blend gift box. An all-purpose, very practical coffee gift box that includes a 12-ounce bag of Intelligentsia House Blend beans and two Intelligentsia diner mugs, packaged in an embossed gift box. You could give this to almost anybody on your list. $45 at some Intelligentsia locations and www.intelligentsiacoffee.com.
Handsome Coffee deluxe wooden gift box. An exceptionally fancy gift set for someone special who isn’t dripping her own coffee yet -- or needs a new dripper. It comes in a branded (“with an actual burned brand, like cattle or fraternity brothers”) maple box that includes two special-edition gold burnished coffee mugs, a Kalita Wave stainless coffee dripper with filters and a special release of a microlot from Javier Cantillo. $150 at www.handsomecoffee.com (pre-order for roasting dates Dec. 10 and 17).
Suits & Knives coffee. The latest beans on the scene? Downtowners might be familiar with William Miyazaki from his barista days at Spring for Coffee. Now he’s roasting beans under his own label Suits & Knives, such as Yirgacheffe from Zonegediyo, Colombian La Hermosa or a South American-African blend espresso. $14 to $21 at shop.suitsandknives.com.
Humble Cup coffee. At the office and want fresh-ground beans that are premeasured and come in their own dripper? You just slip one of these out of its envelope, open what looks like a tea bag (except it’s filled with coffee) and pour over hot water. Packs of five for $15 or 12 for $30 at Cafe Dulce and Barista Society in L.A. and Taza Coffee in Arcadia; also at www.lacoffeeclub.com.
Tonx coffee subscription. L.A.-based Tonx roasts its own coffee and sends the beans directly to you monthly. The “half sack” is 6 ounces of beans shipped every other week for $12 a shipment; the “standard” 12-ounce is $19 every other week; and the “double” is 24 ounces for $34 shipped over other week. www.tonx.org.
Misto Box coffee subscription. How this coffee subscription service works: They search for roasters from around the world and choose four each month to send to you; you pay $20 a month for 1.75-ounce bags or $35 for 3.4-ounce bags with the option of a one-, three-, six- or 12-month subscription (shipping is free). A selection of roasters might include: MadCap of Grand Rapids, Mich.; Verve of Seattle; Barefoot Coffee of San Jose; and Oak Cliff Coffee of Dallas. www.mistobox.com.
Dunkin’ Donuts Mocha Mint ground coffee. I know. This is either a gag gift or an earnest present for Dunkin’ Donuts coffee lovers, of which there are legions. Either way, the green snow-man-decorated bag would probably draw a smile from anyone who pulled it out of a stocking on Christmas morning. About $10 for an 11-ounce bag at select Pavilions, Ralphs, CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreen and Target stores. Find a store at www.dunkinathome.com.Glass-handled Chemex coffee maker. The Chemex is an elegant workhorse, a design that’s been brewing good coffee for more than 40 years. I broke my first Chemex (which was made of hand-blown glass) and now have another wood-collared Chemex but have been eyeing the one with the glass handle because it looks so easy to use and maintain. About $40 from various retailers, www.surlatable.com, www.amazon.com.
La Colombe coffee caramel. This stuff is ridiculously good. It’s a coffee twist on caramelized cream (confiture de lait in French, doce de leite in Portuguese, dulce de leche in Spanish). Spread it on cookies, bananas, apples, doughnuts, your pancakes or waffles, put it on your ice cream, your yogurt, in brownies, bread pudding, your coffee or eat it straight from the jar. $11 at www.lacolombe.com.
Lady M coffee mousse cake. Coffee in the form of cake. It’s layers of coffee mousse, dark chocolate mousse and double layers of moist whisky-infused chocolate sponge cake, all enrobed in a coffee ganache with a dust of cocoa and snow sugar. $75 at Lady M Confections, 8718 West 3rd St., Los Angeles, (424) 279-949, www.ladym.com.
Nespresso U machine. Gasp! An espresso coffee maker with pods?! I lived with one of these for a week in Italy, and the espresso that issued forth was not bad. Is that because it was my only coffee option? Maybe. But if you’ve got a friend who wants daily espressos at home and just isn’t going to deal with a real espresso machine, then, honestly, this might be the gift you’re looking for. $149 at 320 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, www.nespresso-us.com.
Hario cold brew dripper. Really want to wow ‘em? Hario’s cold water coffee maker produces a smooth, mellow brew using the classic cold-drip method. It makes a concentrate that you can store in the refrigerator -- perfect for iced coffee. Cold water drips slowly through finely ground beans (the theory being that cold water preserves delicate flavor compounds), via an adjustable spout, then continues through a metal mesh filter and into a stylish server. The whole set-up is mounted by a clear acrylic tower. About $250 at various retailers, www.williams-sonoma.com, www.prima-coffee.com, www.seattlecoffeegear.com.
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