As winter swoops in with its chilling bite, it’s the perfect time to sit down and enjoy some steaming hot latte or espresso. It’s also a great time to surprise your friends and family with awesome gifts that will make their next cups of java taste better than ever before.
Coffee is fun and doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. In fact, most coffee starter essentials will barely dent your wallet and they make great gifts for coffee newbies. However, for friends and family who are looking for something a little more advanced, you may find the following gift ideas more impressive.
Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer ($10)
This simple and affordable gift can provide a lot of use for those who prefer drinking their coffee from a mug rather than a thermos. All you have to do is plug it in and flip it on, then place your mug on top. It’s small and sleek with a 60-inch power cord so it fits pretty much anywhere.
Most electric mug warmers fail to keep coffee hot enough and this one by Mr. Coffee isn’t perfect by any means. It doesn’t work well for heating up cold coffee, but if you start with hot coffee then it’ll keep it warm for quite a while.
The AeroPress looks complicated at first glance but it’s incredibly simple and versatile. It brews coffee using immersion rather than dripping, so in that sense it’s like a French press. However, it has a built-in filter that catches sediment and oils, resulting in a cleaner taste than a French press.
In addition to producing a great tasting cup, the AeroPress cleans up in a matter of seconds. It’s ideal for people who are in a rush but don’t want to sacrifice taste for speed. The only downside is that it only makes one cup of coffee at a time.
Coffee lovers know that water temperature is one of the most important aspects of a tasty brew. If the water’s too hot, it extracts more bitterness. If it’s too cold, it doesn’t extract enough flavor. One method of getting a consistent brew is to use a thermometer, but why do that when a kettle can handle it for you?
Not only does the Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle allow you to heat water to a particular temperature with 1-degree Fahrenheit precision, but it can hold that temperature for upwards of an hour. The gooseneck design allows you to pour water with utmost accuracy, which is critical when brewing with a pour-over technique.
Not everyone enjoys frothed milk in their coffee, but for those that do, a dedicated frother is one of the best purchases to make. There are cheaper ones out there than the Breville Milk Café but none of them offer the same combination of speed, quality, and simplicity for a comparable price.
As you’ll see in the video above, it requires nothing more than turning on the machine and adding milk. It comes with two frothing discs — one for lattes and one for cappuccinos — so you can switch between smooth and silky or thick and creamy on demand. Cleaning is easy and you can even throw it in the dishwasher if you want.
Baratza Encore Burr Grinder ($130)
Nothing beats freshly ground coffee beans. Pre-ground coffee loses most of its flavor and goes stale while in the bag, which is fine if all you want from coffee is the caffeine hit. For best taste, however, coffee beans should be ground right at the time of brewing.
When grinding coffee, a burr grinder is preferable to a blade grinder because it produces a more consistent grind, which ultimately results in a more consistent taste from cup to cup. The Baratza Encore electric burr grinder is the perfect compromise between price, convenience, and consistency.
Bonavita BV1800 Coffee Maker ($140)
Automatic drip machines often produce terrible cups of coffee for two main reasons. First, many drip machines don’t heat the water enough to extract all of the goodness from the grounds. Second, the water isn’t distributed properly, resulting in over-extraction of some of the grounds and under-extraction of the rest.
In that sense, the Bonavita BV1800 Coffee Maker is a rare find. Not only does it heat up water to an ideal temperature every time, it also uses a showerhead design that completely and evenly saturates the grounds. This particular model brews 8 cups and can keep the coffee warm for up to 2 hours.
Are you a big fan of coffee-on-the-go? The Handpresso Auto is an interesting device that lets you make espresso right from inside your car. It draws its power from the 12V cigarette lighter and creates enough pressure to produce espresso that tastes surprisingly good considering the circumstances.
It uses standard Easy Serving Espresso Pods, known as ESE pods, for maximum convenience. The main drawback of the Handpresso Auto is the small volume of espresso per cup, about 50 ml. Also, if you want a piping hot cup to drink, the final espresso temperature may be slightly disappointing.
The world of coffee encompasses far more than what we’ve covered here and I’m sure there are plenty of other gift ideas that are suitable for tech-savvy coffee lovers. This will at least get you started in the right direction. And for true coffee fans, don’t forget to acquaint yourself with these coffee lover apps.
Will you be buying any of these? What other gift ideas can you suggest? Share with us in the comments below!
Image Credits: Coffee Christmas Via Shutterstock