In a short break from my current series of articles I thought I’d have a go at answering and pre-empting a few questions that I usually get this time of year.
So – stuck for what to buy the coffee lover in your life?
First off – don’t buy them an espresso machine unless they’ve speicifically asked for one. Seriously – do NOT buy it. I started my coffee career off retailing domestic coffee machines, and I know that most end up in a cupboard. Making espresso is a messy time consuming business, and while the idea of a lazy Sunday morning cappuccino appeals in theory it doesn’t happen in reality. Pay someone else to make espresso drinks – if the drinks are good they are worth every penny. This includes bean to cup machines and especially Nespresso machines. Get that thought out of your head!
So – if not an espresso machine then what?
Well – every coffee lover needs a grinder. If they love coffee but don’t have a proper burr grinder then this is the best possible thing you can buy them.
At the low budget end you have:
Dualit Burr Grinder
Bodum Antigua Burr Grinder
Don’t go cheaper than these for an electric burr grinder. They are a bit noisy but they do the job across a range of grinds (though some aren’t great at espresso)
In the mid range you have:
This is by no means the perfect grinder – but it is quieter, quite pretty and is good value for money.
If they want an espresso grinder then I would suggest heading to a suitable coffee forum like TooMuchCoffee, Coffee Geek or Home-Barista and having a search through which grinders and which vendors are recommended. (Though please remember to have a good search before posting – chances are someone has already asked the same question!)
If they have a grinder then maybe a nice way to brew coffee. I’ve already waxed lyrical about the Bodum Columbia French presses, because they are beautiful, unbreakable and double walled. Amazon’s pricing is great (thank god for the New and Used links!)
Bodum Columbia French Presses
I remain fond of my one swiss gold brewer which is the
If you really, really feel like treating someone then you could buy them a nice pouring kettle (great for making pourover filter coffee, or Chemex coffee – and VERY hard to find), or maybe a nice Vacpot from they guys at Barismo in the US. (Don’t forget to scroll down the page to see all the items)
I wish I had some links to some nice Cloth brewers but I don’t!
Of course they need something to brew – sorry for the plug but I can’t help but recommend a nice 6 or 12 month subscription (UK only)
Whatever coffee you buy – make sure you buy it as close as possible to Christmas from whichever great coffee roasters is most local to you.
Any suggestions for things I have missed then let me know in the comments and I will update this as soon as I can!