Gift ideas for coffee lovers

Looking for that perfect gift for the coffee addict in your life? Trying to impress that cute barista? Here are some ideas bound to please coffee lovers on your gift list, at a variety of price points! I can’t promise you a date with the barista, though.

$25-30 and under:

1) Coffee mugs: If your java-junkie is anything like me, he or she likes to collect coffee mugs in varying styles and colors. I like looking in my cupboard and remembering where I’ve acquired each cup, whether it was from my travels or it was a gift. My favorite mugs are all gifts from other people, but of the ones I’ve purchased personally, I am fond of double-walled glass mugs (Bodum makes some) because they keep the coffee hot for longer than porcelain. They are on the fragile side, though!

2) For AeroPress owners: Consider a metal filter, at $13 or less! Amazon has versions of these in stainless steel, mesh, and gold-tone.

3) The AeroPress itself is another great gift idea at $30. Suitable for just about everyone: it makes a stellar cup of black coffee, and you can make excellent fancy milk drinks at home with them too as outlined in this post! These are best for making single cups.

4) Freshly roasted beans, shipped to their door. Yum. There are so many roasters to choose from, but if the person you are shopping for doesn’t have a favorite or you don’t know his or her coffee preferences, I would stick to a medium-roast blend (or, you could ask him/her!). Note: You can usually order your coffee from the roaster ground or in whole bean format; if your gift recipient does not own a grinder, it’ll be most thoughtful to get the beans pre-ground… and if he or she is interested in getting a grinder, point them to this post.

5) Clever Dripper, an immersion method that is sort of a combination of French press and Hario V60. I don’t own one (yet…), but they are reportedly quite easy to use and make a great cup of coffee. Don’t forget filters!

6) A kitchen timer, if your gift recipient does manual methods of brewing. Most people I know will use their microwave, their smartphone, or whatever cheap kitchen timer they may have around, but it’s nice to have a good timer with easy-to-push buttons and a nice-sized display, just for coffee. There is NO WAY I would use my iPhone around hot water!

$50 and under:

1) A small scale is an essential tool for anyone that does pourover coffee at home. I could have listed this in the “under $30” section as well, as my home scale costs a mere $17 on Amazon, but there are plenty to choose from at various price points. When looking for a scale, you want several things:

– For coffee purposes, you’ll want a scale that reads in grams. If your gift recipient bakes, ounces are also useful. If possible, get a scale that leaves the measurement setting wherever you had it last (on grams, ounces, etc.). I used to use my old scale mostly for baking, where I used ounces, and every time the scale shut off automatically, it would start up again in grams. I had to keep changing it and it was a little frustrating.

– Choose a scale that as an auto-shut off feature, but preferably not one that shuts off too soon. Mine shuts off after 2 minutes of no activity; I’ve seen scales for sale that shut off in as quickly as 45 seconds, which might be problematic in manual brewing.

– I like the backlit display on my scale, but it’s not strictly necessary if your kitchen is well-lit.

– All scales should already have this, but you definitely will need a “tare” button to zero out the weight.

– Since I use my scale for weighing out beans for espresso, I chose one that reads to 0.1 grams. If your lucky recipient doesn’t make espresso at home, accuracy to 1 gram is fine.

At around $45, the Hario Coffee Drip Scale/Timer is designed specifically for manual coffee brewing and it includes a built-in timer. Super convenient!

At less than $20, the Smart Weigh Digital Pro Pocket Scale does everything you need. Its only flaw is that it is a little small and it can be hard to read the display when my 8-cup Chemex is on the scale, but it’s not that hard.

2) Speaking of the Chemex, it is a elegant and timeless way to brew coffee for around $40. Pro tip: Amazon often is NOT the cheapest source for these. I would look at places like World Market and Crate and Barrel. World Market often has 10% coupons as well that you can find online or in your coupon ads. Don’t forget filters!

3) Travel mugs! Great for those that do coffee on the go. The two brands I hear most about are the Contigo (good for drinking while driving) and the Zojirushi (keeps coffee hot for many, MANY hours).

4) Espresso cups. I’ve seen some really gorgeous espresso cup and saucer sets at this price point. Drinking edible art out of a beautifully crafted and decorated piece of porcelain? What a luxury! Whole Latte Love has some beautiful sets.

$100 and under:

1) Gooseneck kettle for manual brewing. This is definitely a splurge item, especially if you get the Bonavita with variable temperature control. I used a gift card from a student and treated myself to one of these babies, and I have never regretted it for a second. I use it every day and it makes brewing in the Chemex and V60 so much easier. It’s less necessary for the french press and AeroPress, but I do like the control that the thin gooseneck spout gives me over the water.

2) Coffee club subscriptions: If your person loves a specific roaster, you can often buy a coffee subscription where the roaster will automatically ship fresh coffee on a schedule of your choosing.

3) Reg Barber tamper, for espresso enthusiasts. These are the Rolls-Royce of tampers.

4) For Hario V60 fans: There is a copper version of the Hario V60 that is just gorgeous!! Don’t forget filters.

You wanna spend more? 

See me at the end of class. 😉

He/she has everything on this list… but I still want to get him/her something.

Consider taking your guy/gal to a coffee cupping! Many coffee shops will host cuppings (which are like wine tastings, but with coffee), and some will also host classes focusing on a specific topic: how to use a Chemex, how to make espresso, etc. Costs will vary, but if someone really does have everything I’ve listed (wow, even I don’t have EVERYTHING on this list!), getting someone an experience is a nice idea.

Lastly, if you are in a city with a training center run by Klatch, Intelligentsia, Counter Culture, or other similar company, and have $$$, you can buy some SERIOUS barista training.

Have fun shopping! If there are other items you think belong on this list that I didn’t mention, please list them in the comments. And if you want more specific advice, please feel free to contact me directly!

Leave a Reply