Brewing Coffee Manually

Better coffee. One cup at a time.

2016 Brewing Coffee Manually Coffee Gift Ideas- Coffee Lovers Gift Guide

It is already November which means it’s time to start putting together Christmas gift lists for the coffee lovers and aficionados in your life. Here are some of the coffee gift ideas that have been resonating with me this year. If you have something to add, join the discussion in the comments down below.

Want more ideas? Here are the gift guides from previous years:

Stocking Stuffers

  1. Cupping Spoon- Whether you are slurping through an Angels’ Cup subscription every week just occasionally dabbling in the practice, every coffee enthusiast should have a cupping spoon. Cupping spoons vary from the very basic to the silver plated Rattleware RW (and beyond). You may even be able to snag one from a favorite roaster or get one custom engraved.
  2. Brandywine Coffee Roasters Chemex Pin-This enamel Chemex pin from the creative minds at Brandywine Coffee Roasters is amazing. What manual coffee brewer wouldn’t want this 1.25 inch tall pink Chemex hanging out by their slow bar?
  3. 30 Pack of Kalita Kantans- Several weeks ago, I wrote a brew guide about these handy little disposable brewers. The Kalita Kantans are the perfect gift for the people who don’t need extra coffee stuff. They take up almost no room, are disposable and are fun to throw in for on-the-go coffee brewing adventures. Win, win…. win
  4. Flow Restrictor for the Bonavita gooseneck kettle- For less than a quarter (plus shipping), you can upgrade your giftee’s Bonavita gooseneck and make it easier for them to get a constant flow rate (for brewing methods like the Nel drip). You will probably even get to explain what it is. This restrictor will allegedly slow down the flow rate of the Bonavita gooseneck kettle severely.
  5. Coffee Makes Me! Sticker by Kyle White- Kyle sent me a couple stickers a few months back. I really like his “Coffee Makes Me!” Sticker. I put mine on my airpot I use when I bring coffee for my co-workers but it would also look good on a water bottle or coffee journal.

For Those Who Don’t Need More Coffee Stuff

Coffee brewing and coffee gear can actually be somewhat of a personal thing. Some people have certain ideas about brewing methods, gear color, materials and size as well as a myriad of other concerns and preferences. If you are unsure about the preferences of the person you are buying a gift for and they seem picky (particular), buy them coffee. Here are a few coffee gifts that are unique, exciting and won’t stick around forever collecting dust (like that sail boat pour-over set from last year…).

  1. Elixir- According to their website it “Looks like whiskey, feels like tea, made from coffee…and unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before!” Elixir is brewed with a proprietary process that uses sound waves. While on the expensive side, Elixir strikes me as the perfect gift for the audiophile/coffee enthusiast combo. You can even find out what song was used to brew a particular batch. The folks over at Elixir have also informed me that they will be releasing a gift pack in December.
  2. Sudden Coffee- Your recipient’s heart may skip a beat (or stop altogether) when he sees that he has received instant coffee as a gift but hear me out. Sudden coffee is unlike any instant coffee that has gone before it. The founder, Kalle Freese, set out on a mission to make instant coffee good and has succeeded. It is definitely something worth exploring. Sudden Coffee has mentioned that they have something special in mind for the holidays and to check them out on cyber Monday.
  3. Coffee Subscription Service- I am working on a post about coffee subscription services but it isn’t published yet. There are so many great subscription services out there that it is hard to pick just one. Boxo Coffee comes to mind as presenting really well for gift giving but it might not be for everyone (read the post). If you need help navigating the ins and outs of coffee subscriptions, contact me and I will try to get back to you with help.
  4. Coffee from their favorite roaster- Do a little detective work and find out what coffee roasters they like to buy coffee from. Many roasters will do special holiday blends that make a nice gift. Additionally, more and more roasters are offering a subscription program of their own. Take care of your recipient for months to come with one of these subscription programs from their favorite roaster.

Coffee Gear

What would a manual coffee brewing gift list be without some gear recommendations? Here are a few things that hardcore coffee enthusiasts will appreciate.

  1. Handground Grinder- This is a brand new handmill (manual coffee grinder) that is supposedly shipping out sometime this month. The Handground addresses some issues that arise in many of the less expensive grinders. It also adds some nice features and aesthetics.
  2. Cold Bruer- The Cold Bruer is a Kyoto style cold brew coffee maker that is (relatively) affordable and a reasonable size (the Cold Bruer is 12 inches tall). A lot of the Kyoto style drip towers are larger with bulky glass, something you would not want to buy for someone on a whim.
  3. Metal Filter Cone- After spending some time with the Java Maestro, I can confidently say that it is fun to have a metal filter cone around. It takes some practice and experimentation (which is part of the fun) but when you get it right, it makes a mighty fine cup of coffee.
  4. Travel Kit- Last January, I put together a post (and video) featuring my minimalist coffee brewing travel kit. It is a pretty solid kit for being so basic. The immersion heater/stainless pitcher combo really makes this kit portable and useful (you could even throw in a pack on Kalita Kantans).
  5. Range Server-A range server is always a solid choice if they don’t have anything like that. It makes it easier to brew a larger batch and split the coffee. There are lots of great ones on the market but my current favorite is the simple Hario 600mL.
  6. Stagg Pour-Over System- There is a brand new pour-over system and accompanying drink ware from Fellow Products. If your gift recipient likes to be on the cutting edge of all that is new in the coffee world, this is a pretty solid option. Fellow Products has produced the drool-worthy Stagg kettle, the eye catching Joey mugs and the innovative Duo Coffee Stepper. The Stagg pour-over system is beautifully desiged and looks to be another hit that will be creating a lot of chatter in 2017.
  7. Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Stove- I saw my friend using this little guy over the summer and knew I had to have one for winter coffee outside adventures. I have several camp stoves already (don’t judge) but this one is super easy to assemble and light (it has its own ignition). It is also pretty inexpensive. Throw in a small kettle and fuel source and give the gift of coffee outside.
  8. The Kruve Sifter- This is a piece of coffee paraphernalia that I am really excited about. The Kruve Sifter (formerly the Rafino) is a contraption that enables you to sift your coffee grounds and get a more uniform particle size distribution. The Kruve Sifter has the potential to make up for a lower quality grinder and even improve on a high quality grind. This is another product for the gift recipient that likes to dabble, tinker and fine tune their brewing experience. The team at Kruve has advised me that they are in full production and plan to start shipping early to mid December.

Mugs, Art and Everything Else

Every coffee lover needs a good mug and a funky piece of coffee art. Here are a couple more things that may spark your gift giving creativity:

  1. Guide Aeropress Linocut “Press On”- I love this linocut made by the folks over at Guide coffee. Coffee art and printmaking just go together.  Pick up a bag of coffee, this “Press On” linocut and share you favorite Aeropress recipe (handwritten of course) and you’ve got yourself an extremely thoughtful coffee gift.
  2. Chemex Limited Edition 75th Anniversary Prints- For the Chemex coffee lovers on your list this set of three Chemex screen prints are pretty amazing. The print features art that was inspired by the original Chemex packaging. They are limited to 100 prints so you better act on this one before they are all gone.
  3. Brew: Better Coffee at Home Coffee Table Book- I had the pleasure of picking up this book a few weeks ago and I think it is pretty great. Brew: Better Coffee at Home has a ton of information about coffee (including lots of manual brewing talk). It is very well written with great pictures. Who doesn’t love a good coffee table book?
  4. Keep Cup (Star Wars)- I was browsing the Keep Cup website the other day looking at some travel cup options and discovered that they are in the midst of releasing a whole series of Star Wars themed Keep Cups. That’s right, from BB8 to Chewbacca there are six total (although a few are not up for sale). Pick up the R2D2 Keep Cup and add on this R2D2 French Press for the full Star Wars complement.
  5. Miir Brand Mugs- These are hot this year and a lot of places are having them custom made. If you are wanted to skip the traditional enamel camp cup, the Miir camp cup is definitely a step up. You can order a plain one or get one with some cool branding (like this gem from Ruby).
  6. The Brewing Coffee Manually Shop- As with last year, I have a few select merchandize items. Feel free to check out my shop (which has been relocated to Etsy for the time being) for some unique items you can only get from me.

With so many great coffee products out there, it is hard to limit the list (if 1600+ words is limiting).What’s on your coffee gift wish this season? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!




1 Comment

  1. Hi John,
    Great list of ideas, I’m sure the coffee lover will enjoy any of these gifts.

    I’ve found that an experience gift on coffee is a fabulous idea. So a cupping experience at a roastery goes down a treat!

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