Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Gift Guide for that Coffee Snob in Your Life

This is my office’s go-to coffee maker. We use them for tastings, to rate new coffees, to hold flowers (I’m joking). Most importantly, it’s pretty. It’s beautiful design has earned it a cameo in a James Bond Novel - From Russia with Love - and a place in The Architecture and Design Collection of the MOMA. Bonus: if your snobby coffee friend is also a snobby wine friend, they can use their chemex as a decanter.

So it took me some time to find a nice looking picture of an AeroPress, because it’s not the most attractive of coffee devices. Despite it’s ugly design (and even uglier packaging) the AeroPress is small, convenient, easy-to-clean and best of all makes a great cup of coffee.
Just as a warning though, despite it’s name, the AeroPress is NOT an espresso maker. It makes great coffee, but I definitely can’t say the same about espresso.

The Porlex Mini is a durable yet handsome grinder that provides an amazing grind consistency, which is vital to efficiently extract the coffee flavors. After all, what’s the point of fancy coffee if you don’t efficiently extract your coffee flavors?! But actually…
As an extra bonus, the Porlex Mini fits perfectly inside an aeropress. This combo makes a great travel kit so that your coffee snob is never deprived of his snobby coffee - even on trips.

Are you a little shocked by that price jump? Well, that’s the cost of premium and snobby laziness. If you’re put off by the manual labor required of hand grinders - and let’s face it, if you have to do this everyday, multiple times a day you’re not gonna want to do that - an automatic burr grinder like the Virtuoso is the way to go. This one is on the high end price wise, but any good grinder that provides a nice, consistent grind will be upwards of $100.

In ordering to appropriately brew your coffee in your brand new spiffy chemex, you’ll need a gooseneck kettle. And while there are less expensive versions than this one (such as the Hario V60), I figure “go big or go home,” right? The gooseneck spout provides you with greater control as you pour, which is essential to do a pourover justice. This fancy gooseneck kettle also allows you to program a specific temperature for your water, so you can finally control that vital variable in coffee brewing.

This is the perfect gift for your friend who is both obsessed with coffee and obsessed with Mason Jar wedding photos on Pinterest. While currently super trendy, mason jars are also a cost effective way to keep your beans nice and fresh.

To be honest, this gift is more for the Blue Bottle obsessed than the run-of-the-mill coffee snob. Blue Bottle has a pretty loyal and enthusiastic following, so your Blue Bottle obsessed friend will love her Timbuk2 x Blue Bottle travel kit. This kit comes complete with a Porlex Mini Hand Grinder, Blue Bottle Travel Dripper, 2 Porcelain Tumblers, 2 Timbuk2 ‘Zarfs’, filters, and some Three Africans coffee making it the ultimate gift for you Blue Bottle fanatic. And honestly, how awesome (and douchey) will he look chilling in Mint Plaza casually sipping on his Blue Bottle latte with his Blue Bottle bag in hand? According to Timbuk2 the bag works as a weekender, perfect for the “urban traveler, weary of stale hotel [coffee] selections.”

This is probably the most frequently read and appreciated book that we have in our office. It’s like an encyclopedia on coffee because it addresses practically everything that has to do with coffee. I personally was a little disappointed about the limited amount of time spent on coffee and the economy, in particular the section explaining the different trade relationships in the coffee world - Commodity Pricing, Fair Trade, Direct Trade, etc.  But despite my petty issues with the book, it’s a great resource for your coffee snob to actually gain some knowledge on this intricate and expansive industry. And how cool would it be to have a Coffee coffee table? Heh? Heh?

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