Coffee is ubiquitous, and has become such a popular part of culture that it’s often the first thought when it comes to gift giving. Three important traits mark the dependability of coffee and coffee-related items as gifts: affordability, flexibility and universality.
The Cheap Stuff AND The Good Stuff
To grind or not to grind? Whole beans will keep much longer, but it’s important to determine whether a gift recipient owns a good coffee grinder—otherwise, that thoughtful gift of whole beans may go unopened and unappreciated. If the gift is for someone very special and budget allows, the first choice should be an excellent burr coffee grinder. The Baratza Encore, which retails for $129, strikes a great balance between affordability and luxury. If you need a more affordable (and still high quality) option the best bet may be the Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder at $90. If you can splurge, check out Baratza’s middle-high-end contribution to the market, the Sette 270 Conical Burr Coffee Grinder. It creates a grind that is identical in size, leading to a superior cup of coffee.
Coffee is so widely enjoyed partly because it offers such a wide range of customization—not just the drink itself, but where and how it is consumed. For the backcountry hiker, there’s the Aeropress, an inexpensive and lightweight coffee maker that does a fine job, and the small-but-mighty manual Hario Mini Mill Slim Grinder, which sells for under $30—just the thing for that camping trip where you want to pack light but not compromise the quality of your coffee.
For the commuter, consider this travel mug from Klean Kanteen, a company that strives to manufacture high quality, sustainable products. The tumbler has double-wall vacuum insulation to keep contents hot or iced for hours, and its stainless-steel construction is extremely durable.
Of course, more and more people are working from home these days. For those hot summer days, what about a coffee ice cube tray to cool your beverage without diluting its potency?
The Universal Cup
Perhaps the easiest thing about gifting coffee is, nearly everyone loves it—it’s the jack-of-all-drinks, customizable to the smallest degree. A person feels special not only when she receives coffee, but particularly when it’s her favorite roast, favorite blend, and favorite flavor. Appealing to everyone, coffee (along with its accessories) is the ultimate gift.