Got a coffee lover in your family and you’re looking for the perfect gift? Or have you ever wondered what it would take to brew better coffee yourself when you head out to visit family and all they have is some pre-ground coffee that’s been kept in the fridge since before the Obama administration? (gag)
I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had with people over the years who have wondered what gear to pick up. There is SO MUCH out there, and much of it is really good, but with so many options I know we often feel the paralysis of analysis.
So my hope is to offer some affordable (and splurge-worthy) options for coffee lovers of all kinds–and all budgets!
BUDGET FRIENDLY: $100 or less
I am a firm believer that brewing good coffee shouldn’t have to force you take out a second mortgage. Here are a few key pieces that won’t break the bank but will get you up & brewing in no time. Now I know $100 isn’t chump-change but it’s going to cost you about that much to get a decent pour-over setup
- AWS 2kg Pocket Scale – $38 (Amazon): I cannot stress enough how important it is to weight out your beans, and weigh out your water as you brew your coffee. This is a scale that I own, and it has lasted me forever! Compact, durable, and accurate, this is a great choice.
- Hario Slim Grinder – $40 (Eight Ounce): Blade grinders are evil. They cannot grind coffee evenly. And they generate a significant amount of friction that transfers to the bean as heat. Neither of these are good for brewing coffee. This compact burr grinder is a great entry level option. Hario makes quality products that don’t disappoint.
- Hario V60 Pour-Over Kit – $26.65 (Amazon): This is a pretty awesome deal. The V60 Pour-over dripper and filters are usually $10 each. But this kit also comes with the coffee server which alone is usually $17. That’s a $37 value for only $26.65.
Ok, for those of you who know me, you know I suck at math! Technically this comes to a total of $104.65 but that’s not bad! The only thing this is missing is a kettle. And I do want to stress that a good gooseneck kettle will help you in controlling your flow-rate as you pour water. If you want to grab one, I’d suggest looking at something from reputable brands like Hario & Bonavita (beware of cheap imitations!)
SPLURGE WORTHY: $300 or less
Got a bit more cash available to spend on your loved one, or yourself? Here are a few geek-worthy items that are sure to thrill. I know this is three times the amount of my budget friendly options but you really do get what you pay for here!
- Hario Drip Scale/Timer- $60.99 (Amazon): This is a great step up for a scale, and it includes a timer which is a sweet bonus. These are great too as the base is larger than the AWS scale.
- Bonavita Variable Temp Kettle –$129.17 (Amazon): This kettle lets you select the temp of you water and it will even hold it for 2hrs! Perfect for coffee lovers (and tea lovers) who need to brew at a specific temp.
- Porlex Mini Hand Grinder – $89.95 (Espresso Planet): This grinder is durable, sleek, and has been recently re-designed to make hand-grinding your coffee easy and efficient.
Add the Hario V60 Pour-over kit mentioned above and this deal comes in at $306.76! The coffee lover in your family will sure to feel the love this holiday season with these gifts. Or if you’re just looking to treat yourself, this isn’t a bad way to go!
BREAK THE BANK: $600 +
If Santa has been good to you this year, or money is no object, here are a few incredible items that I would recommend.
- Acaia Pearl Scale – $210 (Eight Ounce): Brilliantly designed, bluetooth connectivity, and loved by baristas, this is one amazing scale. Yes, you can control this scale with your phone!
- Baratza Encore Grinder – $189 (Eight Ounce): If getting an arm workout isn’t your thing, consider upgrading to a Baratza grinder. The “Encore” is a great way to get into an electric burr grinder. Baratza is a well respected brand, and this entry-level grinder is far from “entry-level”. I own one, and it does an amazing job.
- Bonavita Connoiseur One-Touch 8cup – $229.99 (Eight Ounce): Maybe manually brewing coffee isn’t your thing on a busy weekday morning. Or you’ve got company coming over. This one-touch brewer is a great way to still get quality coffee. This ain’t your office’s auto-drip coffee maker. This brewer provides the optimal water temperature, contact time and coffee saturation to brew a perfect pot. A pre-infusion cycle evenly saturates the ground coffee before brewing, an essential step for obtaining the finest flavour from the beans.Add these up and you get $628.99. Yes it seems like a lot of money, but you’ve basically gotten the three key pieces of coffee brewing gear that will not only last you a long time, but will give you great joy in brewing your morning coffee.
I know I haven’t even touched on home espresso machines. If you’re in the market for something that won’t break the bank, the machine I recommend to anyone & everyone is the Breville Barista Express (BES870XL) $499.99 (Amazon).
This machine comes with a built-in grinder, water reservoir, hot water dispenser, and many more great features. I have recommended this machine to so many people, and I used to own one myself. So save some money by making your lattes at home and have fun in the process.
Well there you go, that’s a small glimpse into a few gift ideas for 2018. If you want my opinion on anything coffee-gear related I would be happy to share my thoughts. Just leave a comment below, or shoot me a DM through my Instagram page.