The Ultimate Coffee Gift Set: 16 Items to Give the Java Lover in your Life

We all have that one friend – the one who can’t open their eyes until a fresh cup of coffee is wafted under their nostrils, who drinks coffee rather than beer with an evening meal and who isn’t afraid to have one or two double espressos before bedtime. They’re the die-hard coffee fiends who, if given the choice, would probably chug a latte rather than a bottle of water when running a race.

They’re also impossible to get gifts for. Not that gift-giving is ever an easy undertaking. Even the most conscientious of us have a hard time deciding what to give a friend when their birthday or Christmas rolls around; it’s even harder for a coffee-lover. 

Why? Well because they have everything – the grinder, the drip coffee machine, the French press and the specialty roasts from South America. On paper choosing a gift for this person might sound easy – just get more coffee, right? – but in fact it’s almost impossible to buy a gift for the person who already has everything. 

Which is why we’ve put together this guide. Below we’re going to list some of the best, most novel, most useful and just downright fun coffee gift sets to get for the caffeine fiend in your life. 

Why Coffee Almost Always Makes The Greatest Gift

Even if the friend you’re buying a gift for isn’t the biggest coffee fan in the world, coffee is still one of the greatest gifts that you can possibly give. Not only is it an incredibly delicious, aromatic and energy-inducing drink, it’s also one that is steeped in history and tradition.

Gifting coffee is more than just buying a bag of beans, it’s about purchasing culture, and indoctrinating your giftee into a production process that spans generations and has brought people together for centuries. The beans you buy, the grounds they make and the coffee they eventually produce are small snapshots into the cultures of the nations in which they were produced, and it’s this anthropologic vista which you gift.

And even if you decided not to buy actual coffee, there are still countless coffee-related gifts which will delight anyone who receives them. Let’s take a look at them below.

Our Top Coffee Gift Sets

A Coffee Subscription

When it comes to coffee, everyone undoubtedly has their go-to roast or bean which they keep a healthy supply of. It can become pretty easy to get stuck in a rut and stick to what you know rather than take a chance at sampling new, novel roasts. Which is why a coffee subscription might be one of the best things you can possibly get. 

Rather than simply another pound of beans, a coffee subscription such as the Bean Box Gourmet Coffee Sampler, is a great way of being exposed to a number of different roasts you might never come into contact with. This sampler in question includes four different monthly gourmet coffees from a number of small-batch roasters in Seattle. 

Personalized Ceramic Coffee Travel Mug

If you know someone who is constantly grabbing a take-away coffee from Starbucks or any other coffee shop, then this ceramic travel coffee mug is the ideal coffee accoutrement for them. Never again will they be constrained by what’s on the menu at their local Caribou simply because they’re on the move. Now, they can prepare their favorite brew using the beans of their choice at home and bring it with them wherever they go. 

On top of that, the mug can be personalized to make it even more special. This particular mug includes a dictionary-style definition of the receiver in question, so get as creative as you like describing their personality traits. If the person you’re gifting is environmentally conscious then that’s an added bonus, as using this mug will prevent them from consuming single-use coffee cups from take-away chains.

Coffees of the World Gift Set

Any coffee connesuire worth their salt is going to be interested in coffees that have their origins in different parts of the world. The Coffees of the World Gift Set is ideal in this regard. With nine bags of ground coffee sourced from different locations all over the world – from South America, to Kenya all the way to Sumatra and Ethiopia – this gift set is an excellent method for sampling a world’s worth of coffees and roasts, both dark and light. 

What’s more, the set itself is a beautiful work of art, featuring idiosyncratic designs by illustrator Persephone Coelho.

Image from Whittard.co.uk

Essential Coffee Guide Poster

No self-respecting coffee lover will ever not know the difference between a cappuccino, latte, macchiato or espresso… but why take the chance? This Essential Coffee Guide Poster is a wonderfully-presented infographic detailing exactly what constitutes each different type of coffee drink, and will ensure that you’re always up-to-scratch on your coffee lingo. It’ll look great in the kitchen, the hallway or above the coffee bar, and it’s certain to add charm and style wherever it’s placed.

Personalized First Father’s Day French Press 

Know a coffee lover who is also a dad? Of course you do – raising children requires enormous amounts of fabricated energy; AKA caffeine. This First Father’s Day French Press is a great gift for those who love a cup of coffee but are also celebrating their first year as a father. Not only is the French press one of the best tools for bringing out the best possible flavors from coffee, but the added personalization means that this coffee apparatus is unforgettable.

And since it’s being used to celebrate their first Father’s Day, there’s no doubt that the gift will be used extensively to cope with the kids getting older.

The Strongest Coffee In The World

Everyone claims that they love a strong cup of coffee, but how about the strongest coffee in the world? Produced by the aptly named Death Wish Coffee, the packaging alone of this bag of beans – a grim-looking skull and crossbones on a black background – is enough to put fear in your heart. For the coffee lover who has everything and wants to simulate the effects of cardiac arrest, this is the gift for them. 

Packed to the brim with caffeine and emanating with dark, robust flavor, these beans are not for the faint of heart, and will likely keep you charged and ready from morning to night. 

Image from Awesomestuff365.com

Personalized Coffee Stencil

Coffee art has taken on its own proportions in recent years. Ordering a cappuccino doesn’t simply net you a cup of coffee, but also some wonderful latte art consisting of foam, cocoa and chocolate. This personalized coffee stencil allows you to bring that artwork into the home, and is the perfect gift for any coffee lovers who absolutely love adding finishing touches to their drinks. Whether you’d like to create a message or a small logo, or simply include your giftee’s name, this coffee stencil is a great tool that can be used again and again.

Organic Coffee Lip Balm

For coffee lovers who simply can’t get enough of the flavor of coffee, organic coffee lip balm is a wonderful gift that allows you to keep your lips fresh and moisturized. Small enough to fit in a pocket, this balm has a smoky coffee flavor that will have anyone craving their next cup. The balm is made from organic ingredients such as coffee, cocoa butter, coconut oil, honey and beeswax, and is ideal not only for keeping your lips smooth, but contains caffeine and so will give you a slight charge, too.

Wild Hybrid Handpresso

Short of space but still craving an espresso? The Wild Hybrid Handpresso is the answer. This handheld espresso maker utilizes up to 16 bars of pressure in order to produce a number of gourmet coffees such as cappuccinos, lattes, espressos and macchiatos. 

Simply add the ground coffee of your choice along with hot water, pump the Handpresso to the desired pressure, then let the machine do all the work by filtering the water through the grounds. The result? Cafe-style coffee in the palm of your hand – perfect for the coffee aficionado who doesn’t have space for a massive machine.

A Coffee Guide Book

For any self-confessed java warrior who wants to know a little more in-depth information and history about coffee, a coffee guide book is the ultimate gift. How to Make Coffee: The Science Behind the Bean is a handbook that lays bare the art and science of the coffee bean and how to brew the perfect cup. 

It explores the origins of coffee, what makes it so popular, the anatomy of the bean, the best way to tease flavor out of your grounds and what gear you will need to do so. It’s a tour guide through the wonderful world of caffeination, and a must have for those on the eternal quest for the perfect cup of coffee.

Alternative Ideas

Pothead T-Shirt

A gag gift for those who just love a big steaming pot in the morning. Not to be confused with that other substance, this pothead t-shirt is for those who can’t get enough of the caffeinated good stuff. Wear it loud and proud and let everyone know that you’re a coffee lover!

Scientific Caffeine Necklace

For someone who understands coffee on a much more fundamental level than just a delicious, energy-activating nectar of the gods, this scientific caffeine necklace is perfect. Made from an 18 inch silver chain, the necklace displays the chemical formula of caffeine alongside a silver charm that can be personalized with a person’s initials. 

The necklace also comes with an information card displaying a number of interesting facts about caffeine such as the melting point, molar mass, density and boiling point. Also ideal for the scientist who relies on copious amounts of coffee to help them conduct their research.

Chewable Coffee Cubes

Do you know someone who is not just a caffeine addict but also loves all forms of candy? Then these chewable coffee cubes will likely be right up their alley. They’re essentially small, bite-sized bits of coffee that can be kept in your pocket and popped into your mouth whenever you feel the need for a coffee-tasting pick-me-up. 

Perfect for someone who is on-the-go and doesn’t always have time to grind their own beans and patiently brew their own cup, these cubes are deliciously creamy and smoky in their flavor profile.

Image from AwesomeStuff365.com

Bourbon Infused Coffee

After a long evening meal, when the food is just starting to settle and everyone at the table is getting comfortable, you’re often presented with two choices for a post-dinner digestive: coffee or spirits? Bourbon infused coffee is the gift that puts the final nail in the coffin of that question and offers both at the same time. 

Consisting of quality, small batch Arabica beans delicately infused with Kentucky bourbon, these beans contain an incredibly unique flavor profile and aroma, and are perfect for those who love whiskey, rum, bourbon and other strong spirits.

Image from UncommonGoods.com

Cold Brew Coffee Gift Set

For those who live in warmer climates, a steaming hot cup of coffee in the morning might just cause them to break a sweat before they even get to work. This cold brew coffee set ensures that you can still enjoy your morning cup of Joe while remaining as cool as a hipster in the snow. While the set is fairly simple and contains just a mason jar and a reusable cloth filter, it still requires a little bit of simple foresight.

Every night before bed, pack the filter with your favorite grounds, fill the jar with cold water, then let both soak overnight. By the time you wake up your fresh and refreshing cold brew coffee will be ready. The best part? Both the filter and the jar are reusable, making this not only a great coffee gift, but a sustainable one too.

Image from UncommonGoods.com

Coffee Alarm Clock

Waking up isn’t fun for anyone; it’s a disruptive process that makes even the toughest of us want to cry. The dream is to be woken up every morning by a fresh cup of coffee while the smell of ground beans brings you out of your slumber and into waking life. Dream no longer with the Barisieur coffee and tea alarm clock

This sleek, sophisticated and state-of-the-art machinery begins boiling water as it gets close to the designated wake up time. By the time the alarm goes off black gold is already being filtered into a cup, ready to bring you back from the dead in a spectacular, caffeinated fashion. 

The alarm clock requires some prepping the night before, but it’s a small price to pay for an immediate cup of coffee in the morning, and is a godsend for anyone who needs motivation to get out of bed.

Image from imagekit.io
Martin Stokes

Martin Stokes

novelthings

Martin Stokes hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He enjoys writing about all manner of things and can quote lines from films like nobody’s business. He moved to Berlin in 2015 and is working tirelessly at broadening his repertoire of bad jokes.

French Press vs Drip Coffee: Which is Better?

Coffee has undoubtedly experienced a certain renaissance worldwide, and especially within the United States. It has occurred steadily over the last two decades and has brought us to the caffeinated frontier on which we now find ourselves. As the interest in coffee has waxed, the methods used to produce a good cup of coffee have themselves become more refined and complex.

Cue: The French press.

While many caffeine addicts remain attached to their drip coffee machines, another type of café has made headway among the enlightened crowd.

It used to be that in order to produce a truly exception cup of coffee, you had to know a barista who had been in the industry for several years. But boutique coffee production has since shifted to the home. It’s more common than ever to find an espresso machine, mocha, french press or drip coffee maker alongside other high quality kitchen products, as coffee aficionados search for more ingenious ways to manipulate the flavour profile of different roasts. 

This leads to a often-asked question within the coffee community: which method is the best for brewing coffee?

It’s a big question, and we’re going to try unpack it below by comparing two of the most popular home-brewing methods – the French press and drip coffee. We’ll be looking at exactly what constitutes each method, the history of their development, the differences in flavor and texture of the resultant brew, and some good tips on how to make some of the most fragrant, delicious and eye-opening coffee variants of each.

French Press Coffee: What is It?

If you’ve never heard of it, it’s understandable that the French press may sound like a complicated martial arts move, capable of rendering a person immobile and tearing the breath from their body. That’s only half true. The French press is neither a martial arts move, nor is it complicated – but it’ll still take your breath away every time.

The modern French press as we know it today is a simple construction consisting of a large glass, steel or plastic cylindrical beaker with a plastic or steel lid and plunger which fits snugly into the cylinder. The plunger is equipped with a fine mesh filter to capture all of the coffee particulates, but not liquids, as it moves downwards.

It might be worth mentioning the French press actually doesn’t even deserve to be called French. The machine itself was designed by a man called Paolini Ugo and patented by Milanese designer Attilio Calimani in 1929 – a group of Italians. 

It underwent several design modifications by another Italian called Faliero Bondanini, who developed his own patent for the machine in 1958, after which its popularity spread across Europe.

And this popularity has continued to spread, with French press makers becoming a commonplace item in kitchens all over the world. This has resulted in a number of different names for the machine, depending on where you purchase it. In Germany, for example, they call it a Stempelkanne, or stamp pot. In South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, it’s known as a plunger, and the coffee plunger it produces as plunger coffee. In France it is called a cafetière à piston, but often shortened to cafetière, which is what coffee drinkers in the UK and the Netherlands call it too.

Drip Coffee: What is It?

Unlike it’s francophile cousin, drip coffee is a little more straightforward to understand as a brewing method for coffee. Drip coffee involves placing a filter over a container, filling the filter with roasted, ground coffee beans and then pouring hot water through the mixture. The resultant concentrate at the bottom is what we know as drip coffee.

While many people will be more familiar with the drip coffee brewing process through the use of an automatic drip coffee machine, the more minimal, hands-on, pour-over method has become a vogue process in recent years.

Unlike the French press, making drip coffee gives you slightly less control of the brewing process, especially with regards to brewing time. The resultant flavor is also difference since the water passes through the grounds rather than mixing with it for an extended period of time. However, it’s also very easy to do, which is perhaps what has led to its rise in popularity.

French Press vs Drip Coffee: What Makes Them Different?

There are a couple of main differences between French press and drip coffee. The two big ones are the type of grind used, and the amount of control of the brewing variables each method affords you.

The French press requires a coarse grind since the grounds need to steep, whereas drip coffee requires a medium grind in order to let the water pass through it. Because both devices rely on filters in order to get an even and consistent cup of coffee each time, the grind of the beans needs to be just right. 

Then there’s the amount of control of the brewing variables which each method allows for. Since the French press gives you the freedom to add as much or as little coffee as you’d like, and steep it for ten minutes or ten weeks, it gives you way more control over the final flavor of the coffee. Drip coffee, on the other hand, is going to give you a fairly consistent brew every time.

The natural oils within the coffee bean is the factor most responsible for the particular flavor of the coffee, and it’s these oils which get filtered out when coffee is prepared using a drip filter. Drip coffee uses osmotic pressure to drive the coffee concentrate out of the beans, which can result in an over-extraction when robs the coffee of its essential oils. The French press does away with over-extraction by using a much slower brewing process. Here, the grounds and the oils within them, are not merely saturated and then discarded. Rather, they’re allowed to steep, and the water as well as the heat draws out the oils and retains them in the final brew. It’s this extraction which captures the richness and depth of flavor for which the French press has become renowned. 

All of the above variables affect the taste to a greater or lesser degree. While drip coffee, especially machines, can produce full-bodied brews depending on the exact model you use, more often than not it’s going to be the French Press which produces a stronger, fuller-bodied cup of joe. 

The Science Behind the French Press: Here’s Why It’s Not the Same as Drip Coffee

With many other coffee-brewing methods, hot water is poured through your ground coffee beans, and how finely you’ve ground your beans is going to determine how quickly this water passes through. This ultimately has an effect on the flavor, strength, and bitterness of the end result.

A French press works slightly differently in that the brew yield, grind size and brew time are not married to how much water passes through them. With a French press, you’re much better able to control all of these variables, which in turn will give you a lot more control with regard to the final brew. 

Unlike the pour-over method, which using hot water to extract flavor from the grind pretty aggressively, a french press is all about going low and slow. It allows for an even saturation of the grounds rather than an uneven stream of water passing through them, which in turn makes for a more balanced flavor.

Is French Press Worth the Extra Effort?

It all depends on how pedantic you are about the flavor of your first cup of coffee. 

For many people the ease and convenience of drip coffee is one of the main reasons that they invest in either a drip coffee machine or a set of pour-over filters. There’s something to be said about simply pushing a button, waiting for a couple of minutes and receiving a decent cup of coffee in the morning.

In the same breath, if you’re a coffee aficionado who understands the difference between dark roasts and light, prefers single origin compared to multiple, and knows how to coaxe the best and most delicate flavors from your grind, then going the full mile with the French press is going to undoubtedly appeal to you.

Fifteen minutes waiting time is a small price to pay for a full-bodied, velvety-textured cup of the dark stuff.

Making Coffee with a French Press

To make a cup of coffee using a French press, use the following steps:

  • Start by heaping as much ground coffee into the bottom of the beaker as you would like. It’s important that the coffee is fairly coarse; if the beans are ground too finely they’ll simply slip through the mesh filter and into the liquid. 
  • Next, add enough hot water to the coffee and fill most of the beaker, but not all the way to the top. 
  • Allow the coffee to brew for as long as you would like, and when it’s at a satisfactory strength, place the lid and plunger on the top of the beaker. 
  • Push the plunger all the way down to the bottom of the beaker. Do this slowly; too fast and you’ll displace the coffee and it’ll spill everywhere.
  • Pour out a cup and enjoy your handiwork.

I’m a French Press Noob – What Gear Should I Buy?

If you’re new to the French press and unsure what to buy, then we’ve got you covered.

Perhaps the best overall French Press is the Chambord by Bodum. It’s a classic French press that can trace its design all the way back to the fifties, but that still uses the same manufacturing processes today. It’s of the glass and stainless steel variety and is perfect for one or two servings with a 12oz capacity.

For a more premium model and one less prone to breakage, the Freiling double-walled stainless steel French press is the one to buy. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but with a capacity of 36oz, you’ll be able to brew enough coffee for a party of five or six.

I’m Looking to up my Drip Coffee Game – What Gear Should I Buy?

With regards to drip coffee machines, the Bella 12 Cup Coffee Maker comes out on top. Not only is it affordable and stylish enough to fit in any kitchen, but it can brew consistently great cups of coffee in only nine minutes.

And if you’re serious about pour-over drip coffee, then we recommend the Kalita Wave 185 Dripper as well as the Kalita Wave Series 500. Bolster your purchase with Kalita’s wavy filters in order to produce a fast and incredibly delicious cup of coffee.  

How to Make the Best Drip Coffee

In order to make a perfect pour-over drip coffee, we’ve put together a number of steps for you to follow below:

  1. Start with a good grind. You’ll want to ensure that the grind is not too coarse or too fine, but somewhere in the middle. 
  2. For a single cup of pour-over coffee you’ll want somewhere around 23g of ground coffee.
  3. Place the filter over your beaker or mug and prewet it with some hot water. This will allow the water to filter through a little easier while also removing a lot of the paper taste that filters can sometimes have.
  4. Remove the water you used to prewet the filter, then place the filter back on top of your container.
  5. Add the coffee grounds to the filter, then shake it around gently to even it out.
  6. Boil 400ml of water, take it off the heat, then let it rest for around 30 seconds. 
  7. Pour just enough water to wet the grounds, then let the brew sit for 30 or 40 seconds. This process is called blooming, and it releases some of the gases trapped within the grounds. This allows for a smoother extraction, and will prevent the coffee having a sour taste. 
  8. Pour the rest of the hot water through slowly, starting in the center then working outwards and then inwards in concentric circles. If you find that water runs too fast, try using a finer grind, and if it’s too slow, try a coarser one.
  9. Use a wooden spoon to gently stir the grinds and drain the last of the water.
  10. Remove the filter, let the coffee sit for a moment, and then it’s ready to drink.

Can’t spring for French press? Here’s How to Make the Most of Your Average, Everyday Cup of Joe

If you’re not in a position to grab the latest and greatest French press just yet, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some steps you can take in order to up your coffee game to the next level. Coffee, after all, is about more than just the device used to brew it.

There are two important things that will change your morning coffee routine for the better: your bean and your grinder. Choosing a well-roasted coffee bean is the basis for getting the most delicious-tasting coffee possible. Of course, this is a matter of taste, so you’ll have to switch it up until you find one that you really like.

Some favorites include:

Now that you have the beans you’ll want to get a grinder. It doesn’t have to be an expensive electronic one with different gauges and measuring tools; a hand grinder will work fine. The important thing is that you have a tool that can produce consistent grinds that range from fine to coarse depending on your needs. Check out our favorites below for all budgets:

  • Hero Manual Coffee Grinder – For a no-frills grinding experience that won’t break the bank but will still produce a consistent grind, Hero’s manual coffee grinder is hard to beat.
  • KRUPS GX5000 Burr Coffee Grinder – This affordable electric grinder by KRUPS will let you get the precise grounds you need while still leaving some cash in your pocket for another bag of beans.
  • The Smart Grinder Pro by Breville – If you’ve got the money to spend and want the absolute best when it comes to grinding beans, the Smart Grinder Pro by Breville is hard to pass up. With over 60 grind functions and a design geared towards preserving the essential oils within the coffee bean, this machine is worth the price.
Martin Stokes

Martin Stokes

novelthings

Martin Stokes hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He enjoys writing about all manner of things and can quote lines from films like nobody’s business. He moved to Berlin in 2015 and is working tirelessly at broadening his repertoire of bad jokes.