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Coffee and Coffee Snobbery are recurring themes on this site. As you know, I work for the nice guys at Prima Coffee. Naturally, I have a fair amount to say about coffee equipment. Many coffee snobs find themselves (to their chagrin) receiving Starbucks cards for Christmas. While I am thankful for such gifts, because Jen really likes their hot apple cider, I think it helpful to provide a list of good gift ideas for your favorite coffee snobs. So, here’s my list of great Coffee gifts divided under: $0-$25, $25-$50, $50-$100, and $100+.
GIFTS FOR COFFEE SNOBS - $0-$25
DCILY KeepCup – $14.50
This is a sweet reusable travel cup featuring one of my favorite coffee blogs – DCILY.
Clever Coffee Brewer – $16
I have said multiple times before that the Clever is the best entry-level manual brewer on the market. I absolutely love this brewer. It is a great gift.
Intelligentsia Gift Card – $25
Intelligentsia is one of my absolute favorite roasters. Their coffee subscription service on their website, however, is confusing. Thus, I recommend a gift card. Intelli ships all over the place, and you can find great coffee (and sweet mugs) on their site.
Sweet Maria’s Green Coffee – $$$
These vary in price, but if you know someone that does their own roasting, Sweet Maria’s is a great resource.
GIFTS FOR COFFEE SNOBS - $25-$50
Aeropress – $25.95
The AeroPress is a great little brewer. A little more effort than a Clever, but it makes a great cup of coffee. Mind you, it only makes one cup, but it does it well.
Hario Metal Coffee Press – $27.75
If you’re into French Press coffee, this is a good little brewer for you. Prima is also selling it dirt cheap for Black Friday.
Hario Mini Mill Manual Coffee Grinder – $31.95
The best little hand grinder out there. Gives you a good workout while grinding your coffee. Functional for espresso to French Press, which is quite versatile…trust me.
Jennings CJ4000 Scale – $38.75
I find that I brew coffee best when I am exact with the weights of both the grounds and the water. The Jennings scale is precise. It also has an AC adapter so you don’t have to buy batteries every six weeks.
Hario V60 Pour-Over Set-Up – $43
I have this set-up at home (except with a ceramic brewer). I love this system. Although you will need to purchase a pouring kettle as well (see below).
Bonavita Electric Pouring Kettle – $49.99
This is the kettle I rock at home. It is also helpful for warming up my daughter’s bottles.
GIFTS FOR COFFEE SNOBS - $50-$100
AeroPress and Mini Mill Combo – $57
Put two items from the list above and get ‘em for cheaper. Enough said.
Hario Buono Pouring Kettle – $53
Pours better than the Bonavita kettle, but it costs a bit more and doesn’t heat up water automatically. Your call as to which is better.
Counter Culture 3-month Coffee Subscription – $64.95
I love Counter Culture Coffee. They have a good subscription service for varying durations.
GIFTS FOR COFFEE SNOBS - $100+
Tonx Coffee 3-Month Subscription (2 12oz bags per month) – $114 ($38/mo)
Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder – $129
My favorite entry-level electronic grinder. It is very flexible and reliable. We use it everyday in the office.
Six-month Craft Coffee Subscription – $134.94
Great subscription service. Craft coffee sends you great coffee from several great roasters.
Prima Tamp – $140
Just talked about this yesterday. It still rocks.
Bonavita Thermal Carafe Automatic Brewer – $149.99
The only automatic coffee brewer I recommend. Great gift for anyone at half the price of a Technivorm (another good automatic brewer).
Until later friends…
One of the great shows of 1980s was Transformers. I don’t have many memories of watching the show, but I do distinctly remember being fascinated and frustrated by the toys as a child.
I think the cool thing/most-frustrating-thing-ever about Transformers was the mechanical-mindedness it took to play with them. The fact that your toy could be two different things blew the minds of many a child in the 80s and 90s. Now that my generation is all grown up, we don’t play with Transformers. However, I think that subconscious love of adjustable/mechanical devices remains. That is part of the reason I love the new Prima Tamp so much.
I have been privy to the entire development process of this sweet device. I have been able to use it to tamp and pull some good shots of espresso. The more this thing developed, the more geeked out about it I became. While this doesn’t transform from an espresso tamper to a little robotic man with a bazooka and a sword, I feel the same sort of fascination towards it.
OK, so it’s not nearly as complicated, but that makes it cooler right?
Today’s post might seem a little sales-pitchy, but it’s for a great cause folks.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. This means several things. For one, you’re going to see a heck of a lot more of these around:
It also means that you are going to see some really burly men wearing pink gloves, pink sweatbands, pink shoes, etc. starting this Sunday.
All of us have been effected by cancer in one way or the other. I have known several ladies that have fought breast cancer. Some people say that the whole “pink-ribbon-breast-cancer-awareness” stuff is overplayed. I understand that breast cancer gets a lot more airtime than a lot of other diseases that have had devastating effects on families everywhere, but I do think these campaigns are valuable. Although I’m not a scientist, I’d be willing to bet that advances in medicine focused on one type of cancer will have far-reaching effects on other types. The chance of a woman getting breast cancer is 1 in 8, with 1 in 36 women likely to die of it (According to American Cancer Society’s Facts About Breast Cancer). We all love our moms, sisters, and grandmoms, and if there is a chance to defeat one of the top killers of these lovely ladies, lets do it.
Please check out the Tamp Out Breast Cancer with Prima Coffee & the American Cancer Society blog. Prima has three ways of contributing to Breast Cancer research:
1) Buy a pink maple tamper and 100% of the profits go to the American Cancer Society
2) Bid on a one-of-a-kind pink briar tamper, and 100% of the revenue goes to the American Cancer Society.
3) For people buying from us that don’t want a tamper, all customers can add a $1 donation to each order and Prima will match it.
You can also simply donate straight to the American Cancer Society.
So whether you want to knock two birds out with one stone and pick up coffee equipment and donate, or if you just want to donate straight to cancer research, Prima wants to help further the cause. Prima won’t be making any money on these tampers. We thought it was a great way to spread awareness, and to get the specialty coffee community excited about the cause. Together we can beat breast cancer with a baseball bat.
(OK that was a really lame way to intro this picture, but I also wanted to include the MLB’s Breast Cancer research drive and my beloved Chicago Cubs)
Until later friends…
I’ve written several times about the Clever Coffee Brewer. I am a big fan of it.
The Clever Coffee Dripper is (in my opinion) the best introductory manual brewer. If you have a friend or family member that likes coffee, but doesn’t want to jump straight to the siphon, then the Clever is just what they need.
There are a few changes made to the Clever. We at Prima Coffee put together a comparison photo to highlight the differences.
Although, the differences are mainly cosmetic, I do think the new one looks pretty sweet. Be sure to check it out. It may be the perfect Christmas gift for your favorite coffee snob.
Until later friends…
I have been woefully inactive on this blog as of late. Life is busy, as I am sure your life is. We are in the midst of preparing for the birth of our first child. So, blogging has not been at the top of my priority list. It occurred to me today that I have around 50 followers that have only heard from me twice in the past month. I realize this probably has not caused you any undue stress, but when I subscribe to blogs, it is because I like what they write. So, when they don’t write anything, I might just take them off my blog reader. So, in case your mild interest in For Aslan…and the Volunteer State is waning, I have put together a playlist for you my favorite readers (and you people that got here via random google searches for things like “Andrew Jackson,” “Louisville Slugger Museum,” or “Bodum Monkey”).
For my fellow Rickrollers….
For my fellow coffee nerds…
Here is my friend Matt making tampers for us at Prima Coffee. He’s really good, and this is a sweet video.
For fans of literature and films…
This might be cheezy, but I think it looks great. I mean, Edgar Allan Poe murder/mystery movie? Yes please.
Until later friends…
Baratza has recently announced a new development in the home coffee burr grinder world. My friend Matt posted an informative blog about it at Prima Coffee: Baratza Encore Grinder Announced: Maestro Series Rides Off Into the Sunset. This is a pretty sweet development in home coffee brewing. The Baratza Encore is – in my opinion – the best entry-level coffee grinder on the market for various coffee-brewing methods. I have yet to purchase an electric burr grinder due to the fact that Jen is not a big fan of coffee, and if I’m going to spend big bucks on something, it should be something for both of us. The Baratza Encore is tempting though, and I might just find a way to put it on our baby registry .
The Baratza Encore is pretty sweet, but it is still somewhat sad to say goodbye to the Baratza Maestro Plus. The Maestro was the first to go, and now the Maestro Plus.
I feel like the passing on of the Maestro series is like the loss of a great mentor, like Obi-Wan Kenobi or Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez (Highlander). Yet, as is the case with both Kenobi and Ramirez, the death of the master (Maestro series) allows the student (Encore) to grow in power.
Speaking of Sean Connery. I have to share this.
I love that reading this out loud necessitates a Sean Connery accent. I am also reading King Solomon’s Mines for the first time. You may not be familiar with that book, but you may be familiar with the protagonist Allan Quatermain, whom Sean Connery played in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Since my first exposure to the character of Allan Quartermain came from that film, I can only imagine him as I read as Sean Connery. This is especially entertaining, because the book is written in the first person in the character of Quartermaine. Therefore, I read each word with Sean Connery’s accent in my mind. Even if this book shapes up to be awful, I think I’m going to love it for that reason alone.
Until later friends…
Prima Coffee announced today a sweet opportunity to win a Bonavita Automatic Coffee Brewer.
You can read the announcement blog here: Free Bonavita Brewer. The rules are easy: go to Prima Coffee’s Google+ page, and add them to your circles. If Prima Coffee gets 700 followers on Google+ by February 20th, all of the followers will be entered into a drawing for a free Bonavita Brewer. I can’t win, because I work there. But YOU can! (Unless you are related to me)
Until later friends…
There are only 43 days left until Christmas (Christmas Countdown)! Throughout this holiday season, I will be sure to share with you brilliant gift ideas. If you have ever read this blog before, you know that I talk a lot about coffee and coffee equipment. If I become aware of any sweet coffee deals I will let you know. If you are into Specialty Coffee, then I have some good news for you. During this holiday season, Prima Coffee is offering some sweet deals on coffee equipment. I recently saw this in Roast magazine.
That jolly red-bearded fellow is not a young Santa, it is my friend Lee from Prima Coffee.
Ole Redbeard (as I like to call him) has been keeping me in the loop on some sweet deals Prima Coffee is offering for the Christmas season. If you are into the whole Twitter scene and you like specialty coffee, you should follow Prima Coffee. Check out the sweet deal they had yesterday.
That’s right free Able DISKs. Word on the street is that there will be even more discounts and giveaways in the coming weeks. Get yourself in the Christmas mood. Be generous and buy the coffee nerd in your life something cool.
A little Christmas/Sting and the Police music video for you:
Until later friends…
Today is National Coffee Day. Hooray for coffee! I love coffee.
Today is a happy day in our office, which is comprised of a bunch of coffee nerds. I realize that many people use coffee as a drug, and this is bad. Some companies embrace this coffee addiction, like Dunkin Donuts:
I oppose caffeine addiction, but I wholeheartedly support coffee. Across the country there are all sorts of giveaways celebrating coffee today. Both 7-Eleven and Krispy Kreme are giving away free coffee today. That is about what their coffee is worth in my opinion. In honor of National Coffee Day, let’s talk a little bit about good coffee.
On Good Coffee Brewing
Mr. Coffee is Inconsistent
- Sorry, but Mr. Coffee does not give you proper temperature stability or equal extraction.
Manual Brewing is the Way to Go
- In honor of National Coffee Day, Prima Coffee is offering 10% off of manual brewers from their manual brewing blog post. Simply enter “coffeeday” in the coupon field during checkout.
Coffee beans should not be black
- This means they are burnt. Burnt = bad.
Coffee has More Nuances than Wine
- Scientific fact. Check this article on coffee and wine. Plus, drinking coffee and driving will never get you arrested.
Grind Immediately Before you Brew
- Coffee loses its flavor exponentially the longer it sits ground. Never buy pre-ground coffee – even if it is vaccuum sealed.
Those are a few hints towards a better coffee experience. Now, lets talk about some great coffee suppliers.
On Buying Coffee Beans
Don’t buy Starbucks coffees
- They are burnt, and even if they were roasted to an acceptable level, you won’t get them until many weeks after their roast date.
Check out some great National Roasters
Find a Local Roaster in your Hometown
- If you want to try out lots of different coffees, try out a coffee subscription. Craft Coffee‘s subscription intrigues me.
That is all I have for National Coffee Day. Go enjoy some great coffee, and if you don’t have a great way of making coffee, check out Prima Coffee’s sale today.
Until later friends….
I know ya’ll are probably getting tired of my many coffee posts, but I have to mention something. Over at Prima Coffee, there is a bit of a blog throwdown going on. A friend of mine (@hermitudinous) and a social-media acquaintance (@CollinAMoody), have both written stellar reviews of the Kalita Wave for Prima Coffee. There has been a fair amount of trash-talking between the two on twitter about who wrote a better review (keep in mind that they are friends).
Collin’s Post: Kalita Wave: Guest Barista Review – Part One
Letoto’s Post: Kalita Wave: Guest Barista Review – Part Two
So, my fellow coffee snobs (all 7 of you that read this), who do you think wrote a better review?
Until later friends…