DCILY’s Coffee Lover Gift Guide 2011

11.28

Dear Coffee, I Love You is approaching its two year anniversary of discovering and writing about the greatest things in the world of specialty coffee. With all the hours spent finding, learning about and sharing new things, I’ve developed a growing wish list along with suggestions for upgrading and improving your own coffee experience. As a follow-up to last years 2010 DCILY gift guide, I’m happy to share an all new list of holiday gift suggestions for the coffee lovers in your life.

1. AWS 1kg Pocket Scale -$10- A gift for the precision-minded barista. I’ve previously written about the “power of the scale” and how important it is to maintain consistency in coffee brewing. This scale provides an affordable first step. It’s compact, great for travel and measures .1g up to 1000g. Shop for AWS-1KG

2. DCILY Gear -$13 to $40- A gift for those who consider t-shirts high fashion. In the last year DCILY has slowly begun to grow from being just a blog to much more. Its a creative outlet for me to design cool products that I’d want for myself, and hope others will be just as excited about. This fall I launched a line of shirts and am currently producing custom KeepCups for those on the go. Shop for DCILY Gear

3. Baratza Virtuoso -$200- A gift for grinding coffee on a whole new level. A coffee grinder is one of the most important—and overlooked—investments to improve your coffee at home. A quality burr grinder will insure consistency in grind size which allows proper extraction. The Virtuoso is a top notch grinder for most brew methods and what I personally used in the States. For just filter coffee, the lower-cost Maestro is great and if you know someone who’s been extra good this year—the Vario-W will ensure they stay good. Shop for Baratza Virtuoso

4. Handsome Gift Box -$75- A gift for Handsome fanboys. Handsome Coffee may be this years hottest new thing. The boys at Handsome are the Kone of 2011, only less “S&M” and more “please marry me.” They’ve put together a beautiful and limited gift set, including a 6oz porcelain mug from Italy, laser-etched wood box and a bag of their finest product—handsomely roasted coffee. Shop Handsome Coffee

5. Coffee Story: Ethiopia -$65- A gift for coffee lovers who love coffee books. This beautifully photographed book captures the story of coffee in its homeland of Ethiopia. It tells the tale of a country whose culture is based on not just on the cultivation of coffee but also the tradition of drinking it themselves. Order a copy

6. OXO Press Pot -$35- A gift for the traditionalist. The press post (or French press) is one of the easiest ways to start brewing coffee at home. Disliked by some for the “silty” mouthfeel it produces, many people love them for that very same reason. I’ve written about my appreciation for the French press before, and think it’s a great step to improve home brewing. While Bodum is the classic choice, these new OXO press pots are designed well and include a silicone scoop that rests beneath the grounds to make cleaning much easier.  Shop for OXO Press Pots

7. Grinder Cleaning Brush -$3- A gift for anyone who doesn’t have one. With the grinder being such an important—and pricey—investment, it needs to be kept clean to preform at its best and for as long as it can. If you aren’t using dark oily beans or flavored coffee beans, brushing off the burrs once a week will keep things surprisingly tidy and your coffee tasty. Shop for a cleaning brush

8. Hario Buono Kettle -$50- A gift for the aspiring coffee aficionado. If you know someone who brews pour over coffee while trying their best to control the water flow from a large-mouthed electric kettle, they’re probably waiting for someone to buy them this. While its not necessary for brewing, it makes life much easier and more enjoyable. Shop for a Buono Kettle

9. Kalita Single Use Drippers -$10- A gift for the jetsetter or camper. For those who have to pack light, even an AeroPress can be too much sometimes. For those occasions, there are the Kalita Katan single-use drippers. These little guys unfold and sit atop your cup, with a built in filter for pour over coffee anywhere you need it. Kalita also makes its own unique pour over system and a gorgeous kettle. Shop for Kalita Drippers

10. Technivorm Moccamaster -$300- A gift for gatherings and lazy sundays. The Moccamaster is pretty much the only electric drip coffee maker that coffee professionals recommend. The reason it costs more than most coffee makers you’ll find at the store, is that this one actually works. This brewer can maintain the water temperature necessary for proper extraction and does so very quickly. These beautifully designed machines are also handmade in The Netherlands which adds quality & cost. Shop for Technivorm

11. The Clive Stand -$195- A gift for the craft-minded V60 fan. The Clive Stand is how I first discovered Clive Coffee (now a sponsor of this site) and have been continually impressed by their design conscious decisions. These stands are beautifully hand made from salvaged Oregon Walnut and I’m still longing for the day I have one sitting on my counter. Shop for the Clive Stand

12. GoCoffeeGo Gift Cards -$50- A gift for coffee lovers with everything. The only gift to appear on last year’s list as well because of its broad functional appeal. Even if you have all the latest equipment, you still need great coffee beans. GoCoffeeGo has curated some of the best coffee roasters in the US to create a selection where you can’t go wrong. With their Netflix-like tool “Auto-Ship,” you can customize your own never-ending coffee subscription. Shop for GoCoffeeGo Giftcards

*Buying from local shops is highly encouraged, but for those without the luxury of well-stocked businesses nearby, shopping through DCILY’s curated Amazon Store supports this site and the content you enjoy.*

posted by on 11.28.2011, under Gift Guides, Misc., Products

That Final Festive Touch

11.24

For everyone celebrating Thanksgiving today, may it be a pleasant one that hopefully ends with better coffee than Maxwell House. Cheers!

From the 1945 Maxwell ad:

This year–especially—Thanksgiving is a red-letter day. A day of rejoicing… of reunions… of “home again” dinners, lovingly prepared, pleasantly lingered over. And as the fragrance of spicy pies and puddings scents the air, the mellow richness of Maxwell House Coffee adds its own very special good cheer to the occasion. There’s a warm welcome in every friendly cup.

It’s a coffee worthy of a gala dinner. Expertly blended—it combines many fine Latin-American coffees for extra flavor! Manizales for mellowness! Bucaramangas for full body! Medellins for richness! Still other choice Latin-American coffees for vigor! It’s Radiant Roasted too—to develop the maximum flavor goodness!

[click to view larger]

posted by on 11.24.2011, under Misc.

Tis’ the Season for Intelligentsia

11.15

As the the weather turns cold and the decorative lights come out, the color of coffee cups tend to change along with the festivities. This year, there’s a new holiday cup to be seen with while walking around town (for those who must take their coffee to-go) and a new set of ceramic for you to enjoy near the comfort of an open fire (chestnuts roasting?).

Intelligentsia has livened up their paper products and released a set of lovely new mugs for winter, inspired by the likes of Flemish renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel. So, if you happen to live near one of their locations, you might find yourself carrying not just a great looking holiday cup this year, but one with something delicious inside.

Once you’ve found yourself in the vicinity of the these jovial new cups, you’re likely not far from the new Intelligentsia X Askinosie chocolate bars either. Made in collaboration with the Award-winning mid-western chocolatiers, the dark chocolate bars are made with 77% single origin Philippine cocoa and Intelligentsia’s Organic La Perla de Oaxaca coffee from Mexico. If you can avoid eating them yourself, these would probably make mighty fine stocking stuffers. Now, if only there were an Intelli down on Kungsgatan.

posted by on 11.15.2011, under Design, Misc., Recommended Roasters

National Coffee Day: Celebrate We Will

09.29

Everyday is worth celebrating coffee, but September 29th was dubbed “National Coffee Day” in the US back in 2005 (though Google can’t find the specific reference). A few years later, in 2009, the day was declared “International Coffee Day” in a press release announcing the first New Orleans Coffee Festival. So from Sweden to San Francisco—and everywhere in between—take a friend out for fika, or buy a stranger their morning cup and celebrate our love of coffee.

Most importantly think about how far those beans have come, from the farmers who laboriously grew it, the roasters who skillfully roasted it and the baristas who artfully brewed it (and don’t forget to tip). Cheers!

posted by on 09.29.2011, under Misc.

DCILY’s Coffee Lover Gift Guide 2010

12.08

Dear Coffee, I Love You has spent over a year discovering and writing about the greatest things going on in the coffee world. This guide could be much larger, but I’ve narrowed it down to my favorite ten items that will make fantastic gifts for anyone who loves coffee.

1. Chemex -$40- A gift for the design connoisseur in your life. The Chemex was invented in 1939 by a Bauhaus inspired chemist from Germany and resides in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. The thick filter creates a very clean cup and the technique allows you to have maximum control over brewing variables. Shop for a Chemex

2. Sowden SoftBrew -$50- A gift for French press fans who need all the latest toys. The Sowden SoftBrew was just released this fall. Designed by George Sowden, who has worked with houseware legends Alessi and Pyrex, the SoftBrew is a “less violent” way to brew coffee while keeping the oil rich flavors in tact. The beautiful porcelain jug wraps around a stainless steel, photo-etched filter that fully immerses the grounds, while keeping out more sediment than a press pot. Shop for a SoftBrew

3. Coava Filters -$50- A gift for every eco-conscious, coffee drinking steam punk. These stainless steel filters from Coava Coffee use photo-etching technology to create a reusable, stainless steel filter for the Chemex and AeroPress. They’re made entirely in the USA, from Ohio Steel and offer the control of the Chemex and AeroPress brewing methods without filtering away all of the coffee oils and texture you get in a press pot. Shop for Coava Filters

4. Coffee with Tim Wendelboe -$70- A gift for the bibliophile who absorbs as much information as they do coffee. Written by former Barista World Champion Tim Wendelboe, this book is a beautiful addition to every coffee lover’s library. It’s full of beautiful photos and approachable information that follows coffee from crop to cup. It also discusses Tim’s professional views on issues such as Fair Trade and light roasts. Order a copy

5. God In A Cup -$17- A gift for bookworms who love a good read with their coffee. This must-read book follows the journey of some of coffee’s third wave heroes, including Geoff Watts (Intelligentsia), Duane Sorenson (Stumptown), and Peter Giuliano (Counter Culture) as they visit origins around the world and move the coffee industry forward. Order a copy

6. Hario Mini Mill -$33- A gift for the caffeinated fitness fiend. The Hario Mini Mill (and its big brother, the Skerton) allow you to get a consistent quality grind (as well as a nice workout), with no electricity. It’s half the cost of a decent electric burr grinder, but produces grounds much better than cheaper alternatives. Shop for a Mini Mill

7. Presso -$150- A gift for the espresso addicted treehugger in your life. The Presso is a beautifully designed & engineered, manual espresso machine. For the price, it’s hard to get a better shot of espresso at home. It’s made from recyclable materials and it’s always fun to use. Shop for a Presso

8. AeroPress -$30- A gift for the nomadic coffee snob on your list. This odd looking device is completely portable and brews a great cup of coffee. It’s plastic, so it won’t break, and it uses a lower water temp that’s easier to achieve while traveling. This has quickly become a must-have item for every coffee aficionado. Shop for an AeroPress

9. DCILY Coffee Prints -$30- A gift for the snarky barista or café owner you know. The Dear Coffee, I Love You prints not only support your favorite coffee blogger, but they will look great in any home, office, or café. Printed on high-quality paper with archival inks, custom colors available by request. Shop for DCILY Prints

10. GoCoffeeGo Gift Cards -$50- A gift for the coffee addict with absolutely everything. Even if you have all the latest equipment, you still need great coffee beans. GoCoffeeGo has curated some of the best coffee roasters in the US to create a selection where you can’t go wrong. With their Netflix-like tool “Auto-Ship,” you can customize your own never-ending coffee subscription. Shop for GoCoffeeGo Giftcards

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posted by on 12.08.2010, under Design, Gift Guides, Misc., Products