So many gifts, so little time. In this last week before the holidays, we’re happy to help you cross some names off your gift list with our hand picked favorites from across a variety of food and entertaining categories. First up is coffee, with recommendations from our resident coffee expert, Emmeline.
There is a vast, and at times, overwhelming selection of gifts to choose from during the holidays. Most coffee enthusiasts and connoisseurs not only want what’s the latest and greatest, but also something local and unique. Artisan or craft quality is often a big part of what qualifies something as “specialty.”
From handmade ceramics to coffee companies that are killing it in the industry, I’ve curated a coffee holiday gift guide that will electrify the coffee enthusiasts in your life. The brands listed below are lauded and loved by coffee nerds, oftentimes found in cafes. Some of these items are even used by top tier baristas at national competitions. As for the coffees and subscriptions, I’ve carefully selected these so palates will be pleased and the stories behind the farmers’ productions and harvests will be appreciated.
Black Dot Mug
Hand throwing ceramics out of Portland, Oregon, Mica DeMarquez of Mimi Ceramics crafts refreshingly minimalist wares. The black dot mug (pictured above) is a prime example of her skill and aesthetic, both restrained and refined. Aside from a stylish and ergonomically friendly design that will warm your hands, the mug holds about 8-10 ounces of liquid, a great serving size for sharing a Chemex.
Four Barrel Design Cappuccino Cup and Saucer, Espresso Cup and Saucer & Shorthand Old-fashioned Tumbler
San Francisco-based founders and artists Stephen “Sven” and Mally hand throw their ceramics out of Black Mountain clay, a variety that has a rich chocolatey color and a remarkable texture. It yields a rough, but attractively tactile cup. Whether your preferred coffee is straight espresso or a single origin pour over, Sven Ceramics offers a wide range of sizes and styles, all works of art that your hands will enjoy holding. If you live in or are visiting the San Francisco area, you can experience drinking from their cups at Four Barrel Coffee.
Goat Story Mug
The Goat Story mug is a unique interpretation of an on-the-go, shatter resistant mug for the commuting warriors out there. A startup from Ljubljana, Slovenia was funded on Kickstarter, Goat Story continues to recruit dedicated fans with its playful, functional mug that resembles a goat’s horn. BPA-free, leak-proof and easily slung across your shoulder during hikes or bike rides, the unique horn shape is a clever reference to the mythical story of how coffee was discovered.
Duck Canvas and Leather Apron
Handcrafted by brothers Clayton and Bobby Chamberlain in Fayetteville, Arkansas, these aprons and leather goods are made from the highest quality materials possible. The duck canvas and leather apron weaves together classic heavy duty workwear with modern, functional design. Because of the natural materials used to make this apron, a beautiful patina will form on the leather pockets over time, giving it one-of-a-kind character. This is an amazing gift for a barista, home cook, or painter in your life. The tough material keeps spills off clothes, and the chest and hip pockets keep tools close at hand.
The Machinist Apron
Two words sum up this apron: clean and ergonomic. The guys at Saint Anthony Industries hand stitch their American-made aprons from start to finish. Though based in Salt Lake City, Utah, the company sources its denim directly from the coveted White Oak Mill in North Carolina. Once you put the apron on, you won’t want to take it off. Lightweight yet durable, the Machinist is truly unisex, with easily adjustable soft leather straps and a variety of color schemes to choose from. The slanted chest pocket is genius, angled to the precise angle your hand reaches in.
Holiday Gift Set
There are so many coffee subscription service companies out there now, but Mistobox is really one of the finest you’ll find. They work directly with the 40 best coffee roasting companies in the country, and their “Notes from the Curator” and customer reviews ensure you’re receiving coffees that suit your personal palate. Their customizable coffee subscriptions would make a great gift, and I’m really loving their special holiday gift set box that is currently offered when you decide to purchase a gift subscription for your loved one. Simply follow the click-through procedures, and the special gift set will be revealed to you (including coffees from Good Folks Coffee Company, Anodyne Coffee Roasting, and a limited edition coffee person mug).
Colombia Monteblanco Bourbon Rosa
Taste Notes: Kiwi, Bright, Complex
Santa Cruz, California’s Verve Coffee is a beloved player in the independent roasting game, and their Monteblanco Bourbon Rosa is a gorgeous example of the level of skill they’re capable of. This unusual “Pink Bourbon” single origin variety is bursting with tasting notes of kiwi, orange sherbet and bright, complex flavors that will make your palate jingle all the way! At $30 for just an 8 ounce bag, it’s a serious splurge, but it’s sure to be a holiday highlight for your favorite specialty coffee connoisseur.
Mixtape Sampler 4-Pack
Mystery and excitement are essential components to the gift giving process. That’s why I’m digging Huckleberry Roasters’ Mixtape Sampler 4-Pack. The super cute packages may look like retro cassette tapes on the outside, but open them up to find 4 varieties of tasty single origin coffees in 3.5 ounce tins! Each box is screen printed by ASPS, a shop local to Denver, Colorado, where Huckleberry is also based. A blast from the past and amazing coffees from around the world – it doesn’t get better than this.
Ethiopia Layo Teraga
What coffee gifts do you plan on picking up this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!
Photos by Emmeline Wang