The 5 Best Gifts for Coffee Lovers (From a Roaster’s Perspective) in 2019

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. We received compensation and courtesy product from Trade Coffee. All opinions expressed here are our own.

You’ve decided you’re going to get your coffee lover a gift.

But there’s a problem.

The world of coffee gadgets and gizmos is huge.

What do they want? Is there anything they need?

It can get pretty confusing.

Don’t worry. I got you.

I’ve roasted a quarter-million pounds of coffee, spent days tasting and refining espressos, traveled to South America to buy (literal) tons of unroasted coffee, and trained entire teams of baristas. When it comes to coffee, I haven’t seen it all, but I’ve seen a lot.

And to help spread the roasty joy, I want to share with you the five best gifts you can give to any coffee lover.

This isn’t one of those lists with a million different cheap knick-knacks. It’s not a compilation of every coffee-related thing we could find on Amazon.

This list comes from years of experience talking to, living with, and working alongside coffee fanatics.

If your person loves a cup of java, they’re going to lose their beans over these.

Quick Summary

  • trade miir tumbler plus two coffees

    Coffee Subscription

    • My favorite is Trade—one place, the nation’s best roasters
    • Gift subscription options so you can choose to spend a little or a lot
    • Delivered straight to their door, and it can be a gift that gives month after month
  • Chemex Trade

    A New Pour-Over

    • If they’re using an automatic drip, this will instantly make their coffee better
    • Perfect for making a special cup
    • Chemex is beautiful, while Kalita Wave is fool-proof
  • aeropresstravel

    Make Your Own Coffee Travel Kit

    • Works anywhere with hot water
    • Grinder means fresh coffee every day
    • Easy to pack—great for camping
  • fresh roast

    Coffee Roaster (+Unroasted Beans)

    • A fascinating new hobby
    • Really expand their coffee knowledge
    • They can make you a great cup using your gift
  • Breville Barista 1

    A Home Espresso Machine

    • Endless fun to play with
    • Make great lattes and cappuccino
    • Breville Barista Express  has an all-in-one grinder and steamer

3 Things to Consider When Buying the Perfect Gift for Your Coffee Lover


1. Do They Love the Flavor? Or Do They Just Love the Caffeine?

We all know at least one.

They say they love coffee, but they’re really just after the caffeine buzz. There’s no problem with that. But knowing what side of the fence they’re on will help you pick the perfect gift.

Services like Trade meet your caffeine-fiend where they are. Through a set of detailed questions, Trade will set them up with a bag (or two, or three) from one of the nation’s best roasters.

If they’re stuck drinking supermarket bargain java for the jolt, help them out. They may not know how much luxury there is in enjoying an aromatic and rich cup every morning.

2. What Equipment Do They Already Have?

You might find yourself over your head on this one. If they’ve got a ton of brewing gadgets but you’re not sure which ones, don’t worry.

Rather than getting them yet another brewing method (like the pour-overs and Aeropress  we’ve listed) see if you can expand their horizons. A roaster could be perfect. A subscription works for this person, too. With so many different gadgets, all they need is more coffee.

3. Are They Experimenters?

Tinkerers, testers, and amateur scientists will completely fall into the rabbit-hole if you let them.

Like wine, coffee has its own distinct flavor based on where it’s from. Set up your favorite hobbyist with a roaster and some unroasted beans. They’ll have endless fun testing the differences between light and dark roasts.

Not sure they’ll like the roaster? Any of the brewing methods offer just as much chance for experimentation.

What’s the best coffee to water ratio? What’s the best temperature for the brewing water? Do I have the right balance of minerals?!

If it sounds like they’d have a field day with a new brewing method, don’t even get started with the home espresso machine.

People devote their whole lives to making the perfect espresso shot. Throw in latte art and you may never see them again, except for when they’re making you the best cappuccino you’ve ever had in your life.


The 5 Best Gifts for Coffee Lovers in 2019


1. A Coffee Subscription

trade miir tumbler plus two coffees

Who’s It For

The foodie. The armchair traveler. The budding sommelier.

What We Like

With subscription services, you’re giving your coffee-lover exactly what they want: more coffee. Plus, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

My favorite subscription service is Trade. When I reviewed them back in August 2019, I found one of the best beans I’d ever had. Looking through their impressive roster of roasters, I can definitively say that they feature many of the greatest working roasters in the US.

Mix of Four Coffees from Trade Coffee

For the holidays, Trade is offering gift subscriptions. You can give 2 bags or 24 bags, whatever you choose. Add a custom Miir or Yeti tumbler, and you have an excellent gift package. You can have it delivered straight to their door, too.

Trade Miir tumbler

I love the option of gifting throughout the year. Every month they can open their mailbox and feel the holiday spirit, even in July.

I subscribe to Trade because I like to see what different roasters are doing across the country. Getting a new bag every month doesn’t cover all my consumption needs, but it’s enough to get me looking forward to delivery day.

Trade Coffee Top Down of Box Packaging and Cold Brew Bags Bag

2. A New Pour-Over

Trade Coffee Pouring Cuvee Ethiopa Coffee through Filter

Who’s It For

The guy who wants to take his morning joe to the next level.

What We Like

A pour-over is the simplest way to make your coffee better every morning. The same beans taste totally different than they do with an automatic drip.

Two of my favorite pour-overs are the Chemex and the Kalita Wave.

I like the Chemex because it looks beautiful. The design is elegant and it looks great sitting on the counter. Chemex makes a really clear and bright cup of coffee so it’s perfect for those who like lighter roasts or any bean from Africa. The filters can become a bit expensive over time, though.

Chemex Trade

My favorite pour-over is the Kalita Wave. An in-depth study actually found that the flat bottom increases sweetness in the final cup. These are really easy to use, the filters are inexpensive, and it makes a fantastic cup.

kalita wave trade

Other Options

A Hario V60  is the third choice in this trifecta. It’s what I used to use every morning, but it’s much harder to be consistent with. The Kalita Wave is more forgiving.

3. Make Your Own Coffee Travel Kit

aeropress plus hario slim
Credit: Huckberry.com

Who’s It For?

Anyone who travels a lot and doesn’t want to drink bad coffee.

What We Like

When I flew to Nicaragua to visit a coffee farm on a buying trip, I put together my own travel kit. There’s a procedure for testing the quality of samples, but it doesn’t really give you a great idea of what your morning joe will taste like.

That’s why I packed an Aeropress  and a Hario Slim  grinder.

With these two pieces, all I needed was hot water and a cup. I could grind all my freshly roasted samples and brew wherever.

Americans drink our coffee differently than most of the world—larger cups with less concentration than espresso. If you’re a coffee-loving American and you’ve spent time in Europe, you may have wondered out loud a few times, “where can I just get a cup of coffee?” Sometimes a shot of espresso just doesn’t do it for us.

So if they’re always on the move, set them up with a DIY travel kit so they can have a taste of home wherever they go.

What Other Reviewers Say

The Aeropress  has 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 1,500 reviews on Amazon. This little thing has a cult following. There are tons of attachments and add-ons so you can constantly experiment.

The Aeropress is widely loved by the coffee community because it’s small, easy to use, and makes a solid cup of joe.

4. Coffee Roaster (+Green Beans)

fresh roast
Credit: Temptationcoffee.com

Who’s It For?

The enthusiast. The guy who loves to jump down a good rabbit-hole.

What We Like

My first roaster was a gift, and it changed my life.

Any bit of knowledge or experience I have with coffee is because of that gift five years ago. And that’s why you’re here—to give an unforgettable gift.

For professional level roasts and endless experimentation, check out the Kaldi roaster . If your coffee-lover has a gas stove, they can position this roaster right over the flames and they’re good to start roasting.

It’s an interesting concept and has pretty good reviews. The biggest downside is that the manual is only in Korean, so they’ll want to head over to YouTube for a quick primer on how to operate it.

The Fresh Roast SR540  is another great machine. It’s cleaner and easier to use than the Kaldi, though it roasts less per batch. It’s also much less expensive and a great entry-level machine for testing the hobby out.

The last option for roasting on this list is the ceramic Nuvo roaster . It’s basic but really interesting. I’ve worked with fully automated, high-tech, steam injected roasters that churn out over 150 pounds at once, and I’m fascinated with this simple roaster.

It takes a good amount of physical effort because you have to hold and swirl the ceramic roaster as it sits over an open flame, but the pictures on Amazon show some good results.

Other Options

If you choose to get your favorite coffee-fanatic a roaster, make sure it comes with green, unroasted beans.

The best place to get unroasted beans is Sweet Maria’s. There is no question about that.

Sweet Maria’s has a ton of information about how to roast and brew coffee. The people who run the company probably know more about coffee than just about anyone in the world.

5. A Home Espresso Machine

Breville Barista 1
Credit: kitchenkapers.com

Who’s It For?

The person who shows their love through food. The dude with attention to detail.

What We Like

Home espresso machines have a bad rap—and there’s a good reason. Most just aren’t that good.

So why am I recommending one as a gift?

Well, there’s a new home espresso machine by Breville  that does a pretty good job. You still won’t get cafe-quality espresso and steamed milk, but this is the closest, most economical option out there. It’s close enough to cafe-quality that I’d recommend it. Plus, you don’t need to run a 110v socket or plumb a water line to use it.

The Breville Barista Express  is an all-in-one espresso machine. You can grind the beans straight into the port-a-filter, lock it in and pull your espresso, then steam your milk for lattes and cappuccino.

Here are the three biggest reasons the Barista Express makes the cut:

  • Burr-grinder—this helps get an even grind, which makes for a smooth espresso.
  • 9-bar pressure extraction—anything less than this and you’re making strong coffee, not espresso.
  • Temperature control—this means your espresso won’t taste sour like it can with other home espresso machines that don’t have a strong boiler.

What Other Reviewers Say

The Breville Barista Express  has earned 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 2,300 reviews on Amazon. Some people mention that their pumps have worn out or the grinder is failing, but it looks like in those rare cases, Breville’s great customer service takes care of it.

With the bulk of the reviews at 5 stars, it seems regular maintenance does the trick.


Conclusion


Any true coffee-lover will thank you again and again for any of the gifts mentioned above.

From a great coffee subscription to whole new hobbies to explore, there’s something for every person at every price range.

So give the gift of caffeine.

You’ll likely get a great cup of joe out of it, too.

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