Ehrmagerd, the holidays! We're going hard on publishing holiday gift guides this year, from all corners of the world. Today it's a list from Eileen P. Kenny in Melbourne, a part of the world where Christmas means raging hot temperatures and cold brew coffee. Check out our previous lists for NYC, LA, and the Bay Area, and read all our 2014 Gift Guides here.
Top image courtesy of Weekend Notes.
Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere is a little different than up north. Instead of snow we have sweltering sun, and instead of huddling inside with a cup of hot cocoa we’re huddled in masses on the beach with a cold icy beer. Though to be fair, here in Melbourne we’re a little bit too far from any decent beaches, so instead we spend our time in cafes drinking iced pour overs, or maybe having a nice seafood & sausage barbecue in the out in the Edinbourgh Gardens.
To celebrate this festive time of year I’ve put together a little gift guide for Melbourne, to point you in the right direction if you'd like to celebrate all the special holiday bits and pieces we have to offer. Yes, our hot weather Christmas is different than yours, but you know what? It's hot where they grow coffee year round. Think on THAT one.
Stunning Custom Drinkware
There’s a bit of a movement afoot in Melbourne right now: more and more cafes are collaborating with their favourite ceramicists to create beautiful cups and saucers. Two standouts are at Patricia Coffee Brewers and Market Lane Coffee. Note, both of these are only available in-store (not online), but they're both definitely worth the trip.
Patricia Coffee Brewers’ cups are made by master potter Malcolm Greenwood. These are sleek, beautiful drinking vessels, with a pleasingly tactile matte finish. Some even have a quirky but functional nub instead of a handle. A great gift for your ma, your pa, your significant other, and especially yourself.
Market Lane Coffee’s collaboration is with Roberta Gartland, a well-regarded artist from the little town of Daylesford, Victoria. Each unique cup is hand-thrown out of Tasmanian ice porcelain–how cool does that sound? These cups are extra special, as Roberta has never sold her work in the past, preferring instead to either destroy it or give it away to family and friends.
(full disclosure: I currently work for Market Lane, but you don’t need to be biased to be impressed by these beautiful cups.)
Kalita Copper Pot from Assembly
This shiny shiny kettle comes from the folks at Kalita, and can be found at Assembly in Carlton, the home of deliciously brewed coffee & tea. Now, I know what you’re saying – it just pours water, can’t I use my normal kettle to do that? And the answer is, empirically, no, as 9/10 coffee drinkers say their coffee tastes 100% better when brewed with a beautiful copper pouring kettle (note: I have absolutely no scientific evidence to support this claim). Regardless, it’s a lovely thing when form meets function, and this copper pot will look damn good on the counter of whoever you choose to give it to.
Want to know more about Assembly? Read our nice write-up on them from last June.
The best gifts are the ones that keep on giving–especially when they keep on giving coffee. In Melbourne, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to all sorts of recurring coffee arrival arrangements. There are subscription services directly from roasters, as well as cafes who offer something a little different – they send out different coffees from a range of roasters and places, letting you taste the rainbow as it were. There's a lot of fun takes on the concept, but they all get the same basic job done: a steady supply coffee to your (or your giftee’s) door so you / they can brew it and put it in your / their mouth. Coffee in the mouth is a big win.
To power through the endless family and fun of the festive season, it's best to have some serious coffee refueling options. The Moccamaster is one of the most serious coffee brewing options you would ever want to put on a kitchen counter. It's got an impressively high degree of temperature stability, allowing it to crank out big batches of sweet, aromatic coffee. By giving this device to your host house for the Christmas period, you can brew enough filter to keep everybody happy, and on the especially warm days (you know, when everything is melting in your house, including you), you can brew up a batch and put it in the fridge overnight on Christmas Eve for a cool, caffeinated, 5am wakeup on Christmas morning!
Aesop Geranium Leaf Duet
What would a Melbourne gift guide be without a mention of Aesop? Established in Melbourne in 1987, Aesop's range of products are a dream for those who enjoy high-end skin care products. This geranium leaf body cleanser and balm are particularly next level, but the range is truly comprehensive, and there's something to gift for everyone. (Sidenote: My birthday is the day after Christmas, please and thank you.)
Aesop's lovely products are carried at a the company's own branded stores, carefully selected stockists, and online.
Seven Seeds 3000 T-Shirt
Pump up your street rep with a Seven Seeds shirt touting the Melbourne CBD postcode. Super Melbourne and super comfortable. It’s like being a rapper in the US, but instead you’re in Australia and you’re way into coffee.
This is a very fresh and exciting collaboration from the folks at Everyday Coffee and Crumpler (a well-regarded cycling bag brand originally founded in Ballarat, Victoria, in 1992). This is an Aeropress travel case for camping, hiking, cycling, jet-setting, picnicking, and any other application you can think of. It’s made out of super-strong material and has space for an Aeropress, Porlex grinder, beans, timer, scales, stirring paddle, and a cup! Perfect for your next cycling journey, or just for a wander down to the park. This is a limited edition bag that will be launched at a pop-up at Crumpler HQ in Fitzroy, Melbourne this coming Sunday, December 15th. A must-have! Follow @Crumpler and @EverdayCoffee_ on Twitter for more details.
Eileen P. Kenny (@EileenPK) is a Sprudge.com staff writer in Melbourne. Read more Eileen P. Kenny here.