Third Rail Coffee Mug

It's the Holiday Season here at Sprudge, which means an ongoing armada of “Gift Guides”, each more Essential and Ultimate than the last. This year we'll be opening up the guide-making fun to our world-beating team of City Desks. Liz Clayton in NYC is up first, and look for Sprudge Holiday Gift Guides to places like Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and even a hot-weather Melbourne holiday guide in the coming days on Sprudge. Feliz navidad!

Whether you live in New York or you simply fetishize it from afar, there's no better way to say “Happy Holidays” than with a New York City themed specialty coffee related gift giving!

We've rounded up a handful of the most essential, Gothamy, urban, kawaii and giftactular items basically ever for your perusal.

Grumpy Plush Coffee Beans
1. Cafe Grumpy Plush Coffee Beans

It takes all the self-control in the world not to bring one of these beans home for yourself, so why not gift one? Wait, in both unroasted green and sensitively, flavor-expressingly-light-roasted brown, you've really got to purchase both. Comes in its own adorably wee jute sack. Protip: If these plushies are too big for you, mini-beans are coming soon! Our cats can't wait!

Joe The Coffee Book
2. Joe: The Coffee Book

From a corner cafe to a multi-state roaster chain, our friends and partners at Joe literally wrote the book on third wave NYC coffee. Wait, no, they actually DID write a book on it, and you can buy one! This book situates Joe, New York City, and specialty coffee itself all in a moment in time, and is full of photographs and personal coffee vignettes by luminaries like 2010 WBC Champion Michael Phillips.

We Are Happy To Serve You Cup
3. Ceramic Anthora Cup

Go ahead and call it a “Greek Diner Mug”, but the iconic New York takeout cup known playfully as the Anthora, a twist on the Greek Amphora urn depicted on the side, is easily the most recognizable way to be seen as an In The Know, cart-swill-drinking New Yorker, wherever you live. We kid. These cups are the best, and in the eternal ceramic form, you can enjoy the terse, stoney lettering insisting WE ARE HAPPY TO SERVE YOU. Sure you are, guy, just like those baristas at Ninth Street. (Comes in demitasse size now, even though that's never happened in the real-life paper cup version. CUTE!)

New York Coffee Map

4. New York Coffee Map Poster

The talented, entrepreneurial and highly competent people at London's Blue Crow Media have supplemented their handy New York's Best Coffee app with…a map! This comely wall poster is a beautiful way to reflect on the mega-coffee-city New York's become, though it changes so quickly you'll have to add all the newest spots in by hand. Suitable for framing, and a wonderful gift for the geographically inclined. Disclosure: I help provide content for the app which led to the map, but I can't claim any credit for how darn pretty it looks.

Nice Coffee Time
5. Uh, I have a book too, by the way…

Even fuller disclosure: I created a coffee photography book this year with Japan's PressPop. And since I'm in New York, it makes the perfect New York City coffee-related gift….uh, right? The book features photos and essays from 30 cities internationally, so if you've always wanted to take a really exhausting coffee tour of the prettiest places in the world, I've done most of the work for you. Available online (via Espresso Parts!) or for sale, in, you know…New York, at fine cafes like the Joe Pro Shop, Third Rail Coffee, and Cafe Grumpy.

6. Mugs Mugs MUGS!!!

If there's one thing a coffee fan doesn't have enough of, the good lord knows it's branded mugs. Are the shelves of your favorite coffee lover bare? Do they not yet buckle precariously under the weight of their stoneware abundance? Select your favorite “local” mug by stopping into Third Rail Coffee, Toby's Estate, Stumptown, Blue Bottle Coffee, IntelligentsiaGimme! Coffee, Southside Coffee, or Cafe Grumpy. If you want a Ninth Street Espresso mug we suggest you just go order a coffee there and hang onto the paper cup. It looks pretty good!

Bonus points: Whether your loved one prefers mochas or is switching to egg creams for Hanukkah, no truly New-York-themed kitchen is complete without a bottle of Fox's Kosher U-Bet syrup. And since you're a generous-hearted sort of person, why not save a little when buying in 36-count bundles?

Liz Clayton is the author of “Nice Coffee Time“, a regular columnist for Serious Eats: Drinks, and New York City chief at Sprudge.com. She lives in Brooklyn. Read more Liz Clayton here.