READING

The Essential Sprudge 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

The Essential Sprudge 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s here! The 2018 holiday season is finally here, and with it, a swarm of gift guides great and cheap, big and small, for you and not even remotely for you at all.

Here at Sprudge holiday gift guides are a long-running tradition, dating back to the internet’s earlier, simpler, arguably less evil times. To kick the Guidesapalooza off this year, we tapped three of our favorite regular contributors: Jenn Chen, Zac Cadwalader, and Anna Brones. We asked them some very simple questions: What moves you? What coffee gifts would you give to a loved one? Does this spark joy?

Read on to find out, and happy holiday-ing from all of us at Sprudge.

Image by Sam Lee.

Handmade Mug and Dripper by Sam Lee

There is something particular about drinking coffee out of a handmade mug, something that helps to turn it from routine into ritual. San Francisco-based artist and ceramicist Sam Lee creates beautiful everyday objects, including those made for making and drinking coffee, and I love her style. Her work is simple yet stunning, like in the V60 dripper, glazed to balance the texture of both the smooth glaze and the rough ceramic. Any morning would be made just a little more beautiful with Lee’s work in it. – Anna Brones

Photo courtesy Umeshiso.

Rainbow Cupping Spoon

Born out of a desire to empower themselves and other marginalized folks in the industry at the cupping table, Umeko Motoyoshi created the Rainbow Spoon project. Their store, Umeshiso, has a wide array of pins, cupping spoons, and stickers for your favorite coffee professional. Sold as a single spoon or a set of six, these rainbow spoons offer a perfect bowl depth for a dip and slurp. The spoons are offered on a sliding scale basis to reflect the store’s inclusive mission. Choose to pay the at-cost fee or a few dollars more to contribute back into the project. – Jenn Chen

onyx coffee lab terrior chocolate arkansas sprudge

Terroir Coffee Chocolate and Coffee Blossom Honey

Coffee gifts don’t always have to be coffee. They can also be chocolate and honey. Coffee chocolate and coffee honey. From Terroir—the sister company of Onyx Coffee Lab—comes two tasty sweets cultivated on actual coffee farms. The cacao comes from one of three origins—Colombia, Uganda, and Guatemala—and each bean-to-bar dark chocolate is made with coffee from the same farm. The honey is from Finca El Apiario in Guatemala, produced by bees who only pollinate coffee blossoms. Not only are these products really tasty (I eat the honey on my morning yogurt daily), they are also providing auxiliary revenue streams for the farmers producing them. It’s a great coffee gift for non-coffee people that brings in additional money to the coffeelands. Win win win. – Zac Cadwalader

Image via Snow Peak.

Field Barista kit from Snow Peak

There’s a clear intersection between outdoor lovers and coffee drinkers, and Japanese lifestyle brand Snow Peak caters to the nature enthusiasts who want to ensure that their coffee game is as strong outside as it is at home. The brand’s Field Barista kit is the ultimate in outdoor coffee brewing setup, including a dripper, grinder, and kettle. You don’t have to opt for the entire set, each piece can be purchased separately. The dripper is cone shaped—which will keep your filters from collapsing—and disassembles to fit in a small bag, and the grinder’s handle easily folds down, which makes packing easier. The weight of the kit makes it geared at the kind adventures that include a base camp, or just a morning coffee brew in the local park, as opposed to journeys where weight is a consideration, but if you’ve got the whole set, you just might start to prefer brewing in your backyard to your kitchen counter. – Anna Brones

Photo courtesy Standart.

Standart Subscription

Creative types will appreciate an annual subscription (four issues) to Standart, a beautiful independent print magazine (and 2017 Sprudgie Award winner) dedicated to the art of coffee. The stories, illustrations, and photographs within its pages cover a wide range of global issues and perspectives. You’ll just as easily read a profile with a barista champion right after a piece exploring tasseography, the art of reading tea and coffee leaves. Content is at the forefront in Standart and there’s something for everyone. The subscription is available globally and comes with a bag of coffee roasted exclusively for subscribers. – Jenn Chen

Courtesy of Agate Publishing

Craft Coffee: A Manual

Getting into coffee can be intimidating. It feels like there is an entire lexicon to memorize just to learn how to make a pour-over. Luckily, there is Craft Coffee: A Manual by Jessica Easto. Easto is “not a coffee person,” as she described to Sprudge in our interview with her earlier this year, and that’s the perspective she brings to the pages of Craft Coffee. With the help of her husband and “coffee person” Andreas Willhoff, Easto covers just about everything you need to know to get started on your coffee journey, including: brewing basics, equipment, processing, and step-by-step guides for making coffee with 10 different brewing devices. It’s all the coffee info, none of the intimidation. – Zac Cadwalader

Image by Lindsey Shea.

Ebb Filter by GDS Cloth Goods

Coffee is a product that centers around origin, but while we focus on where our coffee comes from, we don’t always apply the same principles to our brewing equipment. For the coffee drinker who cares about how things are made and where they’re from, Ebb Filter is the perfect gift. This reusable filter is made from organic cotton grown in Texas, processed and woven into fabric in the Carolinas and sewn into final product the Bay Area by GDS Cloth Goods. The filters come in a variety of sizes to fit all types of brew methods, and are wrapped in biodegradable packaging. – Anna Brones

Courtesy of Melodrip

Melodrip

Buying gadgets for a coffee tinkerer can be a tall order because 1) geeky gear is often prohibitively expensive and 2) what even is that thing and how does it make coffee? For those wanting to gift something brewing-related that won’t break the bank, look no further than the Melodrip. Essentially just a dispersion screen on a stick, the Melodrip allows you to drastically cut down on the amount of agitation in the brewing process, which leads to a cleaner cup of coffee, according to the creators. After a successful Kickstarter campaign (of which I backed with my own actual dollars), the Melodrip is now in full production and available for purchase for a cool $45. – Zac Cadwalader

Photo courtesy IWCA.

Charitable Donation

A thoughtful gift for the coffee lover who doesn’t want any physical products, a charitable donation in their name goes a long way to supporting the communities who create your morning brew. Did you know that over 80% of women newly diagnosed with cervical cancer live in developing countries and that 70% of coffee farm laborers are women? Grounds for Health provides cervical cancer screenings at coffee farms. For a more general contribution to the coffeelands, the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) works in 22 countries to empower women at the local community level. And if you’d like to invest in the next generation of farmers, Coffee Kids works with young farmers on business training and seed capital. – Jenn Chen

Commandante Hand Grinder

I have more hand grinders than I care to mention in polite company, but whenever I go out of town and need a way to pulverize some whole beans, the Commandante manual grinder is always the one I bring with me. Besides being one of the most aesthetically pleasing grinders on the market—just look at all that wood grain!—the German-engineered Commandante is the perfect mix of portable and dependable, making it the ideal suitcase (or day pack) companion. At $250, this isn’t exactly a small gift, but, speaking from opinion here, it’s worth every penny. – Zac Cadwalader

Coffee Isn’t Rocket Science by Sebastien Racineux and Chung-Leng Tran

Have you ever been asked by friends and family how to make better coffee at home? Get them this book. Coffee Isn’t Rocket Science by Sebastien Racineux and Chung-Leng Tran (both co-owners of Hexagone Cafe in Paris) is a well-rounded guide to better understanding and making coffee. For the newly coffee acquainted, it’s a helpful tool for navigating the world of coffee, the kind of book that can always be kept close to the coffee brewing equipment. And for well-versed coffee lovers, it’s a fun resource to include in your coffee library, particular for those moments when you forget some of the basic details of the drink you love. – Anna Brones

Kaffe Box Subscription

Sometimes the best coffee gift is simply just coffee. For those who want to gift coffee but don’t know what is “good,” a subscription is always a solid place to start. As an American who makes primarily filter coffee, I have yet to find a subscription service more up my alley than Norway’s Kaffe Box. Each month, the subscription service works with a different Scandinavian roaster to deliver light-roasted coffee directly to your doorstep. Past roasters include big names like Tim Wendelboe, La Cabra, The Coffee Collective, and Koppi as well as lesser-known micro-roasters like Jacobsen og Svart, Nord, and Talor & Jorgen. To me, this is THE subscription service for lighter-roast filter coffee drinkers. But if you are buying for someone who is an espresso drinker or likes more developed coffees, Trade Coffee is where I would start. – Zac Cadwalader

Via Seal Press.

“So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo

A New York Times bestseller and book that transcends any industry lines, “So You Want to Talk About Race” is a must-read for the well-meaning ally. The book isn’t about coffee, yet like any industry built on colonialism and capitalism, race is inextricably tied to coffee. Oluo breaks down key concepts in a straightforward manner and provides the reader with tangible ways to talk about race. This is a great place to start for those who find themselves saying things like, “But what can I do?” and “I don’t know what that means” after listening to the Black Coffee podcast episodes. – Jenn Chen


RELATED POSTS

INSTAGRAM
Follow us on Instagram