Hanukkah comes early this year, and with it, a chance to turn December of 2015 into a stem-to-stern epoch of gift giving do-goodery. That's a lot of pressure! Good thing we're here to talk you through gift ideas for the eight nights of Hanukkah. From the coffee-slugging boychik on your list to your clueless Uncle Morty, this is a Hanukkah recital for those of all skill-sets. So set a nice table, light the menorah, pull out your dog-eared copy of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, and enjoy some tasty coffee during the Festival of Lights. Give the gift of coffee for Hanukkah this year! Mazel tov!
The First Night of Hanukkah
Santa Barbara Sampler ($49 from 49th Parallel Coffee)
We'll be featuring a whole heap more gift sets later in the season, but this box of coffees from Vancouver, British Columbia based 49th Parallel is a fun and festive way to kick off the consecutive nights of gift giving. Santa Barbara is the name of the department in Honduras, a country that has been previously overlooked and underdeveloped for coffee production, now enjoying a resurgence thanks to some quality-minded coffee producers. This gift pack features coffees from three exemplary coffee farms in the region: El Ocotillo, Finca Bonanza, and La Benedicion espresso. Try different combinations and expressions of these excellent coffees over the nights to come.
The Second Night of Hanukkah
The Many Looks of KeepCup (prices vary)
The more we live with a stock of KeepCups in the home cupboard, the more we keep discovering new and varied uses. Their glass Brew mugs are stylish and chic, available in a rainbow of colors as part of the Alchemy series, or in understated limited-edition cork, all perfect for keeping coffee drinks warm and endlessly re-usable. Or maybe you've discovered the on-the-go glory of using these mugs as a vessel for oatmeal or granola? The Misfits series comes in packs of four, without lids to get in the way. Or maybe…just maybe…you've learned through trial and error that the 16-ounce classic KeepCup makes a perfect self-contained mixing cup for protein power health drinks? You can shut that lid real tight and shake it real good—there's no spills, no splashes.
Seriously, the more KeepCups you have, the more uses you discover for them, and you can never really have enough. The fact that you're helping save the earth by using this product is a happy bonus–a real mitzvah for the holiday, you know? And if you want a Sprudge custom KeepCup, with a happy cat on the glass, we've got you covered!
The Third Night of Hanukkah
Deli Man: The Movie (DVD $14.99 from Best Buy)
The film of the year! Er, last year—or any year, really. Director Erik Greenberg Anjou profiles some of North America's best traditional Jewish delis, stretching from New York to Los Angeles, with a big focus on deli culture in Houston, Texas and Toronto, Canada. The film is a who's who of interviews, featuring an all-mensch cast that includes Larry King, Jerry Stiller, Alan Dershowtiz, and the great Fyvush Finkel, of Picket Fences fame. The movie even profiles Wise Sons in San Francisco, a modern Jewish deli that serves good coffee in partnership with De La Paz. What's not to like?
The Fourth Night of Hanukkah
Baratza's Encore is the entry-level gold standard for a home electric burr grinder. You don't need to be a coffee expert or hardcore nerd to use this thing—simply set it to the coarseness you desire, weigh out your beans, dump them in the top, turn on the grinder, and bam. If you've been using a flat-blade grinder, or one of those grinders built in to a coffee machine, the difference in flavor quality you will enjoy from this product is immense. This is a great first step for starting any at-home coffee set-up.
The Fifth Night of Hanukkah
Bonavita 1500 ($119 from Clive Coffee)
No fuss, no muss, and you don't have to be a maven to use it—the Bonavita brews right, even for a klutz. Pair this with the Baratza grinder from Night 4, and for about $250 dollars—less than some people spend on dinner!—you'll be gifting a home brewing set-up that is in all likelihood a huge step up from whatever pod thing Mom is currently rocking. A home brewer makes a really great gift, especially if you're in a family only gifting one of the 8 nights this year.
The Sixth Night of Hanukkah
Give the Gift of Joe New York (many options)
New York City gifts make for great Hanukkah presents—the city looms large in Jewish culture, whether your family has ties there or you just grew up watching Woody Allen movies. (Or both!) Joe New York is one of the city's iconic specialty coffee brands, family-owned by Jonathan and Gabrielle Rubinstein and founded in 2003. Joe's gift page includes simple brewing items (like the Hario Buono kettle and V60 cone) but also a coffee gift subscription, a special holiday coffee from Fincas Mierisch in Nicaragua (available in this lovely tin), and even gift classes for the New York resident in your life. Maybe pair one of these gifts with a delivery order from Russ & Daughters—what could be more New York?
The Seventh Night of Hanukkah
How About An AeroPress? ($34.99 from Espresso Supply)
Each year at Hanukkah, it's tradition for one gift to be a bit smaller than the others. It doesn't get much smaller than the AeroPress, a tiny little hand-held coffee brewer that still manages to pack a wallop, and has the cultural footprint of a brewer at least twice its size. Seriously, the AeroPress has its own global championship tournament, and Sprudge readers clamor to learn recipes from AeroPress experts from Japan to Slovakia. This brewer is perfect if you've got some upcoming holiday travel on the schedule for one of those other winter holidays.
The Eighth Night of Hanukkah
Verve Coffee's Remarkable Geshas ($195 from Verve Coffee Roasters)
It's the last night of Hanukkah, and for some that means a big gift to go out with a bang, while for others, it's about something small and meaningful. This gift sort of splits the difference: it's a four-week subscription (or one-time delivery) of some of the tastiest coffee of the year, Verve's annual release of rare and delicious Gesha coffees from Panama and Costa Rica. This set includes the revered green tip Gesha coffees of Panama's Elida Estate, from producer Thatcher Lamastus. It's kind of the perfect last night of Hanukkah present—”I got you some coffee, no big whoop”, but the coffees are remarkable, the tins make for nice keepsakes. This is a highly memorable gift to end your holiday on!
This is just the beginning of our 2015 Festival Of Guides. Check back for more coffee gift guides right here on Sprudge.