Holiday Gift Guide for the Coffee & Tea Lover 2014

It’s that time of year when we work ourselves into a froth trying to figure what to buy the tea or coffee fan in your life. Though there is an endless supply of expensive and complicated gadgets like espresso machines, electric grinders and teapots designed by NASA, I thought we should keep it simple. All of these gift ideas break down the experience to its most simple components: put stuff in water, wait, then filter out the solid bits. 


And if the coffee or tea fan in your life doesn’t love you for buying any of these, they’re being high-maintenance. The extra hot, triple non-fat, 1 pump vanilla, half decaf, low foam variety


AeroPress Coffee Maker

It’s one of the home brew methods of choice for coffee nerds. Simple and easy to use, you get a fresh cup in about 20 seconds. The total immersion of the coffee in the water gives you a fuller flavour than a conventional paper cone filter, while the short brewing time cuts down on the acidity and bitterness. And the microfilter sifts out any grit, giving you a fresh, clean cup.




Porlex Mini Grinder

You aren’t a serious coffee drinker if you don’t grind your own coffee. Specifically, ground on demand for each brew. A lot of grinders are big, unwieldy and full of small parts that break easily. Enter the Porlex Mini Grinder. Though not the cheapest grinder, the Porlex is sturdy and small with a simple, elegant mechanism made of steel that couldn’t be easier to use. It’s the perfect grinder for making single cups of coffee (and it fits inside the AeroPress when stuffing it in your carry-on).


Gaiwan (and some good oolong)

The tea fan in your life will love you if you stroll down to Chinatown and find a gaiwan. It’s basically a ceramic teacup with a lid, which becomes a teapot and strainer. It’s perfect for loose tea with larger leaves (such as medium to high quality oolong). All you need is a drinking cup and voila. It comes in 3 parts: the lid, the cup and the saucer; as simple and easy as it gets.


Tip: To make oolong, rinse the leaves first by covering them with hot water and pouring it out immediately (serious oolong drinkers never drink that rinse). Now steep for 50 seconds and pour into your drinking cup. Continue like this, adding 10 seconds per steeping, until the leaves no longer produce the flavour you like (up to 6 or 7 steepings).


Like most things in life, coffee and tea are only as complicated as you want to make them. In fact, they can be elegantly simple. And these three gifts are proof.

Written By:

John Crawford is on a constant hunt for authenticity. This commercial pilot is also a professional saxophone player, music teacher, entrepreneur, aviation blogger and contributing writer to Dry Goods. \r\n\r\nThrough deep roots ...

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