As two full-time healthcare professionals in our mid-30s, YOU KNOW we know our way around a good cup of coffee. This post will do double duty of sharing gifts for coffee lovers as well as educating coffee-lovers-in-training on the proper way to make a great cup of java.
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Florence Revival School of Coffee
If you’re already a coffee expert, go ahead and scroll to the bottom to get to the good stuff.
If “espresso” and “expresso” sound like the same thing, but you want to become an aficionado, this section is for you!
First of all: I talked a good game, but I’m not a barista, and I have no professional qualifications to teach you about the holy grail that is this amazing drink. So I’m basically providing you with what I start every DIY project with: a little bit of knowledge, and a lot of links to articles and youtube videos. You’ll be fine. Promise.
Class is in Session
Coffee beans. Your grandparents probably drank Community or Folgers, but if you’re reading this super amateur tutorial, you might currently prefer the drive-thru at Dunkin or Starbucks. Here’s all you need to know to begin your home coffee experience.
Start somewhere. Pick a roast (light/med/dark) and decide if you like it. Try different brands. Try plain and fancy flavors. No matter what coffee beans you choose, there are just a few things that are super important:
- Check the roast date on the bag – your coffee might say “best by __xx/20xx__”, but it isn’t REALLY still that great by then. Recent dates are best (within 6-8 weeks).
- Whole beans stay fresh longer than pre-ground beans, so investing in a grinder and grinding right before you brew will guarantee a better cup of coffee.
- Burr grinders are better than blade grinders. Here’s an article that reviews tons of grinders.
- Grind size matters depending on your brew method. Learn more here.
- If you want to experiment with flavors, this article will help a lot – it’s very detailed, and goes into everything from flavor profiles to countries of origin.
This article discusses the six most popular methods of brewing hot coffee.
Want to learn about the differences between iced coffee and cold brew? This article shares all of that good information, and then gives you step-by-step instructions on how to make your own cold brew. Yep, it’s super easy to make enough for the week, and yes, it can be better than Starbs.
Want to learn literally anything in life? Find real-life humans who do the thing really well, then binge their youtube and social media accounts.
Coffee School: The Cliff Notes
Coffee bean grind: Fine
Pros: excellent tasting espresso; control over brewing method; multiple espresso-based drinks
Cons: equipment is expensive; requires frequent cleaning
Equipment Needed: espresso machine, tamper (if not included)
Coffee Bean Grind: medium fine
Pros: portable, taste comparable to espresso, easy cleanup, quick brew time
Cons: makes 1 small cup of coffee
Equipment Needed: aeropress, filters, electric kettle
Coffee Bean Grind: medium
Pros: fancy (impress your guests), a great cup of coffee that allows the flavor of the beans to shine through, filters out sediments and oils
Cons: expensive (tons of accessories), time-consuming
Equipment Needed: Chemex, electric kettle, coffee dripper, cone filter
Coffee Bean Grind: medium coarse
Pros: set and forget it; can control the strength of brew and water quality/temp; makes a ton of coffee; not time-consuming
Cons: not quite as good coffee as the more involved methods
Equipment Needed: coffee maker, filters
Coffee Bean Grind: coarse
Pros: clean, strong taste; tighter control of brew; can be used for cold brew; easy; makes multiple cups of coffee
Cons: more time-consuming than pushing a brew button; not very portable
Equipment Needed: French press, grinder, kettle
Coffee Bean Grind: coarse
Pro: strong flavor, easy, no special equipment
Con: takes hours to brew
Equipment: jar or container, or this to make it easier
Pod Machines: (aka Keurig)
Coffee Bean Grind: Pre-filled or fill your own pods
Pro: quick and easy
Cons: subpar coffee taste, bad for the environment, rising costs
Equipment: coffee pod machine, pods
Gifts for Coffee Lovers: The Gift Guide
Coffee is a lifestyle. So if you’re buying for yourself, TREAT YOURSELF.
If you’re buying for someone else, make SURE that this is what they want. Expensive espresso machines are amazing and we LOVE ours, but if they don’t enjoy the process of making espresso, it’s a dud gift. I suggest *asking* first, or making sure you have thick skin and a good return policy.
P.S. I love this coffee maker that has a glass pour-over adapter kit, but it’s out of stock everywhere. Adding it just in case it comes back in stock sometime.
We support a local business in Tusla and get our coffee beans from Nordaggios, so check and see if there is a local roaster in your area!
Ordering Sample Packs are so great if you’re wanting to try small amounts of lots of different types!
Gifts for Coffee Lovers: Honorable Mentions
If you’re just looking for a small gift for the coffee lover in your life, look at these suggestions below, or check out my gift guide for readers to get them a new book to read with their morning cup!
Drink Coffee & Support Small Businesses
*Consider adding a gift card to a local coffee shop!
Hardcover Books about Coffee
Whimsical Gifts for Coffee Lovers
I could go on with this theme of gifts for coffee lovers for forever, but I’m going to to restrain myself. Just know that this was super fun, and I really hope that this helps you to gift to the coffee lovers in your life!