Coffee Gift Guide – a gift guide for COFFEE SNOBS

(Coffee Gift Guide)

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GIFT GUIDE for Coffee Snobs

I’m a self-confessed coffee snob.

When I chose to move from the city to a small rural town that had no coffee shops that didn’t offer anything but large chain drip coffee, I got a little desperate.

So I started setting up my home espresso bar. These are some of my favourite products that coffee snobs like me will love:

For those times when you need more than one cup at a time, french pressed coffee tastes like the closest thing to espresso, because it keeps the largest amount of the oils in a coffee bean in the finished product. It also doubles as a great tea pot for loose teas: Bodum Thermal French Press

But I really do love my Americanos so I was anxious to find an espresso machine I could use at home.

I’ve heard that this fully-automated machine makes a real great cup ‘a joe: Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Maker

 

When my first espresso machine bit the dust, I upgraded to the Breville Duo Pro Espresso Machine

 

 

 

That machine makes a much nicer micro foam than my first machine, a great entry level DeLonghi that made a great espresso shot, as long as I stayed on top of timing and shutting it off: DeLonghi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

 

Some coffee snobs prefer the old school stove top espresso maker and I always liked The Original Bialetti Moka Express

 

 

If using a stovetop, then a coffee snob may also need a milk frother to make a nice latte with. I chose to heat my milk and froth it with an electric frother like this PowerLix Milk Frother

 

If working with an espresso machine that makes the froth for you, a frothing pitcher  and a thermometer are absolute necessities: Myvision Stainless Steel Milk Pitcher comes in various sizes, it’s usually best to work with the smallest pitcher possible, so it may be good to have two different sizes.

 

Insta-Read Beverage/Frothing Thermometer

 

While a knock box is not a necessity, it sure makes everything easier. I love my: Breville Mini Espresso Knock Box

 

The best tasting coffee is made from the freshest of beans that are the freshest roast, and ground immediately prior to pulling the shot, or pouring over the grinds. I love my burr grinder by Bodum: Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder

 

Aside from the MOST important item (the coffee beans), there is one thing left that a coffee snob appreciates, a great mug.

I like a mug that I can hold comfortably in my hand, so that my whole hand fits comfortably in the handle.

 

My favourite travel mug is the travel press by Bodum, it can be used for loose tea, pressed coffee, or with a regular lid for perked coffee.

 

So that leaves the beans and storage for them. Beans are best kept at room temperature in an air tight container away from light.

 

I’m the coffee snob who prefers locally dark-roasted, organic fair-trade beans. While these aren’t locally roasted to my home province of Nova Scotia, they are roasted in British Columbia, Canada: Kicking Horse Coffee, Grizzly Claw

 

 

Hopefully this gave you some great ideas for shopping for the coffee snob in your life!

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Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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Why is death such a hard thing to talk about?

With the first anniversary of my mother’s death approaching I am publishing a post written several months ago of my experience of this great loss. I will write a happy memoir to follow.
Mom: A life force that lives on within and around me.

Mom: A life force that lives on within and around me.

 

There is something in our society that makes death one of the most difficult topics of conversation. < I recently listened to a radio interview on Q with mortician, Caitlin Doughty about just such topic > We pretend it’s never going to happen and then when it does happen we pretend it away. I have had the unfortunate reality of losing two very special women, too early in life. My grandmother and my mother both died at the age of 59. They both experienced liver-disease symptoms. They both died within eight weeks of becoming ill. It was twenty-five years after her mother’s death that my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.

Losing a loved one is never easy. A sudden death gives no one time to take care of unfinished business, no time to say goodbyes… a long term terminal illness can present new opportunities to right wrongs, take care of business, say goodbye… it also often comes with suffering and pain. My mother’s experience was somewhere in the middle. She knew she would die. She thought she had more time than she had. She began the work of settling her affairs. She said goodbye to most of her closest family and friends.

My mother had no regrets. She lived life just as she wished to, taking opportunities as they came. She became sick too rapidly to follow-through with everything she wished to take care of, unable to return many of the calls of those who loved her and had wanted one last talk and laugh with her and her exuberant spirit. Mom suffered. And we were all thankful that the suffering did not last longer. In her final days she was ready for the suffering to end.

I am still unable to talk about the event of her death much. My father was her main caregiver after she became ill. I provided him, and then mom as well in the end, with all of the support that I could. It was difficult seeing the changes that she was experiencing and the independence she had to gradually, but eventually entirely give up.

I have experienced a great deal of pain in my life, both emotional and physical. But you don’t know pain until you watch a loved one suffer. Until they are no longer able to tell you what they need… Until you are absolutely uncertain that she/he aren’t in a terrible pain that you might have the means to alleviate… if only you knew.

I could never have imagined the helpless feeling I had when I no longer knew. Would one more injection of morphine be enough? Or was this even pain? Perhaps she was trying to tell me something? Maybe it was involuntary and not a sign of anything?

The night we lost mom, we’d already discussed amongst us that – after seeing how the night went – we may need to bring mom to the palliative care room at the hospital. We simply couldn’t make her endure our uncertainty if someone else would know what to do and when.

Mom was a very private woman and while she was comfortable with the care my father, my sister and I provided her with, she was also indignant. She was both discouraged and angry that she had to allow us to step inside of her very private personal space. And she was sorry that she needed to put us through it. All I could do was ask mom to allow me to return the gift of care she had always provided me throughout my life.

On my 37th birthday mom was not doing well. She was confused and mixing things up, forgetful and unable to process what we were saying to her. She was also very aware of this. She was frustrated. And she was apologetic for saying and doing things that were unlike her, and for forgetting things she has never once forgotten. Mom forgot my birthday that day. Dad reminded her, and the moment that she saw me and registered who I was she wished me a very heartfelt happy birthday and apology for forgetting. She had no idea what time of day it was or how long she’d gone without wishing her first born a special day.

The rest of the day was very difficult.

The next day became even more so.

She died one year ago on the night after my birthday, before I had headed to bed to leave her in dad’s care. (I had made a practise of giving dad a couple of hours sleep and taking care of mom’s late night needs, as the night was far from restful for either of them.) The memories of mom’s struggles have now faded a little. I know the visions of her suffering will eventually be gone from my mind. However the experience of not being able to decipher mom’s needs in those final hours and minutes is etched in my mind for the rest of my days. I cannot imagine ever forgetting that feeling of despair, just as I cannot imagine ever forgetting the joy or wholeness of holding my children for the first time.

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun, email me at trish at ceilidhontherun dot com, or use my contact form!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/share it. You can do so using the easy share button below!

 

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