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

Price: CDN$ 302.87
Was: CDN$ 308.87

 

 

 

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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Finding our new normal

The grieving process has so many aspects to it. We grieve the loss of our loved one. We grieve the loss of our future as we envisioned it. We grieve the loss of our daily normal life as we knew it.

For those of us directly effected by that normal daily life it can be the most challenging, emotional, exhausting part of grief.

When my ex-husband and I split up 6 years ago this was most definitely true for me and our girlies.

When we lost my 59 year old grandmother suddenly to liver disease 25 years ago, this was certainly true for my grandfather.

Since losing my 59 year old mother after a short illness with cancer 4 weeks ago, this is absolutely true for my father.

Nothing prepares us for the grief or loss in such circumstances. It is raw. It is ever present. It comes in waves. And it overcomes us.

There are no tried and true answers. There is no remedy for grief. Time is the ultimate healer. Yet, I do try to assist this process along.

Holidays and special occasions bring with them added intensity to feelings. Some of our traditions and rituals bring great comfort with the wash of happy memories that come with them. Others bring an unanticipated painful flood of raw grief.

It’s not possible to stop the hurting, nor is it healthy to try to do so. However, I have found that creating new memories and traditions that will be associated with them have brought comfort. The things that I have found most challenging to face, I tried to change in some way. Letting someone new take it on, or doing it in a new way, and creating a joyful association with the new rituals that will continue with our new normal.

The firsts are always the toughest. This will be our first Christmas without my mom. We will all be gathered in my home, which became the new tradition after my girlies and I moved back to Nova Scotia. Every Christmas that I have them home with me, we host and the girls get to sleep in their own beds before waking up to the spoils of Santa’s mid-night visit. Christmases without my children are very different, and intentionally so.

This year I will prepare mom’s Christmas brunch on the eve. We’ve asked my grandfather to provide a soup for Christmas Eve that he hasn’t cooked for us since he remarried. Mom won’t be here to overfill the stockings with her little extras that could fill a stocking each on their own. I decided to take care of everyone’s stockings myself rather than try to recruit help when no one is in the spirit. And this year my sister, dad & I will prepare the feast without mom’s singing to keep us inspired.

There are gifts under the tree from mom. These will be emotional and special in her all-to-obvious absence. It’s also far too reminiscent of a Christmas long ago, when the three of us kids unwrapped some very special knits that mom’s mom had completed, right down to the wrappings before she became ill herself.

Yet, it will be the first Christmas in six years that dad will have all of his children under the same roof as he. The first ever that all of his children and grandchildren will be. It will be the first that we are all together with my grandfather (mom’s dad) and wife, and my uncle (mom’s brother), just like the many Christmases after we lost Nanny.

Family drawing together to guide one another through a difficult and bittersweet time. Drawing upon the children for the joyful spirit that most of us aren’t naturally inclined to this year, we’ll make it so for the girlies.