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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Are you a coffee snob like I’ve become?

barista espresso shots

 

I am a confessed coffee snob. Granted I still have much to learn, and since working at the café and learning to be a barista, I have found out just how much. Much as for a wine connoisseur, coffee is a very particular thing.

When someone looks for a quality café hoping to find coffee excellence, the barista doesn’t mind a little particularity, in fact it’s expected. Baristas will pull 2-3 shots before being satisfied with the perfect one sometimes. And a customer waiting for their Americano or latte, doesn’t mind the wait generally. Brewed coffee is for the hurried. 😉 The grind, tamping and water temperature all affect the quality of the espresso shot.

Corporate coffee shops with specialty coffees are known for their idiosyncratic customers, with their non-fat, sugar-free, flavored espresso drinks – but is the focus really on the espresso itself? I’m not sure. I just know that if I want a personal touch I look for the homegrown café with the locally fresh-roasted fair-trade organic beans.

Which is why I was dismayed to discover at a small town shop with a quality supplier of beans, that when I ordered my Americano it was made with a pre-portioned/packed puck of espresso. Why on earth would you bother with an espresso machine, if not to pull a fresh ground espresso shot? I figured we may as well have been using the single-brew specialty coffee-makers that are used for convenience in many homes and offices.

At a good café the barista doesn’t mind pulling a new shot if the customer is not satisfied with the crème. They don’t mind waiting for the water to heat to it’s optimum temperature before pulling the shot. And will work to froth the milk just right for the perfect pour into a lovely bit of latte art.

I may never become the skilled barista, but I now have a greater appreciation for what my barista does for me, and am on the hunt for an inexpensive quality home espresso machine 😉

I hope to keep my newly gained skills practiced, but am on to new horizons, having finally secured employment in my field of study, social work.