A VERY NICE CUP
All the breathless superlatives once reserved for fancy, super-techy coffee gadgets and machinery seem to now be bestowed on objects decidedly more low-tech: coffee mugs. Hand-thrown, usually ceramic, coffee mugs. Which isn’t a bad thing — quite the complete opposite, actually: all things considered, wouldn’t you rather talk (or write) about cups rather than grinders? As gifts, they’re great, too, because who doesn’t want a beautiful piece of drinkware in their kitchen? And so: you can go the Heath route—I have a set of Studio mugs, and it’s one of my favorite things in the cupboard — or, if you’re in L.A., pick up a pretty cup made by WRF Lab at The Assembly in West Hollywood, or at Dinosaur Coffee in the hazy area where East Hollywood, Los Feliz and Silver Lake overlap. Or get one made by Ben Medansky, which you can find over at G&B Coffee and go get em tiger.
Something slightly / a lot different: ThinkGeek has some pretty awesome Star Wars heat-changing mugs. Like this one.
A FANCY KETTLE
If you are going to go the fancy gadget route, you might want to look into the Stagg Pourover Kettle from Fellow. Note that if you want to gift this one, they’ve sold out through the year, with new kettles shipping at the end of January. A gift worth waiting for, surely.
A FANCY SCALE
Acaia’s scale is terrific.
If you want to gift an especially unique bag of coffee, you might want to head out to Paramount Coffee Project in Fairfax Village. Some of the most interesting line-up of coffee in town can be on the shelves here; in fact, this might be the only place locally where you’ll find such an international roster of roasters: since they opened in October, they’ve had beans from London’s Square Mile Roasters, Amsterdam’s Stooker Roasting Company, plus quite a few from Australia.
Stocking stuffers: You usually find coffee sold in 12 ounce bags, but if you want less, because, say, you want to give someone a variety of beans, or you want a stocking stuffer, Healing Coffee Roasters offers 6 ounce quantities of their terrific beans. In addition, Verve Coffee Roaster’s very first Farm Level bar at its shop in Beverly Grove offers beans in any quantity you need.
If your coffee friend wants to read about coffee:
- The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing — Coffees Explored, Explained and Enjoyed by James Hoffman
- Water for Coffee by Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood and Christopher H. Hendon
- The Coffee Roaster’s Companion by Scott Rao
If your coffee friend probably doesn’t want to read about coffee as much as they would like to read something while drinking coffee:
- Strangers Drowning by Larissa MacFarquhar (for a preview, see this excerpted bit here)
- His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
- The Complete Calvin and Hobbes Box Set