Coffee drinkers see themselves as a sophisticated bunch, and the coffee industry has expanded to cater to their tastes. There’s huge amounts of paraphernalia available meaning it’s easy to buy Christmas coffee gifts.
Traditional cafetiere coffee gifts
Traditionalists forego modern machines in favour of the simple cafetiere or French press. These attractive devices make perfect coffee gifts and brew coffee via a very simple mechanism, featuring a filter at the end of a plunger within a clear jug. Coarse coffee grounds are placed in the cafetiere with hot water and left to brew for a few minutes. The plunger is then depressed and traps the coffee grounds underneath the filter at the bottom of the jug.
The bonus of a cafetiere is its simplicity. It’s portable and can even be used to brew tea.
Funky Christmas coffee gifts
Real coffee connoisseurs will enjoy using a coffee grinder, so they can make the freshest brew from whole beans. Frother accessories produce professional looking, creamy textured cappucinos.
Coffee beans are, in effect, the roasted seeds of berries from the Coffea plant. From raw product to steaming cup, there’s quite an intensive processing period. Roasted beans are graded by colour, with lighter beans producing a bolder flavour. Roasted beans must be stored in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
Fresh coffee beans make a sophisticated and fragrant gift. Arabica beans are a popular choice for their low caffeine content and soft flavour. However there’s a dizzying variety of blends and coffees of exotic origins.
Beans are usually bought according to the grade of roast – light for more delicate and acidic flavour, medium for a fuller, sweeter flavour and dark for a strong, sometimes bitter taste. Apart from roasting, beans from different geographic areas have distinctive flavours, so coffee producers often blend different grades of roast for more complex flavours. French and Italian coffees tend to be darker, while American roasts are more moderate.
Turkish coffee, for example, is usually finely ground and flavoured with cardamom. It should be served with a foamy top and is an international favourite, along with espresso and cappuccino.
To surprise a serious coffee lover, the internet is your friend. Search out more unusual and exotic beans and blends, such as kopi luwak coffee, made from beans excreted by the Asian Palm Civet. It may sound unappetising but results in a flavoursome brew that is considered a delicacy!