The Snob’s Christmas Gift Guide

What to give your favourite coffee snob for Christmas this year.

Hello and welcome to my first ever Christmas gift guide. I’ve been compelled to write this as the coffee gift guides I’ve come across seem to contain lots of fad-based coffee related products which I would never actually use (for the record, coffee snobs don’t like merlot infused coffee beans nor a mug saying ‘I like coffee’). I’ve compiled a list of the sort of stuff I’d like to receive which hopefully means it’ll put a smile on many a fellow snob’s face this Christmas. No endorsements or sponsorships – these are all products I either use or would like to have myself. (Visit my FAQs page for info on affiliate links.)

(Ps. feel free to click here and start Christmas shopping properly…)

£10 and under

Loveramics coffee cups – from £7.70

Let your favourite coffee snob feel like they’re a professional barista at home with a set of Loveramics coffee cups. Widely used across the industry, they have been used as the official cups for the World Latte Art Championships. Dishwasher and microwave safe, these last for years (I speak from experience). Coming in a range of colours, they are essential for bringing a sense of coffee-shop-glam into your kitchen.

La Bottega Milanese La Classica coffee beans – £7.50

This has always been my favourite coffee shop. Italian taste and style at its core, its beans are the the best. Smooth, well balanced…time and again I go back to these. They do delivery and can post them pre-ground or as beans.

Swiss Water Decaf Blend – £5.50

The pioneers in natural caffeine extraction, this is decaf without any of the harsh chemicals. And, against my lifelong preconceptions about decaf coffee, it’s delicious. A unique product, perfect for Christmas Day when we all need to chill a little bit…

No Longer a Latte notebook – £8

Made out of 8 used coffee cups, this range of notebooks at Paperchase is the latest trend. And they’re really, really great.

£20 and under

World Atlas of Coffee – £19.80

I bought this for my Dad a few years ago and I’m still learning things from it. A perfect coffee table book that you can dip in and out of, each time learning something new. James Hoffman is the man, and he explains everything in a highly readable way, from the growing process to the extraction process. A must read for any coffee fanatic. Fascinating.

Huskee Cup – £14.00

I’ve had my eye on these since they came out. Sustainable, stylish and easy to clean, these are made out of the husks from used coffee products. You can buy them with a saucer if using at home, or with a lid for travelling on the go. Added to that they have insulated walls, keeping your coffee warmer for longer. This the best travel coffee cup I’ve come across.

Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur – £19.00

I was given this for my birthday this year and I will never look back. Makes the best espresso martinis – perfect for the Christmas season.

Kalita Canvas Tote Bag – £18.00

I’d like this. It’s subtle and yet screams ‘I know my ristrettos from my affogatos’.

£30 and under

From left: AeroPress, Hario coffee grinder, Loveramics cups, Mr Black coffee liqueur

Hario Skerton Coffee Grinder – £27.05

If you’re looking for a manual hand grinder you’ll be hard pushed to find anything better. With an adjustable grind size, it’s easy to use and holds about 4 cups of coffee, so you can do all the hard work and then reap the benefits a few coffees at a time. Dishwasher safe, easy to clean, I’ve been using this for two years now and I really cannot fault it. Although it has a glass base I often travel it and have never had a problem with it.

AeroPress – £26.52

This product changed my life. If you’re on the road a lot, then this is the product for you. Possibly better than an espresso machine, the AeroPress produces beautifully smooth coffee every time. Easy to use and quick to clean, this is a must in any coffee enthusiast’s arsonry.

Set of 6 Espresso Mugs – £25.00

Six cute vintage espresso mugs? All in different colours? Yes, yes please.

Pact ‘subscription’ plan – £25.00

Pact are one of the original coffee subscription services – however, they don’t like to the use term ‘subscription’ as they know coffee-drinking habits can change week to week, so they invite you to start a plan which is changeable at any time. I started using this service in 2014 and every blend I had was excellent. Get your coffee snob a gift voucher and they can create a ‘coffee plan’ according to their brewing equipment and the regularity of when they want to receive a new bag. Great company, great ethos, and great products. (Gift vouchers also available at the £50 and £100 mark if you’re feeling extra generous).

Over £30

Kinto Travel Tumbler – £32

From left: Mr Black coffee liqueur; AeroPress; Kinto travel tumbler

I bought this over a year ago and, while I did pause for thought at price, it’s worth every penny. A Japanese brand, this travel tumbler celebrates what Kinto is known for: putting simplicity and sleekness at the core of its designs. I’ve probably made back double the cost of this over the year, taking into account all the takeout coffees I’ve bypassed. It keeps your coffee warm for at least half a day (it actually stays piping hot) and has two lids so it feels like you’re drinking from an actual mug. I’ve done my fair share of testing of travel coffee flasks and this is the best. Hands down.

Origin – Home Espresso Course – £80

My failed attempts at the Origin Latte Art course

Cornish-based coffee roasters, Origin have become God-like in the world of coffee. Now as well as producing excellent coffee, they run courses so you can make barista-standard coffee at home. My Dad and I did the latte art course (£30) earlier in the year and it was brilliant. The Home Espresso Course is more expensive at £80 but covers all the groundwork. The courses run in London and Cornwall.

Chemex – £41.34

This is the classic Chemex, the hourglass shaped pour-over that makes brewing coffee easy – and elegant. Make that coffee party extra special by having this beautiful vessel brewing up your favourite smells for up to six people at a time. This is a perfect addition to any coffee enthusiast’s shelf for when you have many coffees to make and your AeroPress or espresso machine only makes one at a time. Added to that, it looks beautiful even when not making coffee, so it’s win win.

Double Cup Moka Pot – £36.99

I’ve always loved making my coffee from a stove top moka pot, though if you’re slightly distracted it can easily burn. These bad boys not only brew two cups at a time, but steam the coffee straight into your cup, leaving no confusion about when to take off the heat. A friend of mine picked one of these up in Amalfi and they’re truly excellent.

Over £100

Delonghi Magnifica Espresso Machine – £299.99

This is a perfect entry level espresso machine. One of the top-rated machines at the moment, it’s is easy to use and delivers every time, as outlined in its rave reviews. Milk frother and grinder in-built, it delivers barista-standard coffee at home. You can’t go wrong with this product.

Acaia Pearl Scale – £168.00

Measure your coffee to the gram, ensuring you deliver perfect coffee every.single.time. No room for error with this faultless product.