Coffee makes a wonderful gift…but finding the right gift can be surprisingly complex. With so many flavors, roast, and grind questions the multitude of options can be a bit overwhelming. Thankfully, we are here and ready to help! Keep reading to learn how to buy the perfect coffee gift for your coffee-loving friends and family.
Step 1: identifying the giftee’s coffee profile
When giving someone a coffee gift, the first thing to do is leverage your knowledge of the giftee by asking ‘what do they drink and how do they drink it?’. Coffee contains 850+ aromatic and flavor compounds. Individuals who drink the same coffee regularly develop very targeted palates and may find it challenging to enjoy a coffee outside of their flavor range. Brew method and bean grind also impact a coffee’s taste. If you know the giftee doesn’t own a grinder but can’t recall how they brew, things can get tricky. Here are our tips for navigating flavor and grind options.
Flavor profile: If you don’t know which coffee the giftee currently drinks, you may be able to narrow down the vast number of options by looking at the giftee’s food preferences. People who enjoy high acid foods such as oranges and pineapples are likely to enjoy African or Central American coffees. Those who prefer mellow, smooth flavors are likely to enjoy coffees from South America and those who like spicier, low acid foods generally prefer Asian coffees. You can also tease out someone’s coffee preferences if you know their wine preferences. To learn more about the relationship between coffee and wine, check out our blog entry. If your giftee tends to like most foods or you have no idea what they like to eat or drink, your safest bet is a mixed sampler that contains a variety of roasts and regional beans.
Brew method: To brew a wonderful cup of coffee, the grind type must align with the brew type. If you aren’t sure how the giftee brews their coffee, we recommended having the beans ground for a drip machine, the most common type of home brewer in the US. The drip grind will also work well in a pour-over or Aeropress. If your giftee uses a single serve machine, be sure to find out if they use capsules, filter-packed pods, or K-cups.
Step 2: buying the right gift
Now that you’ve nailed the basics, the next step is finding the perfect gift. In our experience, the most successful gifts are ones that provide a mix of the familiar (a coffee the giftee already loves or is sure to like) and the new. Our best sellers include:
Sampler packs: Sampler packs are wonderful because they can easily be tailored to an individual’s taste, providing them with a few coffees they are sure to love and a few that sit right on the edge of an exciting sensory adventure.
The full service: The coffee, a grinder, a brewer, and instructions — everything the giftee needs to brew their best cup. Full package gifts are fantastic for those just getting into coffee brewing, individuals who love coffee and new toys, and for those who already brew their own coffee and are in need of an equipment upgrade.
Subscriptions: Monthly coffee subscriptions are wonderful gifts for people who either enjoy a single coffee, a set of coffees, or a coffee(s) with strong regional characteristics. Quarterly subscriptions are best for those who enjoy seasonally flavored coffees.
Gift baskets: Gifts baskets are unique among coffee gifts as they gift an experience. Baskets make great gifts for people who enjoy the experience of drinking coffee as much as they enjoy coffee. When purchasing a gift basket, be sure the contents of the basket harmonize from a taste perspective and are presented in such a way that the experience starts when they unwrap the gift, not when they start brewing the coffee.
Custom blends: Custom blends are superb gifts for culinary adventurers who think and drink outside of the box. Our most common custom blend combination is a mixture of a regular coffee with a flavored coffee, such as a Colombian Campesina with a hint of Belgian Chocolate.
Step 3: ensuring your gift can give its best
Once you’ve decided on your gift, ask the roasters about the coffee’s shelf life. Coffees packed in brown paper tin-tie bags or any other container that is not air-tight and light-blocked will stale within two weeks of roasting. If you are sending the coffee via mail, we recommended wrapping the bags in bubble wrap or another protective cover to prevent moisture from reaching the beans should the package get we during transport. If you are storing the coffee, be sure to keep it in a dry place.
We hope this guide helps as you sort through the myriad of coffee gift items. To see our current gift catalog, click here. If you have additional questions on which of our gifts would be best for your giftee, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you are looking for more information, here are some blogs that may be useful:
Deciphering your single serve coffee brewing options
Pods vs. K-cups: The breakdown
Grapes to cherries, the wine lovers guide to coffee
Written in the stars: coffee recommendations by zodiac sign
The best way to brew coffee? There isn’t one. There are many great ways to brew coffee!
Very useful article. As a coffee lover, it’s nice to see a thought process in written form ^_^ . Lovely article!