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Coffee at the Moment by Mark Prince
CoffeeGeek Holiday Gift List 2013 - Under $75
Posted: December 2, 2013
Article rating: 9.8
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CoffeeGeek Holiday Gift List

It's the holiday time again, so here's CoffeeGeek's suggestions for gifts under $75 this year in our annual Holiday Gift List! If you haven't already checked it out, also have a look at our Under $35 gift suggestions for the coffee lover.

We mined the Internet to find you a wide variety of unique and innovative coffee and espresso related gift suggestions for Christmas this year. No more gift packs from Costco! No more powdered coffees! No more $65 steam toy espresso machines. Everything here is "CoffeeGeek" approved and sure to please even the most discerning coffee and espresso lover.

Many of these products are linked to CoffeeGeek's Amazon Affiliate Link, which helps offset the costs of running this website. For the third year in a row, for the entire month of December, we've donated 100% of the income generated from these holiday gift suggestion links to our favourite charity - CoffeeKids. This December 2013, we raised $2,400 via our affiliate link. And even better, we found a wide variety of companies to match what we raised, to specific dollar amounts. Thanks to these companies - Espresso Parts, Baratza, Bonavita, 8 Ounce Coffee Co, Batch Coffee, Craft Coffee, and Clive Coffee, we were able to raise $8,400 for Coffee Kids in December, 2013.

Now in January, 2014, CoffeeGeek is donating 50% of our entire site wide Amazon Affiliate revenue, and we have three companies - Batch Coffee, 8 Ounce Coffee, and Baratza on board to match our January donation. Last year this donation was $750; we hope to match that this year, but with the aid of our three dollar for dollar matchers, that means $3,000 possible for January!


Donate Today

We encourage all our readers to make CoffeeKids your charity of choice too and consider donating money directly to this great organization. More than ever, they need your help.

With these important messages and thanks out of the way, let's get onto our handpicked selection of coffee and espresso gifts under $75. We also plan on updating this periodically over the holidays, so check back often!

 
DISK Fine Aeropress Filter in Gold Plate - $40
Posted by Mark Prince, 1:55am Permalink to this blog entry

We already chose Able Brewing's DISK Fine as the ultimate Aeropress accessory for our under $35 list, but we're adding the totally blinged out DISK Fine gold plated filter here. Why?

Because it's awesome. And it's $10 cheaper than last year!

But also because of this - gold is pretty much 100% neutral to the taste and flavour of coffee. Steel can impart some tastes that some people are sensitive to. Paper of course can impart a lot of flavour changes and withhold oils from getting into the cup. Gold does neither - it is the near perfect metal to use in filters (except, I guess, for the price of gold!).

Able has only a few of these available at any time. They initially made them for the winners of barista competitions but there was enough demand that they produced a limited run. This is a seriously highbrow gift for the serious coffee nerd. I'm a coffee nerd, and I own one.

Product Link (Able Brewing - select the Fine variant)

 
Bruer Cold Drip Coffee Maker + Mugs $75
Posted by Mark Prince, 2:00am Permalink to this blog entry
bruer

Fresh off a successful Kickstarter project, you can now order a Bruer Cold Drip coffee brewing device for less than $100!

This was a wildly successful Kickstarter project (though us backers are still waiting for the product to ship!) and now the inventors have also set up a pre-order website to order either a full Bruer unit for $55, or for an extra $20, with a pair of insulated glass mugs the company has designed.

This brewer is based on the slow, ice drip method (like some towers listed in these holiday gift guides) but in a nice compact and transparent product. What makes it especially appealing besides the looks, is the price - most of the ice slow drip towers are in the several hundred dollar range; this one is much less.

Product Link (Product Inventor Website)

 
The Complete 8 Cup Chemex Set - $60
Posted by Mark Prince, 2:10am Permalink to this blog entry
Chemex Kit

Here's a great kit from Chemex for when you want to give your gift recipient a more complete package that includes things you normally don't see sold with the brewer.

This set includes the 8 cup Chemex classic brewer, a glass lid designed for the Chemex to keep your coffee hot, and a Chemex cleaing brush, also designed specifically for your Chemex.

The 8 cup model of the Chemex can brew up to 40 ounces of coffee quite easily, and up to 50 ounces or more in a stretch. The brush features nylon bristles and is made in Germany and sells for $15 on its own. The glass lid is made with the same processes used to make the Chemex brewers and costs $8 on its own. Together, thi package saves you about $10 on buying the items separately.

Product Link (Amazon)

 
Yedi Inside Out Heart Espresso Cups, Set of 6 - $40
Posted by Beata Siwinski, 2:15am Permalink to this blog entry
Beata PickYedi Espresso Cups

Such cute little cups! And in beautiful colours!

I really love these cups - they're more on the delicate side of porcelain (I am not a fan of the heavy espresso cups myself) and each saucer is in a heart shape. Even better, the inside of the cup is also shaped like a heart, and as you drink your espresso, you'll see the heart form, looking down inside!

These cups are also available in a cappuccino (5oz) size, and wither either gold or platinum top trim. I love them!

Product Link (Whole Latte Love)

 
Bonavita Electric Gooseneck Kettle - $60
Posted by Mark Prince, 2:45am Permalink to this blog entry
Bonavita Kettle

Though the price is up from $50 last year (It's $60 in both Canada and the US this year) this little electric kettle from Bonavita is amazing, and it's still $15 cheaper than Hario's equivalent kettle.

These kettles are considered "de rigueur" for any kind of manual pourover coffee preparation because they allow considerable control over the flow of water onto the bed of coffee. Four years ago, everyone loved a similarly designed Hario kettle because it was the most readily available model in North America, albeit for a price (as much as $70 just for the stovetop kettle a few years ago!); but Hario didn't invent the gooseneck kettle design (it was invented over a century ago for controlled pouring over tea) and today, there's so many more choices.

This kettle heats up extremely quickly, on par with an expensive induction range stove with a stovetop kettle, but in a convenient, electric and cordless format. It can heat up to 1.2l of water (though 1l max is recommended) And takes approximately 4 minutes to go from tap to boiling. It also features an auto shutoff after boil and a 2 year warranty. A great gift choice for any serious coffee nerd.

Product Link (Amazon)
Product Link - Canada (I Drink Coffee)

 
Two Hour Hands On Home Barista Class in Portland - $39
Posted by Mark Prince, 3:15am Permalink to this blog entry
Barista Class

Want to learn more about making great espresso in the home, and you live in or near Portland, Oregon?

Clive Coffee offers great 2 hour immersion, hands on classes for the home barista at their showroom. In the class you'll learn the very basics of pulling espresso and milk steaming. You will be taught how to effectively dial in your grind, as well as how to dose and tamp correctly so you can learn to pull great shots at home. In addition, milk steaming and machine maintenance will be lightly touched upon.

A very hands on class, and small - they limit their class size to 2 to 4 people to make sure everyone gets fully involved. And they include, at no extra charge, a copy of their $12 Guide to Espresso book.

Product Link (Clive Coffee)

 
Reg Barber Tamper - Customizable - $74
Posted by Mark Prince, 3:25am Permalink to this blog entry
Reg Barber

To this day, the man who started the custom tamper market is still the king and leader - Reg Barber. His tampers have become the industry standard, the one everyone else looks up to, and in many cases, copies. While there are other great tamper manufacturers doing great things (like another listed product - Cafelat), A Reg is a Reg is a Reg.

There are many suppliers of Reg Barber tampers out there, and we've chosen a CG supporter, Seattle Coffee Gear, to link to for this review as well as Reg Barber direct, in Canada. Seattle Coffee Gear allows you to really customize the tamper to the size, shape and materials you want, and most configurations come in at $74. Even more customization options are available from Reg Barber direct, including personalization for additional costs.

Once you've owned a Reg Barber tamper, you will really understand why people love this tool for their artisan crafting of espresso in the home or at work.

Product Link (Seattle Coffee Gear)
Product Link (Reg Barber Canada)

 
Sowden Oskar Softbrew Coffee Brewer - $45-$70
Posted by Mark Prince, 3:35am Permalink to this blog entry

In past Holiday Gift Lists, our "go-to" immersion brewer was the Eva Solo brewer, but this year, we've found something different for you, and something a lot less expensive: the Sowden Oskar Softbrew coffee brewer.

Made with extremely high grade porcelain and a engineered filter with thousands of micropores, this is a modern yet classic approach to immersion brew coffee. It works like any other immersion brewer: grind your coffee, add to the large filter, insert the filter into the ceramic brewer, and add hot water. Let steep for a set time, then pour. The filter occupies the majority of the brewer's interior, so ground coffee is in touch with the brewing water for the entire brew.

The filter's design is such that a wide variety of grind sizes can be used, from near turkish grind to a more coarse drip or even press pot grind. Sowden has experimented with this brewer extensively and found it suitable for a wide variety of brewing styles, including cold (toddy) brewing. And a bonus - it's great looking!

There are a variety of sizes available in this brewer, from 2 cups up to 8 cups.

Product Link (Whole Latte Love)

 
Jetboil Zip Personal Cooking System - $64
Posted by Mark Prince, 3:45am Permalink to this blog entry
Jetboil Zip

What the heck - a backpacking stovetop camp stove and pot in the coffee holiday gift list?

YES. Here's why. This is just about the fastest way you can heat up 500-800ml of water. It's faster than electric, faster than stovetop, faster than induction. It's screaming fast. And everything you see in the picture breaks down to sit inside just the black "Jetboil" cannister (including the gray area where the flame is). And, it's ultra portable! And (a lot of ands lol) - for another $15, you can buy the Jetboil press pot lid and convert this bad boy into a complete press pot coffee kettle and brewer.

This is the budget Jetboil system; for an upcoming article on CoffeeGeek, we battle tested the Jetboil Sol, which is a slightly more advanced (and much lighter) version. That product was phenomenal, and I have no doubts this "budget" Zip version is almost as good.

And (last and) at just $64, you could toss in a $8 Melitta pourover and bam, pourover coffee off the grid.

Product Link (Amazon)
Product Link - Canada (Mountain Equipment Coop - $78)

 
Espresso Quest Book - $60
Posted by Mark Prince, 3:50am Permalink to this blog entry
Espresso Quest

This is a book by long time industry veteran out of Australia, who's name is Instuarator.

It's an amazing book talking about Inny's personal journey into finding great espresso and a lot of theories and ideals explored and thoroughly tested. But it's much more than that.

It is also a picture book on a grand scale, with some of the most beautiful espresso photography you'll ever see. Many of the photographs are from the Pacific Northwest area, and shot in the 2007-2009 time period.

Normally this book costs over $100 to buy from most sources. But we managed to find it for $60 - a fantastic price for this limited run coffee table book... on espresso!

Product Link (Espresso Parts)

 
The Compendious Coffee Chart Panel Mounted - $73
Posted by Member Submitted, 4:00am Permalink to this blog entry
coffee chart

If you have a coffee lab, a tasting room, or even just love coffee and want to deck out your breakfast nook with some coffee artwork, this is perfect!

This covers almost every brewing method, from Chemex contraptions to French presses to the simple automatic drip--to produce wondrous, life-giving coffee, as well as the drinks one can concoct by combining coffee with mixers like steamed milk and chocolate.

There's many options (and sizes of poster) you can choose from at the Pop Chart website - we went with the panel mounted 18"x24" size which sits on a half inch of prime birch woold.

Product Link (Pop Chart Labs)

 
Hario Cloth Drip Pot Brewer - $46
Posted by Mark Prince, 4:10am Permalink to this blog entry
Hario Dripper

Though we found an ultra cheap cloth manual pourover filter brewer that we listed in our Under $35 list, we still have a soft spot for the Hario Cloth Dripper. This, over 10 years ago, was our own introduction to cloth drip brewing, and we've never looked back.

Plus the Hario Cloth Drip Pot Brewer looks fantastic. The fit and finish of it quite first rate, with lots of nice wood bits and even a wood handle for the cloth holder.

They come in two sizes, and in some ways, mimic the look of the Chemex, including a formed wood collar around the middle of a glass beaker, and a leather cord keeping the two halves of the collar in place. But what makes this different is the filter itself: the Hario Drip Pot uses a cloth filter to do its brewing.

For me, the taste from using a cloth filter (as long as it is absolutely clean) is many times better than paper. And unlike permanent filters like the Kone, there's absolutely no sediment or grit - you just get pure liquid coffee with all the flavour because essential oils from the beans make it through the cloth. Just keep it clean between uses!

Product Link (Amazon)

 
Capresso H20 Schott Glass Kettle - $54
Posted by Mark Prince, 4:20am Permalink to this blog entry
Capresso H20 Kettle

Price Reduced This Year! We've listed this as a favourite pick in past CoffeeGeek Holiday Gift Lists for several reasons: The Capresso H20 Kettle is awesome looking and very fast.  And it makes the listing again this year for the same reasons!

We've had used the H20 extensively in our old Lab as cupping kettles - two of them in fact.  This is one of the most beautiful and functional kettles we've ever seen or used. It's made of Schott glass which makes it very durable, and it's small size and unique design make it stand out.

Capresso redesigned the kettle slightly to address a problem with steam hitting your hand as you pour the hot liquid, and this updated design just adds to the overall package. It's a fast kettle, but small (48oz capacity).

This year, we've managed to find the kettle for $7 cheaper than last year! And bear in mind, the 2013 price is cheaper by over $30 than the 2008 price! (It was $85 back then). Fantastic deal on a great look, fast kettle.

Product Link (Amazon)

 
Cafelat Nikka Zebrawood - $56
Posted by Mark Prince, 4:45am Permalink to this blog entry

Cafelat is one of our favourite tamper makers, and they offer serious precision made tampers in unique designs with some great options.

There's a lot of designs from Cafelat's range of tampers to choose from, but I'm listing the one I actually use everyday (albeit branded to a local cafe): the Cafelat Nikka Zebrawood flat bottom model. At less than $56, this tamper screams high quality, is very durable (I can attest to that, having used one for almost two years now, every day) and very elegant looking.

Zebrawood is becoming the ultimate "exotic" wood used in tampers as well. It looks awesome, wears fantastically well and gets a great patina with time that makes it truly yours.


New this year, all the current models of Cafelat tampers come with the newly design "tamper seat" which also doubles as a tamping mat for both chopped portafilters and spouted models.

Product Link - Canada (I Drink Coffee, Canada)
Product Link (Direct from Manufacturer

 
Eight Ounce Coffee - A Donating Partner to CoffeeKids
Posted by CoffeeGeek Staff, 5:00am Permalink to this blog entry
Coffeekids Sponsor
8oz Coffee

We'd like to introduce you to one of the companies that has decided to join us in donating money to Coffee Kids this year. That company is called Eight Ounce Coffee and is based in Canada.

Eight Ounce Coffee is a still new company, founded by a couple of expat Brits, and started in Calgary, but soon expanded to Toronto. Their core passions are specialty coffee and bringing a wide range of specialty products to the Canadian marketplace, including many products that were missing from Canadian specialty coffee etailers. Make sure to visit their website to see their ever-expanding line of coffee and espresso products.

Eight Ounce Coffee, a CoffeeKids supporter.

 
Porlex Portable Hand Grinder, Stainless Steel - $52
Posted by Andrew McKnight, 5:40am Permalink to this blog entry

Lower Price This Year! For CoffeeGeeks there are more than a few hand grinder choices you can make but this is the one I own and the one I know CoffeeGeek's Mark also uses - the made in Japan Porlex hand grinder.

What's great about this grinder is its size and its ability. It fits inside an Aeropress plunger tube when not in use. It is durable and heavyweight in construction while still being small and light for travel. The burr set is ceramic, and is easily adjustable via a knob on the bottom of the burr stack. The grinder will easily do 20g of coffee in less than a minute and give you a quick workout while doing it.

The grind quality is good enough to also serve as an espresso grinder, which is how I use it - when I travel, I take a Mypressi with me as well as an aeropress. Thanks to this grinder, I get authentic espresso every morning, no matter where I am.

This is probably the best (portable) hand crank grinder you can buy today. (ed.note - well, there is the Pharos and the massive HG One... but I'm not sure if either is truly portable). For a while in 2013, there was something by a company called Commandante, but that turned out to have some problems. Until they fix theirs, the Porlex is the one to beat.

Product Link (Amazon)
Product Link (8oz Coffee, $63)

 
Phil and Seb Home Brewing Class in Calgary - $45
Posted by Mark Prince, 5:50am Permalink to this blog entry
Phil and Seb Brewing Class

Do you live in or around Calgary and want to know more about brewing great coffee in your home? If you do, Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters offer occasional classes on how to do so!

These two hour classes explore three brewing methods: french press, aeropress and pour-over. You'll be learning about effects of grinding, dosing and brewing tempeature and how to use these things to make better coffee. Class size is limited to eight, though they may reschedule if four or less people are signed up for a class.

They also offer other classes including a comprehensive espresso class and latte art classes.

Product Link (Phil & Sebastian Coffee)

 
Hario V60 Coffee Scale and Timer - $48
Posted by Mark Prince, 6:00am Permalink to this blog entry

Huge Price Drop From Last Year! Hario has designed a scale from the ground up for manual drip coffee preparation and it's proving to be very popular with the Coffee Nerds out there.

This scale packs a ton of innovation. It is accurate to 0.1g (accuracy is 1g over 200g, which Hario says was done for a fast scale readout). It has a maximum weight of 2kg, and has an automatic timer / count up function for brewing to very precise times and weights.

In addition, the scale is designed to slot into a new coffee brewing stand also designed by Hario to work efficiently with their V60 filter brewing system. The entire setup can work as a consolidated unit, with the scale measuring accurate brewing weights for both the receptacle pitcher and the filter portion of the brewing device.

It also uses AAA batteries (most small scales use harder to find button batteries) and while the normal "auto off" is 5 minutes, the display will stay on for up to 99 minutes if you have the timer function active.

This scale is now down to $48 on Amazon, the lowest price I've seen all year. Last year it was $65 everywhere!

Product Link (Amazon)

 
Baratza - A Premier Charity Partner for Coffee Kids
Posted by CoffeeGeek Staff, 6:15am Permalink to this blog entry
Sponsor Partner for CoffeeKids
Baratza

We'd like to introduce you to one of our premier sponsoring partners: Baratza.

We probably don't have to tell you who Baratza is. They make grinders - darned good grinders - and have been doing it for a while. They're also known for legendary, unparalleled customer service.

But did you know that Baratza is also a company that prides itself on good education? For instance, they put up a page recently of grinding tips with questions and answers culled from years of great customer questions.

Recently, Sarah Dooley joined Baratza in an educational and promotional role for the company, and they're expanding their videos, articles and other multimedia information about their grinders. Have a look at the brand new Baratza Forte Grinder overview video - both versions of the grinder! The Forte grinder is Baratza's latest and greatest, and recently won the SCAA award “Best New Product-Coffee or Tea Preparation and Serving Equipment (Commercial)" Award.  

While the Forte is designed for cafe use (or the be-all, end all home grinder), Baratza hasn't forgotten about those folks just getting into really good coffee, because as we preach on CoffeeGeek all the time: the grinder is the most important element in good home coffee! Baratza's answer for the budget / beginner market is the Encore, priced under $150 and very capable of doing every grind from espresso to press pot.

We're very thankful Baratza has decided to also come on board as a charity sponsor, matching CoffeeGeek's overall December donation to Coffee Kids, up to $1,000.

 
The Iconic Chemex Handblown Water Kettle - $75
Posted by Mark Prince, 6:30am Permalink to this blog entry
Chemex Kettle

We never listed the Chemex Kettle before because, to be honest, it looks goofy and I wasn't even sure how to use it. Well that changed this year when I bought one. It's an amazingly ingenious design for a stovetop hot water kettle!

This is a big kettle - it can boil nearly 2 litres of water. It can be used on gas and electric stoves (a trivet is recommended for electric) but unfortunately not on induction stoves. It's design is equally geeky, curvy, and functional: the "steam stopper" is a hollow tube with two silicone balls at either end designed to be put in the neck. This is what makes the neck cool (well, warm, not hot) to the touch and allows you to pour the water after it boils: that tube and silicone ball thing allows steam to escape up top without heating the neck.

The curves in the base show you where the max water level is, but also keeps it from splooshing out the front spout when boiling.

Each of these kettles is handblown, so every single one is a bit different. I kind of like that.

Product Link (Amazon)
Product Link - Canada (8oz Coffee)

 
Neapolitan Flip Coffee Brewer - $48
Posted by Mark Prince, 7:25am Permalink to this blog entry
Neapolitan

New Lower Price!
At CoffeeGeek, we love to explore all aspects of coffee and espresso, including the history of both beverages and the methods used to produce it. It's also fortunate that we still can own and enjoy centuries-old brewers (or at least their modern day equivalents). One such brewer is the Neapolitan Flip brewer, which was one of the most popular brewing methods of the 19th century.

The way these work is pretty straightforward. Ground coffee is put into a filter assembly on one side of the pot. Water is added to the other side. You assemble, then put the device on a heat source (stovetop, etc). Wait for the water to boil. Once it does, you remove from heat, and flip the entire brewer, so the heated water starts to seep through the enclosed bed of coffee. A few minutes later, and the entire thing is ready to start pouring out coffee.

There aren't that many Neapolitan brewers out there these days - this 1-2 cup model makes a unique gift, and can brew a nice cup of coffee.

Product Link (Amazon)

 
Rancilio Chopped Portafilter - $60
Posted by Member Sumbitted, 7:35am Permalink to this blog entry

Huge Price Reduction From Last Year! A chopped (naked, crotchless, whatever lol) portafilter is almost a must these days for the serious CoffeeGeek, since it allows an unprecedented ability to evaluate the process of making espresso and the ability to diagnose problems.

The most popular upscale home consumer espresso machine is the Rancilio Silvia, and Seattle Coffee Gear is offering a nicely finished chopped portafilter specifically for that machine, using Rancilio stock 58mm portafilters from the V3 Silvia lineup.

The finish on these chopped portafilters is very nice and they maintain most of the portafilter's structural integrity which is important for long term use. Last year, we listed a $75 chopped Rancilio portafilter; this year we've found it for $15 less!

Product Link (Seattle Coffee Gear)

 
Able Brewing KONE V3 Filter - $60
Posted by Mark Prince, 12:15pm Permalink to this blog entry

We're now into the full second year of the 3rd version of Able Brewing's KONE filter, and it's obviously the best one yet because Able hasn't redesigned it, like previous years!

Early last year, Able Brewing released their most definitive filter - the Kone V3 Almost everything about the Kone has been improved: a tighter hole pattern, smaller holes, a complex and varied hole pattern, better metal used, better welds, and the new top foodsafe plastic cap and flat bottom.

It is designed to fit standard 6, 8 and 10 cup Chemex coffee makers but also works okay with #2 size Hario V60 pourovers. This is pretty much the ultimate in manual pourover coffee.

Product Link (Amazon)
Product Link Canada (8oz Coffee)

 
Batch Coffee - A Donating Partner to Coffee Kids!
Posted by Mark Prince, 1:00pm Permalink to this blog entry
A Coffee Kids Supporter
Batch Coffee

Let me introduce you to another of our excellent Coffee Kids supporters this Holiday season. It is a company called Batch Coffee! They will be matching CoffeeGeek's fund raising dollar for dollar up to the $500 limit this holiday season.

Batch Coffee is a partnership between a 10 year coffee industry vet and a fellow with a great business sense. They are evolving their new business to sell a wide variety of really top end coffee and espresso gear, but their main focus is a coffee roaster: the Gene Cafe.

The Gene Cafe has been around for a while, but Batch Coffee became the exclusive importer last year and they want to continue to develop and improve the product while providing really first rate support for this roaster to customers in the US and beyond. We've had a Gene Cafe roaster since the early 2000s and it's quite intriguing - this is a combination fluid bed and rotational drum roaster, with advanced controls letting you the home roaster, control your roast profile. Able to roast up to 12oz at a time, this is no small, popcorn popper sized roaster! Check it out at their website!  

Batch Coffee, a Coffee Kids Supporter!

 
Bonavita Variable Temperature Kettle - $70
Posted by Member Submitted, 1:10pm Permalink to this blog entry
Bonavita Variable Temp Kettle

Waitasecond... a variable temperature water kettle... for under $75?

Yes! This year, we were able to find the Bonavita cordless variable temperature for the fantastic price of $70! Who knows how long this price will last, so get in quick!

The Bonavita traditional shaped (ie, non gooseneck) kettle has a whopping 1.7l capacity which is enough for even expanded coffee tastings, cuppings and samplings. These kettles are super quick, climbing from 20C to 95C in around 7 minutes, and as a bonus, you can have the kettle reach whatever temperature you programmed in, then hold the water at that temperature for up to an hour after. Can be programmed in F or C.

A great kettle at a seriously fantastic price - most places have this for $90 or more.

Product Link (Prima Coffee)

 
Illy Crystal Espresso Cup & Saucer - Set of 2 - $40
Posted by Andrew McKnight, 1:25pm Permalink to this blog entry
Illy Crystal Espresso

One of illy's most famous, most sought after (of all time) espresso cups was the original Art Collection crystal espresso cup. The collectors' version of that cup, sold in sets of four, now routinely sell for hundreds of dollars through the used market - that's something like $50+ per cup!

Well, illy revisited the crystal espresso cup with a more recent design: new materials, a new design, and while no longer a "art series" cup, it is still very singular and unique! This one differs in several ways over the original collection cup: the material is a bit thinner but much more durable; it features a frosted coating with a vertical clear stripe of crystal on each side of the cup to really highlight the espresso, and the saucer has a beautiful frosted image of a coffee flower in the centre.

You can get these cups direct from illy for $40 for a set of two (with saucers).

Product Link (Illy USA)

 
Bonavita Porcelain Immersion Dripper Brewer - $40
Posted by Mark Prince, 2:00pm Permalink to this blog entry
Bonavita Porcelain Immersion Brewer

New this year from Bonavita is an interesting product: their porcelain immersion dripper system!

Bonavita took the best from other immersion / flow through drippers out there, and porcelain-ized it all up. It's basically a Hario V60 meeting a Clever dripper. But it's even more than that.

It includes a lid for retaining heat while you steep your coffee. It also has an easy-to-slide release for letting the coffee flow through. It uses standard #4 filters, including many permanent filters. It also works well with two stands Bonavita has also introduced, including one on this Under $75 list.

This is a great brewer that gives you the best of both words - immersion brewing and flow through drip filter brewing.

Product Link (Amazon)
Product Link - Canada (8oz Coffee)

 
Bonavita Porcelain Pourover Brewing Stand - $50
Posted by Mark Prince, 2:05pm Permalink to this blog entry
Bonavita Stand

Along with the new Bonavita immersion dripper above, the company came out with this stand this year.

Functionally, it's quite awesome: nice big drip tray on the bottom handles any spills or excess dripping after you remove the coffee carafe (sold separately) , and the filter holder is very adjustable and can accommodate any current manual drip filter holder on the market. I've even used a naked Able KONE in this holder and it works great!

The one thing I don't like is how up front and centre the bonaVITA brand name is; I've already suggested to the company they need to either tone it down or remove it from the front entirely. But other than that, this is a great product, and at under $50 a fantastic buy.

Product Link (Seattle Coffee Gear)
Product Link - Canada (I Drink Coffee)

 
Evergreen Crackle Compressor Tamper $62
Posted by Mark Prince, 2:30pm Permalink to this blog entry
Compressor Tamper

A gorgeous tamper from the folks at Espresso Parts, and just one example of many of the tampers they feature on their website. We love this one because of the unique look and shape.

This is a heavyweight tamper (but no where near EP's heaviest tamper) at 1.2lbs. The top is aluminum billet powdercoated with this awesome green spackle colour. The handle is larger than most tampers, but it is surprisingly comfortable and very unique.

It is available with 57mm or 58mm bases, flat or convex. Also make sure you take a look at the other tampers Espresso Parts has to offer!

Product Link (Espresso Parts)

 
Ritzenhoff Baccino Double Walled Espresso Cup, Saucer & Spoon - $54
Posted by CoffeeGeek Staff, 2:45pm Permalink to this blog entry

So every year, CoffeeGeek wants to find you very unique and stylish (and functional!) espresso cups to give to the serious coffee and espresso lover in your life. This year, I found this gem.

Ritzenhoff is a very famous European designer of stemware, glassware and porcelain. This year, they've produced a line of stylish espresso cups, cappuccino cups and latte cups that are also very functional in that they are double walled glassware for better insulation of your beverage's temperature.

These are the amazing looking espresso cups. They come complete with a saucer and spoon. At $54 per cup/saucer set, it may seem expensive, but this is in line with what Ritzenhoff designs go and the detailed construction that make up the glass. Also if you shop around, you might find other designs by Ritzenhoff for cheaper.

Product Link (Amazon)

 
Yama TC5 5 Cup Siphon Brewing System - $65
Posted by Mark Prince, 3:05pm Permalink to this blog entry

It's no secret we love siphons at CoffeeGeek, and while the typical Hario models range $100 or more for the standalone versions, Yama out of Taiwan does faithful reproductions of 19th century siphon designs with modern glass and parts for a lot less.

This is a 5 cup model, complete with ornate stand, glass and metal alcohol burner with a cloth wick, cloth filter system, and of course, the heat safe glass bottom and top.

Using the cloth wick will take a while to heat up water, so it's always more convenient just to start up the unit with boiling water from a kettle. But sometimes I like to go all "non electric" with these units. Once dinner is almost done, fill with water, bring it to the table, place the cloth wick burner, and let it do its job. I hand grind coffee in a Porlex grinder, and when the water starts to rise, I add the coffee. The process takes about 15 or 20 minutes, but is entirely satisfying.

If the CoffeeGeek in your life doesn't have one of these, get them one for Christmas!

Product Link (Amazon)

 
Hario CafePresso Insulated Glass Press Pot - $68
Posted by Mark Prince, 3:30pm Permalink to this blog entry
CafePresso

Another rare find of a discontinued product - Hario's CafePresso insulated glass press pot. Hario discontinued this press and then reintroduced it for a short while. It might be gone by Christmas!

I was very fortunate to get this in two sizes; I even bought two of each because I knew Hario was going to be discontinuing them. They are slightly on the fragile side, but they brew a fantastic press pot of coffee, and much like the Espro Press, do a great job in slowing down the temperature cooldown while the brew takes place: more stable water temperatures during brewing equal a better tasting cup.

Hario's filter is much better than Bodum's standard models: the Hario press pot filter is made up of a finer mesh and does a better job of keeping the sediment out of your cup (though there still will be sediment).

If you're into press pot coffee, this is a unique, and soon-to-be-gone item.

Product Link (Amazon)

 
Hario Manual Brew V60 Drip Station - $55
Posted by Mark Prince, 4:05pm Permalink to this blog entry
Hario Brew Stand

Along with the Hario Scale listed on this Under $75 list, Hario has also designed a fantastic new Drip Station stand for their V60 brewing system.

Made of plexiglas and steel, this stand is designed to work in concert with the Hario Scale or on its own. It features something unique in most manual drip stands - a drip tray. The system works great as a home brewing station or in multiple units in a commercial environment. It fits almost any V60 brewer, including the porcelain models designed to fit on top of large carafes or cups.

This product has been around for a year now and has many fans - especially when used in conjunction with the Hario Scale. Note, it does not come with a V60 filter holder or beaker, you will have to buy those separately.

Product List (Misto Box - note frequent holiday sales)

 
Capresso CM200 Auto Drip Coffee Maker - $70
Posted by Mark Prince, 4:30pm Permalink to this blog entry
CM200 Brewer

I wanted to recommend at least one auto drip coffee maker under $75, which was proving very difficult to do - but we found one: the 2013 Jura Capresso CM200. At CoffeeGeek, we've had much success with this machine's older brothers - the MT500 and MT600, both thermal units. The MT600 used to cost as much as $200, making this model even more of a bargain.

Inside the machine is very nearly identical to the older MT600 and MT500. You're trading off the quality thermal carafe for a glass one (and a dreaded heating plate) but that's what you get for $70 or less these days. We've temperature tested the MT500 and MT600 and determined they brew at SCAA approved temperatures of 200F for most of the brew. In addition, they do a fairly decent job of saturating the bed of coffee in the filter for good extraction.

The machine also comes equipped with a built in water filtration system and a permanent filter which is based on the Melitta #4 size cone filter. Of course, you can spend a few bucks to get a gold plated permanent filter for even better coffee.

Product Link (Whole Latte Love)

 
Chemex 8 Cup Coffee Brewer with Handle - $39
Posted by Mark Prince, 4:45pm Permalink to this blog entry
Chemex Brewer

If you already have the Kone filter, or if you don't already have a manual drip coffee setup (or your special other doesn't have one), this in some ways is the holy grail for many. Paired up with the Kone, it is one of the most ideal manual pour coffee setups favoured by coffee professionals.

Chemex is an iconic symbol in the world of coffee. The shape of the brewers is timeless and is featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The handle Chemex is well made, and can stand up to a lot of abuse. It also showcases coffee beautifully.

if you don't have the Kone filter, you can also choose to use Chemex' own square paper filters which need to be folded in a very specific way to be used in these brewers.

Product Link (Amazon)

Article rating: 9.8
Posted: December 2, 2013
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
Coffee at the Moment Column Archives email author
Mark PrinceColumn Description
Whether it's up to the minute, happening this day, this week, or in the recent past, this column's goal is to present coffee and attempts to make the experience truly culinary. You'll find short reviews about past events, interesting coffees coming on the market, new and different ways to enjoy espresso and other brewing methods, and give an insight into efforts around the globe to make coffee a truly culinary thing. Column written by Mark Prince.

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