Your Holiday Coffee Gift Guide: Give the Gift of Caffeine | Squid Ink | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Your Holiday Coffee Gift Guide: Give the Gift of Caffeine

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Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 9:49 AM

click to enlarge Coffee - R.E.~/FLICKR
There are precious few days left in the holiday shopping season, but no need to fret if all that's left on your list is a gift for your coffee fiend of a friend or co-worker. Whether your buddy is a constant traveler, a coffee novice or a hardcore specialty coffee enthusiast, our guide should point you in the right direction. And while you're picking something up for your friend, maybe get yourself a caffeinated pick-me-up, too. Surely you'll need it to battle the crush of last-minute holiday shoppers.

click to enlarge The Humble Cup - T. NGUYEN
  • T. Nguyen
  • The Humble Cup

For the traveler or to stuff stockings: The Humble Cup's single-serving coffee packets

There are quite a few folks who pack a hand grinder and a coffee brewer with them when traveling, but for the constant traveler who prioritizes luggage room over fresh grinds, try The Humble Cup. Launched by Leon Li -- a barista who you may recognize from his days pulling shots and pouring fantastic latte art at Spring for Coffee and other specialty coffee shops around town -- The Humble Cup is a nifty contraption that allows you to have the next best thing to fresh pourover coffee while on the go. Each package includes a filter with enough ground coffee to make one cup; all you need is hot water and you can brew a solid cup of coffee in a matter of minutes. This would be, notably, a good cup of coffee, with solid roasters like Suits and Knives supplying the coffee itself. As The Humble Cup is sold in packets (5 for $12, 10 for $20 and 20 for $35), these also make great stocking stuffers. Find them at Taza in Arcadia in Culver City.

click to enlarge Tonx - T. NGUYEN
  • T. Nguyen
  • Tonx

For someone who never has any time: A coffee subscription

The busiest person you know probably drinks an astounding amount of coffee, but has very little non-billable time to shop for coffee. In which case having great beans delivered straight to their inbox would make for an excellent gift. Tonx is an L.A.-based roaster who consistently roasts some of the best coffees in town; coffee is delivered once every two weeks, with plans starting at $24 a month.

Coffee from a single roaster, though, might not be for everyone: If you think your busy buddy would prefer to try beans from a different coffee roaster each month, try Two Cents Coffee, which starts at $85 for a three-month subscription. Recent coffees in the service have included beans from Slate Coffee Roasters and L.A.'s Cafe Demitasse.

click to enlarge Gift set from Outpost - T. NGUYEN
  • T. Nguyen
  • Gift set from Outpost

For the coffee novice or someone you know just well enough to know they love coffee: A gift set

Likely there's a coffee-related gift set in town that perfectly combines everything your friend would want. Coffee and chocolate? Copa Vida has a set with a bag of coffee and bar of Dick Taylor chocolate ($30). Coffee and cup packaged in a beautiful wooden box? Handsome Coffee Roasters has a gift set with a coffee mug and a special release of a micro-lot coffee, all in a handmade maple gift box ($65). Or how about a set of necessary coffee gear? Outpost has two gift sets with all the tools one needs to make a cup of coffee, one with an Aeropress, scale, burlap travel bag and brew guide ($85), and another with a Hario V60 dripper cone, filters, stand, scale, kettle, travel bag and brew guide ($198). You can pick up Outposts's gift sets at Cognoscenti Coffee in Culver City, Alchemy Works in Downtown or online.

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