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.
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.
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.