Having spent many Christmas mornings opening gifts I did not want and did not need--sorry, Grandma, that I couldn't even pretend to appreciate that heinous fur vest you bought me in 1996--I'm all for the edible, or better yet drinkable, gift. It's not going to collect dust for the next 10 years, it won't end up in a bag to Goodwill, and I don't have to worry about it being awkwardly regifted to me the following year (unless maybe it's a fruitcake).
Photo courtesy of Caffe Vita.
Booze is a go-to holiday gift, but why not make it coffee instead? Here are five of my favorite locally produced, coffee-related gift ideas (priced lowest to highest) for the caffeine junkie in your life:
Though the stock of these dangerously addictive little bites has been depleted from Hot Cakes' Ballard shop, I've been told that they'll have more in time for the holidays. And you'll want to get plenty: a bag of Blue Star Coffee Roasters' beans (winners of Coffee Fest's America's Best Espresso competition, by the way) coated in Theo dark chocolate runs about $7, making it an affordable hostess gift and perfect stocking stuffer.
This year marks Fonte's 20th producing an annual holiday blend, and it's a veritable round-the-world taste trip: beans from Brazil, India, Kenya, and Ethiopia play together to create a cup that's got notes of cedar and a fruity aroma that is perfect for the season. Plus, you can feel good about forking over $18 for a bag, since net proceeds benefit the meal program for kiddies at Pike Market Child Care and Preschool.
I've waxed poetic on the beauty of the Aeropress before; trust me when I say this is one of the easiest, cheapest, coffee-nerdiest gadgets out there. It's especially perfect for single guys and gals who only need to make one great cup at a time. You can buy them on Amazon, but it's better to support local business by picking one up at Seattle Coffee Works since it'll cost about the same, and you can grab a latte at the same time. (Bonus: it's made by a Frisbee company!)
A bit pricier than the previous picks, this is the gift that keeps on giving--for three months, anyway. Buy this subscription of sorts and Caffe Vita will mail your lucky giftee a 12-ounce bag of single-origin beans and a bar of Theo chocolate each month. The subscriptions are available online, but if you stop by the store, make sure you also pick up a bag of their holiday blend, which is delightful.
OK, this is obviously not a cheap gift. This is an I-love-you-so-much-I-knew-you'd-like-this-better-than-a-diamond gift. But a year's worth of coffee for less than $300? Honestly, a great deal. And if your recipient lives in Fremont, Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Wallingford, downtown, or South Lake Union, Conduit will deliver your bag of beans by bicycle--likely by owner/roaster Jesse Nelson himself.