Coffee gifts for coffee lovers are, at best, tricky. Like wine and clothing, heaven forbid you choose the wrong vintage or size. However, giving the gift of coffee, especially a local roaster from your own back yard, can be a welcome treat to the coffee fanatic in your life.
Plus, coffee is EASY. Yes, let’s say that again. EASY. With a few simple guidelines you can be a hero in the eyes of your coffee fan and, hopefully, make a discovery for the next gift you need for the same person.
The best part of giving coffee is that, for a little effort, you have gifts for the rest of your relationship. Coffee is eternal, with ever changing roasts, roasters, and blends for the coffee focussed to explore. Birthdays, holidays, graduations, special events, clients, or just plain “thinking of you”, once you’ve scored with local coffee your gift giving woes are effectively over.
The Three F’s of Coffee Gifts
Most of us want A’s in life. But when it comes to giving coffee, and F is more than a passing grade.
Truth be told, if you go to a reputable local coffee roaster or purveyor, you will probably get good advice. The key is local. Mega marts should be right off your list. The coffees they carry may be quality, but their age is suspect. Same is true of the internet. Large distributors of coffees simple can’t produce the product that makes a gift special.
Although we always recommend using a local roaster indiginous to your town, the internet does have excellent roasters that bag and ship within a few days of roasting. Make sure to take a good look at their website and read the comments and reviews. This will help guide you on their quality and their most popular roasts.
With that foundation it is time to reveal the three F’s of coffee gifts: Fundamentals, Freshness, and Followup.
There are a lot of choices in coffee. Roast level, origin, blend or single origin, grind, preparation method, and cost are just some of the parameters you can face with coffee. If you haven’t given a coffee gift to the recipient before and/or don’t know there likes, it is best to stick with a fundamental, middle of the road coffee for your first foray into coffee gifting.
Here is our best recommendation: Medium roast, single origin, fair trade, organic, recently roasted bean. In other words, don’t get too fancy or extreme. Although many coffee connoisseurs may prefer a different roast level, different origin, or have special preferences on blend, they will always recognize and appreciate a well roasted single origin coffee.
As for grind, our recommendation is don’t. A true coffee drinker will have a grinder. If they don’t have a grinder they can always go to their local coffee shop which should (if they are like ours) grind the coffee for them. Plus, if they don’t have a grinder you have a great gift for them on the next gift giving occasion.
Coffee is a perishable item. At least good coffee is. It will degrade with time. So, get the freshest local coffee you can. Good coffee purveyors rotate their stock often because they want to put their best foot forward when selling coffee.
Secondly, remind your coffee drinker not to “save” your gift for a special occasion. Don’t wait for Mother’s Day to drink coffee you got in December. Grind and enjoy NOW. There is more where that came from
The best thing about coffee gifts is that it provides a great opportunity to follow up after a couple of weeks. Once you’ve given the coffee follow up with the recipient and ask questions. Would they prefer the coffee ground? If they were buying coffee, what roast level would they like? What origin? Are they into flavored coffees?
Also, if you follow up and they haven’t started drinking the coffee yet give them a push. As stated above, the product does not improve with time.
Bottom line, a follow up conversation gives you the opportunity so suss out what they really look for in a coffee. Then the next time you go to your local roaster or coffee purveyor, you are armed with information to make your next gift even more thoughtful and on point.
So there you have it. Coffee gifts made easy. Start local and stick with the three F’s: fundamentals, freshness, and follow up. With these simple rules you can become another F with your gift: