eightpointnine’s Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Coffee Addicts
It’s that time of year again, and we bet you’re already struggling to think of what to get people for Christmas (or what they can get for you). So we thought we’d take a little weight off your shoulders by compiling our Top 10 Gifts of 2012 for coffee addicts. You may want to purchase something off here for a known coffee lover, or perhaps drop some hints to your nearest & dearest when they’re asking what you want for Christmas…
Better still we have a fabulous prize to giveaway courtesy of our friends at occa-home - more on how to enter our competition below!
1. BEST MUGS
You’ve probably noticed it’s getting cold - time to dig out the jumpers/sweaters. Be super on trend with these Nordic inspired Marius mugs (thermo cups) which are so clever they even keep your coffee hotter for longer!
We love these Bodum espresso mugs for their really snazzy design and comfortable grip! The perfect gift for a design-conscious coffee drinker.
2. BEST COFFEE HAND GRINDER
The Ceramic Hario Coffee Mill is a mini hand grinder and we love the fact that it’s so lightweight; the plastic body makes for easy travelling, so you can have great coffee wherever you go. We’d advise getting this with the Aeropress to make fabulous coffee without breaking the bank!
3. BEST COFFEE POT
Depending on what you believe, this sleek Bistro Coffee Pot’s from Nick Munro was inspired by continental coffee shops, a bike pump or his love of penguins! Either way we think it looks amazing and is a great take on the humble cafetière - find out how you could win one below!
4. BEST ESPRESSO MAKER
It’s very likely that if you love your espressos (or know someone who does) you already have one of these. But we think it’s worth being put on the list just in case you don’t! The Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Maker, (6 Cup) is the original traditional espresso maker.
5. BEST MILK FROTHER
The beautiful Hostess HM250MA Milk Frother has 3 temperature settings, can be put in the dishwasher and can be used to froth milk for cappuccinnos, lattes, make wonderful hot chocolate drinks and even heat up your favourite soup! Eightpointnine’s very own Kris owns this magnificent little frother and vouches for it’s quality!
6. BEST GRINDER
The Rancilio Rocky coffee grinder is modelled after commercial machines. It uses slow turning commercial grade burr grinding wheels to crush the coffee beans, creating a consistent ground - your very own coffee house right in your kitchen.
7. BEST COFFEE MACHINE
We think that the Gaggia Classic RI8161 Coffee Machine is the perfect addition to your coffee lover’s kitchen. It’s impressive looking and solid, but small enough not to take up too much counter space. And the wonderful aroma produced by the fresh coffee is a bonus.
8. BEST ALTERNATIVE COFFEE MAKER
The Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker allows you to make fresh coffee in the time it would take you to previously make instant – 20 seconds! It’s a revolutionary piece of equipment that means you’ll never have to skimp on good coffee because you’re short of time!
9. BEST CAFETIERE / COFFEE PRESS
The Bodum 1308 Columbia Tea and Coffee Press is an 8 cup cafetiere with a fantastic build quality and an elegant design. The double-walled stainless steel gadget is a must have for those lazy Sunday morning coffee times.
Create a truly personalised gift today with our eightpointnine gift vouchers. They are the perfect present for your coffee loving friends (or enemies) and are recommended in this month’s BBC good food magazine. They now start from just £5.89 and the best part is you can print/send them straight away so perfect for that last minute panic or secret santa!
Competition Time - Win a Nick Munro Bistro Coffee Pot
Courtesy of our friends at occa-home.co.uk we have 1 of the amazing Nick Munro Bistro Coffee Pot’s to giveaway (RRP £59). To be in with a chance of winning, simply head over to our facebook page before December 16th, like us and complete the following simple sentence:
If Santa drank a personalised coffee blend from eightpointnine.com he would call it…..
Spotted this great mug and it gave us a thought…for those doing Movember perhaps get yourself a monocle and style it out 365 days a year!
4 Reasons why blending coffee beans produces the best coffee in your cup
A lot of people like to tell you that single origin or single source coffee is the best coffee. Whilst this may be true for some people it surely isn’t for everybody given each person has a unique sense of taste as discovered by Arthur L. Fox, a scientist working for DuPont, way back in 1931.
But that aside, have you ever wondered why that espresso from the coffee shop on the high street tastes completely different from the one you bought last week from your local cafe? It’s just coffee right? Coffee flavours differ from country to country, from plantation to plantation and even right down to the plants the bean comes from – so it’s likely that in a week you’ll sample coffee from numerous locations around the world - with no jetlag!
For those less geeky, let’s get some definitions out of the way before we give you our thoughts on why it’s better to buy coffee blends versus single origin coffee. So some definitions…
- single origin - basically what it says on the tin. Coffee that comes from just one plantation or country, e.g. Brazil, Guatemala, Kenya etc…
- coffee blends - when two or more types of coffee are combined from different regions/countries/plantations.
We think asking someone whether they prefer coffee made from a single-origin bean or a blend is similar to asking whether they prefer a church hymn or an aria. Both have their time and place, but they’re definitely very different styles of music. Perhaps you’d like to think of it as the difference between a blended vs single malt whiskey, if you are that way inclined!
If you have read this far then you are probably pretty interested in coffee, maybe you are the type who knows what is in your cup: “I’m drinking Brazilian Minas Gerais at the moment darling” That’s nice if that coffee gives you everything you want, but wouldn’t it be better still if you were able to really personalise your cup to your individual tastebuds. You can be creative and really experiment with a blend, it gives you that flexibility to tailor the flavour so instead you can tell your fellow coffee geeks: “I’m sipping a rich, sweet seductive blend of Colombian Bucaramanga coffee with a dash of Brazilian and Costa Rican beans to add some crispness. Better right?
So, back to the main topic, why buy a coffee blend? Here’s the 4 reasons we promised:
- Firstly we think a blend produces a better and more well rounded coffee, by introducing other coffee origins to boost weaker areas of the base coffee so that the mixture of flavours, aromas and textures complement each other.
- Like wine, the best coffee’s are often blends. Most of the best coffee shops (and Starbucks) use blends to ensure their customer’s are happy and on the wine front it is a similar story as luxury traveller describes rather nicely in its great profile of Champagne: “Each cellar master creates a unique blend, or cuvee from as many as 70 different base wines - the specific style of each producer. For this reason, every champagne is a unique creation”
- Some things taste better together than on their own– strawberries and cream, chocolate and chilli, bananas and toffee. Your coffee blend is no different, certain pairings just go so well. We have our favourites but the beauty of a service like eightpointnine is you can try your own.
- And finally, isn’t single origin a bit boring? And who wants to be known as the person who drinks boring coffee?
So next time you’re deciding what to drink – why not be a little adventurous and give your senses a treat by sipping a blend (designed by you for you?)
What do you think? We’d love to know what’s in your cup and why?
Not sure what the weather is like with you right now but for us this was very appropriate!