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Gift Guide for Coffee Lovers

Our top pick for coffee lovers is a cold brewing system.  We’ll spotlight a couple different specific brewers so you can match the features to your gift recipient.

Cold brew is all the rage today and with good reason.  Not only is it better for your health it tastes better. When you make it home, it is better for your wallet.

Let’s start with the health benefit.  Cold brew coffee is way less acidic than hot brew.  More than 50% less acidic!  This is great news for anyone who has acid reflux or a sensitive tummy.  It also means less acid on your teeth.  Why it less acidic?  High heat releases the acid from the coffee grounds and into your drink.

The high heat also releases that bitter flavor into your coffee.  In contrast, cold brewing slowly extracts the flavors and natural sweetness of the grounds.  You might even find yourself add less sweetener to your cup of Joe. Think of it as slowly steady process that brings out a smooth rich flavor instead of a heat forced process which brings out acid and bitterness. So, won’t the cold brewed coffee become acidic and bitter when reheated?  Nope, because the coffee grounds are now out of the equation.

When you make coffee at home, you’ll save a ton of money.  Let’s say you buy 5 cups a week of plain coffee for $1.90 each.  That adds up to nearly $500 in a year.  The cost to make the same amount of coffee at home is about $20.  That is a savings of 96%.  And if your paying for fancy coffee that savings only goes up.

Another plus to making coffee at home is that you will know exactly what’s in it.  It is shocking how much hidden sugar is in those fancy coffees.  We had a friend measure by teaspoon the amount of sugar that was in her purchased medium coffee.  It was nearly half a cup!  When she tried one of our cold brews with the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of sugar (some from milk), she was more than happy with the sweetness. 

Now for our thoughts on gifts for your favorite coffee lover. Click on pictures for more information.

Our favorite cold brewer is the Flip Brew by Zing Anything.  As the name implies, you can brew just about anything in it. All you do is add your favorite coffee grounds into the filter basket and screw the basket into cover.  Add room temperature water (or cool water) to the pitcher and screw the cover on.  Now you flip it and leave it or 12 to 24 hours.  Once brewed you flip it over, unscrew to remove filter basket.  Make sure to rinse any grounds from the cover and screw the cover back on.  Refrigerate what you don’t use.  To use the coffee, twist the handle on the cover and you can easily pour out the coffee you want into your cup to be heated in the microwave.  We like this one because it is super easy to brew, has an easy pour storage pitcher, and uses regular coffee grounds.

Another common method involves making a coffee concentrate. Basically, you insert a dampened filter into a plugged container, then you add a layers of coarse ground coffee and layers of gently added water.  After the grounds have steeped for 12 to 24 hours, the plug in pulled from the bottom and the coffee concentrate drains into the storage container.  To make coffee, you dilute the concentrate with water and/or milk, typically 3 parts water/milk a to 1 part concentrate.  This lets you adjust the strength to your taste.   Because it is a concentrate, it will last awhile and lengthen the time between brews.

We have a Toddy brewing system and have some thoughts on it.  The storage container has a tight stopper which keep the coffee fresh.  The storage container is glass and is quite thin.  Because of its size and shape it can be difficult to pour.  When making the brew, you first install a cork in the brewing portion which needs to be removed for draining the concentrate. That is not the easiest thing to do without making a mess.  The system requires coarse ground coffee.  Using a regular grind means you need to replace the reusable filter more often as it gets clogged with coffee grounds.

If we decide to replace our Toddy system, we’d look at trying this one from OXO. The OXO uses a “Rainmaker” to evenly distribute the water eliminating the layering of grounds and water.  The brewing part has its own stand.  There is a lever to drain the concentrate which means no more messy pulling of the cork plug. And no small part to lose!  However, the lever may malfunction over time. The carafe has measurements on it which is a nice feature.

If you decide you’d to gift a hot coffee maker, we suggest something like this one by Tru. We really like ours. It is compact, has a reusable filter basket yet also accepts k-cups. It works nicely for the tea drinker too.  Perfect for small apartments, families with different schedules, dorms, and RV camping.

And finally, our pick for a travel mug.  We’ve used this for years.  You have to work at it to spill it and it keeps things hot or cold all day.

Check out our cold brew coffee videos at Fancy Iced coffeeFancy Iced coffee Click on pictures for more information.

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