Published December 16, 2011
The standard percolator is so 20th century. Ever since the coffee shop revolution of the 1990s, coffee lovers have been on the hunt for cool new ways to brew a better cup of joe. If you’ve got a java-lover in your life that’s looking for a new way to get a caffeine fix, here are several cool gift ideas that’ll have them ditching their percolator or espresso maker.
Designed by a German inventor with a passion for chemistry, the Chemex coffee maker looks like something you’d find in a scientist’s lab. The glass, flask-like coffee maker is paired with special heavy-duty coffee filters that keep oils, fats and sediment out of your coffee, Chemex says, giving you a brighter, cleaner cup. While the Chemex is probably not for those that like a really strong cup of joe, aficionados of the device say it reveals entirely new flavors in the coffee beans that you can’t appreciate with more heavy-handed coffee makers like a French press or an espresso machine.
Vacuum Coffee Maker
Much like the Chemex coffee maker, the vacuum-brew method relies on chemistry-inspired gear for a better cup. However, the vacuum-brew method steps it up a notch by adding a bunsen burner beneath two connected flasks. Heating the water causes it to bubble up from the bottom chamber to the top, where it mixes with the coffee grounds. As the liquid cools, a vacuum is formed, pulling the brewed coffee back down into the bottom chamber while leaving the grounds behind. It’s a little more involved than most coffee-making methods, but for the loved one that loves to experiment with his morning cup, a vacuum coffee maker is a great gift.
The French press method is pretty simple: pour hot water in with the grounds, let it steep for about four minutes, and then push down the plunger. The press relies on a fine metal mesh to filter out grounds, which means you don’t have to mess around with paper filters. While it is one of the easiest alternatives to the traditional drip machine, some people complain that the fine metal mesh isn’t fine enough, producing a cup of coffee that tastes “muddier” than coffee that’s passed through a paper filter. That said, if you’re loved one that likes strong coffee, the French press is the gift to get.
Cold Brew System
With this method, simply steep coffee grounds in cool water. Stick it in the fridge and leave it overnight. Using cold water rather than hot causes on the sweetest part of the bean to dissolve in the water, giving you a richer, less acidic cup of joe. While you can accomplish a great cup of cold brew with any old container and a filter, it can get a little messy turning the steeped slurry into a drinkable cup. A cold brewer, like the Toddy Cold Brew System, simplifies that. If you’ve got someone special who likes to beat the heat with a cold jolt of caffeine in the morning, a cold brew system is the way to go.
Perhaps the simplest of all brewing methods, a Turkish coffee is simply finely ground coffee boiled with water in a special pot. There’s no filtering here, and the end result is a powerfully strong stew of coffee and grounds, so this method is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re looking for a gift for someone that needs a triple espresso just to get going in the morning, a Turkish coffee pot is the perfect gift.