Even if you aren't one, chances are pretty good you know someone who is a bona fide coffee snob. That's because unmitigated devotion to coffee has reached epic proportions in the past few years.
For these folks, nothing says "I care" more than a gift that affirms said snobbery and love for truly great coffee. I can pretty much guarantee that any one of these coffee-related gifts will rack up some major love and respect in return. You can find resources and details for each of the following at EverydayCheapskate.com/coffeesnobs.
BEANS. Coffee snobs grind their beans on demand, which means never offer coffee grinds in a bag or can. While roasted coffee beans might not be the most flashy gift out there, your favorite snob will perk up at the sight of beans from a high-quality roaster like Black Rifle, Death Wish Coffee, Kicking Horse or Koffee Kult.
TRAVEL MUG. Allowing a batch of fresh-brewed hot coffee to go cold is simply heartbreaking. The Zojirushi stainless steel travel mug will bring a tear to the eye of a true coffee snob. It keeps coffee really hot for a long time. More than that, it is lovely to hold and look at.
CARAFE. The Zojirushi Premium Thermal 1-Liter Carafe is equally awesome, holding 1 full liter of brew. It keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. The thumb button on the handle easily opens the spout for pouring. This type of carafe is a coffee snob's must-have so that a full fresh pot of brew doesn't sit there and cook for hours, giving it a terrible burnt taste. Once brewed, simply pour the coffee into this carafe to keep it fresh and hot for hours! Lovely.
BURR GRINDER. We snobs insist on crushing our coffee beans, not cutting them with a steel blade. A burr grinder is a must because it gives consistent particle size for even extraction. Just accept it that a grinder with a blade should be saved for grinding spices. The OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is a great piece of machinery. Not only does it look spectacular but it also works really well and is rated highly by coffee lovers of all levels of snobbery.
COFFEE MAKER. Not all coffee lovers hold to the manual method of brewing. Those who use a machine are very particular. The Cuisinart 14-Cup Coffee Maker is about as good as it can possibly get for coffee makers under $100. First, it heats the water to the ideal and precise temperature. It uses a tiny showerhead to create complete and even saturation for optimal extraction. All of these things are of supreme importance! This particular model comes with a glass carafe that has a stainless steel handle.
While I do consider myself a coffee snob -- I love coffee! -- as for my personal level of snobbery, I'm pretty much at the bottom of the scale. I still use cream.
Mary invites questions, comments and tips at email@example.com, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually.