Coffee. Mmm. Maybe you've already had a cup for the day. Maybe you're just sitting down to a late-morning sip.
If you know a serious coffee aficionado, here are a few Christmas gift suggestions to make their holidays just a little bit brighter.
1. Green beans and a cast iron frying pan. We've started roasting our own beans occasionally this fall, and it's been life-changing.
Not only does it make working from home a lot more fun, when your house smells like a roastery, it's just cool to watch how fast the green beans turn into the dark, rich, flavourful beans that we're used to seeing.
We bought ours from Calgary Heritage Roasting Co., the Guatemalan beans shown in this pic from the Calgary Heritage Roasting Co. website, and we followed the instructions on the site. Perfect.
Granted, we haven't used our cast iron pan for anything else since then...and the wooden spoon we stirred 'em with will never be the same again.
"A Black Honey is a coffee that's had all of its mucilage left intact while drying and then dried slowly over the course of a few weeks. Hot days out in the sun lead to the mucilage showing black crystallized sugars on the coffee parchment, hence the name," according to the Rosso Coffee Roasters team.
"This is a very tough style of honey processing, because the thick and heavy layer of sugars exposed to the elements, leads to a need of constant raking and movement. Also, shrouding this coffee from rains, if they're to happen, can be challenging. Weather is a critical factor in a well-done Black Honey."
Bonus: the packaging is so beautiful, you don't even need to add a bag.
3. A subscription (or at least an issue) of Standart: standing for the art of coffee magazine, one of the most interesting and global coffee magazines out there.
It's not inexpensive - I paid $24 for my last copy - but I keep 'em around forever.
While there are barista profiles and how-to stories for the serious aficionado, there are also lighter features (Overheard Conversations, for instance, on eavesdropping in coffee shops.)
And I always learn something, every time I read it, although what I learn isn't always uplifting.
For instance: "More than one million disposable cups are discarded into landfill every minute," according to Standart 6.
4. On that note, if you know someone who constantly uses a paper cup, help them break the habit. Buy them a reusable one that's cool, and doesn't smell like plastic or need to be hand-washed.