Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza—all occasions for showering our loved ones with gifts. These holidays are all just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but full-fledged panic has overwhelmed me. What to buy for the sweet friends and family members in my life?
This year, I’ve decided my gifts will be both fun and practical. I want gifts that will last and gifts that people will actually use/consume. Since we test and review products here at realfoodtraveler.com, for my friends/family, I’ve decided to fill my sleigh with gift ideas from our reviews. After all, these are products we’ve thoroughly tested and recommend.
We’ve got so many products to suggest, I decided I’d start with the coffee lovers on my list. Here are my holiday suggestions for coffee fans. (I’ll be posting other gift suggestion categories throughout the month.)
iCoffee: I’m pretty picky about my coffee. Okay, I’m really picky and I’m generally unimpressed with the lackluster flavor of traditional auto drip machines. That’s why I was so thrilled with the iCoffee brewing machine by Remington. With iCoffee, Remington has combined the rich flavors of French press coffee with the convenience of an automatic drip coffeemaker.
Remington uses a really different system to make their coffee: steam and stirring. The Steambrew™ uses hot water jets to soak and stir the grounds before the coffee drips into the glass carafe. You can watch this steam-stirring process through a little lighted window on the front of the drip basket. Like French Press, the iCoffee leaves a fine sediment in the bottom of the cup that you can filter out with the removable fine filter. This gift will set you back $150-200, but it’s worth it for real coffee lovers. icoffee.com
Check out our full iCoffee review.
Suncana Pod Brewer: For coffee lovers who like individual coffee brewers, we like the Suncana Pod Brewers. This one lets you brew any size up of Joe you’d like (from 5 oz to 12 oz). Unlike most single serve pod brewers, Suncana uses a unique extraction system that pumps water through the unit and into the coffee pods at 3 bars of pressure (halfway between regularly brewed coffee and espresso). It extracts more flavor from the coffee while giving you a smooth bodied coffee and a pleasant head of “crema” so prized by coffee fans. www.suncanastore.com
Here’s our complete Suncana Pod Brewer review.
Artís Coffee: You can’t have great coffee without well-roasted coffee beans. One of the best we’ve found this year is Artís Coffee, artisan coffee roasters in Berkeley, CA.
These folks are fresh freaks. They want you to consume their freshly roasted coffee within a 10-day “flavor window.” And you know what? They’re completely correct. Most of us are drinking stale coffee that’s lost the subtle flavor notes like fruit and nuts.
Artís will ship coffee beans to you and, if you drink their coffee using their time guideline, you’ll be amazed at how delicious it is. www.artiscoffee.com
Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen Brew Sticks: For coffee lovers who want coffee, real coffee, real quick, I suggest Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen Brew Sticks. These aren’t instant or freeze dried coffee; these are coffee concentrates. It’s real brewed coffee and you just add water for a rich cup of coffee. You can give an entire box or open the box and put individual coffee sticks into loved one’s holiday socks.
Note: When we reviewed these coffee brew sticks, Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen was calling them Pronto! Coffee Brew Sticks. Looks like they’ve repackaged and gone back to the Barnie’s name, but the product is still fabulous. And they’ve got special holiday gift packs of the brew sticks. barniescoffeekitchen.com/search?type=product&q=brewsticks
Take a look at our full review.
Rip van Wafels Amsterdam Caramel Filled Wafels: Now you can’t enjoy coffee without those fabulous caramel waffle cookies from Amsterdam. The Dutch have plenty of good ideas and this tradition of stopping and enjoying coffee with a waffle cookie is a great one.
The trick is to place your Rip van Wafels Amsterdam Caramel Filled Wafels on the edge of your hot cup of java, allowing the steam and heat from the coffee to slightly soften the cookie. You can also dunk your cookie right into your cup (okay, not as elegant, but it’s delicious). These little cookies come individually wrapped, which keeps them fresh and allows you to tuck a few into your briefcase or purse and enjoy throughout the day.
Ah those Dutch, so smart. www.ripvanwafels.com
Read our full review of these cool cookies.
Okay, friends, that’s just a start. I’ll be sending you more gift suggestions. Thanks for reading. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor