The Eight Ounce 2020 Holiday Gift Guide!

The Eight Ounce 2020 Holiday Gift Guide!

OK, it’s the same thing every year: What do I get ____________ for the holidays? Insert name of loved one, and cue the anxiety. If you’re here and reading this then you’re likely just getting into coffee, or have been into it for a while, and by osmosis you’ve probably learned about the things we sell. But if you need some guidance, to dampen that holiday anxiety, in finding the *right* gift for that special person (or, heck, even for yourself—2020 has been a rough yearyou deserve it!), we’re here to help! Here we celebrate both time-tested classics, and the new kids on the block. 

We have a gift guide which you can view here. For the coffee lovers, we’ve broken it down into 3 categories: Beginner, Intermediate, and Pro. For those who are just dipping their toes into this vast pool of gadgets and sub culture of tattoos and plaid flannel, welcome! The coffee world has never been more inclusive, and we want to empower you with all of the tools and techniques you need to begin your coffee brewing journey at home. Our beginner section has been curated to help you pick the best gift for again, either yourself or a loved one, with limited coffee brewing experience.

My personal picks for the beginner coffee brewers would be:

Hario’s Craft Coffee Maker. It has everything you need to begin your pour over journey, and it’s perfect for those who have a grinder, but are ready to make the switch to manual brewing. Many people begin their pour over journey with this combo because the v60 is, afterall, the most popular dripper around. 

My second pick would be the Baratza Encore. This grinder has incredible value, and I can personally speak to its longevity and quality: I’ve had one since 2012 and it’s still kicking. I also wrote a blog post on the grinder--a deep dive of appreciation--which you can read here. They also now offer a new white version, as well as the classic black. It's the perfect upgrade for someone who may already own pour over accessories, but they still grind their coffee on a $30 electric blade spice grinder. Your beans deserve better.

My third pick would be a classic piece of coffee kit: the Hario Buono pour over kettle. These kettles, while not entirely necessary, can vastly improve your extractions by allowing you to control your pouring. A traditional kitchen kettle glugs water out way to quickly, with little to no accuracy. Again, this is a gateway to better coffee, perfect for the home filter coffee brewer who’s ready to up their game. 

My personal picks for the intermediate coffee brewers would be:

The Timemore C2 hand grinder. This grinder is a game changer, and it’s the next level for many owners of more basic hand grinders. Its portability, stainless steel burrs, and clever design make it a must for the person in your life who travels but also enjoy slowing down, and grinding their beans by hand. Any grind size for most methods from French Press to v60 can be easily achieved, and it will neatly fit into a stocking as the ultimate stocking stuff. Just sayin’! 

Second, the Ratio Six. Buying this for a loved one is smart on your behalf, because not only will the recipient be blown away by push-button, effortless extractions, but there will be plenty of coffee to spare for you, too. This machine surpasses the uninspired designs of big box store coffee machines, and it will crush them all with features that most lack: the water never gets hot enough to properly extract all the flavours in your coffee, and the water is unevenly distributed from poorly designed spray heads, which means uneven extraction. Yuck. This is the kind of gift that keeps on giving. I know, such a cliche to say that, but really you buy this and you are ensuring great coffee, every morning, for years to come.Lastly, the all-new Fellow ODE filter grinder. The reason I’m putting this pick here is that it’s right in the middle--honestly, this is perfect for weekend warriors, intermediates, and the uber nerdy coffee geeks of your life. This grinder is the central, focal point of your brew bar at home, and it looks pretty darn cool. It’s faster, quieter, and more precise than many grinders of similar price ranges. This means you can sneakily grind your beans at the crack of dawn and not risk waking annoying the entire house. It will grinder for virtually any filter method, and do so exceedingly well with a more even grind--this means a more tasty drink. If you’re looking for a slam dunk, headlining gift sure to please the coffee fanatic of your bubble, this could be it!

My personal picks for the pro coffee brewers would be:

The April Brewer Pour Over Kit. I also wrote about this cute little set here, and have become even more enamored with it since that post. This is craft coffee brewing at its purest, and the thought and attention to detail that April founder Patrik Rolf put into it sets it apart. The details reveal themselves with daily use, and in spite of the brewer’s initial competition-use purpose, it is accessible and easy to use. Next would be the Stagg EKG variable temperature electric kettle. I think there comes a time in everyone’s coffee journey when you want to make that leap of faith from stovetop to electric. Super geeky coffee people actually care about the difference between, say, 93C water and 94C, and will make coffee more precisely than most. It’s much more difficult to achieve exact temperatures with a stovetop kettle. To achieve this you typically need electricity and circuit boards (and a solid recipe). What I love about this kettle is that I don’t need to be as precise or mindful when pouring -- it features a flow restrictor that guarantees an even, steady flow of water even on the toughest mornings. It heats up much faster than many other electric variable temp kettles, and feels VERY comfy in your hand. It’s sleek, well-designed and comes in many configurations and colours. (Bonus: there’s a cute Easter Egg built-in!) 

Lastly, the Acaia Lunar digital scale, in silver. Chances are many of the intermediate to pro level coffee brewers in your life already own a scale, but that entails a wide range of options, from something you’d find at the big box store, to something more precise like this. This scale will outperform almost any scale on the market as it has a proven track record of surviving tough, abusive hours of cafe service. It will sustain drops, water spills, and coffee drips with a resilient anodized aluminum body. A built-in timer and tenth-decimal-place degree of accuracy will enable you to follow even the toughest recipes. This is the last upgrade many people need, and it’s a must for the serious coffee aficionado on your gift list! 

BONUS PICK! Eight Ounce Coffee co-founder Wes Farnell wanted to chime-in on yet another great gift idea for all levels: the all new Gabi Master A

The Gabi Master A: a bit of a mouthful, but a mouthful of coffee from this ingenious brewer, and you'll never look back! This Korean designed device was initially conceptualized in 2013 and was released in 2016, but it stayed hidden for some time - until now. We first came across this brewer when Agnieszka Rojewska, the 2018 World Barista Champion, posted a COVID home brewing video for Carimali earlier in the year. We sourced one for testing and we were blown away by its ease of use and quality of output - and the fact that it negates the need for a goose neck kettle or the focus to typically required to make a delicious pour over. Out of the box - or carry case - it can look a little strange as it comes in four pieces that need to be assembled, but don't let that put you off. It basically consists of a Kalita style pour over brewer and a water feeding chamber that sits on the top. One you have placed a 155 Kalita filter in the brewer, and added coffee, you place the water feeder on top, fill it up, and let the magic begin. The water drips gently and evenly onto the bed of the coffee and creates a delicious beverage with minimal intervention. Whilst this is perfect for coffee beginners, it's also an amazing brewer for enthusiasts, travellers, and people who just love gadgets. 

Now if you’re an espresso fiend / more of a cappuccino person, and you’re saying, what about me? Don’t worrywe have a curated section of Espresso-related gear to help you find the right gift. I can’t forget about the tea lovers out there! Truth-be-told, I think I love tea just as much as coffee, and even though we're known for our coffee gear, we have an incredible curation of tea wares, too! Have a look at the nice little collection we have for you.

We also have Curated Coffee Kits in each section, one for the beginner in your bubble, intermediate brewer, super advanced home baristas, and tea lovers. Don't love online shopping, and you just want to get-in, and get-out? Grab a kit that has everything and get back to that Netflix series you're binging. 

Lastly, what's the holiday season with a cup of hot chocolate? Craft a gourmet cup for yourself at home with these items. We also realize that reusables have been unfairly demonized in the media as a danger to cafe staff, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Let's not regress on the progress we've made! Buying a travel mug  for the environmentally woke loved one is never a bad idea. And lastly, we have pins, masks, shirts, and aprons which also make great gift ideas.

Here’s to delicious coffee! Happy holidays from myself and the entire Eight Ounce team!

If you’re still having trouble to decide, or would like further information on a product, feel free to contact us at: hello@eightouncecoffee.ca