Buying for a coffee lover, as with most hobbies, can be really really difficult.
I'm not talking about those who'd prefer a cup of instant over a tea. I'm not even talking about that one person who's never far from a pumpkin spiced latte as soon as autumn hits.
I'm talking about that person who drags you to coffee shops off the beaten track. The shops with more options that you know what to do with - taking ages to make your drink, and making you pay handsomely for the privilege. You know who I'm talking about, if you're reading this then I bet you have one in your family or amongst your friends.
Admittedly, that's me. I'm the coffee snob in my family and friends' life. I've been known to walk literally miles and miles to a coffee shop I wanted to try. And I spend more time at home making coffee than I do sleeping. Now I say that, maybe those two are connected...
So, I'd like to think I'm qualified to help you choose a really bloody good coffee gift for the caffeinated in your life. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but hopefully this saves fellow coffee lovers from the sort of gifts that you have to fake a smile for and say thank you. Secretly knowing it's going nowhere near your cup.
Anyway, here's a guide to getting it just right for the caffeine aficionados in your life.
Buy them coffee
Obvious I know. But easy to get wrong. People have bought me instant coffee, flavoured coffee, coffee that rodents have eaten and pooped out and 'the strongest coffee in the world', all of which are just gimmicky rubbish. And all of which tasted pretty naff. As a coffee lover, I promise you can never have too much of the stuff. It's the fuel for our hobby and perfecting your coffee making technique can get expensive.
So, if you decide to buy them some fresh beans here are 3 rules that will help you get it right every time.
Buy whole bean coffee - it makes the best drinks. End of.
Buy from a coffee roaster, preferably a local one. Just Google 'coffee roasters in [insert your area], I promise there will be one. Forget supermarket coffee and avoid bags of high street chain coffee too.
Buy it as close to the time of gift giving as possible. The fresher the better, your coffee snob friend will thank you. Trust me!
A quality mug
If coffee beans are too much of a minefield, get them a really good mug instead. Coffee tastes better when it's in something lovely, at least that's my belief.
I don't need to say much more here, visit a website like loveramics.co.uk and buy pretty much anything on there. There is a mug for every style of coffee, and every kitchen.
I use mugs from here and they are an absolute joy to drink from. I'd be buzzing if someone bought me one.
A voucher for a coffee shop
Whilst making coffee at home is the happy place of all coffee geeks, going to your favourite speciality coffee shop is maybe second to that. Have they ever taken you to a cafe they love? Or have you heard them recommend one place time and time again? Buy them a voucher for there.
Most coffee shops sell vouchers. And a bonus, they usually sell coffee and coffee gear too, so they don't even need to spend it on their morning flat white.
This last one is for the confident amongst you. Do you want to look like you know what you're talking about? Make it look like you've really done your research? Well, here goes.
First, you need to know what sort of coffee your coffee nerd makes at home. Is it espresso from a machine, or do they make brewed coffee with some sort of filter? If you know, you can be specific and nerdy with their gift.
If it's espresso they drink, get them a WDT tool. Most people don't have one, and it will take their espresso to another level. Just so you know, it fluffs up the coffee and makes sure it's well distributed before making espresso.
If it's coffee brewed through a filter, then go for a fancy brewer like the Clever Dripper or the Bloom Pour Over Brewer.
Or, if they deserve something really nice, a set of smart coffee scales is perfect for all kinds of coffee. You'll make your coffee lover very happy! Acaia, Tinemore and Felicita are all brands of scales loved amongst coffee nerds.
So, there it is. How to get the caffeine addict in your life even more buzzing with gifts to make them smile!
Oh, and be sure to enjoy a coffee with them. Spending time with family and friends is a gift for everyone.