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Ah, Mothers’ Day – the time of year when kids of coffee-loving moms go out in search of that mythical perfect coffee gift for mother – and invariably come home with another coffee mug or T-shirt reading, “My blood type is coffee.” They’re cute enough – but you know you only picked them because you couldn’t figure out what the heck those odd-looking ceramic cones are used for or justify spending $18 for a 12-oz. “pound” of some fancy gourmet coffee. It’s not your fault – we get it. If you haven’t fallen into the rabbit hole of coffee obsessiveness, it’s hard to understand why anyone would weigh their coffee beans before making a pot of coffee or why anyone would need a special kettle to pour water for drip coffee. If you’re the proud child of a coffee-obsessed mom, we’re here to make it easy for you with a range of coffee gadgets, coffee makers and coffees to try for the mom who really appreciates good coffee.
The difference between coffee made with pre-ground beans and freshly made coffee is a real eye-opener – and the difference between coffee ground in a blade grinder (like those little spice grinders that are sometimes sold as coffee grinders) and coffee ground in a burr coffee grinder is just as amazing. If your mother is still grinding her coffee in a bladed grinder, get her an upgrade. Here are our favorites in three different price ranges.
At just under $50, the Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Coffee Mill is an affordable and workable entry level coffee grinder. It’s got enough settings to allow for customizing the coffee grind for different coffee making methods, and has enough capacity to grind enough beans for several pots. It’s an excellent choice for use with a drip coffee maker, automatic or manual. If your mom is a serious espresso buff, though, consider a higher powered model with more control and a superior grind.
At about $21, the Hario Slim Mini coffee mill gives you a beautifully consistent grind for superior espresso and drip coffee. It takes a little more work and a little more time than an electric mill, but the results are totally worth it – and it’s considerably less expensive than an electric coffee grinder that can deliver similar results. Choose this for a coffee-loving mom who is also concerned about conserving energy – this one runs on mom-power.
Baratza is one of the most respected names in coffee grinders, and with good reason. Their entry-level conical burr grinder is hard to beat at any price, but at around $125, it’s an absolute steal. With 40 different grinder settings, the Baratza Encore does a great job for any drip grind as well as for espresso.
Break the K-cups habit with an alternative coffee maker – and by alternative, we mean non-electric powered. There are a number of different kinds of manual coffee makers that will turn coffee making into a meditation – and turn out better coffee than most automatic drip coffee makers.
The lovely moka pot has a place in almost every kitchen in Italy, the home of gourmet coffee, for a reason. It makes incredibly rich, delicious, strong coffee and it’s wonderfully easy to use. Just put water in the bottom, ground coffee in the strainer basket, and screw it together. Set it on a low fire and in a few minutes, lovely caramel-colored coffee foam will be spilling down the center spout to fill the upper pot. They’re also affordable – even the best will run you less than $50 – and last for years with little care.
The Aeropress looks more like a toy than a kitchen appliance – and that makes sense, since it’s made by a company that also makes flying discs and other outdoor toys. Turns out the owner is a coffee fanatic who was just sure there was a better way to make coffee. Apparently, lots of folks agree with him, since the Aeropress is now one of the best-selling alternative coffee makers ever. It breaks down into two tubes that fit into each other, and you can store the Hario Slim Coffee Grinder from above inside the tubes. Grab them both, add some amazing coffee beans, and give your mom the ultimate manual coffee travel kit.
What do you get a mom who loves coffee for Mothers’ Day? What else would you get but coffee? We’ve tried some amazing coffees this year, but these are among our absolute favorites.
Buttery, peachy, bursting with understated fruit flavors – it’s a perfect espresso or drip coffee. Available online.
A deliciously earthy, sweet coffee from a young coffee farm in Rwanda, it features notes of raisin, brown sugar and tangerines, making it a wonderful after-dinner coffee.
We’re usually partial to single origins, but once in a while, a blend knocks our socks off. That’s Blue Bottle’s Bella Donovan, which they call the “the wool sweater of our blends.” We call it a perfect Moka Java blend, a coffee that’s got all the flavors of African coffees layered with the complex earthiness that’s characteristic of Indonesian coffees. It’s an anytime coffee, so enjoy it.
Whatever your mom’s level of coffee sophistication, she’s bound to love these coffee loving Mothers’ Day gifts – especially if you stay long enough to enjoy a cup with her.