Updated: Dec 4, 2020
We know how a lot of the coffee gift guides are out there, filled with gadgets only a super coffee nerd would know how to use, or a long row of Starbucks holiday merch. Luckily, I'm here to be your middle woman.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I only share about companies that I use and truly love.
We're coffee people, but we're normal. Like, I am not above using creamer in my coffee for something different, and I've been begging Josh for a drip coffee pot after years of french press and pour over coffee because homeschool life.
One more thing, these links are affiliate links. It's a small commission from recommending products that I love, that does not affect your price at all. However, if your local coffee shop is selling these, buy from them. I use Amazon a lot because I'm located rurally and sometimes what I need is simply not available locally, but I try to buy local first. This is only here to give you links, possibly to add to your wish list or send to someone, but I wanted to put the disclaimer in here that I'd rather you bought these items from your local coffee shop all day long. Here we go!
We highly recommend using a burr grinder and grinding your coffee right before brewing. We personally own the Baratza Encore grinder and love it. The downside is that it's slightly louder than others we've used, but the quality is way higher. The particle size is extremely tight, and we like the smallish size.
We've used all of these in one setting or another and would recommend them. The Kitchenaid one has a glass hopper and catch container which resulted in less static, but the particle size was not as consistent. The Cuisinart is a good entry-level grinder for home use. The Breville has all of the bells and whistles and does amazing as well. The Hario hand grinder is what we use for camping and travel, and it does a fantastic job.
So technically, the best way to store coffee is sealed in the bag at room temperature, but we know everyone does their own thing, so I've done some research and talked to some coffee friends, and gathered a couple of options for you.
Bonus, the Coffee Gator has a matching French Press. We have the Blue Horse caddy at home and LOVE it. The Chemex filter holder is what we use at work during our coffee classes to keep all of the filters at hand. We love this Aeropress station, and it's absolutely going on our own list.
So we worked together on this guide, and could not agree on what our favorite brewing method is. Yes, we're coffee people, so this is a thing for us. After the holidays, we plan on creating a course for coffee brewing, so until then, hop over to YouTube and check out how to brew with these methods if they're new to you.
The Chemex is the all around favorite at our house, if we had to choose one. The bright, clean coffee just can't be beat. If I'm brewing at home (which is not normal, Josh usually makes all the coffee), I choose our French Press, just because it's less hands on (I'm not a morning person). We have 3-4 of these French Presses because they are our favorite travel brewing method, and we use them at the shop often. Josh chooses the V60 when he's just needing one cup, and that's what Adair (yes, our eight year old daughter makes her own coffee) likes to use. We also use it in our coffee classes to taste different coffees side by side. But honestly, we get espresso from the shop every chance possible, and would really love a LaMarzocco Linea Mini at home. For kettles, we use both of the ones below. The Cuisinart for French press and tea, and the Bonavida is for pour overs.
We don't currently have a drip coffee maker at home, but I've linked my favorites from all of the research I've done. We're considering getting one now that one or two of our children are drinking coffee every day, so I've included my top picks, as well as some bonus options from the above brewing methods. We are getting the Breville to allow Josh full nerdability. We had the Zojirushi and loved it, but stopped using it when we got our Chemex, and now I'm wishing I still had it! The OXO comes highly recommended by a friend of ours, and is slightly more affordable. The bottom line is to definitely get one with a thermal carafe so you're not constantly cooking the coffee on a heating plate.
Other brewing methods we love are this gorgeous V60 set and French press.
So this is a super subjective post, obviously, because we're coffee nerds and willing to invest in the extra and the fancy in the same of research and development, but I've gathered a couple specific items we love and use daily that will up your coffee game. There are two scales here, the Hario is much quicker and more precise (we use it at work), but the other will get the job done (and is what we use at home). This milk frother is super fun for making quick whipped cream, adding cold foam to your cold brew, or whipping your creamer. How many of you microwave your coffee multiple times before you actually get to drink it all because you're a mom and your children are wild? Oh, just me? I'm DYING for the ember mug so I can drink my coffee hot...definitely going on my list this year! I love whipped cream in my coffee, and this whipped cream canister is our favorite.
I couldn't leave out the things we love that we've decided to sell in our own shop. We have been really intentional about bringing in products we love, and it took several tries to get the right things.
Klean Kanteens have been my favorite for years, so we slapped our brand on them and made them matte black (because of course). They keep your coffee hot (like uncomfortably hot, leave the lid off for a bit after you put coffee in or you won't be able to drink for an hour), and they are seriously leak proof (hello mom life). Also note our merch...we have hats and shirts!
The other favorite we carry are our mason jar cold brewers. They are for more than coffee! We use ours at home for cold brew as well as cold brewed iced teas (especially Kalliste from Artemis Teas). They're super easy to use and easy to clean, plus they don't take up a ton of space like other cold brewers. Mason Jar Lifestyle is a family run brand out of Colorado that we love working with, and they provide a bunch of other products if you're needing anything mason jar related (side note: we have a ton of the silicone sleeves for the wide mouth half pint mason jars and they're everyone's favorite snack cup).
Not a coffee person? We've got you. Locally created cocoa company Cup of Coa has rocked our socks since we first met them, and we're pumped to offer their product in our store. And in the same photo, my favorite coffee mug, made by a Nebraska artist, Megan Schroll Art. Our mugs have a Normal stamp on the bottom as well, but you should check out all she has to offer.
This is a weird year, and I knew I wanted to tackle this project of collecting all of my coffee favorites because I'm asked almost daily, but with the shop local push (which is needed and we're thankful for as a small business!) coupled with some amazon-shaming I'm seeing on the old IG, needless to say I felt weird about this list with mostly things from Amazon. I'm not going to go into it because my nine wing is super strong and I don't want a confrontation, you have to know that's it's not always what it seems. We live 90 miles from a city with a Walmart, and some of the things we need are simply not available in our small town. We do the best we can, and we know you're doing the best you can too. We'd love it if you would purchase these items from your local coffee shop (or us, online at www.normalroastingcompany.com!), but when you purchase from my links, I do make a small commission for recommending my favorite products!