In case you don’t come across enough holiday gift guides this season, I’m highlighting some of my favorite items, many of which you can find year-round in the Coffee & Conservation store.
The two best coffee books are Uncommon Grounds The History Of Coffee And How It Transformed Our World and God in a Cup: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee. Here is my review of God in a Cup.
Another book I have not yet read is Ivette’s Natures Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty, which includes a chapter discussing coffee. Authors Ivette Perfecto and John Vandermeer are University of Michigan professors who have done so much of the pioneering work on biodiversity and shade coffee. More on this book here.
Three excellent low-tech coffee brewing devices are the Chemex Classic Glass Coffee Maker (I use the 8 cup all glass version); the AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker, which is excellent for travel; and my favorite press pot, the Planetary Design Table Top Stainless Steel French Press. I reviewed its smaller cousin the travel French Press mug, and the same praise applies to the larger models.
A new item this season is the tugo Rolling Luggage Drink Holder. I’ll be posting a review of this cool little device in a few days. I also like to recommend gold coffee filters to reduce the use of paper filters.
I’m pretty blown away by the remarkable art of Andrew Saur and Angel Sarkela-Saur, who use coffee to produce stunning watercolors. Take a look at their gallery at Coffee Art; prints start at only $10.
Earlier this year I screened the three-part documentary Black Coffee. It was extremely well done and traces the impact of coffee through history. Readers may also be interested in the story of Ethiopian coffee in the well-known powerful film Black Gold.
Finally, if you’d like to spread cheer directly to coffee-growing communities, please consider a donation to Coffee Kids, the Cafe Femenino Foundation, Grounds for Health, Bikes to Rwanda, or Kiva micro-loans to coffee farmers. This is really what holiday giving is all about.