Some presents say “I care,” while secretly reading, I get you. Chiefly: coffee. Coffee, coffee, coffee. Who has been given a bag of beans—shitty or swanky—that hasn’t at least proven useful? This is an addiction we are fully cool with enabling for our significant others this Valentine's Day. At the risk of sounding like a Pinterest quote, what better way is there to say ILYSM (but in like, a chill way) than giving someone a delicious, legal stimulant that will put morning sunshine in their veins? Whether you’re looking for a partner, a roommate, or a frenemy; a parent, a fuckboy/gal, or yourself; the bounty of this V-Day coffee gift guide is perfectly applicable for Horny Hearts Day 2023, and every other day of this already long year.
Behold: a bunch of beautiful accessories for prepping, drinking, and venerating them beans. [Opens trench coat.] We’ve got grinders, golden gadgets, and clever cups; we’ve got the coffee maker all the Cool Kids are using, and the one you would have loved back in 2012 as you listened to Beach House and scrubbed your first French press. We’re not going to talk beans today; if you’re here, in this rather specific V-Day gift guide, you probably Know Your Beans. Instead, we’re rolling out the brown (sorry) carpet for all the big, small, and slightly overkill ways to shake up the simple but profound joy of something we missed so (so) much in early quar: a really good cup of coffee.
It’s not too big, and not too smol. This coffee pot makes our mornings feel a little more cultured (but in a, like, no-pressure way). Designed by George Snowden, one of the OG Memphis Design dudes, it has all the elements of playful but forward design (right?) and the ability to pull off a yellow and brown outfit. Plus: it actually works well. “Sowden’s Coffee Pot is composed of a porcelain exterior with innovative SoftBrew™ brewing device,” says the description, “It infuses coffee through a centrally located micro-thin stainless steel filter to enhance the flavor.”
A coffee pot for the mellow Memphis Design lover
If you or your giftee have been in the coffee scene for a minute, you know the AeroPress. This is the epitome of high-low maintenance coffee-making; high because you have something called an “AeroPress,” and low because it’s a super fast way to make espresso or coffee. It steeps your grinds for about ten seconds, then forces them through a filter by the pressing of a gentle plunger. Big Go-Go Gadget energy.
The jet pack of coffee makers
You’re not making V-Day a big thing, but you’re making it a nice thing. This scoopy bag clip is the primo way of saying, “I’m thinking about you, but I’m not thinking about you. But I am. IDK. Here’s a spoon. But it’s also a clip, because I’m obsessed with you.”
A thoughtful present
It’s time to be real: There’s a stigma against drip coffee machines. But the people who disperse those negative vibes probably haven’t seen or used the Moccamaster (and certainly haven’t read our review of it). Here’s what VICE food & kitchen writer Adam Rothbarth had to say about it: “All in all, I’m thrilled with the Moccamaster, which makes incredibly good drip coffee. It takes one button to use, is very easy to clean, and looks like what French people in the 60s thought the future would look like.” Give your person the gift of quick, delicious coffee (so there’s more time for activities).
Probably the sexiest drip coffee machine ever made
The Baratza is a professional-grade grinder—a BIG daddy. Like, they actually use it in your favorite coffee shop, which is both reassuring and a juicy humble-brag to your giftee (who already knows this, prolly). It will grind your beans with unfailing smoothness, regardless of how much you’re grinding, what you’re grinding it for, and is also a *drumroll* service-based product, meaning the Baratza peeps offer parts and tech support that will make you feel truly loved. It is your new life partner.
The grinder to end all grinders
Every bodega is the best bodega, but their bodega “had loosies and the best baconeggncheese.” There are so many ways to say “I love New York,” and one of the least obnoxious we’ve seen yet is this lil guy, which immortalizes the city’s takeout cup by paying it sweet, ceramic homage. Yeah, it reads novelty. Maybe a little kitsch. But that’s also NYC, and we love it. Close your eyes, take a sip, and you can practically hear the winter heater pipes banging from your lover’s 2016 railroad apartment.
A cup for someone who won’t stop talking about their old bodega
A gooseneck kettle gives anyone the power of a controlled, elegant pour (hence, why it’s perf for pour-over coffee). Of course Blue Bottle collaborated with Stagg on the classic, and made a limited edition, sturdy but delicate kettle. No straining of your delicate little bird bone wrists here.
For the sheer joy of owning a “Gooseneck” appliance
It will be really fun to watch your SO try and use this as a speaker. Alas, this isn’t Beats by Kubrick, but a temp-controlled to-go mug with a stylish, matte black finish that keeps your drinks warm for ages (or at least over an hour). No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to pull off the levels of enigmatic nonchalance as this thing. We’re a little bit aroused.
A to-go mug that’s definitely moonlighting as a monolith
You don’t need to go to a romantic, Italian cafe to have a great espresso; no, you can do that right in your own kitchen, and for a pretty reasonable price. VICE reviewer Angel Kilmister absolutely stans the Nespresso Essenza Mini, which she wrote about here. With this baby, your giftee will have no choice but to thank you profusely (and they’ll have a lot of energy to do it [“do it,” lol]).
A cute, compact ‘lil espresso machine
“FRIENDS FOR LIFE,” reads the description. Which, honestly, is not surprising given how much this to-go cup does for you. It French presses your coffee with two super tight mesh filters (for no gunky grounds), is temp-controlled, and is even pretty straightforward to clean. It is also, in the words of one reviewer, one of the best ways to make simple ol' coffee: “[It is not] creating the kind of pressure that an Aeropress does, so again, this is a COFFEE press, not the near espresso/coffee that an Aeropress creates.” THANK YOU. WE’RE DOWN.
The next-level French press trying to replace your SO
The extra-long arm (arm?) of this manual grinder makes it easier to use, and folds down onto its side for tighter storage both at home and on camping trips. There’s many a manual grinder floating around the web, each declaring that it grinds more evenly, and attracts fewer bears or whatever. But only this one looks so silky. Too much caffeine? Don’t worry—we have a solution.
A manual grinder that’s also a low-key Transformer
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.