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A coffee maker, cup, and biscotti.

Holiday Gifts for the Coffee Connoisseur

CR's top-rated beans, grinders, kettles, frothers, and brewers for the discriminating caffeine cravers on your list

For friends or family members who are, shall we say, particular about their coffee, these thoughtful gifts will fit the bill—whether your loved ones prefer sipping foamy lattes, cold brew, or rich espresso.

The devices, accessories, and appliances below earned top marks in our test labs. The holiday shopping season is a great time to snag coffee-related gear.

"Coffee machine sales spike this time of year, since many retailers offer markdowns around Black Friday and the holiday shopping season," says Claudette Ennis, a market analyst at Consumer Reports. "And aside from the sales, you can find great coffee-related gifts ranging from $20 to $250." 

Visit Consumer Reports' 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more. And be sure to check our Daily Gift Guide.

1
Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker

Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop...

After putting this iconic stovetop espresso maker to the test, our engineers understand why it’s a fixture in almost 90 percent of Italian kitchens. The octagonal design evenly distributes heat and makes it easy to grip to connect the two halves tightly. It comes in five sizes and in unadorned aluminum as well as several colors.
 

2
Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Brewer

Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Brewer

Of all the methods devised to extract flavor from coffee beans, this device—invented by a German hausfrau more than a century ago—remains a favorite for pour-over enthusiasts and our testers. Line the cone with a filter, pour hot water over the grinds, and the rest is left to gravity. It doesn’t take a housewife to appreciate that it’s as easy to clean as it is to use.
 

3
Frieling Insulated Brushed Stainless Steel French Press 0131

Frieling Insulated Brushed...

This forward-thinking French-press coffee maker is twice as nice as traditional models. Its double-walled stainless carafe keeps coffee hot long after it’s made, and its surface stays cool. "And the double layer of mesh on the plunger means you won't get the fine grinds that you see in cups made in other French-press coffee makers," says a CR senior test engineer, Bernie Deitrick. With a 44-ounce capacity, it’s an ideal size to brew loose tea, too.
 

4
Bruer Cold Bruer

Bruer Cold Bruer

If you want to earn some cred with a budding barista, you can't go wrong with the simple and stylish Bruer Cold Bruer. A mixture of ice and water placed in the upper chamber drains onto the grounds at a rate of a drop per second. "In 12 to 24 hours, it produces up to 20 ounces of smooth brew without the familiar bitterness of coffees made with hot water," Deitrick says. It's also available in gray and red.

5
Capresso Froth Plus 204.04

Capresso Froth Plus 204.04

This squat electric frother makes whipping up hot, frothed milk simple. Plus there was no mess, which was the case with some of the manual models we tested. The unit has three temperature settings, an auto-shutoff function, and a two-piece design (the pitcher separates from the heating element) that makes it easy to pour and clean. Also sold in black.

Tip: Use skim milk; it foams better.

6
Hamilton Beach 40998

Hamilton Beach 40998

An electric kettle can set you back as much as $180, which makes this $20 Hamilton Beach a steal. It’s almost as fast as the more expensive Capresso, holds 4 cups of water, and is made of stainless steel, which will please anyone on your list who’s not a fan of plastic.

7
Capresso H20 Plus

Capresso H20 Plus

All six of the electric kettles we tested for this report brought a liter of water to a rolling boil faster than a microwave (around 4½ minutes for most) and shut off automatically. The 6-cup Capresso makes the wish list because it’s slightly faster than the rest. The glass carafe and silver handle add a dash of style to the counter.

8
Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder

Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder

With a sticker-shock-inducing price and fancy name, this $230 burr coffee grinder promises a lot. It also delivers. Quiet and powerful, the Virtuoso grinds beans to a consistent size every time—even on the finest setting—making it an equally exquisite tool for drip coffee, espresso, and everything in between.

9
Cafe Altura Organic Colombian whole bean

Cafe Altura Organic Colombian...

 

 

Cafe Altura Organic Colombian is a medium-bodied coffee with big flavor and notes of fruit and chocolate.

 

 

    10
    Heart Coffee Roasters Stereo blend

    Heart Coffee Roasters Stereo blend

    Heart Coffee Roasters Stereo Blend is our top-rated boutique blend that makes a bright cup with a pleasantly strong aroma. Note: The mix of beans changes seasonally.

      11
      Counter Culture La Golondrina Colombia Certified Organic whole bean

      Counter Culture La Golondrina...

      A complex, intensely flavored organic Colombian coffee, Counter Culture La Golondrina Colombia Certified Organic is fruity and floral with a hint of chocolate.

       

       

      Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the December 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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