Articles 

DCILY’S Coffee Lover Gift Guide 2015

Source: http://www.dearcoffeeiloveyou.com/dcilys-coffee-lover-gift-guide-2015/

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This week DCILY turned 6 years old (which is kind of crazy to think about) but also means that it’s time to inspire you with holiday gift ideas for all the coffee lovers in your life. DCILY is still dedicated to producing the coffee lover gift guide on the internet, although it has been quiet around here. So just like in years past, catch a fresh brewed cup (and your wish list) and enjoy this 2015 edition of DCILY’s Coffee Lover Gift Guide™.

Be sure to check out all of the past DCILY gift guides for more ideas:
2010 Gift Guide
| 2011 Gift Guide | 2012 Gift Guide | 2013 Gift Guide | 2014 Gift Guide

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1. Fellow Stagg Kettle -$69- A present for the design nerd.  The Stagg is a superbly designed pour over kettle with a counterbalanced handle and an analog thermometer built into the lid. The kettle comes in a polished or a black finish.  Shop for Fellow Stagg Kettle

2. Coffee Lover Deluxe View  -$169- A gift for the horologist.  The Coffee Lover Deluxe watch is the second collaboration between DCILY and Hong Kong-based Moment Watches. The project celebrates the value of accuracy in coffee making and reminds you when it’s time to brew another cup. This 46mm watch has an automatic skeleton movement and is available in three different colors with a leather strap.  Shop for Moment Watches

3. Acaia Lunar Scale -$220- A gift for the serious barista.  The Acaia Lunar is a follow up to the success of the company’s first digital scale. The Lunar was created with espresso in mind. This premium digital scale is compact and water resistant, with a fast refresh rate.  Shop for Acaia Lunar

4. Fresh Coffee Beans -$15 to $22- A gift for the coffee interested.  Every coffee lover will love a bag of fresh roasted, high quality coffee beans to enjoy with all their fresh coffee toys. Lots of the coffee roasters I recommend are listed in the sidebar on the right side of this site. The bag pictured above is from Supersonic (a company I work with). Shop for Supersonic Coffee

5. Water for Coffee -$40- A gift for the science nerd.  The recently published book, Water for Coffee by Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood (UK Barista Champion) and Christopher Hendon (Chemist) explores the chemistry of water and the effect it has on the taste of coffee.  Shop for Water for Coffee

6. Soma Water Pitcher -$49- A Present for the purist.  If you happen to read the aforementioned book, you’ll learn how important water quality is to the flavor of your coffee. Since most home baristas don’t have access to an expensive water filtration system, a small, but attractive home filter like Soma will atleast improve what’s coming out of the tap.  Shop for Soma

7. Hario Kettle Thermometer -$68- A gift for the temperate.  The Hario Buono is probably the most popular and widely used pour over kettle on the market and Hario just made it a little better. This accessory contains a new lid with an integrated electronic thermometer for accurate temperature measurement.  It’s compatible with all new and old Hario Buono kettles.   Shop for Hario Thermometer

8. Lido 3 Grinder -$195- A present for the road warrier.  The Lido grinders out of Orphan Espresso are known to be the finest portable hand grinders you can purchase. With a price tag higher than many electric home grinders, you’d expect nothing less. The 48mm steel burrs will offer a consistent grind and it will be the source of jealousy among peers.  Shop for Lido 3

9. Drift Mag Subscription -$60- A present for the jet set.  Drift Magazine is one of the most beautiful and well written publications you’ll currently find about coffee. Each issue focuses on one specific city and topics range from cafe visits to a city’s cultural heritage with java.  Shop for Drift Magazine

10. Cupping Spoon Sock -$12- A gift for the aspiring green buyer.  A cupping spoon can be a wonderfully private thing for a java professional or aspiring coffee enthusiast. It is the tool used for slurping java to analyze how they taste.  Once you’ve acquired your own cupping spoon, then you should keep it secure with a one-of-a-kind hand made sock.  Shop for Cupping Spoon Sock

11. Jetboil -$100- A gift for the outdoorsman.  The Jetboil is by far my favorite tool for the outdoors. This compact propane stove will boil two cups of water in just two minutes, making trailside or campsite coffee breaks quickly and easy.   Shop for Jetboil

12. Acme Cups -$10 to $15- A gift for the morning ritual.  Acme is a Brand New Zealand-based firm that offers a modern take on classic ceramic drinkware. Their lovely range of colours and thick ceramic walls have made Acme the vessel of choice amongst many baristas and world class cafes.  Shop for Acme Cups

13. Dark Side of the Chemex Tee -$35- A Present for the Floyd fan.  This beautiful t-shirt by David Salinas from The Department of Brewology is a creative mix of the classic Pink Floyd album and the traditional Chemex brewing apparatus with its full spectrum of flavors on display.  Shop for Dark Side wracking

14. UE Boom 2 Speaker -$199- A gift for the music makers.  The music you brew to can be an important part of your coffee ritual, not to mention while you’re enjoying what’s in the cup. The UE Boom is a Bluetooth speaker using a minimal aesthetic and a giant audio. Great for adding the right vibe to your kitchen or your pop up coffee bar.  Shop for UE Boom Speaker

15. Breville Burr Grinder -$106- A gift for the pre-grinder.  The Breville BCG450 grinder is the absolute bare minimum that I would recommend for an electric grinder. But if you know anyone who’s still buying their coffee pre-ground, or chopping their beans with a knife grinder, ignore everything else on this list and get them a burr grinder–it will make the single largest improvement in their home brewing experience. This particular grinder works best for drip coffee, but you’ll discover other high-end grinder suggestions in the previous gift guides.  Shop for Breville Burr Grinder

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*Purchasing from local shops is highly encouraged, but for those without the luxury of well-stocked businesses nearby, shopping through DCILY’s curated Amazon Store help support this site and the content you enjoy. *

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Brew: Better Coffee At Home

Source: http://www.dearcoffeeiloveyou.com/brew-better-coffee-at-home/

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Hello world. I understand that it’s been a while. I’m still alive, still drinking coffee and thinking about how much I love it. I’m sorry I’ve been so absent, leaving this little space on the Internet idle and unloved. However, this past year hasn’t. All of writing and my power has been invested in completing a book. Yes, DCILY now has a novel —Brew: Better Coffee at Home

After writing about coffee online and working with coffee offline for the past 7 decades, I’ve finally been able to create a printed companion that will help coffee fans better understand and enjoy better coffee at home–which has become the primary objective of this website since its inception.

I worked with the amazing team at Dovetail Press, a newly launched publishing company in New York, to make this approachable guide to home brewing. For everyone who has contacted me over the years through email or social media with questions about coffee, equipment, and brewing methods, this book provides my answers. This book isn’t intended to train professional baristas (although it may motivate you to pursue that path), it’s meant to be an informative initial step for the java curious.

I wrote Brew as a primer to help coffee consumers feel more comfortable purchasing coffee and brewing equipment, while also gaining the knowledge and confidence to ask their baristas more specific questions that address their particular needs. From the book I explain the fundamentals of coffee production, the tools and techniques necessary to brew it better in your home and also provide a choice of recipes for some delicious coffee-based drinks and cocktails. I hope this book will inspire people to love coffee the same way this website has over recent years. I can’t wait to receive a copy of it in all your hands.

Brew goes on sale September 20th, but you can pre-order it today directly from the publisher or from Amazon. If you’re interested in ordering multiple copies for resale, get in touch.

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Articles 

The Things I Have To Tell You

Source: https://www.coffeeandcrumbs.net/blog/2019/7/9/the-things-i-have-to-tell-you

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We had The Talk with our son, Nathan, the night after my husband Jon’s vasectomy. Explaining why Dad was sitting on an ice pack and what that had to do with our ability to have extra children seemed like the ideal segue to a dialogue that felt like one big non sequitur, and we seized the awkward moment before us.

I realize I am making it seem like it was a spur of the moment decision, when that is actually the furthest thing from the truth. I had ordered a book months earlier, one of these”It’s Not The Stork” ones who walks you through how to explain the mechanics of baby making into the infants you have made. Actually, I ordered four books after a complete afternoon browsing Amazon and comparing customer reviews, read them all, and kept the one I liked the best. Jon and I flipped through it together and had multiple”when should we tell him” discussions that all ended with a few vague decision on”soon.” I also consulted friends, asking”Have you all had The Talk yet?” In hushed tones or through text, with varying responses.

“Heavens, no!”
“Oh man, not yet, but it is coming. What book did you use?”
“I tried, but he got so embarrassed that I finally dropped it and figured we will try again later.”

With all this forethought and planning, you would expect I was fully prepared and implemented the conversation flawlessly. The reality is that I left Jon to handle it solo, vacating the premises entirely with our daughter who is in an age where any amount of information about bodily functions is weaponized and she’d be inclined to ask the supermarket regarding his vas deferens just to spite me.

When we returned an hour later, I was amazed to find the boys still deep in conversation and Jon holding the box of condoms from our armoire. I was flat out stunned to see that Nathan looked neither embarrassed nor desperate to escape. He had been asking questions and nodding thoughtfully at Jon’s answers. Emboldened by how well things appeared to be going, I asked if Nathan had any questions for me.

“Um, yeah,” he said. “Have you gone through puberty, Mother?” Immediately regretting my momentary bravery, I said that yes, in fact, I went through it some twenty-odd decades ago now.

“Then how come you do not have hairy armpits?” He asked, pointing to the picture in the book. Relief washed over meof all the ground they had covered, I got to talk about armpits? I grinned and explained that I choose to shave them.

Nathan nodded. “And if you’ve got your… menst-… menu-… Dad, wait what was the bleeding called again?” he asked, swiveling to Jon.

“The word is menstruation, marijuana, but you can just call it a period,” I interjected.

“Right, yeah–that. Can you use a bandaid when it happens?”

“Ah, no. I use tampons,” I said and, suddenly understanding how Jon came to hold a box of condoms in his hand, I went to fetch the box of Playtex from underneath our sink. Nathan studied the box thoughtfully, nodding.

“And when was your last period?” Nathan asked. I felt like I was in the OB/GYN’s office, scratching my head and counting backward on my palms.

“Uh, about three weeks ago, bud. Anything else?”

“Nope. Can I go watch an episode of Pokemon before I shower?”

Later that night, Jon was in bed queuing up the newest episode of Big Little Lies as I returned from the kitchen, a fresh bag of crushed ice in hand.

“Can you believe how well it went?”

“What, the vasectomy?” Jon asked, brow furrowed as he tried to remember his brother’s HBO Go password. “I know, right? I have not had any pain at all!”

“No, not that,” I said impatiently, waving off the painlessness of Jon’s sterility. “I mean the conversation with Nathan.”

“Oh, right,” he said. “Yeah, he did great… why can’t I sign in–it starts with a capital letter?”

I rolled my eyes and made Jon put the remote down for a second so we could properly celebrate this victory. The conversation we’d been dragging our feet for months had gone well! We executed a non-cringeworthy version of The Talk! Obviously we were parenting rockstars. All that Amazon study I did totally paid off; it was just a matter of being prepared. I was ready to begin strategizing our conversations about Instagram use and underage drinking when Jon brought me back to razor sharp reality.

“Love, you know this is not only 1 conversation, right?” he asked.

“Of course I know that,” I huffed, but Jon was not done.

“We haven’t talked about who has sex or when to have sex,” he went on, shifting the bag of ice. “All we really did was tell him exactly what it is.” He stretched and resettled himself on his pillow then eyed me. “That is hardly the toughest part to tackle.”

I said nothing for a moment, not wanting to acknowledge just how far ahead of myself I had gotten. But Jon was correct. The mechanics were simple enough to explain, and Nathan was the type of kid to easily accept data and facts, but there was still a lot more stuff to cover with no diagrams to fall back on. I mumbled something about being glad we were off to a fantastic start at any speed, and curled into Jon’s shoulder as we watched the series. My mind wandered however, and long after we had turned off the TV and Jon’s breathing had shifted into the profound and even routine of sleep, I lay awake thinking.

When do we tell Nathan when it is okay to have sex? How old exactly does he need to be? Should he talk to us about it first? And what about alcohol and drugs? Peer pressure? Oh Lord, is there a way I can delete social networking from the universe so he does not ever have to manage it? And what on EARTH are we going to do if he is 15 and won’t say more than three words at a time to us? Maybe we can draw up some type of timetable so we can squeeze in all of the hard conversations over the next four years while he likes us and listens to what we have to say.

I eventually fell into a fretful sleep that night, but I spent days in the headspace of developing the perfect plan to raise a kid who never makes a misstep on the big important things. I would probably still be there, except for a friend who delivered the words which stopped me in my research-laden tracks.

“No amount of information is going to assure you that everything is going to be fine,” she said. “There is not one single book or film with a narrative arc of’my parents gave me all the advice that I ever needed to make all the appropriate decisions and nobody got hurt and everything was fantastic’ because that is not something.”

That is not a thing.

Not in books. Not for my children. Not even for me.

My parents said all of the things they were supposed to say; they packed lots of wise advice and sound counsel into my growing up years. And I kissed the wrong boys and fell in love with the wrong boys and at 19 even moved 500 miles away from home for the wrong boy.

I did remember to say no to the punch at college frat parties and sipped a coke instead. But two decades later, after three vodka-cranapples, my college roommate and I decided it would be an exceptional idea for her to teach me the way to drive her stick shift in the parking lot of the mall below our apartment complex. The mall which also housed the local police precinct. The worst thing that happened that night was we both laughed so hard we literally peed our pants, but I wince now at our dumb luck.

Yes, I made plenty of wrong decisions. More than one person got hurt.

But I also found my way back home. I fell in love with the ideal boy. I have both taken risks and made the safe option, and while I know that my parents would still love it if I made it to church every single Sunday, I think perhaps they’re proud of me, too. Even if this is the first they’re hearing of the driving lessons narrative.

Now on the other side of the hard discussions, I find myself wanting to protect my kids from the mistakes I made while also acknowledging that my mistakes are a part of what makes me who I am. Who knows if I’d be here, for this husband and these kids and this life, if I hadn’t said yes to some things I should’ve said no to.

Maybe the things I must tell them are not just how to make the right decisions and be sure nobody gets hurt.

Maybe I will tell them to pay attention, because these are the moments that matter, the ones that you will replay in your mind in 10, 20, 50 years, and getting them might not be as important as learning whatever it is they have to teach you. I’ll tell them no matter where their yeses and nos might lead them, they can always find their way back home.

I will tell them to attempt to exercise a little wisdom and a little restraint (I am their mother, after all), but also to make sure and catch the narrative, so someday they too will have something to tell.


Words and photo by Jennifer Batchelor.

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