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Today: Get your dad some new coffee gear. Get yourself some, too.
Chances are your dad has known coffee for years, much like a long-time neighbor -- only by name, by routine. So the only way to know it better is to have a real conversation with it: brew one way, brew another, brew again.
This Father's Day, get your dad some new coffee gear. (Get yourself some, too.) As coffee writer Oliver Strand says, the key is to experiment: "Try different brewing methods to figure out which ones suit you. It's not like buying a new range, a heavy commitment. It's like deciding if you like Vans, or Chuck Taylors, or Stan Smiths: one is not necessarily better than the other, but you won't know which one you prefer if you don't try out a few."
Here are 5 ways for your dad to start experimenting, and a bonus for you: the next time he makes you coffee, it will be infinitely better.
1. Aeropress, $30
If you know how to use a French press, you can use an aeropress. This method could even become your new I-can-do-it-with-my-eyes-closed coffee routine, once you get the hang of it. (Good news for those of us with ever-betraying alarm clocks.) Just grind coffee, add water, wait, and plunge -- but if you want it to be, that's only the beginning. There are a lot of methods out there -- we say experiment, get a little crazy, invert if you want to.
2. The Kalita Wave Series, $40
If the aeropress is the pair of Vans you've had for years, the Wave is the new, unscuffed pair you reserve for special occasions. No less practical or affordable than the rest of what's here, the Wave is its own breed of stylish, with a differently shaped dripper. Watch or read how to brew, and make sure you leave this one out on the counter.
3. Chemex, $40
If you look closely, you might be able to find these at garage sales -- your dad might even have one already. Here's why: the American-made Chemex has been around for a while -- long enough to go out of style and come back in, with a vengeance. According to Strand, you control every part of the brew: "The appeal is simple. It’s for purists." Control freaks, you've found your coffee match.
4. Clever Dripper, $20
The clever dripper is a cone brewer, which is a name you'll want to get familiar with if you want to start making really, really good cups of coffee. According to Liz Clayton of Serious Eats, "the combination of extraction style and the longer contact of grounds-within-water that the Clever mixes together can produce a very well-balanced cup with beautiful body and delicate flavor." What are you waiting for?
5. Kone Filter, $60
To properly brew in a filter cone -- like the chemex you hopefully just acquired above -- you'll need filters. And these filters will need to be rinsed each time you brew, lest you'd like your coffee to taste like paper. All of this will complicate things, which, before caffeine, is not something you'll take well to. Simplify with the KONE. Stainless steel, reusable, and flavor-neutral, this filter eradicates extra steps, and extra, unwanted taste. Gifting bonus: as our developer Michael says, "Dads love metal." He should know -- he's a new one himself.
What are your favorite coffee tools? Let us know in the comments!