HomeRoast Digest

Topic: holiday gift giving ideas? (27 msgs / 531 lines)
1) From: Chris Hardenbrook
Sometimes, we are casting pearls before swine...
I'm planning to make "Holiday" (all encompassing seasonal end-o-year) presents, too.  I think if your recipients haven't the grace to politely acknowledge a heart-felt gift, even if it goes to the trash, you are permitted to cross them off your list.  At least, don't waste good coffee on them next time!  Perhaps a nice card from Hallmark...?
Chris in Hilo

2) From: Patrick R. Sklenar
Enough of my friends, family, neighbors and coworkers are aware of my 
roasting now, and have indicated that they enjoy my coffees, that I 
believe I want to give several with coffee for Christmas this year.  
I've come up with fifteen people so far.
I roast HG/BM and have no problems with a pound of greens at a time.  
May even be able to safely handle a pound & a half at once as long I'm 
doing something to be taken off before or just barely at 2nd Crack.  I'm 
therefore leaning towards giving everyone a half pound (pre roast 
weight) of two different beans.  I know that several of these people 
enjoy Kona's (as do I)) and I will certainly be including that.  What 
other beans would folks recommend as "safe" for folks without a lot of 
coffee experience with the different coffees from around the world?  I'm 
going to have to do some beans ordering within the next month or two. :)

3) From: Brett Mason
Patrick, if it were me, I'd be giving Colombian or Brazil...
But every year I roast 2lb each of 4 different coffees, and then create a
Christmas Blend.  I almost always have a Brazil, a Colombian, an Indonesian
of some sort, and then 4th choice something else I like...  I find that
blending has a more balanced cup, and a little less of each of the
distinctives that make single origin coffees unique...
two cents,
On 9/30/07, Patrick R. Sklenar  wrote:

4) From: Dave Kvindlog
I just ordered coffee from SM last night with the same intent.  I chose to
give my favorite (and also my family's) out of the current 8-pack we've been
enjoying.  The Nicaragua Placeras Estate Miel roasted to a full city is
similar enough to a Colombian or Brazil to please the palate that hasn't
strayed from the "norm", that is, the bland straight and narrow offered in
your local grocery store.  But this Nicaragua is much sweeter with a touch
of chocolate, honey and nuts IMHO.  Tom described it as "At City+ to FC+:
Malt and grain sweetness, beeswax aroma, raw honey, nuts, caramel,
medium-heavy body".
My 2 cents: Give your friends and family something YOU like, something
different that will wake them up to the fact that not all coffee is created
On 9/30/07, Patrick R. Sklenar  wrote:

5) From: Les
I give my stash reduction blend every year.  This year I have 16 pounds of
gift coffee to give.  I go through the stash and put all the odd lots into
the bag.  Then I go through and balance the stash.  If I need to do more, I
look at my least favorites and add them to get up to 16 pounds.  I have
stash reduction, I make everyone happy, and I simply will label it the 2008
Holiday Blend.  I am not opposed to using the word "Christmas."  The generic
label covers Thanksgiving through New Years.
On 9/30/07, Dave Kvindlog  wrote:

6) From: Patrick R. Sklenar
Thanks folks.  Some good suggestions.  But this brings up another 
question ... What do folks that gift coffee like to do?  Give a person a 
pound of some special coffee?  Give them two different half-pounds?  Or 
give four different quarter pounds?
Any thoughts on this aspect? :)

7) From: Brett Mason
I give 1lb of Christmas Blend, in a special bag - last year was glossy black
bag with Christmas Colors inked description....
On 10/1/07, Patrick R. Sklenar  wrote:

8) From: John Brown
what every is you want to do
Patrick R. Sklenar wrote:

9) From: Rick Copple
Patrick R. Sklenar wrote:
One year, I just tried to match the coffee type with the personality of 
who I was giving it to. And tried to stick with coffees that weren't too 
weird, that someone use to drinking Folgers would taste "coffee" in but 
still had some outstanding flavor profile that would make them take note.
Rick Copplehttp://www.rlcopple.com/

10) From: Barbara Wilson
Speaking of gifts..one person (my former boss) whom I gave some of my 
roasted beans to said that the coffee wasn't  very good. I had been very 
happily drinking the exact batch (and very delicious) coffee the 
previous week. I didn't want to get into the details with her on how to 
brew, etc. excellent coffee as I thought it might sound like I was 
blaming her (which I was). And since then I no longer want to give my 
coffee to anyone for fear that they will ruin it. Have any of you 
developed a list of how to's that you give out with your coffee? I 
thought that I might ask before developing my own handout.
Rick Copple wrote:

11) From: Patrick R. Sklenar
Barbara Wilson wrote:
    The ONLY "how to" I give anyone without prompting is "Please don't 
grind the beans until just before you brew the coffee".  If they ask for 
suggestions or anything, I'll offer things like amount of beans to 
amount of water, suggestions on brewing temp, suggest taking a sip 
before adding milk/sugar just to see the difference, etc.  But I won't 
tell ANYone they have to drink their coffee the same way I drink mine (2 
Tblsp beans to 6oz water, 198F, black, no sugar). :)

12) From: Brett Mason
2.5 oz ground per pot - I tell them that's how I brew it for best
After that, it's frustrating....
On 10/1/07, Barbara Wilson  wrote:

13) From: Rick Copple
Barbara Wilson wrote:
The only thing I do really, is when I create my label for the coffee, I 
put on it the roasting date and the recommended "use by" date. How many 
actually abide by that, I don't know, but that's up to them.
I have had some people say they don't like my coffee, but generally I 
know why. In one instance, it was my first roast of decaf and I didn't 
do a good job. He never really said anything, but I know he didn't care 
for it. He was being polite.
The other time I'm aware of is my wife was saying this guy had to try 
some of my coffee I had in my thermos. Only problem, I knew this was an 
unusual coffee, and for a first taste of homeroast, would not give him a 
good idea of what good coffee would be like. Not that it wasn't good, 
but simply different enough from Folgers I was sure he wouldn't care for 
it. And I was right. When I bring coffee to church, I don't think he 
ever gets any. He sticks with the thin, stale stuff brewed in the large 
urn and has been sitting for a couple hours in there before we make it 
into the fellowship hall. (But I have enough people who love it when I 
bring coffee too, so to each his own.)
So, I think one key for folks who haven't tried your coffee before, is 
to stick to coffees which will have a broad appeal, have enough elements 
of "coffee" flavor to make them identify it as "coffee." Don't give them 
a Harrar or on the wild side, unless you know they like that kind of thing.
Though I don't do it, including suggested tips would be good too, key 
being to not grind until time to brew (a lot of people like to prepare 
their coffee the night before and use a timer, but that does cause it to 
lose a lot of flavor). Other tips too.
However, I also take the attitude when I give my coffee away, I don't 
expect them to prepare or brew it a certain way. If I discover they 
don't care for it, I may decide not to give them anymore, but most of 
the comments I've received have been positive when I've done it. But 
once I've given it, it is theirs to do with as they please. If I 
discover later that they ground it up a week ahead of time and used a 
peculator to prepare it, and left it sitting on a stove before reheating 
it to get a cup, I don't get bent out of shape over it. If they like it, 
then I'll consider giving them some more. If they ask, I'll suggest a 
better way to prepare it. But once I give it, it is an unconditional 
gift. I'm expecting nothing in return other than hoping they enjoy it 
(otherwise, then there is no need to give more if they don't).
Rick Copplehttp://www.rlcopple.com/

14) From: Larry Johnson
I think the key is to remember that your friends/loved ones are not going to
appreciate Misty Valley, or Gesha Esmeralda, or any of the coffees we get so
excited about. Look for the ones that Tom and others here on the list label
as "crowd pleasers". These coffees are just that, pleasing to the majority.
Remember that they are more likely to enjoy darker roasts (more body) than
lighter ones (brighter). And advise them to at least wait until they are
ready to brew before grinding. It's about all you can do in a gifting
situation. If they like it, then you have the rest of the year to pull them
over to the dark side.......
On 10/1/07, Chris Hardenbrook  wrote:
Larry J

15) From: Barbara Wilson
I was thinking of a little list of tips for the most delicious coffee, 
such as:
1. grind just before brewing
2. put freshly brewed coffee immediately into a clean, heated thermos or 
3. don't ever re-heat or leave sitting on burner
4. follow the "use before" date
5. clean your coffee maker often
6. use delicious tasting water
Do any of you hand out something like that? Or put this on a label on 
the bag?
Larry Johnson wrote:

16) From: Zara Haimo
A couple of years ago I brought a coffee drinking friend a gift of a couple 
of roasts I had done.  He was the person who had first told me about burr 
grinders, so I figured he knew something about decent coffee.  However, as 
far as I know, he never even tried the beans I brought.  He keeps the hopper 
on his grinder loaded with beans he buys at Costco or one of those places 
and has a timer switch set up to grind the right amount to throw into his 
Krups coffee maker each morning.  He had absolutely no interest in messing 
up his system to swap out those beans for mine.  If he used my beans at all, 
he probably just threw them in the hopper to mix in with the Costco special. 
I now only give beans to those friends who specifically ask for them.

17) From: Homeroaster
Not everyone is used to full flavored coffee.  They actually taste something 
and they think it's 'too strong' or 'too something'.  I don't take offense 
to it anymore.  Many of the unique, wonderful coffees we drink daily are way 
different than the typical American palate can tolerate.  I usually roast 
some kind of good Colombian for other people, since it's a flavor many are 
used to.
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com*********************

18) From: Barbara Wilson
Just to set everyone straight. The first time I gave the same person my 
roasted beans she sent me an email with the subject line:    THIS COFFEE 
IS DELICIOUS!!!!     And offered to be my distributer. The second sample 
that I gave her was, in my opinion, just as delicious and I concluded 
that she must have done something to ruin it.  Plus, I have been to her 
house and became ill at the smell of hazelnut flavored coffee gurgling 
on her mr. coffee for hours.
Homeroaster wrote:

19) From: Sheila Quinn
Hmmm...brewed in a Mr. Coffee and mixed with hazelnut residue. That 
explains it!
Barbara Wilson wrote:

20) From: Homeroaster
So your very special coffee didn't have enough flavoring in it maybe.
It's all in what people are used to and are open to.  I tried for years to 
'enlighten' my father with my homeroast.  He always gravitated back to the 
cheapest preground he could buy, even though I was willing to give my beans 
to him for free.
Go figure.
It's what he was used to.
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com*********************

21) From: Brett Mason
Nope - I disagree ...  The overboiled hazelnut syrup had too much coffee in
It's hard to give coffee to the little people.  Thank you, Leona Helmsley!
On 10/1/07, Homeroaster  wrote:

22) From: miKe mcKoffee
I do put "Best if used by XX-XX-XX" on the labels with date being 14 days
from roast. Roast date is also on the label. Labels are too small for
detailed brewing teaching without choosing a realllllly tiny font! And
besides, if not asked telling someone how to brew their coffee isn't
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIhttp://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVI.htmKona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/

23) From: Floyd Lozano
If you don't want to seem pedantic or whatever to people you gift, maybe
print out something from Peets or George Howell (suggest Peets as it's more
familiar) with many of the same suggestions you'd make anyway, like ratio of
grounds to water, water temp, fresh grinding, clean equipment, etc.  Then
you're not preaching - you're just passing info along!
ps anyone that doesnt' like your coffee, well, maybe they are a candiate for
the Sulawesi Goo Goo!
On 10/2/07, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:

24) From: Bonnie Polkinghorn
I had an anniversary party (10 years) and I gave away home roasted coffee to
all of my guests.  We live about 2 hours away from where we used to live,
and we had the party at the old stomping grounds with all of our old
friends.  We had a wonderful dinner party at a Cambodian restaurant, but
that is way OT and another story!
I bought those small mason jars, Ball 4 oz Crystal Jelly Jars.  They held
about 80g of coffee, perfect for one 8 cup coffee maker.
I bought some fabric in the remnent section - extremely inexpensive.  I cut
a square of fabric to fit over each lid and tied a ribbon around it.  That
was the hard part because the jar is so small.  Maybe a rubber band would
have worked better, and a ribbon.  The ribbon was actually some yarn I had
laying around.
I attached a small gift tag to the ribbon and printed my advice on address
labels (cut to fit) and stuck them on.  The advice was:  "best used by"
date, the variety of coffee, and the Sweet Maria's Website address.
The recipients got some home roasted coffee and a lovely jar.
I received comments from 2 out of 10 guests on the coffee, they were the
ones I knew to be the truest coffee lovers.  For those 2, I would again gift
some home roasted coffee.  For the others, I will stick to giving some local
Sonoma County jams, honey or chocolates.  Wine, of course, too, but they
almost expect that!
Bonnie P.
Santa Rosa, CA

25) From: Patrick R. Sklenar
Not sure if anyone remembers my subject query from the beginning of 
October or not.  But as I've just finished roasting the first 5 of 17 
planned pounds of gift coffee ...  I thought I'd share what I decided to 
do ...
Since I've not yet dabbled with blends for myself, I don't feel 
comfortable mixing up anything for my family & friends.  So ... I 
decided to give them all a chance to experience some of the differences 
available in a plain old, non-flavored coffee.  I'm gifting four quarter 
pound (pre-roast weight) samples to each.  I tried to think of different 
coffees show off the differences in coffee and ended up with:
Ethioia Organic Idido Misty Valley - estimated between City & City+
Bali Kintamani Arabica             - estimated at Full City+
Columbia Supremo lot 15943         - estimated at Full City
Estate Grade Run Kona              - estimated at or just above City+
The first three are Sweet Maria offerings, the latter is from another 
source since Tom didn't have any Kona's available when I was making my 
purchases.  All are being packed in labeled 1/4# valved bags and then 
each gift (four 1/4# bags) are being carefully slid into the blank 2# 
cotton bags that SM offers.  Each cloth bag will have a printed label & 
gift bow stuck on.
May not be the best idea, but almost all of the people I'm gifting with 
these have either received some beans from me before, or at least had 
coffee brewed from my home roasted beans (altho not necessarily any of 
this selection).

26) From: Lynne
Pat, you are a generous soul (and can I join your family.. puleese?)
I've tried the Misty and the Colombian - these are good choices.
Let us know how it turns out. Sounds really great to me!

27) From: Les
Good choices.  I am sending my daugher and son-in-law a pound of Columbian,
Panama Gesha, Bali, and Tanzanian coffee to give them a "world" tour for
Christmas.  Everyone else is getting mutt blend.
On 12/18/07, Lynne  wrote:

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