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Holigay Gift Guide: Gadgets for Caffeine Lovers Under $30

HOLIGAYS 2017 / Autostraddle

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I love coffee, but every time I meet someone who self-identifies a “Coffee Geek,” they’re always like “check out my super expensive espresso machine!” Listen, I would love a super expensive espresso machine. But this lover of caffeine can’t afford a coffee spaceship! Thanks to ridiculous cafes in New York charging $7+ for a dang latte, coffee culture is being taken over by the elite. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Some of us are Coffee Geeks who also need caffeine to get through the long work day at our jobs that don’t pay us enough to justify dropping $1,000 on a fancy piece of hardware.

Here are some gifts for caffeine lovers that are all under $30.

Espresso Accessories That Won’t Break The Bank

Don’t let the coffee elitists try to tell you that you can’t enjoy good espresso without an expensive espresso machine! Of course those beauties make a damn good cappuccino, but you can make a decent one with a stovetop espresso maker and a hand-held milk frother. Even Martha Stewart has instructions for making a stovetop cappuccino, because she gets it! Oftentimes, taste and texture has a lot to do with the quality of beans you’re using rather than the actual machinery.

Fun Gadgets To Spice Up Your Average Cup Of Joe

If you’re shopping for a true coffee lover, chances are they already have a lot of the basics, like a coffee maker/pourover cone/french press and a normal grinder. But do they have A MANUAL GRINDER? You might be thinking “why the heck would I grind my coffee manually?” But I am here to tell you that these aren’t just gimmicky hipster shit: Manual grinders are much quieter, so if you have a partner who sleeps later than you like me, you don’t have to wake them up every time you make yourself coffee. They also don’t require electricity!

On The Go, On A Budget

Is it just me or are simple thermoses getting like way too expensive? It doesn’t have to be that way, pals! Also, caffeine lovers can save a lot of money by using on-the-go coffee products instead of hitting up the overpriced cafe!

High Tea For Low Prices

Tea time can also be a fancy affair without expensive equipment. Simple infusers with loose-leaf tea are the best way to go when it comes to drinking really yummy tea, and they’re very cheap!

Wear Your Caffeine Love On Your Sleeve

Speaking as someone who is definitely guilty of this, people who really love caffeine often mistake loving caffeine for an entire personality. We love to wear it on our sleeves (and sometimes literally…all of my sweatshirts are covered in coffee stains). So here are some dumb but cute gifts for your cute coffee-loving friend/partner/family member/ex—hey, I don’t judge who you buy gifts for!






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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Miami. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 459 articles for us.


  1. I scoffed at the milk frother when it was given to my wife as a present from her mum.


    Then, my parents gave her this Bodum Milk Frother (intended to be AS affiliated linked): https://www.amazon.com/Bodum-Frother-Latteo-Glass-Handle/dp/B00E99MM18/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1512411101&sr=8-3&keywords=bodum+milk+frother

    NOW SHE ALTERNATES BETWEEN FROTHERS. This all seems to depend on the type of coffee, mood, time of day, or number of coffees she’s making. Frothy milk is apparently the way to her heart.

  2. BIALETTI (stovetop espresso maker) 4 LIFE. The only downside to this gift is that it will ruin all other coffee for you; everything else tastes gross by comparison. Source: I am very Italian & have successfully converted my girlfriend and her family to the stovetop espresso following.

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