Who doesn't like to start their day with a cup of coffee or tea? But for some, that ritual is more than just getting their morning jolt of caffeine. Give the gift of an upgraded morning routine that is sure to satisfy the brewers in your life, no matter their drink of choice.
And if you know they love coffee but you're not sure where to start, consider their lifestyle and preferences to select the best coffee maker for them. Remember: Not all coffee makers are created equally.
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For the Person Who Likes to (Slowly) Savor their Cuppa
Our Favorite Smart Mug: Smart Mug: Ember Mug², 14 oz
If you know someone who is always reheating their coffee in the microwave, save them from themselves and get them this smart mug—it keeps coffee hot for about 90 minutes.
In our testing, it kept hot drinks within our ideal temperature range of 130 to 160 degrees. It charged in just 2 hours. We also liked its built-in safety features; it automatically “sleeps” when it’s empty or after 2 hours of inactivity.
For the Coffee or Tea Lover On the Go
Our Favorite Travel Mug: Zojirushi Stainless Mug (SM-SE)
Got a long commute? This mug will not only keep your coffee or tea piping hot until you get to your desk, but it will stay that way for over 10 hours (yes, you read that right). Testers raved about this mug, not only because it kept coffee hot (or cold, if that's your preference) for far longer than any other mug we tried but also because it was the easiest to use.
Slim from top to bottom, it was comfortable for hands of all sizes. A simple push of a button popped open its lid, exposing the clean drinking spout within. Testers also loved that this leakproof mug came with a locking mechanism, so you can toss it into a bag without fear of spillage.
For Anyone Who Needs a Stylish, High-Performance Kettle
Our Favorite Electric Gooseneck Kettle: OXO Brew Adjustable Temperature Pour-Over Kettle
This kettle boils water quickly, has a precise pouring spout, and held up to a year’s worth of boils. It boiled water in less than 3 minutes, besting every other kettle in the lineup by at least a minute.
Its easily visible capacity line and single-knob controls made filling and operating a breeze. A comfortable, grippy handle and lightweight construction made it easy to hold and steadily pour water for perfect pour-over coffee.
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The Origami Medium Pour-Over Coffee Dripper Medium (left) and Timemore Black Mirror Basic Plus Scale (right)
For the Pour-Over Nerd
Our Favorite Pro-style Pour-Over Coffee Maker: The Origami Medium Pour-Over Coffee Dripper Medium
Pour-over coffee makers allow for maximum customization, perfect for the coffee lover who wants to really dial in their brew. You don't really need superspecial equipment to make great pour-over coffee (you can even use a simple funnel). But if you know someone who is serious about their coffee, get them a great pour-over coffee maker to level up their routine.
We tested all types and found a few great options. The Origami takes a bit of work to get the hang of, but once you do, it's worth it—it produced the most rounded, sweet, and vibrant coffee, according to our tasters. Our flat-bottomed winner, the Kalita Wave Dripper 185 S, is good for novices and dark-roast coffee because it highlights pleasant woodsy, cocoa-like flavors. Our top conical model, the Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper 02, is great for light-roast coffee and citrusy, floral notes.
For the (Coffee) Bean Counter
Our Favorite Precision Coffee Scale: Timemore Black Mirror Basic Plus Scale
Weighing your coffee beans is one key to consistently excellent coffee. Brewing pour-over coffee, specifically, is a hands-on process where timing, temperature, and amount of water all must be carefully controlled. This high-tech scale is built for it and helps users learn to make better coffee. It also works for baking and other kitchen uses too.
Zulay Kitchen Milk Boss Electric Milk Frother (left) and Technivorm Moccamaster KBT (right)
For the Person Who Enjoys the Finer Things in Life
Our Favorite Handheld Milk Frother: Zulay Kitchen Milk Boss Electric Milk Frother
Adding a moment of luxury to your morning routine can do wonders for the soul. This handheld gadget froths milk at the press of a button—perfect for DIY lattes, cappuccinos, and more. We especially loved the comfortable grip. It was also easy to clean and small enough to store away handily in a drawer.
For the Mid-Century Style Maven
Our Longtime Favorite Drip Coffee Machine: Technivorm Moccamaster KBT
This stylish drip coffee machine with clean, mid-century lines is a breeze to set up and use and makes a deliciously strong, smooth brew. The key technology is hidden inside the body of the brewer: Its powerful copper heating element transfers heat rapidly and steadily, so the brewing water quickly reaches the ideal temperature zone and stays there for 91 percent of its cycle.
And there's no heating element to give that singed coffee flavor; the thermal carafe kept coffee piping hot for 2 hours. (Just be sure to clean that carafe.) It comes with a five-year warranty, the company has great customer service, and replacement parts are easy to order—a machine that’s built to last.
Finum Stainless Steel Mesh Brewing Basket (left) and Gaggia Anima Automatic Coffee Machine (right)
For Your Friend Who Wants to Get Loose (Leaf Tea)
Our Favorite Tea Steeper: Finum Stainless Steel Mesh Brewing Basket, Large
A good basket-style tea infuser should brew a full-bodied cuppa—no wan, weak tea, please! It should also prevent bits of tea from escaping and settling at the bottom of your cup. We tested six basket-style tea infusers to find one that did both.
Our favorite, the Finum, successfully brewed three very different styles of tea. It kept tea leaves and flower buds contained while still allowing them to fully expand and infuse the water with their flavor. Its long basket worked well in standard 16-ounce mugs but was also long enough for larger mugs and teapots. It was also the only infuser we tested that let no particulate escape into our tea. Add in a bag of loose-leaf tea to get them started and you have a lovely gift.
For the Espresso-Lover Who’s Been Very Good This Year
Our Favorite Fully-Automatic Espresso Machine: Gaggia Anima Automatic Coffee Machine
Bring the coffee bar home with this Italian stunner. Think DIY espresso, cappuccino, lattes, affogato, and more. This compact, well-made machine consistently produced excellent espresso at the push of a button and readily let us adjust the flavor, temperature, and strength of a shot.
The thoughtfully designed controls and a clear display that showed what was happening made it simple to brew espresso or froth milk without consulting the manual. A simple attached steam wand with a silicone grip was comfortable to use and popped off for easy cleaning.