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Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness have officially passed and the season for bringing Holiday cheer has reigned in. We’re bringing you an exclusive holiday gift guide for that latte lovin’ uncle who just can’t get enough of the good stuff on everything coffee. We’ll go through our top espresso machines, grinders, coffee and throw in accessories to wrap things up.
Prosumer machines aren’t for the faint of heart. These machines are meant for the pro-barista who loves to dabble in the art of pulling an amazing and flavorful shot of espresso. If you’ve got a hobbyist on your Christmas list, a do-it-yourself espresso lover, then let’s take a look at two of our top prosumer machines at Whole Latte Love.
The Profitec Pro 700 w/ Flow Control is an incredible prosumer and has everything you’ll need to make delicious, café-quality beverages and experiment with different variables to get the most out of your favorite coffee. This German-engineered dual-boiler machine is one of the most respected espresso machines on the market and for a number of great reasons: it has a near-silent rotary pump, it's plumbable, the flow control device allows you to experiment with different flavors from a single coffee by changing up the flow rate through the puck, and with the PID controller and stainless steel dual-boilers, temperature stability is unbeatable.
More about flow control on the Pro 700, this allows users to control the flow rate of water during extraction whether you’re looking to find all the different flavors hidden in a coffee or simply experiment with different styles of coffee. By playing with the flow rate, you can boost brightness for something really powerful, or even tone down that acidity for a drip-style coffee. All features suitable for the hobbyist or if you’re looking to wow your coworkers with this beast of a machine.
The Rocket Appartamento is an edgy heat exchange machine with a temperature stable E61 grouphead and an integrated dual pre-infusion system for an aromatic and crema-rich shot of espresso. For any espresso lover who enjoys entertaining, the Appartamento will be able to keep up with the demand for hot espresso and milk-based beverages. The heat exchange boiler allows for a quick heat up so there’s no downtime between brewing and steaming and with Ruby panels (an exclusive customization by Whole Latte Love) carefully cut out under the stainless steel housing, the Appartamento is sure to be the life of your holiday party. Here are more incredible features to love about this machine:
Semi-automatic machines give users a lot of control and put the brewing experience in the home barista’s hands. If you’re in the market for a gift that’s great for coffee lovers who are either just starting out or experimenting with different variables of brewing espresso and the nuances of coffee, here are two machines we’d suggest taking a look at.
The Gaggia Classic Pro has taken the lead in the coffee and espresso machine market as the go-to for entry-level baristas. Since it’s debut in early 2019, the Gaggia Classic Pro has stunned us with the commercial style steam wand with a two-hole steam tip, refined rocker switch controls, an updated frame allowing for a more accessible reservoir, and improved pump mounts for a quieter operation.
If your giftee is new to the espresso world, the Classic Pro is the best place to start their journey as a home barista. Once they’ve gotten comfortable pulling shot after shot on the Classic Pro and they’re ready for a challenge they won’t need to buy a brand new machine, the Classic Pro is a machine that can grow with you. Users can upgrade their set up with a shower screen, barista pro basket, and a group gasket to get better control over your extraction, all exclusive accessories that are great for leveling up your home barista skills.
And don't forget! The Classic Pro is available in a range of colors, too.
“I am new to espresso brewing and I recently upgraded from a mod version of De'Longhi ec155 to the Hobby 01. I screamed when I turned the steaming knob only for a tiny bit and the steam was already what I could never produce with the ec155. Not only the steaming power was superb, the espresso brewing was infinitely better than the ec155 I depressurized. I can now finally taste the subtle nuances in a single shot of espresso and see how manipulating brewing technique could affect taste. Maybe some people could make fine espresso with the ec155 but the Hobby makes it way easier for me. 10/10 for someone like me who just started learning the art of espresso.” - Jerry C.
Like the Classic Pro, the Hobby is another great semi-automatic for entry-level users but is also a great option for intermediate baristas who are more comfortable experimenting with brewing and steaming espresso and milk-based beverages. The Hobby is a hefty machine wrapped in durable and eco-friendly stainless steel housing and bursts with incredible steam power, which is a great feature for someone who’s a big fan of lattes, cappuccinos, flat whites, and other milk-based beverages. With a generous 3-liter water reservoir (larger than your average semi-automatic reservoir I might add) users can brew and steam to their heart’s desire, or until it’s time to refill the reservoir. It heats up fairly quickly in 2 ½ minutes with brewing temperatures at 170 °F. For our in-depth review of Bezzera’s Hobby 01, click here!
Super-automatics are hands-down my personal favorite when it comes to brewing my morning coffee. With the touch of a button, I’m on my way out of the door, travel mug in hand, and I’m ready to take on the day. Super-automatic machines are all about simplicity and convenience so if you’ve got an espresso lover on your gift list who isn’t crazy about the nooks and crannies of a semi or prosumer machine, then a super-automatic will be your best bet.
JURA’s GIGA 6 will be the life of your holiday get-together. It’s double the fun with dual boilers, dual hoppers, two pumps, two fluid systems, and parallel preparation for producing 2 velvety milk-based beverages at the same time. This is a machine that comes with everything you could want including 10 milk temperature settings, 10 coffee strength settings, 3 brew temperatures and the ability to connect to your smartphone so that you can brew your favorite beverage from the comfort of your couch. Simply open the J.O.E app and select from 28 specialty beverages and the GIGA 6 will take care of the rest. The dual hoppers are perfect for trying different coffee if you’ve got regular and decaf beans on hand, and you can mix the contents of both hoppers for a custom blend in 25% increments. The JURA GIGA 6 is a grind, tamp, brew machine that brings the barista from the cafe to the home or office.
The Gaggia Anima Prestige is an elegant and easy-to-use bean-to-cup machine thanks to the one-touch brew features and a dedicated milk carafe to keep things clean and milk out of the machine. With 4 brew buttons and the option to choose between five grind settings, users will be able to brew an espresso, espresso lungo, cappuccino and latte macchiato to their liking. Home baristas won’t need to worry about getting the perfect milk foam and consistency with the Anima Prestige, in place of Gaggia’s notable pannarello wand, the super-automatic machine comes with an integrated milk carafe that connects to the front of the machine for producing milk-based beverages. Milk never passes through machine to keep things hygienic and after making a milk beverage, the carafe runs through an automatic cleaning cycle to keep the milk circuit clean, and from there the user can store the milk carafe in their fridge until next time, a sweet feature for the espresso drinker who doesn’t want to worry about a tedious clean-up process.
New from Gaggia is the Cadorna Series, which includes three incredible machines: the Cadorna Barista Plus, Cadorna Milk, and Cadorna Prestige. Each of the Cadornas use full color displays capable of programming drinks individually, and saving user profiles to keeping your preferences separate from other users. If the person you're buying for enjoys crafting their own cappuccinos and lattes, the Barista Plus includes a commercial style steam wand for making a tight, velvety microfoam. For a more automatic experience, the Cadorna Milk includes 10 pre-programmed drinks and uses Gaggia's Cappincup milk froth delivery system to add perfectly frothed milk into the cup. For the ultimate experience, you can get the Cadorna Prestige, which includes 14 pre-programmed drinks and an integrated milk carafe which froths milk twice for the ideal temperature and texture in the cup.
Handmade in the Netherlands and certified by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) of America and Europe, Technivorm Moccamaster machines are the real deal of drip coffee makers. The CDT Grand Coffee Maker can brew 60 oz of coffee in 6 short minutes: the water is heated quickly by the copper boiling element, maintaining temperatures between 196 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit for ideal extraction. If you know anything about pour-over coffee, then you’ll know that allowing the coffee to bloom when water hits the grounds allows the coffee to off-gas and fully saturate the grounds. With the CDT Grand Coffee Maker, it does all of the “pour-over” technique for you, while brewing, an ultra-precise pulse action pre-immersion drip-style system allows for the perfect coffee bloom, resulting in a flavorful pot of coffee. The unique design will definitely make a statement at your holiday party and with SCA-certified coffee, your friends and family are sure to enjoy a hot and delicious cup of joe with their holiday dessert.
I’m going to jump right into one of my favorite features on the MT900, the drip stop. If you can’t wait to dive into that first cup of coffee in the morning, the drip stop feature on Capresso’s MT900 Coffee Maker allows you to stop mid-brew and pour yourself a hot cup of joe. Another feature on this classic drip coffee maker is the auto on brew function allowing you to program when you’d like the machine to turn on and brew a pot of coffee. This Rapid Brew coffee maker can brew 10-cups of coffee in 7 minutes and features an LED Clock and Timer, an impressive upgrade from the MT600. The 50 oz water reservoir can be paired with an affordable and sustainable charcoal filter to filter out any impurities in your water. The machine will alert you when to swap out the filter for a new one after a certain number of brew cycles. For a flavorful extraction, the shower screen is designed to allow the coffee to be fully saturated when brewing.
Single-serve machines are a great option for coffee and espresso lovers who are just brewing a latte, cappuccino, macchiato, ristretto and more for themselves. There are no tricky learning curves or pro-barista skills needed, they’re convenient, easy to use and can produce amazing café-quality beverages in minutes.
The Creatista Plus offers users a versatile and simple brewing experience. It’s made for use with Nespresso’s OriginalLine espresso capsules, so you won’t need to worry about purchasing a grinder with this machine. The capsules can produce almost any espresso and milk-based beverage including cappuccinos, flat whites, ristrettos, and lattes. For your convenience, there are 7 pre-programmed beverages on the Creatista Plus giving you the option to create barista-style beverages out of the box with the touch of a button. Each drink is fully customizable for temperature, milk texture, as well as volume, and the colorful TFT display makes programming easy with vibrant, reactive images that change to reflect your settings. The automatic steam wand does all of the hard work for you, simply place your pitcher on the tray, and the Creatista Plus will froth latte-art quality milk foam in no time. For anyone looking for a simple single-serve machine that gets the job done and whips up your favorite drinks in no time, Breville’s Creatista Plus machine just might be for you.
Nespresso machines are known for their tasteful designs and appeal to many American home espresso drinkers. But if you need the whole bundle and don’t want to worry about searching for the perfect set to make espresso and milk beverages, Nespresso’s VertuoPlus Deluxe completed with the Aeroccino milk frother is a great option. This machine makes innovative technology accessible for single-serve coffee drinkers with a rotated 60 oz water reservoir to fit almost any kitchen layout and Nespresso’s Centrifusion technology which reads the barcode on your capsule. This allows the machine to automatically recognize the size of the capsule and adjust the variables for an optimal extraction. This takes the guesswork out of measuring grounds and water and simply delivers a delicious espresso. If you want to make your daily espresso into a cappuccino, the Aeroccino milk frother comes with separate whisks and can make hot or cold milk foam at the touch of a button. The VertuoPlus Deluxe and Aeroccino bundle isn’t your typical gift for single-serve machine lovers, it takes single-serve brewing to the next level and brings your favorite café-quality beverages from your local coffee shop to your kitchen.
Whether your brewing drip, pour-over, french press or espresso, the perfect grinder can make a world of a difference in the resulting cup of coffee or espresso. To make sure you’re walking home with a quality grinder for the holidays, here are two great options to keep you brewing barista-style beverages for months on end.
Looking for a grinder with a great value? Ceado’s E5P is a great option with lots of amazing features for any home or office barista. It features 64mm flat burrs for superb grind consistency and is a doserless grinder that grinds on-demand directly into the portafilter. To start grinding simply push in the portafilter and release it to stop. With stepless grind adjustments, you can make infinitesimal adjustments to your grind size when dialing in shots. This grinder features Ceado’s steady lock system which keeps the hefty 64mm burrs in place for consistent particle size in grinds. The E5P is similar to the E6P, the only difference being the timed grinding option on the E6P grinder, but if this isn’t a dealbreaker for you and you’re looking for a grinder with a great value for a Christmas gift, then you can’t go wrong with the E5P.
The Eureka Mignon is a space-saving grinder with 55mm flat burrs and a vibrant touchscreen display. What I love about this grinder is the sleek design with a mirror-finish and the micrometric adjustment knob that doesn’t take up much space compared to other grinders and it’s stepless. This means you’re in total control of grinding as fine or as coarse as you want and with the touchscreen display timing by a tenth of a second, you’re sure to find your sweet spot with the Specialita.
Here at Whole Latte Love, we’re proud to support local coffee roasters like Fuego, who hits close to home here in Rochester. We recently received Fuego Coffee Roaster’s Brazil, Brazil Decaf, Bear Claw Blend, Mexico Chiapas, Ethiopia, Colombia, El Vergel, and El Salvador Red coffees and we can’t say enough good things about it. One of my personal favorites is Mexico Chiapas, with Green Apple and Caramel flavor notes, I couldn’t think of a better blend to satisfy my pre-caffeinated brain on Monday mornings. If someone on your Christmas list has been looking to switch up their coffee routine, throw in Fuego Coffee Roasters this Christmas. It’s a special way to show that you did some digging and found a local place that makes one of the best blends of fresh whole bean coffee.
Joe Bean is a local family-owned and operated roastery here in Rochester and proudly the original pioneers of the third wave coffee movement. Joe Bean has a wide variety of delicious espresso to dabble in from their original espresso blend with cherry, peach, caramel, and chocolate flavor notes to the Nicaragua Don Roger And Isabel's Natural Fruit Symphony that’s packed with kiwi, strawberry, cherry, and vanilla flavor notes (all flavors that I imagine would pair well with any holiday dessert that hits your table this season). Joe Bean’s coffee is a special gift for anyone who would appreciate local professionals who are award-winning roasters and masters at their craft.
Not only are BWT filters great stocking stuffers for espresso lovers (seriously, they’ll love you for it) but they’re also lifesavers for espresso machines. The Bestsave S Anti Scale filter is a great option for users with small, single boiler espresso machines like the Classic Pro or the Hobby. It’s an in-tank water filter that prevents scale build-up and removes heavy metals like copper and zinc and chemicals like chlorine from your water, resulting in a better-tasting, cleaner and more flavorful espresso.
If you’re looking for a complete package to hook up to your water line, check out the Bestmax Premium Filter Package w/ Besthead FLEX. It’s a multi-stage filter that uses patented BWT Mg2+ technology to mineralize the filtered water with magnesium, a known flavor enhancer that may be lost using other filtration methods. This helps to keep your coffee fresh and tasting delicious and prolongs the life of your espresso machine.
Tired of tamping? The Asso Jack Leveler allows you to spend more time pulling consistent shots and less time wondering if you tamped properly. The ridges on the leveler help to level out your grounds, even around the perimeter of your portafilter, and compact the grounds at the same time essentially replacing the need to tamp. You’ll see this feature in action if you’re using a bottomless portafilter especially; the espresso will distribute evenly through the bottom of the basket. The Jack Leveler comes in a variety of designs including Whitened Oak, Zebra Wood, and Color Waves, making this accessory a great stocking stuffer and addition to any coffee bar.