Gifts for alpha-geeks: Best beverage-making gadgets

Hard as it may be to believe, geeks do not live by Apple alone. Assuming your geek already has all the iPhones, iPads, and Macs money can buy, there's still a wide range of wonders for you to gift them with, and them to enjoy. Beverages are a great place to start. Much as we may try to deny it, geeks still need to drink to stay alive. Coffee not only keeps us awake and at the computer, it fills our olfactory senses and taste buds with magnificent flavors. Tea keeps us healthy, but also tantalizes and delights us. Water is life, but over-carbinated water makes it worth living. And just like the latest apps, accessories, and devices, there are gadgets for each of them, and for every geek!

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker

Espresso machine? Need a masters degree. Drip coffee? Burned on the bottom. Instant? What are we, animals? French Press? So last decade. Unless you earn Clover money, right now AeroPress is where it's at. Easy enough for everyone, good enough for a serious coffee snob. (I just wish it came in Apple-style aluminium.) It's a single-cup solution, but there are multi-cup marvels as well.

Tonx Coffee

Most commercial coffee beans are well past stale by the time you get them. Same for most coffee houses. Overly caffeinated, under flavored, they're more colored energy water than actual beverage. Tonx, on the other hand, is single origin coffee, fresh roasted, and shipped to you as fast as postally possible. The first time you open a bag, the punch-in-your-face-fragrance will welcome you... to the real world.

Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder

All those coffee beans aren't going to grind themselves now, are they? Burr is the way to go when it comes to grinding coffee. It's so much better than cheapy blade grinders that it's not even worth acknowledging cheapy blade grinders exist. You can get much cheaper burr grinders as well, and they work just fine, but if you want the Mac Pro of grinders, you want the Baratza.

Breville One-Touch Tea Maker

True things: Not all geeks, even alpha-geeks drink coffee. Some prefer tea. Unfortunately, most commercial teabags contain something closer to dust than to tea leaves, and most loose-tea brewing methods are messy and decidedly un-geek. Breville's One-Touch Tea Maker simplifies all that. Find the best leaves you can, put them in the basket, and set it in motion. You won't get the ceremony, but you will get a great cup of tea.

Canon Lens Mugs

Once you've made your tasty hot beverage, you might as well enjoy it in as geeky as way as possible. Since very little in life is geekier than high-end photography, what could be better than pouring your freshly pressed coffee, or precision brewed tea into a Canon Lens mug. There are multiple sizes to choose from, from wide-angle to zoom, and while technically not a way to make a beverage, these mugs sure can add to the enjoyment.


Difficult as it may be to believe, geeks do not live by coffee (or tea) alone. They also love Scotch. And water. Bubbly, bubbly, oh so very bubbly water. While anyone can buy such water, the geek craves to make their own. That's where SodaStream comes in. You supply the water. They supply the carbonation. Here's the thing, though - you can carbonate that water well beyond sanity. (You can also add flavors if you can't take it straight.)

More great gift guides!

Looking for more great gift ideas for the geeks - and non-geeks - in your life? Check out the rest of our 2013 holiday guides!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.