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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 (opens in new tab) as well.

  • $29.16 - Buy now (opens in new tab)

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.

  • Variable - Buy now (opens in new tab)

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 (opens in new tab) 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.

  • $249.00 - Buy now (opens in new tab)

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.

  • Variable - Buy now (opens in new tab)


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.)

  • $79.00 - Buy now (opens in new tab)

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.

  • Have the SodaStream, don't want the Canon Lens (weird), thanks in advance Rene for getting me all the others for Christmas! :)
  • Link to your Amazon wish list? :)
  • These make for excellent Christmas/holiday gift ideas! Sent from the iMore App
  • Also, the Nespresso machine was something I got for my parents last year. Kind of expensive but looks sleek and you could never go wrong with the gift of caffeine. Sent from the iMore App
  • The AeroPress is wonderful. I have an AeroPress and a good burr grinder (I have the Breville Smart Grinder). Combine those with some good beans (look for a "roasted on" date!) and I'm making some amazing coffee at home.
  • Before buying SodaStream products consumers should know that the company is based on an illegal Israeli settlement in the Palestinian West Bank. For more information see:
  • Thanks for the heads up, Christopher! I was tempted by this one until I read your comment. iMore: please remove the Sodastream mention as a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinians, thanks!
  • Now I understand that it is important not to encourage "occupation", but I thought we're talking about gadgets...I don't know from which country you are, but one can always find that before a certain nation settled in a specific area, there was a different ;civilization, who's land was occupied. Think of European Settlers in North America and its native civilizations (ancient Maya for example).
    I would suggest you to leave the Apple platform because Apple purchased an Israel based company or this is not a complication for you.
    To the moderators, you can remove my comments, only when Mr. Christopher Stone's comment will be removed. It would be a shame if such a wonderful community will become a place for politics of this kind.
  • I think it's naive to think you can create a space devoid of political influence. It is the world we live in. Not to mention Apple has not exactly been shy of entering the political arena.
  • honestly boycotting sodastream strikes me as an utterly token gesture that does absolutely nothing to further peace in that area. It strikes me as a sideshow. Politically i'm pretty much with you. I don't think they should be making settlements but I don't think boycotting sodastream makes one lick of difference. I'm have no interest in buying a sodastream by the way as i don't drink that stuff but I just think even if you succeed, and Sodastream moves somewhere else, you've still not achieved anything closer to a meaningful change. It's still occupied.
  • I want that cup! Where can one buy such is ascetically pleasuring mug? :D
  • If you mean the Apple mug, you need to go the The Company Store in Cupertino :)
  • I was gonna ask about that too. Thanks for clearing it up. :-)
  • Ah, the tasty flavor of hot tea... Always a good choice.
    The Canon cups are completely unexpected!
    Cool accessories. Sent from the iMore App
  • Just got the aeropress a couple of weeks ago, and it's amazing. I was using a french press before, but it's collecting dust now. For a cheaper grinder option, the capresso infinity is around ~$80 on amazon, and I've been using it for years with great success. I also have a rancillio rocky, and I think the capresso is perfectly fine for non-espresso methods. I will have to give tonx a try, but the best roaster out there is intelligentsia, with a price consistent with the quality unfortunately.
  • I have a local coffee place here in rural Iowa that small-batch roasts coffee in-house... that's the way to go if at all possible...
  • My wife works for a similar place near where we live in coastal Massachusetts.
  • I'm not really a big coffee drinker. Nor tea or soda. I'm more into juices. I don't see any juice makers on the list. Don't you consider juicing geeky as well? Haha. Sent from the iMore App
  • V-8. That's my vegi juice of choice.
    You just can't go wrong with grape or orange fruit juices!
    Juicer machines are available at major retailers starting at $70 and up.
    I usually throw some fruit+ in a personal blender, let it rip, and enjoy!
    :D Sent from the iMore App
  • Thanks. I'll keep it mind when I'm in the market to get one. Sent from the iMore App
  • I've had the Breville tea maker for about six months now and it's amazing. I've used it every day except for a handful and it produces the best tea I've ever had. It made me have the confidence to buy their coffee maker with the built in grinder which I am also very happy to have. If you get the one with the stainless steel carafe you can make a cup at a time instead of a pot.
  • The Breville one you're referring to is the YouBrew, I believe.
  • I would LOVE to get that beautiful apple mug in the top photo! And i actually thought the camera lenses mug were quite interesting!! THANK YOU!! Sent from the iMore App
  • Tear up your Team Canada card, Rene! You left out the coolest beverage innovation of 2013... the PicoBrew Zymatic automatic beer brewer. Add your ingredients, choose a recipe and BOOM => BEER!
  • For tea lovers, the Teavana Perfect Tea maker makes loose-leaf tea easy (I'm sure tea bags are viewed among snobs as only slightly better than instant coffee, lol). Sent from the iMore App
  • I like the soda stream, even though I don't drink soda. This would be good for guest. Sent from the iMore App
  • I got the lens cup, but it was a knock-off. Still nice for someone whose not even a photography buff, such as myself. Sent from the iMore App