Your parents coffee probably sucks.
Maybe it’s that their generation was raised on canned coffee and the false promises of dubious plug-in kitchen appliances or perhaps raising you and your siblings to adulthood drained them of any zest for life or belief in pleasure – but many parents-of-a-certain-age seem incapable of providing us good coffee when we visit for the holidays.
So you need to plan accordingly.
I’ll suggest outfitting yourself with a travel rig. My personal set up consists of my Hario mini mill and a simple Hario V60 cone filter. They are light, reasonably compact, and make you a superhero when you bust them out at opportune moments (aka most mornings).
But more important than gear and gizmos by far is fresh roasted, top quality coffee. Might I suggest a particularly awesome option…
Getting your parents to upgrade their morning brew is a noble pursuit that even many seasoned coffee professionals will admit can be a hopeless struggle. I know very few coffee nerds that have succeeded in rescuing their parents from bad coffee but you hear many war stories. Buy them a fancy new coffeemaker and grinder only to find them still fooling around with Folgers a year later or stockpiling criminally crappy k-cups from Costco to plunk into some $200+ abomination of ridiculously chromed plastic festooned with blue LEDs. I think my mom still has a pound of coffee I roasted almost a decade ago back in my Seattle Victrola days that she is saving for some special occasion*.
But if you do undertake saving your family from coffee hell, heed my (admittedly self serving) advice and start with great beans. Regardless of what brew method they’ve got going or that you want to steer them toward, it will all come to naught if they lack a fresh sack. The first bag will arrive in time for the holidays with a nifty customized gift card and you won’t have to suffer stale starbucks when you’re groggily opening presents or trying to avoid unpleasant conversations.
*for the record – I got my Mom a Maestro Plus burr grinder and she is currently a Tonx coffee subscriber. She is even starting to give me tasting notes on the beans I send her!