My dad and I have always had a pretty awesome relationship. Music was our thing starting way back when—he took me to my first concert (Cyndi Lauper) when I was 10. After I grew out of teeny bopper-hood, we went on to swap CDs on a regular basis, and I kept him in mix tapes for his daily commute. Out of college, I worked for The Oakland Tribune and went on to become its music critic. Dad got first dibs on my plus-one tickets, and with four to five shows a week on the docket for me to review, he had a lot to choose from. I loved going to hear music at the Fillmore, the Great American Music Hall, the Warfield, and other legendary venues in San Francisco with him, especially since he’d been seeing music in those places since he was my age.
Part of why I fell so fast for the coffee industry and the barista community is because they’re similar to the best parts of the music industry: coffee creates a forum for geeks and visionaries and dreamers and punks. Dad had always been into coffee—he and my mom raised us in Berkeley, after all, so Peet’s in its hey-day was our household standard. My dad saw the bridge between indie rock and specialty coffee, just like I did, and we crossed it together.
But when Ken and I started Barista Magazine eight years ago, my dad really let himself go: supporting his daughter’s livelihood was a good excuse for seriously geeking out about specialty coffee. I love talking gadgets with him, and these days, mix tapes have been replaced with special bags of micro lots from some of the best roasters in the world, kettles, thermometers, Pallo gear—basically all things coffee I can get my hands on to share with him.
He’s getting something pretty cool for Father’s Day on June 16 this year—I’m totally positive he’s going to love it. But if you haven’t chosen what to get your coffee-crazed dad for Father’s Day yet, here are some ideas. (What’s that? You say your dad isn’t a fanatic? Well then now’s the time to get him started!) (What? You say you’re the coffee-obsessed dad, yourself? Then casually leave this blog post up on your computer for your partner and/or kids to see as they walk by.)
To find out what real coffee dads really wanted, I asked you on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and here’s what you asked for…
Here were some requests I wasn’t quite sure how to illustrate:
“A hand-drawn picture of a coffee shrub. Drawn by my kids.” —Danny Goot
“How about a nice origin vacation for myself and my fam?” —Tony Acord
“The spirit.” —Joseph Bryant-Wyatt
But my favorite request for a Father’s Day gift came from Alexander Ruas of Drop Coffee in Sweden:
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL YOU AWESOME COFFEE DADS OUT THERE! And to my own dad, I say this: The gift I have for you is not one of the things listed above! What could it be…? All will be revealed on Sunday. I love you, Dad!