It recently occurred to me just how much of my daily routine as a dad is centered around managing my caffeine intake. I start my day by grinding up good local coffee—it’s one of those little luxuries that make the morning sunshine just a little brighter for me. Around noon, I start deliberating between pouring a fresh cup to power through the afternoon and the possibility that I’ll be too wired to get a good night’s sleep later, starting a cycle that’ll leave me weary for days. By the time I pick my daughter up from school, these calculations are riding on a knife’s edge as the stakes climb ever higher.
That’s probably why my annual Father’s Day gift guide always involves some coffee gadgetry. This year, like the last three, this highly personal and exhaustively researched guide to gifts for dads includes a few items aimed at those addled by arabica. This year also includes a classic French pocket knife, a luxurious new bathrobe and a camp chair that’ll make your dad envy any tailgate, campfire or beach day.
But first, coffee.
Smart Kettle by Lardera Coffee Roasters
Every couple of years, I switch up my whole coffee routine and start from scratch. Since the early pandemic, I’ve been making Chemex pour-overs every morning—if you’ve got five minutes to make a morning cup, it’s the only way to go. Well, maybe just four minutes, thanks to this solid-built kettle, which advertises itself as the fastest on the market and will boil a half-liter of water in just a hundred seconds. You can set the temperature to exactly 205 degrees for optimal extraction, and it’ll hold there for a half-hour. The kettle has a satisfying heft with a handle that counterbalances as you pour.
Like many dads, I’m working from home now, which means I have more time for things like a quick morning bike ride before work. That led me to search out a solution for bringing hot coffee along for the ride without scalding my knees—a challenge that HandleStash founder Adam Saplin can relate to. This Denver dad sought to solve the problem by developing this unique shock-absorbing cup holder, which straps onto my handlebars and does a very good job of bringing the joe in tow. Straight out of the package, the springs are tight, but they loosen up and provide better absorption.
No. 08 Opinel, customized
Either your dad is the kind of guy who would love to have an iconic wood-handled French pocket knife with his name inscribed on it or he’s not. He probably is.
Pendleton Whisperwool robe
Pendleton probably needs no introduction, as most folks are familiar with the iconic American company founded during the Civil War, which makes woolen goods in rugged eastern Oregon. I’ve had a Pendleton wool robe for years, but it’s a little scratchy. This new Whisperwool robe made from virgin merino wool solves that problem—it’s soft and warm yet sturdy and washable.
Yes, a $250 camp chair is an extravagance—you could buy ten at Target for that much money. But once you sit in this sturdy rocker, which sits like a hanging hammock chair, you’ll get it. The Stargaze poles break into small pieces for easy transport but use internal lines, like tent poles, to snap together without any thought. You can set it up in thirty seconds. It’s the best camp chair I’ve ever sat in, and I’ve sat in a few.