Holiday Shopping Guide: Homey Corner

Single Cup Brewer versus Classic Coffee Maker

Single Cup Brewer

Even avoiding expensive coffee shop lattes, sometimes a typical pot of brewed coffee at home isn’t a great alternative either. There may be different types of coffee, but that only goes so far – what if you want a mocha, or a tea latte?

A Keurig Mini-Brewer is a good option for anyone looking for options, and who is probably only brewing one cup at a time throughout the day. Its small size is compatible for dorm kitchens or small counters, and the extensive choices of K-cups offer flavors and varieties for anyone.

As with most products that are more customizable in terms of tastes, the Keurig comes with a heftier price tag than a typical coffee brewer. If you’re not asking for it yourself for the holidays, consider pitching in with several friends to get one for the caffeine-addict of the group.

To pick, you have to choose whether you are willing to pay the price for individual servings and high-quality options, as well as convenience, over a straight, cost-efficient cup of brewed coffee.

Keurig Mini-Brewer, red, black or platinum: $99 (online price)
Other versions offer LCD screens, programmable functions or special edition features: $149.99 to $179.99
From Target.

Classic Coffee Maker

The coffee lover who appreciates coffee for what it is, and doesn’t bother with excessive soy milk and frills, will appreciate a good quality coffee brewer that comes with a cheaper price tag than the Keurig.

There are almost endless brands and models, so you can customize the quality of coffee maker you’d like to purchase. In general, you can find a basic coffee maker for less than 20 dollars, and the more features you want, the more you pay. Some models feature digital or LCD displays, automatic shutoff or programmable functions.

Of course, anyone can still add milk, cream, sugar or syrup, but with a coffee maker the additional options available in a K-cup – like teas, mochas and lattes with no mixing required – are lost.

To pick, it depends whether you are looking for a more cost-efficient and straightforward coffee option to get the job done, or more options.

Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Switch Coffeemaker, black: $17.89 (online price)
Black & Decker 12 Cup Programmable Coffee Maker: $39.99 (online price)
All from Target.

Clap alarm clock

For anyone needing a new or more interesting alarm clock, play a fun little joke this season and get them a block of a wood. Well, at least it will look like one – this alarm clock saves energy by only displaying the time upon sensing a clap of hands in the room.

One color: White: $28
From Urban Outfitters.

Hand Blender

Particularly in small kitchens, appliances like blenders can take up too much space. Why not get a smaller hand-held tool that also chops, mixes and blends? They don’t usually come with different speeds, but you’ll still have most of the blending functions, and the ability to store it away in a drawer. One with multiple attachments is recommended.

Oster 3-in-1 Hand Blender: $34.69
From Target.

Retro and novelty appliances

While toasters make great gifts for bare kitchens, family or friends with a certain snacking taste may appreciate a novelty kitchen appliance. Let’s be honest, they aren’t something they’d buy themselves, but they’ll be glad for something unique.

Nostalgia Electrics Soft Pretzel Factory: $29.99
Retro Series Nostalgia Electrics ’50s Style Snow Cone Maker: $29.99
Hollywood Movie Time Hot Air Popcorn Popper: $39.99
All from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

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