Coffee Charge: Christmas Gift Ideas from Mike calvo

Listen to Coffee Charge, Christmas Gift Ideas from Mike Calvo

I wanted to take a moment and share some ideas for Christmas gifts you might want to get for yourself, or for others on your list.

First, I’d like to tell you about the Twelve South PlugBug All-in-One Dual Charger for MacBook and iPad, iPhone, or iPod. The last thing I looked at from the Twelve South people was the fashionable, but not very functional Book-style case for the MacBook Air. This particular product has really hit a home run, and is part of my essential travel gear for the Mac. It replaces the two-prong plug on the Mac-Safe Adapter with a small device that gives you back that outlet, but adds the functionality of a USB port as well. This way, you can charge your Mac and any USB device from only one outlet. At $34.99, you can get it through Amazon and you can support Serotek at the same time. It’s available through Prime, so if you have that service, you can get it in two days.

Those of you who have been listening to me and following the podcast for any amount of time know that I am a self-proclaimed coffee snob. I’ve mentioned a number of espresso makers here, and some have bought them based on my recommendations. I have been using Nespresso products for about the past year, and if you are into Espresso only, which is important to note, the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker might be the machine for you.

It is Italian-made and uses 19 bars of pressure, and makes superb coffee. When I started with Nespresso, I was using their bigger unit. You put a small, mushroom-shaped capsule in the top of the machine, push a button, and it’s ready in a few minutes. The pixie is great because it’s small enough to put in a suitcase. I bought metal espresso cups which don’t break in transit, and set it up in my hotel room when I travel. So, there is some initial expense, but the using the capsules works out to about 65 cents a shot, which is cheaper and more convenient than finding and frequenting a local coffee shop.

This particular Nespresso model lists for $249, but you can get it refurbished on Amazon for $149. When you have the option of a return policy, I encourage buying refurbished products, especially if you buy lots of electronics. When someone receives and opens a product, then sends it back, the seller has to call it Refurbished or Like New. When they receive the product, they make sure everything is in good condition, and repackage it for sale. There’s not much point in buying some things new, because the moment you take them out of the box, they are worth the amount you would pay for the refurbished item.


You can buy 50 NESPRESSO Capsules Varieties COFFEE for $53.89. The Nespresso coffee is amazing, and comes in intensities all the way from two to ten. Awhile back, they had a specialty coffee with an intensity of twelve! They are wonderful coffees that will keep you up and going all night long.

Because it differs in some ways from the larger, countertop model, the Pixie is great for a blind person. The larger model doesn’t stay hot all the time because it would use far more electricity. So, when you want to use it, you have to press a button until a light comes on and your coffee starts coming out. With the Pixie, you turn on the power, and press the button once. When it’s ready, it starts pushing out your coffee. The Pixie comes with a small variety of flavors, but you’ll be able to sample a larger variety by purchasing the 50-count sampler, where you’ll get five different flavors and intensities.

You can purchase the Nespresso at standard brick and mortar stores, but you will pay higher prices. However, you can only order the capsules online. I like the Nespresso club because they deliver very fast. They are in Florida, so I usually have my order in one day, but people in most other locations receive it after two days. Overall, I am very pleased with the ease of use, as well as the excellent taste of espresso from this maker.


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