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My brother gives a good Christmas present – the rare sort that becomes more useful or more fun or more perfect over time. This year he gave my dad a clunky, ugly plastic contraption called an Aeropress. In an ugly box that could have been JML branded, or worse. But we put its awkward plasticky pieces together, and read the instructions and took turns plunging its funny plunger and poured little cups. And oddly, it made the best coffee I have ever had – somewhere between a filter and a moka pot coffee, but richer and cleaner and brighter. Even when the nice coffee my brother bought ran out and we were back onto supermarket grounds, it still made a superior cup. I’m no coffee snob – I’m not into temperatures and roasting and beans; all I know about coffee it is that I like it, a lot – but this little (highly portable, pretty inexpensive ) gadget is ever so slightly life-changing.

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