Gifting 100% Kona Coffee To Your Sweetheart
My wife loves coffee. In particular, she loves 100% Kona Coffee. I work on a Kona coffee farm. It’s a perfect match. Thus, for the first year or so that I worked on the farm, my wife received our better coffees as presents on her birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, anniversary and I think you can see where this is going.
Because she is very polite and soft-spoken, she sent a message through our daughter which was, “getting coffee on every special occasion wasn’t as romantic as I probably thought it was.”
Ah oh. I thought I was killing it. We both love coffee. I was gifting from the heart, giving exactly what I knew made her happy and yet the sentiment wasn’t getting through. Then I called Teri. Teri is my sister-in-law and is the best gift-giver I have ever known. She always knows exactly what, when, where, and how to give a gift that uplifts the whole experience. “It’s not that she doesn’t like coffee anymore, it’s just that you forgot the six S’s of gift-giving.”
I’m sure I didn’t forget, that’s the first I’ve ever heard of that. She went on to explain that good gift-giving was a combination of six concepts she describes as the 6 S’s:
I will try to briefly explain each for you.
“Listen to her complain. Pay attention to small or large things that irritate and dampen her joy. That will give you ideas of things you can do/get that will solve that problem.” A solution-based gift is always welcomed. While I believed giving her coffee solved the problem of having no coffee, my wife never saw that as a problem since we always had coffee. However, I did notice that the travel mug she used in the car didn’t fit well in the cup holder and suddenly I thought that a bag of nice coffee and a new travel mug would make her feel great. I solved a problem in her life with something she loves.
“Gifts that she could never have imagined, that she wouldn’t buy for herself, and that may be outside the realm of usual would all add to the surprise.” Looking back, my wife was probably anticipating getting coffee on her birthday and thinking of how to fake excitement. There was no surprise!
While Teri suggested treasure hunts and creative theatrics, I knew my wife would look at that as a pain in the neck. After a little talking, we came up with a few ideas that could surprise her and be romantic at the same time. One was to give her many small gifts through the course of the day. If it was coffee-themed it could be coffee filters, bag clips, coffee beans, a mug, a small bottle of Bailey’s, coffee candy, etc. so that it would seem like the gifts would just keep coming all day. That would be surprising. Maybe next anniversary.
What is the thing that you could recognize in your partner that would make them feel seen, that would demonstrate your understanding of their unique character? That shows that you have paid attention and are giving from a place of deep understanding. Think back to the memories you have shared, to the secrets you have held, to the most joyful and sorrowful moments together, and remember that person in that context. This may give you a place to draw inspiration.
As our kids have grown I know my wife cherishes the time she has with them. After talking with Teri, I realized that I have several boxes of photo albums in storage. Next gift-giving occasion, those albums will be cleaned up and displayed close to the breakfast nook where my wife enjoys one of her daily cups of coffee and she would be able to reach out and look at those photos anytime. I know that would bring her joy. Coffee with memories.
To share a gift is really to share an experience, to do something together that you will both enjoy. Instead of getting my wife a bag of coffee Teri counsels, take her to a new café, take her to a cupping class or go out of your way to a new place where you can have a “coffee experience.” Coffee farm tour? Write some café reviews together? Hunt down the most unique coffee variety in town? Whatever it is, you are doing it together and it is a shared adventure. While you are there, see if there is something you can “gift” to commemorate the experience.
As someone who has learned to religiously live within their means, I never recommend breaking the bank on gifts. In fact, a lot of times a silly, personalized, gift is enough to express the sentiment, that I know you, love you and like to laugh with you.
In my brief talk with Teri, we happened upon the idea that my wife loves cats and that a coffee bag clip with a singing cat would be the perfect accompaniment to silly up the coffee gift, to make it more personal and funny. Ok. I’ve never been great at silly but I can try.
After racking my brain, and Googling silly coffee gifts I happened upon novelty coffee mugs, funny coffee quote T-shirts, a coffee cup holder for bicycles, coffee trivia cards, and gold-plated coffee filters. Ok, I get it. Add a little smile to the gift of her favorite coffee.
Finally, Teri shared with me that there are times (really special occasions) to go all out. “You don’t give your partner Tiffany earrings and not the little blue box. Even though the box is cheap and will be thrown away over time, the experience of unwrapping that little blue box and the anticipation of what is inside makes the present much better.”
Set the mood, create the experience, give hints, and create buzz. This is where Teri says you can get really good at combining multiple categories, and create really unique gift opportunities.
So, for my final project, I am envisioning putting coffee beans in a small jewelry box and taking my wife to a place we enjoy watching the sunrise. There I will have everything ready to make a perfect French Pressed Coffee with chocolate croissants. I will prepare a small photo album of our cats and kids to talk about while we sip delightful coffee and present her with the jewelry box. Just to be silly, there will be a small Cracker Jack prize in the coffee beans and as the sun rises, we will FaceTime our kids (who hate when we wake them up to video chat), making it even sweeter.
Who knew this would be so hard and time-consuming?
What the heck am I going to do next year? 🙂
Matt Carter is a retired teacher (1989-2018), part-time musician, farmer, and currently manages Greenwell Farm’s Tour and Retail Store Operations.