I can’t believe it, but with the shopping focused week upon us, I wanted to recap one of the questions I receive from friends most often, “I want to make better (brewed) coffee and get some equipment, what should I get?” Luckily, there are some really great options available, and combined with quality, fresh coffee, like what you’re able to consistently have delivered from Crema.co, you’ll be set to make great coffee at home.
If you’ve read any of the other posts in the Coffee section it will come as no surprise that I list the grinder first, since it is the single most important piece of gear. And although I have a roundup of grinders here, my go to recommendation for manual and automatic brewing is the Baratza Encore.
If that is slightly more money than someone is looking to spend, and they’re only doing automatic brewing, I will also recommend the Capresso Infiniti as a lower cost alternative. The Infinity will be limited when it comes to pourover methods, but should do just fine for automatic brewing.
For the easiest way to make brewed coffee, I start with automatic drip brewers. When using good coffee that is properly ground, and good quality water, these brewers can make some fantastic brewed cups quickly and easily. The go to recommendation and what I would buy myself (and probably will soon) is the Bonavita 8-cup brewer, the BV-TS1901. The TS-1901 is an upgrade to my former go-to the TS-1900, but I think the design changes make for an easier and more user-friendly experience with an improved pour spout on the pot and suspended brewing basket. This brewer is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America, meaning it meets their recommended temperature, dispersion, and flow parameters for making good coffee.
If you don’t have a need to make that much coffee at a time, they make this fantastic 5-cup model as well, the BV-TS1500. And as a low-cost alternative, and in a very attractive package, the metropolitan model is also quite nice.
For manual brewing, my favorite kettle based on functionality and price is the Bonvaita Digital Variable Temperature Gooseneck, which has been occasionally been going on sale at the lowest price I’ve ever seen it. This kettle has a built in timer, hold temperature feature, and quick set temp options. I find I end up using the kettle for far more than just coffee around the house as well with it’s fast heating and ease of use.
Manual brewing is great because manual brewers are inexpensive, and each offers a slightly different take or profile for brewing. The most common, pourover brewer, the Hario V60 is one I like to recommend for its readily available filters. It is also available as a starter kit, in a variety of configurations: plastic dripper, ceramic dripper, with a scale, etc.
The one drawback of the V60, is that it does take a bit more skill and attention to make the best cup possible and will require grind fineness and dose adjustments with changes in coffee to get the most out of it. An ease of use compromise and good option for those that prefer a fuller bodied cup of coffee is the Bonavita Immersion dripper. This brewer is dead simple to use, and utilizes an immersion method of brewing, meaning the coffee and water stay in contact until the valve is opened, for a deeper or richer cup. Since it still has a paper filter, it will be easier to clean and produce cleaner cups with less fines than a French Press. As a bonus, the brewer could be used with the valve left open for a pourover type effect, with a slower flow rate due to the single exit hole design.
The last brewer I routine recommend is the Aerobie Aeropress. The Aeropress is great for home or travel due to its lightweight design and durable materials. It has a seemingly infinite number of brewing recipes or approaches which make it ideal for those that like to tinker and can make everything from a very strong, concentrated, espresso-like beverage, to an Americano, over ice, etc., plus it’s just fun to use.
All of these methods are still only as good as the coffee you’re using, so it’s important to use quality, fresh coffee. By far the easiest method to consistently have a variety of fresh, good coffee, from the best roasters in the country delivered straight to your door that I’ve found is through Crema.co. Crema.co is a supporter of the site, but a service that I have continued to pay for on my own simply because it makes being able to try so many new roasters and coffees so easy with the ability to set shipping frequency, pause, resume, and fast-track shipments, as well as learn your preferences and recommend other coffees to you based on what you’ve liked. Use this link or the click through the banner below for $10 off your first order.
Whether you’re gearing up for holiday company or shopping for gifts, these straight forward equipment and coffee recommendations are sure to consistently provide great coffee in the home. Be sure to check out the blog or the coffee section for tips on brewing and dialing in.