A great-tasting cup of coffee calls for more than just high-quality beans. You’re also going to need the right tools.
Whether you’re only getting started on your coffee-making journey or experienced enough to moonlight as a barista, making sense of all the coffee equipment on the market can be overwhelming.
So, we asked a handful of experts to share their most prized home coffee-making appliances and accessories.
When it comes to coffeemakers, the right kind depends on what you want to drink. But if we’re talking about your standard brewed coffee, Tony Konecny, founder of weekly coffee subscription service Yes Plz, swears by the timelessness Chemex, which has been manufactured since 1941.
“What’s great about it is that it uses a heavier filter than most pour over methods which makes it more forgiving of irregular grind size or imperfect pouring technique,” he says. “If you’re starting with great beans and get your basic coffee-to-water ratio correct, it’s hard to make a bad cup.”
Bonus: There might not be a more iconic or easily recognizable silhouette in the coffee business than the Chemex’s hourglass figure.
“It’s one of a few coffee-brewing gizmos you can leave sitting out on the kitchen counter that doesn’t look like an appliance or a sex toy,” Konecny jokes. “It’s the first brew device I reach for if I have company I want to impress. It’s very photogenic!”
Stagg Pour-Over Kettle
Judy Tixi, service associate at Afficionado Coffee Roasters in New Jersey, points design enthusiasts to the Stagg Pour-Over Kettle from Fellow. Tixi loves the matte, sculptural elegance of the kettle, but she also appreciates how easy it is to use.
“The design helps maintain a steady water flow, ensuring an excellent brew,” she explains. “I find that it’s more consistent than other kettles on the market: You select your desired temperature and you’re on your way.”
In both form and function, it’s an ideal companion to a Chemex.
Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffee Pot
It’s a pretty foolproof tool: You put coffee grounds in a steeping basket and then fill up the jar with water
“I prefer the smaller size one because the coffee can be fully submerged in water,” says Teoh. “And it’s small enough for it to be kept in the fridge while extracting.” You may not even need to add ice.
Varia Multi Brewer
The Varia Multi Brewer comes highly recommended by Amber Jacobsen, founder of small-batch Brooklyn roaster Partners Coffee, thanks to its ability to prepare a beverage six different ways, like French press, filtered coffee and even makes tea.
“If you’re new to at-home brewing and trying to decide what kind of coffee maker to buy, this is an excellent, versatile option at a relatively reasonable price,” says Jacobsen, who usually uses her Varia as either a French press or moka pot for an expresso-style drink. The Varia can be used to make cold brew.
Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale
If you really want to start elevating your at-home coffee experiments, Jacobsen suggests investing in the Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale. It’s not cheap for something whose only purpose in life is to measure the weight of your coffee grounds, but, according to Jacobsen, it’s a game-changer.
“Similar to baking, coffee brewing can be unforgiving in taste when it comes to measurement error. Using a precise scale allows you to create and recreate the same delicious coffee over and over again,” she says.
Aerolatte Milk Foamer
“My favorite use for it is to create delicious flavored ‘cold foams’ for my cold brew,” he says.
“It’s shockingly easy to make very gourmet coffees at home: I just add a dash of whatever flavor syrup I’m feeling that day to cold milk”
Third Wave Water Mineral Supplements
“Water is probably one of the most overlooked components of brewing great coffee,” says Steve Holt, who has worked at a variety of coffee companies including Colorado’s Unravel Coffee.
“If you want cafe-level quality at home, I recommend making your own water.”
Holt says you can use mineral supplements from Third Wave Water, which makes mineral-rich capsules that will make water sweeter, smoother and better suited for making coffee.