the coffee tools
Here’s some of my favorite coffee gear. Whether you’re a newbie or more advanced coffee snob, you can benefit from having these brewing tools in your arsenal.
This list is a work in progress and might change as I encounter new products.
However, to end up here, products not only have to help you make delicious coffee, but they also have to be affordable and easy to use.
The Hario V60 is the standard cone dripper in the coffee industry at the moment. It has been used by five out of the eight Brewers Cup champions since 2011.
I recommend the plastic version for increased temperature stability, and because it’s cheaper than the other options.
A capable grinder is essential for coffee brewing. The Jx is my personal favorite model and daily workhorse. It grinds exceptionally fast and consistent (25 grams in 30 seconds).
This grinder beats models that are 3-4 times more expensive. One of the best deals in specialty coffee at the moment.
If you make big batches of coffee at the same time, grinding manually will become cumbersome. I think the Baratza Encore is the best electrical grinder in the entry-level price range. Most people in the coffee industry echo the sentiment. It’s not as consistent as the abovementioned Jx, but for most people, it will suffice.
When making pour over coffee it’s worth getting a gooseneck kettle. To be honest, most brands will produce decent results, even though they might have varying flow rates.
You can either get an electrical one, like this excellent model from Bonavita, or just get a basic one and add hot water yourself.
I have said it many times before, but it’s worth repeating: The water is just as crucial as your brewing equipment. Third Wave Water is a mineral combination that turns plain water into perfect water for coffee brewing. Just add a sachet to a gallon of RO-water, and you’re good to go. It might seem expensive, but when you do the math, it’s just a few cents per cup.
You don’t need the following tools to brew a great cup. However, if you plan to treat coffee as a serious hobby, they are definitely worth investing in.
I highly recommend these filters for the Hario V60.
The paper filters actually have a significant impact on flavor and mouthfeel, and since Hario changed their factory a few years back the quality has dipped.
Luckily, Cafec still makes great paper filters made from the special Abaca plant.
A digital scale is not essential but in the long run it will make your barista-life so much easier. Not only can you weigh your beans with one, but you can also measure the total amount of water you add to the pour over cone.
This model is a bargain. It even has a built-in timer, which is great for repeatability.
This little pen can test whether your local water is suitable for coffee. Just dip it under the surface, and right away it will give you a score of ‘total dissolved solids.’
If you want to experiment with water, this is an invaluable tool that will remove a lot of guesswork. Very cheap.
This handy device is used for controlling agitation when making pour-overs. You place it on top of the cone and pour in one of the two concentric circles. It creates a cup with an intensely smooth aftertaste. It’s not entirely a replacement for a gooseneck kettle, however. I prefer to use both.
It might seem obvious but many people don’t realize it: You can’t make delicious coffee without getting some proper beans. Here are a few worthy bean pushers that can give something extraordinary.
If you like ultra-light roasted beans from some of the most innovative coffee brands in the world, you should try Kaffebox.no. The concept is simple; sign up and get 2 or 4 packages of coffee sent to your home every month. What’s unique about this coffee box is that all the roasters are from Norway, Sweden, and my home country, Denmark.
Pro Tip: This subscription is only for serious manual brewing geeks since the coffee tends to be a quite light roast.
If you want aromatic and sweet coffee that is also organic, then be sure to check out Blue Bottle’s subscription. Their operation is one of the smoothest in the States. The coffee is not roasted as lightly as some of the other premium brands, which makes it a lot easier to get a good result when brewing at home. A great option for people who are just getting into specialty coffee.
Get a free sample before signing up.
This is a rad coffee club that I highly recommend if you want to train your palate.
Every month you receive four coffee samples repacked in an anonymous black bag. This allows you to blind taste the coffee without any prejudice.
The beans all hail from American top-roasters, so you can slurp with confidence.