Stay-at-Home Barista

Tools for Making Better Coffee at Home


March 24, 2016 Home : Eats By Photo by La Marzocco USA
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For most Americans, coffee is a constant, a beverage we drink, in some form or another, several times a day. A common misconception is that the taste of home-brewed coffee can’t match that from the cafe, where the cost of a single cup continues to rise: In 2015, the average cost of a cup of coffee in the US had reached an all-time high of $3.28, Zagat reported in its annual National Coffee Survey. But it’s never been easier, or more affordable, to craft up cafe-quality coffee at home. And it starts here, with the right tools.

Pour-Over Dripper

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Kalita Wave Glass Dripper: A darling of Japanese coffee culture, the Kalita Wave is more user-friendly than other pour-over drippers, such as the Hario V60 or a Chemex, with a flat bottom and smaller holes. Pair with Kalita Wave filters ($7).

Budget Option: Hario V60 Plastic Dripper ($7)

Automated Machine

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Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 10-Cup: Handmade in the Netherlands, Technivorm’s Moccamaster doesn’t just look good — it’s also highly efficient, pumping out 10 delicious cups in just six minutes. Its thermal carafe then keeps the brew hot for up to six hours.

Budget Option: Cuisinart DTC-975BKN 12-Cup ($83)

Espresso Machine

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La Marzocco Linea Mini: Modeled after La Marzocco’s storied Linea Classic machine, found in cafes around the world, the Mini plays host to all the familiar bells and whistles: a pre-infusion brew paddle, a hefty steam boiler, a swift temperature wheel adjustment and LED lights above the drip tray.

Budget Option: Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine ($39)

K-Pod Machine

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Bunn Single Cup Coffee Brewer: Bunn’s single-cup brewer has a robust industrial feel that prioritizes usability at home. It’s compatible with ground coffee, Keurig K-Cup pods and even tea leaves, while a pulse button allows users to manually control the strength of each cup.

Budget Option: Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single-Serve Coffeemaker ($42)
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French Press

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Frieling Polished Stainless Steel French Press: This double-walled stainless steel immersion press can stand up to decades of abuse and retains heat up to four times longer than glass alternatives. It’s also dishwasher-safe, which makes for easy maintenance.

Budget Option: Bodum Brazil 8-Cup French Press Coffee Maker ($18)

Syphon

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Hario Technica 5-Cup Coffee Syphon: For those who crave a bit more ritual in their morning routine, this syphon from trusted Japanese brand Hario is durable, made from heat-resistant borosilicate glass and won’t break the bank.

Budget Option: Yama Glass 8-Cup Stovetop Coffee Siphon ($55)

Cold Brew Maker

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OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker: OXO’s cold brew coffee maker is as user-friendly as they come. A perforated dripper makes sure grounds are evenly saturated, no matter how fastidious the pour, while an auto-stop feature prevents spills when the carafe is removed.

Budget Option: Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker ($24)

Backup Brewer

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AeroPress Coffee Maker: Cheap and compact, Aeropress is the perfect backup brewer when your go-to fails. It also makes a damn fine cup of coffee.

Budget Option: Bialetti Moka Express 3-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker ($23)
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Grinder

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Baratza Virtuoso Burr Coffee Grinder: The closest home alternative to an industrial grinder, Baratza’s Virtuoso provides consistent grinds from cup to cup, all while keeping beans cool to prevent loss of flavor.

Budget Option: Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill ($45)

Scale

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Bonavita Electronic Scale: Measure out your grinds for a consistent pour over. This scale measures to the closest 0.1 grams, and also features a timer.

Budget Option: Smart Weigh Digital Pro Pocket Scale ($19)

Water Filter

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Soma Sustainable Pitcher: A good cup of coffee starts at the source. Make sure your water is clean with Soma’s plant-based filters and this 10-cup, shatter-proof plastic carafe.

Budget Option: Brita Everyday Water Filter Pitcher ($21)

Kettle

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Bonavita Variable Temperature Electric Kettle: Bonavita’s digital electric kettle will hold water at a desired temperature for up to one hour, and a gooseneck spout allows for precise control when pouring.

Budget Option: Hario V60 Buono Coffee Drip Kettle ($40)

Tamper

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Clive Coffee Tamper: Manufactured in small batches in Portland, and available in four different wood options, including bubinga and mahogany, the Clive Tamper comes in three base sizes: 53mm, 58mm and 58.3mm.

Budget Option: RSVP Terry’s Tamper ($6)
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Jack Seemer

Jack Seemer is the deputy editor at Gear Patrol. Since joining the publication in 2014, he has reported on a wide range of subjects, including menswear, smart home technology, cookware and craft beer.

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