If you persist in ignoring the charms of New York’s many premium coffee bars, here are some essentials for brewing great coffee at home and having fun doing it.
Baratza Encore Grinder
A quality grinder isn’t cheap, but freshly ground beans are the single most important way of improving your at-home coffee experience. A burr grinder will provide the consistent particle size instead of a mix of fine and course grounds, something inexpensive whirly-blade grinders can’t do. The Baratza Encore is a reliable entry-level model at a good price.
The durable Clever coffee dripper combines the aromatic steeping elements of an immersion brewer like a French press with the clean cup of a filter cone. Pour the water in, wait, then set the Clever on a mug and watch your coffee drip out. It’s cheap, friendly, and — unlike most cones, which require precision water-pouring — hard to screw up.
This portable brewer is a cult favorite of coffee nerds, and its adherents have developed a bounty of great brewing techniques you can find online. The AeroPress offers a good way to make just one cup at a time — but a great one.
Acaia Pearl Brew Scale
Home brewing with pro results requires consistency, meaning getting your coffee-to-water ratio right every time, and timing your brew. The sleek Acaia scale incorporates both weight measurement and a timer — meaning one less gadget to bother with.
Did you wake up in a hotel, or at a stranger’s house? Have you realized the office Keurig machine doesn’t cut it? So long as you have coffee and hot water, these ingenious, lightweight, pop-up pour-over filters let you brew anywhere. Pro tip: They also make great bookmarks.