It takes more than just coffee and water (and a brewer) to make the perfect cup: You'll need a few tools in your toolkit to help the process along, as well as to carry the finished beverage off to work, or clean up after brewing. Here we've rounded up some of our very favorite accessories, gadgets, and supplemental items that will help make your coffee-loving life complete.
This little pocket scale is my personal secret weapon when it comes to making great coffee anywhere. Its large capacity (meaning you can brew a full Chemex on it) and precise readings up to a tenth of a gram allow you to fine-tune your batch within a very tight range, even on bigger batches. Use it to weigh your coffee beans for a precise brew, after all brewing by weight ensures the ideal ratio for extraction. As with most scales, however, the one downside is that liquid can damage the display,... but if you can make coffee without spilling it all over (a tough feat for me!), this inexpensive scale will last you countless coffees.
Hand grinders are a fantastic option for small kitchens, quiet mornings (those electric models can be so loud!), and individual brews—but if you're making coffee for a crowd you probably don't want to have to do the cranking. The Porlex's ceramic burrs are easily comparable in durability and quality to the Baratza's, and their conical design means the Porlex can grind even more uniformly than the flat set in the Baratza, despite the extra elbow grease. Adjustable from coarse to... practically pulverized, the burrs can take some trial-and-error to find your perfect grind, but it's worth the effort. Weigh your beans before you load them into the tiny hopper for a precise amount of coffee grounds, but know that the Porlex can only hold 30g at a time—roughly enough to make a 16-ounce brew.
Did you know that storing coffee in the freezer isn’t recommended? So how should it be stored?
Of course you can store your coffee in the original packaging or toss it into any storage container you have empty, but this container is made specifically to keep your coffee at its peak flavor. It holds one pound of coffee and has a patented system that creates a partial vacuum while still allowing the coffee to de-gas without letting oxygen back into the container where it could affect the coffee’s... fresh flavor.
The container’s design is sophisticated, but it’s simple to use. Just press the button to remove the cap, and press the button again when you replace the cap – no need to pump-pump-pump to remove the excess air.
The container should be hand washed, but if you’re only using it for coffee, it shouldn’t need cleaning very often. This comes in a variety of colors, so you can keep regular separate from decaf or flavored coffees.
Truth be told, scooping is never going to be the most precise or even the most consistent way to measure your coffee: Beans are just too different in shape and size to fit perfectly into the measuring cup or spoon every time, and even pre-ground coffee can vary by particle size. (Plus, fresh is best: Measure first, then grind for optimal quality.) That said, for sheer no-brainer coffee making, a scoop can be a good go-to tool if a scale is out of the question. These two lovely little ergonomic... spoons come in two sizes, for smaller and bigger brews. For consistency's sake try to keep your scooping habits even: Just fill, don't heap.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
Another weight-based tool to keep your brewing ratios and recipes on track, Baratza has incorporated a scale into its design, as well as a sensor that automatically stops the burrs when the desired weight is reached. A manual function allows you to also grind at will, though once you go pre-weighed you might never go back. Ceramic burrs are durable and long-lasting, creating an even grind-particle size. Don't forget to make adjustments to the coarseness or fineness of the grind to taste and... strength, as the amount of coffee alone will not be the sole dictator of quality in your mug.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best coffee grinders.
Need a neat place to store your coffee filter bags? We love this acrylic holder. It’s not only stylish but also very functional, with the ability to hold about 100 cone paper filters (included.) The stand itself is durable and has a dust-proof cover that helps keep the filters clean while they’re being stored, and the design makes it nice enough to sit out on your kitchen counter.
One of the complaints from customers is that it’s a little creaky when you open and close it, but that hasn’t stopped... people from loving it and recommending it to others. People appreciate the convenience as well as the aesthetic of the product.
Just as brewing by weight is key for precise and delicious coffee, brewing by time is also an easy way to give your morning ritual a huge boost. This timer not only offers the ability to count up by seconds for preciseness (most brew times are best between 3–5 minutes), but it can handle several brews at the same time if you're feeling dextrous and want to line up all your pour-over cones at once for an impressive group batch. An attached whiteboard means you can even take notes about each... one, marking down the coffee type or brewer type, or even using it to record variations in grind size to run comparisons and refine your technique.
If you think you need an ugly, ho-hum stainless-steel travel mug to bring coffee with you on the go to work or play, think again: KeepCup's beautiful and surprisingly durable tempered-glass body is thick enough to withstand bumps and drops (trust me, I've definitely tested this firsthand), and keeps coffee nice and hot on any commute. The BPA-fee lids come in an enormous variety of colors, so you can customize your Joe to go, and the spill-proof slide on the top prevents day-ruining... spills down the front of your shirt while you're jostling to get on the bus. The 12-ounce size is perfect for toting a latte out of the cafe, but KeepCup makes 8 and 16-ounce versions as well.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best travel mugs.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
If you’re serious about coffee and tea, the water is an important ingredient since water can add unwanted flavors from chlorine and impurities. This pitcher lets you have filtered water quickly since it filters as it pours. The pouring is controlled, so you can fill your French press or other coffee maker with no spills. For cold brew, you can even filter ice water, so you have cold water to use and the ice is left behind.
The pitcher has an electronic filter-change indicator, so you know when... the filter needs to be changed, and it filters up to 40 gallons of water between filter changes. The pitcher holds 10 cups, which is plenty for coffee, while keeping the pitcher compact. If you need more water, just refill the pitcher and pour – there’s no need to wait. The pitcher is made from BPA-plastic, and the filters don’t need to be soaked before using, for added convenience. This comes with one filter to get you started.
Ring around the brewer got you down? This powerful little powder packs a huge punch when it comes to getting coffee oils and hard-water stains out of your coffee brewing equipment. Use it to backflush a home espresso machine, or mix a small amount with hot water for a soaking solution that will strip your French press or drip cone squeaky clean. A little bit goes a long way—this stuff is concentrated—and it can be a pain to rinse away if you use too much at once, but it's perfect for use on... travel mugs, ceramic mugs, AeroPress brewers, espresso shot glasses, stainless-steel milk pitchers, percolators—you name it.
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