Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
A good cup of coffee can come from the basics—a trusty brewing device and a fresh bag of beans—but there is a whole world of simple and affordable tools worth exploring as well. We rounded up our favorites below, from pocket-sized gadgets to hundred-dollar appliances, and detailed how each one aids the coffee-making process. Some items, like scoops, timers, and travel mugs, make wonderful gift ideas. Others, like canisters and grinders, are considered kitchen essentials by coffee experts. A number of our picks suit some brewing devices better than others, but the majority are universal and can be used by all kinds of coffee lovers.
Here are the best coffee tools to buy.
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 Hario Skerton Plus has ceramic burrs that can be adjusted to suit various grind sizes, from coarse to practically pulverized. It might take some trial-and-error to find your perfect grind, but it's worth the effort. Weigh your coffee beans before you load them into the tiny hopper for a precise amount of coffee grounds. The Hario Skerton Plus can hold up to 100 grams, which is on the larger side for a non-electric grinder and enough to make several cups of coffee at a time.
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 canister 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. Other coffee storage tips can be found in this handy guide.
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.
One of the most significant ways to improve your at-home coffee is by freshly grinding the beans right before you brew. This optimizes the aroma, consistency, and, of course, taste of your coffee. Our favorite electric coffee grinder is the Smart Grinder Pro from Breville—a machine that drifts toward the pricier side but offers unparalleled quality and customization.
Customers say the item's stainless steel conical burrs offer a consistent (and consistently delicious) grind size. Perhaps most important in a grinder, you can tailor the grind size to your unique coffee-making needs. The Smart Grinder Pro has a whopping 60 grind settings, perfect for everything from a fine espresso grind to a coarser French press grind.
Its 16-ounce bean hopper is larger than that of many other coffee bean grinders, and users add that it's easy to clean. You can grind directly into a portafilter, if you have an espresso machine at home, as well as into both paper and permanent filters. An LCD display makes these many features straightforward and easy to use, elevating your coffee with every batch of beans.
Need a neat place to store your coffee filter bags? We love this bamboo holder. It’s not only stylish but also very functional, with the ability to hold 200 cone paper filters (sizes #1, #2, #4, and #6), or 200 Chemex filters and 50 AeroPress filters. The stand itself is durable and can be placed either on your countertop or hung up on the wall for easy access.
This tiny coffee tool (measuring 7.8 x 4.8 x 3.1 inches) has big reviews, with the majority of customers giving it five stars. Some of the most common compliments focus on convenience, aesthetic, and value for money. No one likes the hassle of coffee making, and the Unibene Bamboo Coffee Filter Holder makes the process even easier.
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 dexterous 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-free 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.
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-free plastic, and the filters don’t need to be soaked before using, for added convenience. This comes with one filter to get you started.
Rings 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. The vast majority of users give Brew Rite Coffee Maker Cleaner five stars, saying it's easy to use, offers a lot of powder for its low price, and that it lives up to its claim of cleaning without that harsh vinegar smell.
This product also works for espresso machines and non-electric coffee makers, like French presses. Simply pour cold water into your coffee maker, add one tablespoon of Brew Rite Cleaner for every 4 cups of water, stir until the powder is completely dissolved, and rinse. The whole process takes just 5-10 minutes but does wonders because a clean coffee maker is a reliable coffee maker, one that will last longer and consistently whip up the tastiest brew.