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the coffee gear

Coffee Gear

We love good coffee. You might say it's an obsession. It's all we talk about. We want you to know about the best beans available and maybe discover a new favorite. But it's just as important to know what to do with that bag-o-beans after you get it.

The gear you use to take you from the hard little bean to a steaming cup of Joe will make or break your brew. While you'll typically get what you pay for, price should not be the only determining factor.

Here we'll share the best products for at-home brewing. This includes grinders, brewers, and milk frothers. It also includes all those other accessories that create a more enjoyable experience.

Whether you love the art of the perfect slow pour or want a machine to do all the work for you, we've got you covered. After all, no one should have to drink bad coffee.

Espresso Machines

Nothing compares to the smooth experience of a perfectly pulled shot of espresso. Are you tired of wasting time and money buying espresso drinks at the coffee shop? It may be time to invest in an espresso machine.

The price of espresso machines might make you pause. But be sure to consider how much you'll be saving by brewing your own at home.

But espresso leaves little room for error. Precise water temperature, pressure, and brew time all factor into getting that rich, smooth, sweet shot.

With thousands of espresso machines available, how do you decide which one is best for you? Some people want complete control over the process, while others want to touch a button and have the machine do the rest.

Wherever you fall on this spectrum, we'll cover the best machines to fit your specific needs. Soon, you'll be brewing café-quality espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes. Featured models range in price from under $100 to several thousand dollars.

Coffee Makers

Coffee makers have come a long way since the first Mr. Coffee appeared in 1972. Today's coffee maker can have dozens of features. And the price can vary from under $20 to hundreds of dollars. Models include myriad constellations of timers, grinders, brew strength settings, and more. Some brewers produce huge pots, while others dispense a single serving.

You're not limited to the automatic drip coffee maker. Interest in specialty coffee has spawned a massive market for different types of brewers. Options include a conventional coffee maker, pour-over brewer, French press, and cold brewer. You can even find a coffee maker explicitly designed to use when camping!

You face a staggering array of options when you add all this together. Our featured models range significantly in price and complexity. If you're looking for a new at-home brewer, our guides can help you choose exactly what you want.

Coffee Grinders

If you've been buying pre-ground coffee, do yourself a favor and stop. The same is true if you've been using a cheap blade grinder. Why? Unless you have freshly ground coffee with a uniform grind size, your coffee will be sub-par. A blade grinder can't produce a uniform grind.

This section will give you the scoop on some of the best grinders available. Whether you want a manual or electric, we've got a grinder for you. We included models for all price ranges. We also included a handy grind-size chart.

Coffee Accessories

This category is the catch-all for everything coffee not already covered.

It's got everything that makes your coffee experience more enjoyable, such as thermoses, cups, and mug warmers. It also has coffee brewing gadgets, such as gooseneck kettles, milk frothers, and reusable K-cups. If you're looking for something that doesn't fit in the other categories, this is where to look.


Coffee Gear Questions And Answers

You need a way to grind the coffee, heat the water (unless you're making cold brew), and a device to hold the grounds during the extraction process. Regardless of the brew method, start with a quality burr grinder. We also recommend a scale to accurately measure your coffee and water. Then you need your coffee brewer. Depending on the type of brewer, you may also need a kettle.

The most obvious piece of coffee equipment a barista needs is an espresso maker. Other helpful items include a burr grinder, scale, and tamper. You may also want a milk frothing pitcher. If your espresso machine doesn't include a frothing wand, you'll need a milk frother.

Do you want to drink good coffee? A quality grinder with stainless-steel or ceramic burrs will produce a uniform grind. Also, a high-quality grinder allows you to precisely dial in the correct grind size. Thus, a quality coffee grinder allows you to consistently brew coffee that is not over- or under- extracted.

The categories of coffee brewing include immersion, filtration, and pressure extraction. Cold brew, French press, and Turkish coffee all use immersion extraction. Automatic drip machines and pour-over brewers use paper filters, and the hot water percolates through the grinds. An espresso machine uses pressure to force hot water through very finely ground coffee. The AeroPress uses a combination of filtration and pressure.

Espresso is a concentrated shot of coffee. Besides the price, the key difference between an espresso machine and a regular coffee maker is the ability to create pressure. To brew a proper espresso, the machine must be able to exert at least nine bars of pressure. Most quality espresso machines list 15 bars of pressure or more. Some high-end machines allow you to control how much pressure is exerted.