Styles of coffee
This type of brewing is primarily categorized by the idea that the water is constantly dripping through the coffee bed.
Drip, Pour Over, Keurig, Moka Pot, etc
Immersion brewing is a simpler way to brew as the grind will not have an impact on the duration the water is in contact with the coffee. This can be helpful in situation where it is difficult to grind fresh or a tend towards simplicity is preferred.
French Press, Clever Dripper, Turkish, etc
For those of us that enjoy espresso, it is similar to a percolation, but since it takes at least ~3 bar (43 PSI) of pressure to get any water through it is not left in the same percolation category.
Disclaimer: An effort to keep the below suggestions for equipment both price conscious and quality conscious.
Typically I have had more luck buying the slightly nicer item first and not having to make another purchase down the road.
Something like a kettle is a good example. You can make coffee in a pour over with no kettle at all, you could microwave the water in a cup and simply pour it into the filter. The cup may be hot, the water will never be the same temperature each time, you will have to focus each time to make sure that the pour is consistent, but it could be done. In this situation though spending $50-$60 on Amazon for a well rated goose-neck kettle with auto-temperature control makes a lot more sense. The ability to let it warm-up on its own without any watching on a stovetop is really convenient and the consistent temperature will help you find your perfect cup.
The other piece of coffee making equipment that is universal is the grinder. There could be a whole dissertation done here on the conical vs flat, ceramic vs steel vs titanium coated, electric vs manual, etc. All this said I will offer a couple of my personal thoughts. Right off the bat let’s say blade grinders are not great. The mini blenders offer no consistency, burn the beans and really are more difficult to use than a proper grinder like microwaving coffee is more difficult than just having a kettle. With that behind us we can look at electric vs manual. Both are great. Manual will get a lot more bang for buck. It will take longer to grind, but any of the below suggested grinders will get through an average cups worth of coffee (20g) in under a minute. I decent hand grinder can be had for $60, a rather nice one that has me wondering what all the other companies are doing costs $117 and is absolutely fantastic. Stepping into the electric grinder world we will be looking at costs more like $150 for ceramic burs and flimsy build to $350-$450 for a good amount of options and quality.
The main factors to look for in a grinder:
- The size of the burs (at least 30mm, larger=faster/more consistent)
- Metal burs. I have used a couple ceramic burs and not had good luck. Too many fines or chunks.
- A reliable method of adjusting the grind setting
- Low retention. This has become all the rage recently with grinders for home use getting up into the thousands claiming low retention and huge burs. As an average home coffee drinker the main concern here is just to make sure the grinder you are using is not holding more than 3g-5g of coffee in-between uses.
French press is one of the simplest ways to make a cup of coffee. French presses tend to taste a bit muddier or full (depending on your viewpoint). Since they do not get 100% of the grounds out of the final cup there is bound to be some extra bits left and with that comes some of the additional oils from the coffee. Very cheap up-front and cost with no recurring cost.
Materials required: French Press, kettle, grinder
Approximate Time required: ~12 minutes
V60 Pour Over Merch
Splurge V60 Brewer
Budget V60 Brewer
Pour Over Server
Large Pour Over V60 Filter
Medium Pour Over V60 Filter
Kalita Wave Pour Over Merch
Small Kalita Wave Filters
Medium / Large Wave Filters
Hybrid Pour Over
The Clever and Switch work similarly in that they both allow the user to decide when to let the water flow. This allows for a lot of experimentation. They will also allow for standard pour over use, making them very versatile. There is no large version of this style yet available. While there is a 10oz Clever dripper, it is only useful for a small single serving cup, so not as useful as the 18oz, which will still only make at most a large single serving or two small servings.