If you are just getting started on drinking better quality coffee or want to up your game at home from a bitter-tasting, pre-ground coffee experience, this guide is for you.
Gourmet / specialty coffee setup can be expensive very quickly and not everyone is ready for it, especially as a starting investment. Additionally, the time and effort can become involving and you will be receptive to it only after you have some initial positive results. So in that spirit, here is the $100 or less guide to brewing equipment for good quality home coffee –
1. Burr grinder (Amazon.com: DeLonghi Stainless Steel Burr Coffee Grinder with Grind Selector and Quantity Control: Kitchen & Dining) $69.95 – there are several reasons why a burr grinder for coffee is better than a blade grinder that’s used for grinding spices. My opinion is that grind consistency is reason enough to invest a little bit of extra $ in buying a basic burr grinder. Ultimately your coffee is made by the contact of water with the ground coffee, and consistent contact through consistently-sized grounds will result in consistent-tasting coffee. The DeLonghi is a good starting point for a burr grinder (I have personal experience using it).
2. Aeropress (Amazon.com: Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker: Kitchen & Dining) – $26.19 – this is a relatively new invention and officially it is an immersion / steeping kind of brewer. Lots can be said (mostly good, some bad) about the Aeropress but keeping it short, it’s a quick, easy and portable method for making coffee. And it’s relatively cheap.
Follow the instructions on the Aeropress kit, use freshly roasted whole beans bought locally and voila, you’ll have some excellent-tasting coffee that you will appreciate.
Note – there’s always more you can do, even with starter equipment. I recommend slowly introducing the concept of a timer (use your phone!) to optimize the amount of time your brew takes, a kitchen scale for precise measurement of coffee and water, a kettle for boiling water and a water filter.