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Even the most avid of coffee geeks get stuck in a rut—because once you find a maker that seems to work for you, why change it up? That's how I've always felt about my personal coffee-making dream team: an old glass-walled french press and a grinder I picked up at the hardware store. They make good coffee, there's no question about that, but a few years ago I tried using a real cold brewer from our Shop for the first time and it opened up a whole new world of morning miracles.
So in the spirit of gift-giving for the holidays—and since we all have a friend who goes nuts for excellent coffee—we've rounded up 20 of our favorite gadgets that make an excellent cup of coffee below. (Plus four little helpers that are just too darn cute to leave out.) Some are stocked in our shop, but we've added a handful of other products from around the internet, and links for where to buy them, too.
Pour-Over Toppers & Stands
1. Glass Handled Chemex Brewer with 100 Filters: With a streamlined design and 100 included filters, this Chemex is one of our favorite ways to make coffee. (If you want a lesson on using one precisely, here's a handy guide.)
2. Multi-Cup Porcelain Coffee Pour Over: If you love pour overs but typically need more than a single cup (or are pouring-over for a crowd), these 4- and 6-cup versions will hold enough grounds to pour over a pot's worth of coffee.
3. Brass & Walnut Pour Over Coffee Stand: Adjustable to the height of any mug and equipped with a Japanese-made glass dripper, this industrial-inspired pour over stand won our hearts for its hand-crafted good looks—and the fact that it makes an epic cup of coffee.
4. Stainless Coffee Dripper & Pot: If you love pour-over, but hate wasting paper filters, try this Japanese-designed stainless steel coffee dripper with an extra-fine sieve-like quality to it, and accompanying glass pot.
Classic (and Better-than-Classic!) Makers
5. Double-Walled French Press: With two walls of stainless steel, these brushed finish french presses keep your coffee hot for longer (we use them for serving brew at events) and are available in any size to suit your caffeine needs: 8-, 23-, 36-, or 44-ounce sizes.
6. Cuisinart Extreme Brew 12-Cup Coffee Maker: If your day depends on being able to wake up, push a button, and have a cup of coffee appear for you, our Art Director Alexis swears by this classic electric drip machine. "I've had it forever and it's still kicking!" she says.
7. Ceramic French Press: With a winking brass handle and matte grey exterior, this little pretty is as good at keeping your press piping hot as it is at looking good.
8. Bialetti Moka Pot: A time-tested way to make ace espresso on your stovetop, no fancy hulking machinery required, this classic percolator draws water through the grounds slowly and gurgles happily to let you know it's ready. Here's how to use one.
specialty coffee makers
9. Coffee Cold Brewer: With an adjustable drip rate, this glassy cold brewer can produce 20 ounces of supercharged cold coffee (that's less bitter and acidic than a traditional cup) in as little as 4 hours. Fill it with grounds and water and stick it in the fridge before bed, or make a big batch to last you a couple weeks.
10. KONE Brewing System: Cast in ceramic by a Portland design studio, this all-in-one brewing system was designed around the reusable KONE filter (made from stainless steel mesh that allows more oils to steep, creating a fuller bodied coffee without that burned taste). Top the pot with an included lid when your brew is ready.
11. Aeropress: While a variety of parts makes this not the easiest of the coffee makers to clean (unless you run the dishwasher every night), it's famously nifty for dispensing a quick, excellent cup in seconds. And packs light!
12. Rok Espresso Maker: Most espresso machines are unnecessarily bulky, so they either take up all your precious counter space or have to be hidden somewhere inconvenient. Enter: ROK's super svelte hand-press. Since it doesn't use electricity, it makes good espresso possible anywhere.
13. Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder: We use this electric grinder in the office. It has 40 settings between fine and coarse, grinds the beans quickly and pleasingly at the touch of a big button.
14. Hario Skerton Coffee Grinder: For coffee drinkers who like hand-ground beans, this model from Hario (which means "The King of Glass" in Japanese) features ceramic conical burrs that make for an incredibly consistent grind, and its compact design is perfect for taking on the go. (You know you want better coffee on vacation.)
15. The Porlex Mini Grinder: Ideal for travelers, with a handle comes off for easy storage, and a clever Japanese design means you can adjust the coarseness and clean the conical burrs easily.
16. Voltaire Smart Grinder: Still on Kickstarter, but with high hopes of a March 2017 delivery date, the Voltaire Grinder from GIR (a brand we trust!) claims to be a portable, high performing grinder that will hold a charge for up to three weeks (and also tell you when your beans aren't fresh anymore).
on the go assistance
17. Insulated Travel Thermoses: A little bit retro and a lot helpful, these streamlined thermoses (available in large and small size) have a cap that doubles as a cup. They'll keep your hot drinks hot for up to 8 hours, and your cold drinks cool for 16.
18. Stumptown Voyager Travel Coffee Kit: The all-in-one travel package: a Snow Peak coffee drip designed for easy storage, a mini Porlex Manual Burr Grinder, a cute and lightweight enamel mug, Hair Bender blend beans, and a Carpenter's Pencil to keep brewing notes.
19. Cafflano Klassico: What looks like a cute little to-go cup has a ceramic burr hand grinder, dropper, and permanent filter in the top—and the top even acts like a miniature kettle for adding hot water!
20. Enamel Turkish Coffee Pot: It would be much more traditional to make Turkish coffee (like this!) over the stove, but if you're going to be near a campfire or in a rental house, this little enamel cutie would back up so easily.
Cute and Clever Helpers
This article originally ran last year, but we beefed it up with a newer, wider selection to help you kick-start holiday shopping.
What's your favorite way to make coffee? Tell us in the comments!