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Even the most avid of coffee geeks get stuck in a rut. My old glass-walled French press and a grinder I picked up at the hardware store make coffee that is good enough, sure, but at this point I use them out of habit. A few years ago, I tried a real cold brewer from our Shop for the first time and had a revelation: I'd been in a coffee rut.
No more! In the spirit of better-tasting coffee that's enjoyable to prepare (whether you're a long, lazy ritual kind of maker or a hands-off type of morning person), we've spruced up our beloved roundup of the best coffee gadgets out there. (Plus four little helpers that are just too darn cute to leave out.) Most are stocked in our shop, but we've added in favorites we don't carry, to round it out.
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. Minimalist Coffee Pour Over Stand: For anyone who wishes their countertop could stay as clear and uncluttered as possible, this trim little steel pour-over stand is as modern as they come.
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-ounces.
6. Cuisinart DCC-1200 12-Cup Programmable 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.
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: Famously nifty for dispensing a quick, excellent cup of coffee in seconds, the multi-part Aeropress is also surprisingly easy to clean: Just rinse the rubber seal after using (by pressing it, you're wiping the chamber clean).
12. KONE Coffee Filter with Heat Lid for Chemex: A less wasteful way to use a Chemex? With this stainless steel mesh filter slipped right inside its opening. Equipped with a rubber stopper, it also does the double duty of keeping your brewed coffee warm.
smarter grinders (+ a frother!)
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 Portable 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.
15. Natural Beechwood Coffee Grinder: The grinder inside this old-school device is made from high-grade steel—meaning it will never corrode or dull!—and the design of it seals in that intoxicating coffee smell. Pop open the little drawer to retrieve the grounds and inhale deeply. (How's that for a new morning routine?)
16. Milk Frother: In just 80 (quiet) seconds, your milk will go from cold to warm and frothy—with no risk of burning or scorching at all thanks to a nonstick interior. We also love that it holds enough for two drinks (coffee date, anyone?).
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 swapped in some new favorites to bring it up to date.
What's your favorite way to make coffee? Tell us in the comments!