Brewing Coffee at Home
If you’re following along with me after exploring my initial post about home brewing, welcome back! If you’re reading this for the first time, check my initial post if you’d like with some background on all this!
We are going to discuss the entry level (Tier 1) for brewing coffee at home. There is a lot of variety to equipment, and the initial costs may vary depending on what is affordable to each person. I have bought a lot of equipment (more than I need) because I jumped into brewing coffee without too much guidance.
Hopefully those reading this/interested can make informed and cost effective decisions — way better than I did. Home brewing relies on these main tools:
- Coffee Grinder (manual or electric)
- Kettle (stove top or electric)
- Brew Method
- Coffee Filters
- Brewing Carafe/coffee cup
I am mainly describing the process of brewing filter coffee with pour over techniques. See the image below for a sample of this equipment I described.
Total Costs: $75–$150 (allow for an extra $50+)
Coffee grinders break apart the coffee beans into various sizes of ground coffee. The more coarsely ground the coffee is, the quicker water will pass through and around into the cup; the more finely ground the coffee is, the slower the water will pass through and around into the cup. This simple logic is the beginning of grinding coffee . You want a grinder that can grind coffee uniformly (meaning similar particle size of the coffee grounds). If it is inconsistent the water will pass through the beans differently and not provide a good cup of coffee.
You want to buy “Burr grinders”. These kinds of grinder break up coffee more consistently than “Blade grinders.” The top grinders for this tier are:
JavaPresse Manual Grinder
Oxo Brew Conical Burr Electric Grinder
Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill
Giveneu Electical Conical Burr Grinder
Grinding the beans is my number one priority for good coffee. All the other components matter, but grinding beans may be the most impactful part. The ones I provided give you some uniformity, but are far from the top tier grinders. These ensure you begin with burr grinders, to at least get the best chance for better coffee.
Kettles have the most variety but least separation in quality for brewing coffee. My recommendation here is to consider a gooseneck kettle that allows you to control the flow of water. At this tier I will mainly recommend stovetop kettles, which are usually the cheapest and work on most gas or electric stoves, while providing flexibility for aesthetics and convenience. Electric kettles usually have more features like temperature control that bring the price up, but they work just as well as most stovetop kettles.
My top recommendations:
Soulhand Pour Over Coffee Kettle
Bonavita Stovetop Gooseneck Kettle
Fasmov Gooseneck Kettle
DMofwHI Gooseneck Electric Kettle
Brew methods sprout up each year it seems as coffee experts and lovers are finding new ways to explore the coffee making process. This tier will focus on the main anchors of home brewing methods. Depending on the money you are willing to spend, buying any one or two of these methods below will get you started!
Kalita Wave 185
Coffee filters are based on the shape and use of a particular vessel. When researching the methods above, just look for the recommended coffee filters that go with each method. The few things to consider:
- Go for white paper and non-bleached coffee filters
- Brown paper filters tend to produce different tastes that not all people enjoy (but that is personal preference)
- Cloth filters are a great way to be more conscious of paper waste products but require different brewing techniques and more cleaning/maintenance.
OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT I DID NOT MENTION:
Scale — This is used to measure and weigh out your coffee exactly to give you the most repeatable steps for brewing. At TIER 1 this may not be in your budget. After watching the videos below, you can make that decision to get one if you’d like. TIER 2 and 3, scales will be included.
Carafe — When the coffee is brewed, depending on which method you use, you need a vessel or carafe to brew the coffee into it. There are great ones to use, but this can often get expensive. It is easy to just use a larger coffee cup and brew right into it! If you’re interested in exploring that, TIER 2 and 3 will have carafes included.
So, what do you do now?
Getting the equipment above or other options at similar prices will keep you in that TIER 1 range for home brewing. I found out quickly that I loved brewing so much that I really should have saved and considered options in the TIER 2 and 3, which I will discuss later. But find what works for you.
I will not go over how to brew, because that step-by-step can be tedious to read. Instead, check out the videos below with details on how to brew coffee with the equipment above and to the taste you may enjoy:
Follow along here for TIER 2!