Coffee gadgets can completely change the way you look at your morning cup. They don’t have to be expensive: a $42 milk frother brings us as much joy as a $600 Phillips LatteGo espresso machine. It’s all about finding the right equipment to help you create the best at-home coffee.
We asked Anthony Ragler, regional developer at Black & White Coffee Roasters in Raleigh, North Carolina, to recommend some of his favorite gadgets to help you craft your perfect cup.
If you’re making coffee with a Mr. Coffee-type machine, it only requires scooping tablespoons of ground beans and pouring water. But when you’re ready to make pour-over coffee and experience the flavor possibilities in a cup of java, a scale is essential to getting the right ratio of coffee beans to water.
“You can have a great individual cup of coffee one time without a scale,” Ragler said. “It’s possible to land on the right recipe, but you may never be able to recreate it again.”
Scales aren’t just for coffee shops, either.
“Scales are extremely important in all coffee brewing ― in home or cafe settings,” he said.
There are more expensive scales out there, but Ragler said this one will get the job done.
Whole-bean coffee that’s been roasted within the previous few weeks enables you to drink the java at its peak flavor. But you’re going to need a grinder!
“A grinder is always important because consistent grind particle sizes guarantee a proper extraction from coffee, and that’s going to change the game,” Ragler said. “You’re going to get less bitterness and a lot more of what the potential of what coffee can be when you have a good grinder.”
This grinder can be flexible depending on what type of coffee extraction you’re using it for.
“You can have it set to [grind beans for] espresso if need be, or you can have it set to do pour-overs,” he said. “There’s a lot of range within the grind settings.”
This electric kettle heats up water quickly, maintains a temperature for an hour and has a stopwatch. It can help you achieve a consistent, delicious cup of coffee — plus, it’s just a gorgeous-looking appliance.
“You can set variable temperatures on it to guarantee the water temperature will be the same every time you brew coffee,” Ragler said. “It’ll allow you a lot more room to play with what’s possible in your brewing. Maybe you like it brewed at a lower temperature, which will pull out different flavor notes than if you extract it fast by boiling it.”
Today is a great day to try making pour-over coffee for the first time.
“The difference between this and a [batch brewer like a Mr. Coffee machine] is the difference between catering and cooking for one person,” Ragler said. “If you’re batch brewing, it’s going to be good, but at the end of the day, you have less control over the variables.”
That includes how the coffee is ground, the water temperature and the pour. That’s where the Wave comes in.
“It’s the type of pour-over I like to use because it has a flat grind bed that guarantees a consistent pour,” he said. “Ultimately, I think it gives you better coffee altogether.”
Does your favorite coffee cup keep your java hot for 12 hours? If you’ve ever empathized with Larry David, consider this mug.
“It holds temperature extremely well on both spectrums,” Ragler said. “Iced coffee stays cold for a while, too.”
And unlike many unsightly travel mugs, this product doesn’t sacrifice function for form. You’ll admire its minimalist design and a wide mouth that lets you breathe in a delicious cup of joe — since even just smelling it could improve your on-the-job performance!
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