How to Brew at Home Part 1: Equipment

//How to Brew at Home Part 1: Equipment

How to Brew at Home Part 1: Equipment

After our brewing demo last week, I’ve received many questions regarding the equipment needed to replicate the delicious coffee we all tried.

By far, my favorite home brewer is the “Chemex” a 1940s American invention that still produces a clean, vibrant cup of coffee with very little fuss.

You can buy one here: Chemex 8-Cup Classic Series Glass Coffeemaker

And don’t forget the Chemex filters: Chemex FS-100 Coffee Filters with 100-Chemex Bonded Filter Squares

The most important piece of equipment you can buy to really upgrade your home coffee brewing experience isn’t the brewer, it’s the grinder. Grinding your coffee freshly preserves flavor and grinding it evenly helps ensure proper extraction. In fact, I’d rather you spend as much as you can on that and then get whatever brewer you can afford with the remainder of your budget (good thing the Chemex is so inexpensive!) There’s a grinder for every budget (trust me!), but I have a few favorites I can recommend.

For those on a budget there are two options that will deliver excellent results. The first is the Baratza Encore ($129.) While the upgrade to this (The Baratza Virtuoso) does produce a slightly more consistent grind with less noise (due to it’s cast nickel, rather than plastic, housing) it’s $229 price tag may scare off first time grinder buyers. I find the Encore is very close and delivers an excellent grind for Chemex, Drip, Aeropress, V60, and many other popular brewers. This would not work well for espresso, but that’s another post. You can find both grinders here:

Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Baratza Virtuoso – Conical Burr Coffee Grinder (with Bin)

If $129 is just too much, then I recommend going with a hand grinder. The best of these produce a very consistent grind due to the slow grind and quality burrs. A couple of minutes of cranking each morning will save you some dough while yielding a consistent grind. The best of the bunch is the Hario Skerton (normally $50, currently on sale for $39.49) and you can buy it here:

Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill (100g)

Now that that is covered you’ll just need a good kettle for hot water – I use two, because I bought an awesome kettle for heating water and then a gooseneck kettle for pouring. I would recommend you go with an all-in-one option like the Bonavita Electric Pour Over Kettle. It’s goose-neck design makes controlling the water flow very easy. This is essential when brewing pour over style coffee, however the Chemex does tend to be more forgiving, so you can feel free to go with a regular kettle if you like. You can buy it here:

Bonavita 1.0L Electric Kettle BV3825B

I also recommend everyone buy a coffee scoop. This will give you a two tablespoon measure which is perfect for those mornings you don’t want to mess with weighing out your beans. I love this one and it’s only $6.99!:

RSVP Endurance Stainless Steel 2 Tablespoon Coffee Scoop

Lastly, a kitchen scale is important for weighing out water and beans (place the Chemex right on it so you can see how much water you’re adding.) Just make sure the scale you pick displays grams to at least 2 decimal places. Here’s a good one which also has a nice timer function so you can see how long your brew is taking (I like to try and add all my water to the Chemex during the first two minutes of brewing.) Bonus – it’s on sale too! You can get it here:

Hario Coffee Drip Scale/Timer

Next time, we’ll discuss technique and tips for better brewing and I’ll answer a few of your questions. Speaking of which — feel free to send me a message here if you have any.

All the Best,

Brendan

2017-05-03T16:24:50+00:00

2 Comments

  1. Stephanie Smith May 2, 2017 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    So helpful! Thank you!

  2. Amber May 10, 2017 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the recap Brendan! I really enjoyed April’s St. Pete Coffee Tour! 🙂

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