Buying the right bean that was roasted to perfection is only 50% of the perfect-cup-of-coffee equation. The other 50% is in the brewing. Therefore, it helps to have the best coffee brewing equipment.  Below are a few of my favorite coffee brewing equipment choices, which won’t break the bank.  Keep in mind that these are only “my” recommendations. We do not sell equipment. We only sell fresh roasted whole bean coffee.

The best coffee brewing equipment is not “professional grade” brewing equipment. Professional equipment is made to do a mediocre job for a very long time. On the other hand, good residential home brewing equipment often does a much better job for a quarter the price. 

If you need more information on brewing techniques, check out this BLOG POST.   You can find my coffee brewing equipment recommendations below at Walmart, Bed Bath And Beyond, Best Buy, Lowes, Home Depot, Fred Meyer, and hundreds of other home appliance stores. I can’t say that all these organizations share my world view, but at least they’re not Amazon or eBay

Made Or Not-Made In The USA

Sadly, if it’s not manual, chances are it’s made in China. Nearly 100% of all drip and espresso coffee machines are made in China. Granted, there are a few (expensive) items made in Europe. I’ve spent countless hours looking for coffee brewing equipment made in the USA. Where I’ve found equipment made in the USA, they are noted below. If you find some coffee brewing equipment that is made in the USA, please let me know.

Whole Bean Coffee Grinders

One of the most important items in your coffee brewing equipment arsenal is having a good grinder.  There are several kinds of whole bean coffee grinders; blade, flat plate burr, or conical burr.  You want a “conical burr grinder, (no blades).  Click the following link for detailed information on how to grind coffee beans.

You’ll spend $60+ on a good conical burr grinder, which produces a very consistent grind.  And if you plan on grinding our White Lightning beans, then a good burr grinder is a must. Those white beans are hard as nails and will ruin a cheap blade grinder and do it rather quickly. I’ve had the two electric burr grinders shown below for well over 10 years, so don’t hesitate to buy a used one. 

Quietest Whole Bean Coffee Grinder

Krups GVX212

I love this conical burr grinder.  It’s relatively small, does a great job, and best of all it’s a little more quiet than most grinders.  There’s a fine/course dial and also a dial for how many cups.

If by chance it stops working, you’ve probably left the lid off (been there, done that) or the drawer isn’t pushed all the way in (been there, done that).

If this exact model number isn’t available, don’t worry about it, just get a Krups that kind of looks like the image here.

You can find this grinder at a number of home appliance stores or go to KrupsUSA.com which has similar models for $60+.

Cuisinart DBM-8

I also love this flat plate burr grinder.  This Cuisinart is engineered like a German tank.  Even though it is a flat plate burr grinder, these puppies are made to last.  I’ve used this grinder for events where I’m grinding and grinding and grinding for hours on end.  

It’s a bit noisy, but it’ll grind 6 penny nails all day long.  So, this bad boy won’t even blink at your puny little coffee beans.

If you’re grinding whole bean white coffee, notorious for being difficult to grind and ruining grinders, then you’ll definitely want this monster.  You can find these at Cuisinart.com for $60.  

Big Whole Bean Coffee Grinder
Big Whole Bean Coffee Grinder

JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder

Wow!  All I can say is Wow!

This JavaPresse Manual Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is nothing short of amazing!  It’s easy, easy, easy. Get this; it’ll even grind whole bean white coffee, notorious for being very hard.

This is definitely the way to go if you’re traveling. I would not use this grinder for every day use, unless you’re looking for a little bit of a workout.

So, the advantages are that it’s small, easy to use, and the grind is perfect.

JavaPresse.com has them for $40.

Coffee Brewers

When thinking of coffee brewing equipment, the first thing that comes to mind is a coffee pot.  Right?  Here’s a little known fact.  How you brew your coffee has more to do with taste than where your coffee is grown.  You can have identical beans, roasted identically, yet brewing them differently really changes the taste.  It changes it a lot.  There is no one best way.  It’s a matter of personal taste.

Best Drip Coffee

Cuisinart Grind & Brew

For a drip maker, this unit does it all, grinds and brews. 

If you need 4-10 cups, it doesn’t get much easier than this.  I have this bad boy sitting on my counter for whenever my son-in-law Jonny comes over. This is so easy that even Jonny can make a darn good cup of coffee. 

You definitely want the model with the steel thermal pot and the burr grinder. I recently saw these at Bed Bath And Beyond‘s website for $200.

Boiling Water

Making hot water, how tough can it be, right? Well there’s more to it than I thought. First of all, a gooseneck kettle is great, mostly because it doesn’t dribble on the counter. Secondly, it makes hot water really fast.

You can go with a cheep electric model for about $30, or a stove top for $20, or go to Goodwill and pick up a used one for $10. The problem with this inexpensive option is that it boils the water at 212 degrees, which is too hot. You really want something that will heat the water to about 170-200 degrees.

Ultimately, by the time you drink your coffee from your coffee cup, you want your coffee about 140 degrees. Much hotter than that and you really can’t taste the subtle flavors of the coffee.   

A really good electric gooseneck kettle will run you in the neighborhood of $100BonavitaWorld.com has a variety of them.  

Goose Neck Kettle

AeroPress Coffee Maker

Made In The USA! This is my favorite all time coffee maker.  Watch the video and I’ll show you how easy it is.  The closest thing to the AeroPress is a French Press.  Basically, the AeroPress Coffee Brewer is a large 12oz syringe.

This is fast and easy; put a paper filter in the bottom, put it over a sturdy cup, toss in some coffee grounds, fill it with hot water, stir, put the plunger in and press down.  Done!  Short of cold-brew, this is the smoothest coffee on the planet!  $30 on AeroPress.com.  

Cold-Brew Rocks

If you like your caffeine cold, then nothing beats cold-brew.  It’s super fast and super easy.  All you need is a grinder, quart sized Mason jar (Made In The USA), and a filter.  Just course grind about 1/4 – 1/3 cup of fresh whole bean coffee, put it in a quart jar, add water to near the top, put the lid on, shake, and stick it in the refrigerator.

In the morning pull it out carefully without shaking or stirring it.  Then slowly pour off the top three quarters and enjoy.  Some people use a strainer or filter (one of those gold drip machine filters) and put it over a 2 cup measuring cup works nicely.

It’s best to make it 12 hours ahead of time, but I’ve done it 10 minutes before drinking and it was fine.  Hint: You can even heat it in the morning for a super smooth hot cup of heaven.

Coffee Mugs

If grinding is the beginning of your coffee brewing equipment, then a good coffee mug is the last.  I’ve tried dozens of different insulated mugs. Most of them just left me cold (pun intended).  By the way, reheated coffee is “nasty”.  You could pre-heat your coffee mug with hot water for a few minutes. The challenge with pre-heating is that the coffee will be too hot to actually taste the coffee. I prefer drinking my coffee at about 140 degrees. 

Thermos Stainless Steel Commuter Bottle

Made In The USA!  This is one Bad-Ass coffee mug!  It keeps coffee piping HOT for at least 4-6 hours.  AND it comes in a dozen different colors.  Roughly $28 on Thermos’s website

There’s one minor glitch on this coffee mug. There’s a secondary steel flip latch, which they say is optional. It’s not. Always use the steel latch to close the lid. Heres’ why. If you drop this mug without the steel latch flipped up, the lid can break.

This has happened to me twice, YET, I bought a third one. Why? Because this mug is still by far the best at keeping your coffee real hot.  Just use the steel latch and you’ll be super happy with this mug.  Note: I contacted Thermos and ordered 2 extra lids, for about $6 each. 

Best Hot Coffee Mug
Coffee Thermomiter

Coffee Thermometer

How hot should your coffee be? Most coffee experts will tell you to make your coffee at 200 degrees. More importantly is the temperature of your coffee when you drink it. I used to like my coffee super hot, so that the coffee would stay hot for hours. Eventually, I noticed that I couldn’t really taste the coffee when it was too hot. 

For me, I’ve found that coffee tastes best at about 140 degrees while in my cup. Everyone is different, so you’ll have to play with the temperature to see what’s best for you.

To get my coffee to 140 degrees, I boil my water, let it sit for a minute, make sure that all my equipment is ambient room temperature and by the time I’m done making my coffee, then the coffee-in-the-cup is about 140 degrees. 

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