Coffee Brewing Gear: A Buying Guide

For the last several weeks we've been really enjoying our booth at the West End Farmer's Market and the main reason we love it is because it gets us in direct contact with you folks, where you can ask us questions and we can talk coffee all day.

The most consistent theme of questions is about the gear we use to brew our coffee.   I prefer a clean cup of coffee so my choices in green coffee, my roasting techniques, and my brewing gear all reflect that.  My daily brewer and the workhorse at the farmer's market is the Chemex.  The main advantage to the Chemex is the dense, thick filter, which traps almost all of the bitter sediment before it reaches your cup.  I talk more about various pour-over filters in our blog post titled Brewing Methods And Coffee Filters.  

You can get the Chemex at Amazon for around $45.  At home, we have the handblown version, which is sturdier and a bit more pricey but well worth it in my opinion.

We also weigh everything to ensure we get a consistent cup of coffee (read more about weighing your brew in our blog post Brew By Weight).  These are very inexpensive but accurate scales that tuck away nicely in a drawer when not in use.

Often we'll also brew with a Hario V60 into a Hario Range Server or directly into a mug or cup.  The Hario filters are slightly less dense than the Chemex filters so they add a bit of body to the cup, but not much.

For heating water at the market, we use Bonavita electric kettles and at the market I prefer the variable temp model because it has a "hold" feature that will hold the designated temp for up to an hour.  If you just want to heat some water to immediately brew coffee or tea, you can get the standard model for much cheaper and the standard model is great for office use.

Great coffee is more than just getting freshly roasted beans — it's also brewing the right way at home.  It doesn't cost a lot to get the right gear and get into the habits needed to brew a consistently delicious cup of coffee and at the end of the day, that's what we all want!

Gear up and brew on!


Michael C. Wright

Michael is an American expat living in Singapore where he writes about many things coffee-related. A roaster by trade, Michael is also a licensed Q Grader and an Authorized SCA Trainer (AST).

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