14 Coffee Pros on the Absolute Best Gear to Have at Home

updated Oct 30, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

For me, it’s a double-shot iced Americano with cream. For my husband, it’s a black coffee. Whatever your coffee preference, making a satisfying drink at home is all about having the right tools. Sure, great beans are a major part of it. But you’ll also need the right accessories to grind, measure, and store your goods. (And, of course, you’ll also need some sort of brewing machine or gadget.)

If you’re looking to level up your at-home coffee game, here are some suggestions for must-have accessories from coffee pros of all kinds

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1. Baratza Encore Grinder

Amber Jacobsen, co-founder and director of Partners Coffee in Brooklyn, says one of the simplest steps you can take to brew barista-quality coffee at home is ditching the pre-ground coffee and grinding your own. Her go-to grinder? The Baratza Encore. “It’s a high-quality conical burr grinder that offers a wide range of consistent grind sizes for the perfect cup every time,” she says. “And if you have limited counter space, you’ll also appreciate how compact it is!”

Buy: Baratza Encore Grinder, $139

Credit: Peet's Coffee

2. Be Home Gold Scoop, $10

If craftsmanship is the top priority when you’re making a cup of coffee, precision is a close second. Patrick Main, beverage innovator and senior R&D manager at Peet’s Coffee, recommends the Be Home Gold Scoop for perfectly measuring the right amount of coffee for your French press. Like the Bodum French Press, this scoop is stylishly minimalist.

Buy: Be Home Gold Scoop, $10 at Peet’s Coffee

Credit: Sur La Table

3. Fellow Kettle

Whether you’re making a pour over, French press, or Chemex brew, you’ll need a slow-pouring kettle to go with it. Main suggests the Fellow Kettle for its intuitive, steady pour and modern aesthetic. It’s also a cinch to pour over your grinds, as it comes with a weighted handle that shifts the center of mass closer to your hand.

Buy: Fellow Kettle, $79

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4. Fellow Atmos Canister 

Barista Brian G. Eastman, who manages The Invigatorium in San Diego, says you can wax poetic about your Aeropress or burr grinder all you want. The important thing is to keep your beans fresh and air-free. That’s why he uses these vacuum-sealed canisters. 

“For me, the Fellow Atmos satisfies the need for something simple, beautiful, and technically skilled — peep that ratcheting vacuum pump — all in one budget-friendly package,” he says. “Investing in a nice bag of freshly roasted coffee only to loosely stuff it away like a wet laundry bag is a travesty, so do the right thing and pick up one of these.”

Buy: Fellow Atmos Canister, $30 

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5. Porlex Hand Grinder

Natasha Tatton, co-owner and operator of sourdough bakery BreD in Whistler, BC, Canada loves dialing in espresso on their La Marzocco machine at the shop, but at home, she prefers a French press. It’s the best way to taste more delicate notes of lighter coffees or single-origin beans, she says. For freshness and flavor in her brews, she swears by the Porlex hand-grinder, which allows adjustment of grind size, so the ground beans are consistent. “The other advantage of a hand-grinder is that it can be taken camping, as it doesn’t require electricity,” she says.

Buy: Porlex Hand Grinder, $76

Credit: Dark Matter Coffee

6. Origami Dripper

Julijan Markovic, owner of Brew Methods specialty coffee blog and an avid home brewer, makes his daily pour-over coffee with an Origami Dripper. (Fun fact: The brewer gained tremendous popularity after 2019 World Brewers Cup champ Du Jianing used it to win.) “It’s a rather simple brewer, but incredibly good at extracting the lovely nuances of the filter-roasted coffee,” Markovic says.

Buy: Origami Dripper, $45

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7. Bialetti Moka Express

Walton Holcomb, who now owns Brew Smartly, spent his 20s working in coffee shops. Now, he brews coffee at home with his Bialetti Moka Express, which he loves for its simplicity and timeless Italian design. It’s easy to use: Fill the bottom chamber with water and the filter basket with your go-to grounds, and pop it on the stovetop. Your rich, flavorful brew will be collected in the upper chamber.

Buy: Bialetti Moka Express, $32

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8. OXO Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Giorgio Milos, illy’s master barista, spends his weekdays brewing coffee on a high-tech machine while at work. But on weekends, he uses a French press or pour-over to achieve his ideal cup. The key for either, he says, is a high-quality grinder. He recommends the OXO Conical Burr Coffee Grinder, which uses conical steel burrs to create uniform grounds for optimal flavor extraction for every brew method.

Buy: OXO Conical Burr Coffee Grinder, $199

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9. Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder

On the hunt for an equally effective budget grinder option? Dale Donchey, founder of Spiller Park Coffee at Ponce City Market in Atlanta, says this Capresso model is the best under-$100 option on the market. Like the OXO, it comes equipped with steel, conical burrs for a consistent grind. And it’s just as versatile, producing anything from ultrafine Turkish to coarse French press grounds with the touch of a button.

Buy: Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder, $90

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10. Apexstone Coffee Scale

Precision isn’t just about the right grind. Donchey says you’ll also need to dose and weigh your beans and time the brew method. This budget option does both, for whatever units of measurement you need (plus it has a fancy, colored LCD display).

Buy: Apexstone Coffee Scale, $17

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11. Technivorm Moccamaster

Joanna Heart, founder of the Palm Coffee Bar in Burbank, CA, suggests this fancy, vintage-looking maker if you drink more than a few cups a day or you’re brewing for a large household. It brews a full, 40-ounce pot in six minutes with the flip of one switch. And if you’re not ready to drink, hold your coffee at either 175°F or 185°F on the maker’s built-in hot plate.

Buy: Technivorm Moccamaster, $329

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12. Breville BMF600XL Milk Cafe Milk Frother

What’s a latte or cappuccino without perfectly frothed milk? Achieve cafe-level drinks at home with this Breville frother, recommended by Chris Smith, co-founder of SoCal-based Humblemaker Coffee. “I recently bought this for my at-home coffee making, and it’s been great,” he says. “The frother has two settings for both lattes and cappuccinos, which have different foam styles.”

Buy: Breville BMF600XL Milk Cafe Milk Frother, $130

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13. Acaia Coffee Scale

A scale is a scale — or is it? For anyone who wants to level up on design, Humblemaker‘s co-founder Bryan Marseilles likes this one by Acaia. It’s a bit on the pricier end, but it uses laboratory-grade parts for ultimate precision. Plus, the brand offers a suite of free apps for perfecting your at-home brewing station, including recipes, timers, and the ability to sync multiple scales.

Buy: Acaia Coffee Scale, $140 at Acaia

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14. Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine

Okay, this one comes with a hefty price tag, but hear us out: If you regularly buy espresso drinks from coffee shops, the machine will pay for itself. Jee Choe, former barista and blogger at Coffee at Three, loves the Barista Express because it’s compact for smaller kitchens, ultra-customizable, and makes cafe-quality drinks. And of all the high-quality, at-home espresso machines to choose from, it’s actually on the cheaper end at a below-$,1000 price point. For what it’s worth, a few Kitchn staffers bought this machine during the start of quarantine and they can’t stop talking about it.

Buy: Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, $700

Credit: Aram

15. Aram Espresso Maker

Craving espresso at home, but want a less complicated machine? Brian Franklin, owner and head roaster at DoubleShot Coffee in Tulsa, uses the Aram, a fully manual, non-electric machine that uses a threaded piston to press water through the portafilter by turning the handle, similar to the hand grinder.

Buy: Aram Espresso Maker, $454

What are your must-have coffee tools and gadgets? Tell us in the comments below!