These Are the Inexpensive Buys That Make Kitchn Staffers’ Coffee So Much Better
Saturday, September 29, is National Coffee Day. But for those of us who require a cup in the morning, every day is National Coffee Day. While we can be cynical and say that it’s all about getting caffeine into our bodies, that would also mean that any ol’ brew would do. Coffee-lovers, however, know that’s not true. There are tons of little things we do to make our coffee just how we like it. And all those little ways we customize and tweak our coffee make it part of our morning ritual.
So, in honor of National Coffee Day, we’re sharing the things that make our coffee — and day — just a little bit better, the other 364 days of the year.
“I love the Alfi Kugel carafe. It’s from the ultimate brand for carafes (fancy hotels in Europe love these). It has a cheerful plastic exterior which keeps it inexpensive but inside it’s solid German construction that will keep your coffee hot and fresh all morning.” –Faith Durand, Editor-in-Chief
“We spend anywhere from $12 to $21 on 12-ounce bags of coffee beans (New Harvest, Stumptown, and Tandem are our favorites), so we like to grind the beans right before brewing to ensure they don’t oxidize too much. This one is great because it’s affordable and grinds enough beans for one full French press, and there’s a section at the bottom where you can wrap the cord up neatly to hide away while it sits on the counter!” –Lauren Kodiak, Managing Editor
“I like my coffee to be hot, hot, hot. (I realize coffee afficinados won’t approve of this!) So I end up microwaving a single mug a few times while I work on sipping it. This spoon rest is extra helpful because I can put my little stirrer on it between uses and I don’t make a mess on my counter.” –Lisa Freedman, Lifestyle Director
“My roommate isn’t a coffee drinker, so I have turned to alternates to a traditional drip maker to free up valuable counter space. I like pour over the best, and have a Chemex for those lazy weekend mornings when I can take my time. But sometimes, I just want a cup quickly. This compact little set from OXO is perfect for just that — holes in the water tank pour at the perfect speed, and you can even see how many ounces of coffee you’re making. It’s stable enough to brew straight into most travel coffee mugs, too.” –Marshall Bright, Commerce Editor
“I cannot have iced coffee without this. It’s the only alternative milk I’ve found that doesn’t ‘break’ and look piece-y and chunky. It also gives my coffee a similar fullness that dairy creamer might.” –Lauren Masur, Staff Writer
“About a year ago I realized I was spending an absurd amount of money on my daily lattes. Enter: this machine. It’s perfect for my tiny NYC apartment that has absolutely NO counter space, and it was well within my budget. The espresso is coffee-shop quality and I love that it comes with a milk frother so I can have my lattes without shelling out $5 a day.” –Emma Glubiak, Audience Development Associate
“Let’s be real — I am too lazy to even brew coffee during the early morning hours. So my go-to secret for better coffee at home is a can of La Colombe’s latte (triple draft for an extra jolt of caffeine). It’s the closest I can get to a barista without putting on pants.” –Caroline Ammarell, Senior Editor, Content Strategy