My Tiny Apartment Solution to Having Fancy Coffee at Home (with No Fuss)

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I both love and require coffee in my life. This makes me fairly non-unique, as studies show most American adults are regular coffee drinkers. What does make my situation unique, however, is that I cohabitate with one of the adult Americans who actually never drinks coffee.

That in itself might not be that remarkable, but the non-coffee drinker (my roommate of five years) and I also have to share a New York kitchen. When counter space is a premium, it gets hard to rationalize ceding precious counter space to a coffee maker that only one of us is going to use.

Over the years, I’ve experimented with several ways to brew coffee at home, while only taking up a minimal amount of space. And I just now found the perfect option: the OXO Single-Serve Pour Over Coffee Dripper.

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While pour over coffee contraptions are nothing new, OXO’s takes it up a level. It has a water tank, which automatically controls the water flow rate. This means two things: You don’t have to stand there, carefully pouring water in a circular pattern, and you also don’t need to store a gooseneck kettle.

This is key because, while we have a tea kettle, we don’t have room for an additional, more specialized kettle. With this OXO version, I just have to heat water in a saucepan on the stove and pour it into the tank. This tank has a precise hole pattern to distribute water evenly over the coffee grounds and eliminates the need for the kettle. (OXO actually made sure the dripper would brew coffee that would adhere to the Specialty Coffee Association‘s “golden cup” standards.)

There are lots of other little things that I love about this pour over gadget, like the fact that the dripper can fit on a variety of cups, including many travel mugs. The included lid helps keep the water hot as it drips — and doubles as a drip tray when you’re done. And, unlike a French press, cleanup is quick.

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This is a single-serve dripper, making up to a 12-ounce cup, so it’s not ideal if you brew coffee for two or more people in the mornings. That said, even on weekends when I plan on making more than one cup for myself, I’d rather do this twice than reach for a French press (the second cup is always over-extracted and bitter!) or a Chemex (the second cup is bound to be pretty cold!).

To recap, this is basically the coffee solution even Goldilocks would love — especially if she lived in a small apartment.

Do you have a small kitchen? What do you use to make your morning coffee?

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