We still stand by that guide. However, being the coffee nerds we are, we thought a follow-up guide with even more great coffee accoutrements would be fun to put together, so here it is. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
For all the joy we get from brewing with odd contraptions like the AeroPress or a Chemex + gooseneck kettle pourover setup, sometimes we just want a plain ol’ cup of drip coffee like our parents used to make. For that, we turn to the BUNN Velocity Brew.
This is a very simple but understatedly handsome coffee maker. There’s no digital clock, and it only has two buttons: one for the machine itself, the other for the hot plate. It’s also fast. Thanks to its internal hot water tank, the Velocity can brew 10 cups’ worth of coffee in 4 minutes — no more waiting for cold water to heat up (provided you’re brewing daily and thus never giving the water in the tank a chance to evaporate away).
Read our full review of the BUNN Velocity Brew for more details.
Whereas many burr coffee grinders we’ve recommended in the past have been electric, the Porlex JP-30 is all manual. While manual grinders can be slow and annoying for some, their clear advantages are 1) portability and 2) the ability to grind even during a power outage.
Out of all the great manual grinders out there, we like the JP-30 most because its build quality is superb and it can stow inside an AeroPress for travel purposes. (You know it’s great for traveling when sailors recommend it for grinding coffee at sea.)
It has a capacity for 30g of coffee (which will brew you about two cups’ worth of joe) and can also grind anywhere between espresso and French press. Just don’t necessarily think of it as a primary grinder unless you want an arm workout every morning before you get your caffeine fix.
These handsome coffee mugs are forged at a 100-year-old factory in Poland using World War II-era machinery, and are made from top-quality enamel-coated steel. The rim and the handle — the two spots that receive the most abuse — are reinforced with a double dipping of enamel. These cups are ostensibly made for use by the campfire, but are fine enough that they may find their way into your kitchen cabinet as well.
If you prefer to take your coffee on the go, Zojirushi’s stainless steel mug is the space shuttle of vacuum-insulated travel mugs. It keeps drinks hot or cold for hours — up to half a day, in our experience (not that it takes us that long to consume coffee).
We’re constantly amazed how consistent the temperature retention is, and yet the exterior is always comfortable to the touch. It’s totally spill-proof, and even has a lock to prevent the lid from opening accidentally. The lid also disassembles for easy cleaning, so no worrying about gross gunk building up in there.
I (Chris) have mixed feelings about Keurig brewers. There’s no denying their sheer convenience — I mean, you literally just push a button to brew — but those disposable K-Cup pods are wasteful and tend to produce a subpar cup of coffee besides. Despite this, none of my relatives seem anxious to be rid of their machines.
The Ekobrew Stainless Steel Elite seems the best workaround for this problem. Rather than tossing out K-cup after K-cup, you simply fill the reusable Ekobrew with your own freshly-ground coffee and brew as normal. When it’s done you empty the Ekobrew, quickly rinse it out, and it’s ready to use again. A dispersion cone under the lid helps disperse hot water more evenly, while the cup’s many side- and bottom-perforations allow for a better extraction.
You can get the Ekobrew on Amazon for about $14. I recommend buying two so you can easily swap them back and forth.
(Note: These will not work with Keurig VUE brewers, along with other models listed on the Amazon page.)
We’ve talked a lot about ways to make hot coffee, but what about a little iced goodness? If you enjoy treating yourself to some cold brew coffee as much as we do, you can’t go wrong with the Toddy Cold Brew System.
It’s nothing fancy, really: Just a plastic bin, a glass container, a filter, and a cork. But combined, this stuff makes for a simple way to make a large amount of smooth, delicious, cold coffee concentrate with a refrigerator life of 3 weeks. We recommend brewing for 48 hours (the minimum is 12) for best effect.
Okay, okay, we know, Rip van Wafels aren’t technically “coffee gear”. Bear with us on this one.
Based on The Netherlands’ traditional stroopwafel, Rip van Wafels are cookies comprised of two thin, mildly-spiced waffles with a thin middle layer of caramel. The idea is, when it’s time to take a coffee break — koffietijd, as they call it in Amsterdam — you place one of these wafels over a fresh, hot cup o’ joe and let it soak in all those great aromas before eating it. While the coffee cools and the wafel heats, you get a few moments to yourself to sit quietly and reflect. Calming and mindful, as all coffee breaks should be.
What we like about Rip van Wafels is that they are not only tasty, but relatively healthy. Each wafel is only 130 calories and 8g of sugar, and they use all-natural ingredients — no HFCS, preservatives, or any such garbage you’d find in other packaged snacks. In fact, they’re quite nice to munch on during long bike rides.
They come in packs of 16 for $25, in either original caramel or dark chocolate + sea salt versions. If neither of these is enough to satisfy your wafel needs, Rip van Wafels offer a monthly subscription service, which can also include coffee or tea.