If you take coffee as seriously as we do, then you already know you’d rather not fill your kitchen with a bunch of plain-jane brewing gear. You want something with a bit of class.
The élégamment noir recommendations listed below should get you there.
Fellow’s understated Stagg EKG is a variable-temp gooseneck kettle that pours as good as it looks, featuring the same minimalist matte black look and ergonomically counterbalanced handle as its older sibling, the original Stagg.
The EKG’s base has a temperature control knob that lets you heat water anywhere between 135°F (57°C) and 212°F (100°C), with an option to hold that temperature for an hour. After heating, the base’s built-in stopwatch can help you time your brewing process.
Compared to the 1,000-watt heating element of the similarly sleek Bonavita Interurban, the EKG’s 1,200-watt one heats all the faster.
Few coffee grinders draw the eye like La Pavoni’s Apollo manual grinder, with a design that evokes the look of an ancient Greek column — and appropriately so, given its name. Don’t worry, it has the high level of performance to back up its good looks.
The Apollo boasts a main unibody and other parts that are CNC machined from solid anodized aluminum. Even the crank handle feels super thick and solid. The 48mm Italmill conical burrs inside have a NanoTech coating that should protect them from corrosion and lend them a longer life.
On the performance side, it can grind up to 25g of coffee at a time, with settings from coarse to espresso. It allows for surprisingly fine levels of adjustment, too. And, those vertical grooves on the “column” aren’t just for looks; they make it easy to hold while grinding so it doesn’t have to be gripped too tightly.
You’ve got the kettle, you’ve got the grinder, now you need something to actually brew the coffee with. That’s where Mecraft’s matte black ceramic dripper comes in. It’s ideal for brewing 1–2 cups of great pour-over coffee, it’s easy to clean afterward, and at only $13, it looks way more expensive than it really is.
Maybe espresso is more your style. If you don’t mind manually pressing out your shots, the Flair “Signature” espresso maker is a chic, 100% human-powered press for brewing espresso at home — no batteries or power plug necessary. The action all comes from pressing down on the lever, which produces 8–12 bars of pressure — right in the sweet spot for getting that lovely crema and mouthfeel that signify a great espresso shot.
Okay, maybe you hate the idea of fussing over your coffee brewing and just want it done. Not to worry, the Technivorm Moccamaster KB boasts an easy one-button operation that will let you reclaim some of those precious early minutes of the day without sacrificing the quality of your morning coffee.
In true European style — Technivorm is a 50-year-old Dutch company, after all — the Moccamaster combines exceptional drip coffee with stylish design. Not only is it easy to operate, it also brews quickly and quietly (4 to 6 minutes per full 40oz pot) and is built to last.
+ We’ve got more details on the “KB” model brewer here. The only major difference is that the KBG (pictured above) has an automatic drip-stop (meaning you pull out the carafe and the machine stops automatically) while the KB has to be stopped manually.
Need to make coffee on the go? Well, the Espro Press is a nifty invention that essentially combines a French press with a travel mug.
The main body is your standard double-walled stainless steel insulated tumbler that can keep liquids hot for 4–6 hours. What makes it special is the double micro-filter integrated with the drinking lid, which means you can brew your coffee, twist the travel lid on, throw the whole thing into your bag, and go.
If you don’t require your drinking vessel to have a coffee press built in, the Zojirushi stainless steel mug is the space shuttle of vacuum-insulated travel mugs. It almost defies logic how many hours it can keep coffee hot (or cold, if you prefer that sort of thing).
To this day we can’t believe how consistent the temperature retention is, and yet the exterior is always comfortable to the touch. It’s totally spill-proof too, 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.