The Home Brew: Essential Coffee Equipment for Beginners
So you’ve decided to begin brewing your own coffee at home. It’s a journey that all of us here at Plain Sight have gone through, and we can tell you that it’s quite the fun ride. One of the first things you’ll want to do before you begin is to begin assembling your brewing gear. For those of you just getting started, we’re here to share with you some key coffee brewing equipment for beginners.
BrewerOf course, we start with the most obvious: the brewer itself. Some brewers are easier to get started with than others and require varying degrees of maintenance. The easiest/lowest maintenance brewer of choice would be a French Press, followed by the AeroPress, and then your standard cone or basket pour over brewers like the V60, Kalita Wave, and others. You can start out with one or two different coffee brewers to get a feel for which brewing method you prefer more. If you want something quicker, then the French press or AeroPress might be the way to go, while if you want something more nuanced, the pour overs can be your pick. Your choice of brewer will also determine whether you need to purchase filters for said brewers.
A coffee scale brings precision to some important decisions, like how much coffee and water you intend to use. It also helps to reduce waste by making sure you only grind how much coffee you intend to brew, and it teaches you consistency and accuracy in brewing your coffee. They differ from standard kitchen weighing scales in that they’re designed to really measure out by the gram and in even smaller increments. Some scales also come built in with a timer, which helps you to monitor the time it takes to brew or can also signal you when you need to be pouring more water in. The great thing about coffee scales today is that there are more affordable options today than there were just a few years back.
One of the most, if not the most important investment one can make early on is for a great coffee grinder and just like with scales, more options have become available across different price points. There are great manual hand grinders that come with steel burrs that help to grind coffee more precisely compared to the ceramic burr grinders of a few years ago. A good electric burr grinder can also be an investment that lasts for years, as some of our team members have been using theirs for several years now with the right amount of care and maintenance. We’ve also covered previously the importance of getting a good coffee grinder and why it’s important to only grind your coffee at the point before you start to brew it.
Lastly, we come to the kettle, and for coffee brewers, a gooseneck kettle is the way to go. With some electric gooseneck kettles already priced comparatively to non-electric ones, we don’t see the reason why you’d go for a non-electric one. It’s a bonus as well if your kettle has a variable temperature feature, though if it doesn’t, a simple kitchen thermometer should do the trick in helping you to check if your water is ready to go. The choice of going with a gooseneck as opposed to a large spouted one boils down to control. With a gooseneck kettle, you’re given more control over your pours, something that will help in your coffee brewing journey tremendously. Some of the best cups of coffee were brewed thanks to the way the water is controlled as it is being poured over the bed of coffee grounds.
(Optional) Coffee StorageIf you happen to buy coffee that isn’t in a resealable bag, we’d suggest going with an airtight storage container. It is important to make sure that your coffee is not exposed constantly to light, heat, and oxygen before you brew it, since any of these three could affect the taste of your beans even before you get to brew it. We do not recommend keeping them in the fridge or freezer either as doing so exposes your coffee to moisture, which then leads to oxidation, which then leads to the degradation of the quality of your coffee.
These essential coffee brewing equipment for beginners will outlast your being a beginning coffee brewer and could even be with you throughout your coffee brewing journey. With the right amount of care, the gear you buy today could be the gear that brews your coffee for many years to come.