Top 5 Essential Equipment to Start Brewing at Home
New to coffee and don’t know where to start? We’ve curated this list of coffee equipment that will help improve your brewing skills at home.
The key to brewing good coffee at home is consistency. These are the tools we think will take you on the journey of perfecting every brew.
Every gram counts, that’s why we made this our number one essential for brewing coffee.
You might be thinking measuring while you brew will waste so much time just for a cup of coffee. It could be at first, but that’s the only effective way to have consistent and accurate brewing results every time.
The measuring unit most commonly used in brewing is grams (g). This will help you measure the two primary components of your brew water and ground coffee, and find the perfect ratio between the two. Typically we start with a 1:15 or 1:16 ratio (coffee:water) and work from there.
Here are some recommended scales to start you off:
Timemore Black Mirror Basic Coffee Scale is a great starting scale, doing exactly what you need it to at a reasonable price point. It weighs your coffee at 0.1g and times your brew.
Acaia Pearl Model S is more of a professional-grade scale that not only monitors weight and time, but the flow rate during coffee brewing as well. This scale is higher priced and recommended for the more experienced coffee brewers.
It’s not you. Definitely not me. It’s your grinder.
It’s arguably the most critical to have a high quality burr grinder for espresso or manual brewing than any other grinder. Achieving drinkable results with a blade grinder is akin to winning the lottery; possible but incredibly unlikely. Don’t buy the knock-off: you’re purchasing good coffee only to ruin it in your grinder. Most burr grinders under $100 CAD don’t offer enough settings to choose from, and have too large a range between those clicks to allow you to properly dial in. Don’t invest in a good brewer unless you’re prepared to do the same with your grinder.
Here are some of our favourite burr grinders for at home use:
Hand Grinder: Timemore C2 Grinder is great when you want a hand grinder that’s precise enough for a perfect shot of espresso but is still equally well suited to the coarser grinds necessary for manual brews.
Electric Grinder: Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder is well established and respected throughout the modern coffee industry all while being the choice of both coffee nerds and professionals alike.
Let’s talk about shape. The shape of the spout, known as a gooseneck, assists in slowing down and controlling the flow of water while brewing. Not all spouts are created equally and these differences can impact the stream and flow of different kettles. Some allow for a very straight and narrow stream while others require a faster flow; otherwise dribbling ensues.
We recommend these kettles to get you started:
Hario Buono Kettle an excellent kettle for beginners or for those who have a regular electric kettle. Get your water up to temperature and then transfer your brewing water to the gooseneck kettle.
Fellow Stagg EKG+ Electric Kettle for when you want total control. This is one of our favourite kettles for manual filter brew. It’s Bluetooth feature allows you to control your brewing temperature through an app on your phone and while the shape of the spout lets you accomplish a precise pour with ease.
Pour Over device
There are so many new pour over devices out there in the coffee scene. Wondering where to start? We recommend the Hario V60-02 brewer or the Kalita Wave 185 dripper. The V60-02 brewer typically comes in plastic or ceramic and has a cone shape. This brewer is one of the most commonly used manual brewers for both the novice brewers and the experts. It offers consistent brewing while still allowing you to experiment with your coffee.
The Kalita Wave is another common brewer among coffee nerds. The Kalita has more of a flat bottom than the V60, allowing for more of an immersion brewing that provides more body in your coffee. This brewer is predictable and easy to use and it makes a flavorful and clean cup of coffee.
We recommend starting your brewing journey with paper filters. Paper filters provide a clean tasting coffee by preventing the unwanted oils and sediments from coming through. They cost more over time, but are essentially mess free. We recommend rinsing your filter with hot water prior to adding your ground coffee. This will prevent any paper flavours from finding their way into your coffee.
Here are the filters suited for the Hario V60 and the Kalita wave 185
Brewing coffee is a delicate process, but it doesn’t have to be confusing! Here are a few tips that will help you get a better cup of coffee at home.
Lower your expectations. Not everything will taste like a competition, and that’s okay! Enjoy what you’re drinking: you made it and you should be proud of it, even if it’s not as perfect as you want.
Stick to one brewer if you can, you don’t have to jump on every new brew method bandwagon Try one brewer and perfect that method before moving on to something new.
Be more mindful and enjoy the whole brewing experience. Keep it slow and enjoy the moment. Brewing coffee can be a very meditative practice and is meant to be savoured as much as the final product.