At a glance......
- 1 A pottery mug for the hottest coffee
- 2 The smartest coffee mug for a busy schedule
- 3 A workhorse coffee grinder that’s sturdy and speedy
- 4 A true story to get your blood rushing as you caffeinate
- 5 A pour-over set for your dearest coffee enthusiasts
- 6 A cupping spoon to open up your palate
- 7 A pressure-actuated valve to enhance your AeroPress brew
- 8 A manual grinder with consistent texture for camping
- 9 A portable, all-in-one pour-over coffee maker
- 10 An electric kettle you can effortlessly store while on the road
User Review( votes)
A pottery mug for the hottest coffee
Dishwasher- and microwave-safe, lead-free, and dipped by hand: No two Ruby Farms pottery mugs are exactly alike, and that’s their charm. I’ve had my mug for three years, said Connie Blumhardt, the founder, and publisher of Roast Magazine, a bimonthly magazine dedicated to the growth of the specialty coffee roaster. It feels smooth and soft in my hands. Along with my coffee, it warms me up every morning. The Pistachio-Dipped Mug is particularly handsome, and it can fit 12 ounces of your favorite caffeinated beverage.
The smartest coffee mug for a busy schedule
I bought an Ember Smart Mug, fully expecting it to be absurd, laughed James Hoffmann, coffee expert and co-founder of Square Mile Coffee Roasters. Made of stainless steel, the hand-washable Smart Mug keeps your drink at whatever temperature you prefer from 120 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. (You can control it from the Ember App on your smartphone.) An expensive mug that needs a firmware update? That can’t go into the dishwasher? But after using it for a while, I fell in love, Hoffmann assured us. I drink coffee while working, and I’m prone to distraction—never having to worry about missing that window of temperature when your coffee tastes best is a fantastic thing.
A workhorse coffee grinder that’s sturdy and speedy
The founder of Coffee Project New York, Chisum N.—or Sum as she likes to be called—highly recommends the Baratza Virtuoso grinder for homebrewers who want to get serious with their pour-overs. We recommend the Virtuoso+ in our guide to the best coffee grinders, and we found it to be speedy and useful for those who drink a lot of coffee and demand consistent results. This grinder has a sturdy base, which helps keep burrs from vibrating out of calibration, and a consistent grinding performance.
A true story to get your blood rushing as you caffeinate
If you’re looking for something to read while you sip your pour-over, Sum suggests The New York Times best-selling The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers. It’s a true story about Mokhtar Alkhanshali, a young Yemeni American man raised in San Francisco who was trapped in the civil war while trying to help the farmers in Yemen to grow specialty-grade coffees, said Sum. One Amazon reviewer even goes so far as to call Alkhanshali the Indiana Jones of Coffee.
A pour-over set for your dearest coffee enthusiasts
Sum told us that one of her favorite gifts to give is the Fellow Stagg X Pour-Over Brewing Set, which was created in San Francisco. It introduces a stylish, easy way to prepare your coffee in the mornings, and the set comes with a dripper, a tasting glass, and 30 filters, which you can also buy separately. It’s very straightforward and easy to make—it even has a visual aid to help brewers be consistent, she said, referring to the Stagg’s ratio aid, which measures out one to two servings, so you know the right amount of coffee to add. This set includes a container to drink from, too.
A cupping spoon to open up your palate
This is an extremely advanced move for the coffee lover who truly has everything. Connoisseurs often judge different beans against each other through a side-by-side sampling process known as cupping, and the best way to taste the variations between brews is with the proper spoon. If you want to taste-test your coffee, you should have a proper cupping spoon, Ken Nye, the owner of Ninth Street Espresso, said. Nye recommends the Silver Plated Cupping Spoon from the Specialty Coffee Association of America website, but cupping spoons are sold everywhere. The most important thing is its well-agreed-upon shape, Nye said, referring to the deep bowl of the cupping spoon, which, compared with an ordinary teaspoon, allows you to sample an adequate amount of coffee without spilling it.
A pressure-actuated valve to enhance your AeroPress brew
We love the AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker at Wirecutter. Trey Wrage, Ninth Street Espresso’s general manager, recommends buying a Fellow Prismo Pressure-Actuated Attachment to supplement your AeroPress—especially if you’re someone who loves the outdoors. The Prismo prevents leaking, and it removes the need for a filter, so it’s good to take with you to camp, Nye told me about the attachment, which allows for a building of pressure so that you can enjoy an espresso-style coffee in the wilderness. There’s no paper waste, and it’s easy to clean, too.
A manual grinder with consistent texture for camping
Yuki Izumi has been the coffee director at Hi-Collar, a cafe, and sake bar in New York City’s East Village, since it opened in June 2013. Izumi swears by the Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder—which we recommend in our guide to coffee grinders when she takes weekend trips. I’m all about manual and portable. There’s nothing better than slow-hand grinding, she said. And the Porlex is what I use for a fairly even, consistent grind while camping. Plus, it fits directly inside the cylinder of the AeroPress. (It’s good to remember that hand grinder can make enough grounds for only a cup or two of coffee at a time, and that can take five to 10 minutes of manual labor.)
A portable, all-in-one pour-over coffee maker
For someone who’s always on the go, I recommend the Cafflano Klassic, an all-in-one pour-over coffee maker, said, Izumi. I bought it for one of my friends, who constantly tours as a musician, and he loves it. The Cafflano Klassic comes with a ceramic burr grinder, a pouring kettle, a stainless filter dripper, an insulated tumbler, and a lid. It was voted the most innovative product at the 2015 New York Coffee Festival, and Amazon reviewers have left positive reviews on the Klassic, noting that it’s lightweight and practical, and can be used anywhere.
An electric kettle you can effortlessly store while on the road
Izumi also suggested the Gourmia GK320 Travel Foldable Electric Kettle for minimal packers. The GK320 is ideal for travelers since it features dual voltage, for compatibility wherever you go. And the kettle’s foldable design allows it to collapse from 7 inches to 4 inches, making it easy to store at work, or anywhere else you’d want to take it. This kettle weighs just over a pound, and it’s made from strong, food-grade silicone that will protect it against very high temperatures and maintain its structural stability.