So here’s the thing: there’s no perfect coffee setup. There might be an ideal coffee setup for different goals you have, but as with most scenarios in life, it is all about working with what you have. The grass is greener where you water it, right?
I’ve really invested in my coffee setup over the years, and it actually is pretty great. I get a lot of questions about recommendations for home brewing, so I figured I’d break down my coffee setup, tell you what I like and don’t, tell you how to amp yours up, and what else might be missing from yours. (I covered a lot of this in greater detail in Batch, so I’ll just show you what I have and what I want.)
There are a few affiliate links throughout, so know that if you make a purchase based on my recommendations, you will be supporting the Coffee GuideMy Fellow Stagg EKG+ Kettle
The prized possession of my coffee setup is 100% my Fellow Stagg EKG+ Electric Kettle. I talk about this kettle a lot and for good reason. First, it’s beautiful. Second, it works beautifully.
Fellow offers several models of this kettle ranging from stove-top to electric and in a rainbow of beautiful colors (I have the matte black). I love everything about this kettle:
- You can set the temperature
- It holds at that temperature
- It auto-shuts off
- It has a built-in timer
- It heats up quickly
- It has bluetooth?
- It pours like a dream
When it comes to kettles, all that really matters is that you have a gooseneck kettle so you can control the flow of your water. I used a slick electric Bonavita kettle for a long time that flipped off as soon as it hit boiling, and it got the job done. In the end, a simple stovetop kettle works just as well.
- Fellow Stagg EKG: https://amzn.to/3tXuYvy
- Bonavita Electric Kettle: https://amzn.to/3sRdorP
- Standard Stovetop: https://amzn.to/2QDkEdJ
The Acaia Pearl Scale
Having a kitchen scale is a huge game-changer that is really just so simple. Brewing coffee—manually or automatic—requires the proper coffee: water ratio and the weird spoons that come with coffee makers just don’t cut it.
I’ve been rocking an Acaia Pearl scale for a few years now, which you’ve probably seen being used at your favorite local coffee shop. It’s packed full of features like Bluetooth and a timer, but really, it’s just a scale that is super beautiful. If you like showing off your coffee setup, the Acaia Pearl is counter-ready. If you don’t care, a cheap kitchen scale of any kind is just as good.
The Baratza Encore Grinder
For years I proudly rocked a $20 hand-me-down blade grinder. Was the coffee great? It was fine. Was my grind consistent? Definitely not.
At some point, I added a $50 burr grinder to a registry, and I used it for a year until it burned out. Finally, I invested in a Baratza Encore grinder that I picked up from Indie Coffee Roasters in Carmel.
I really like my Encore. For starters, it didn’t break the bank, which was extremely helpful. It’s also packed with a lot of features that help a lifelong novice like me:
- All the parts of the Encore are replaceable and super affordable to order, which means it is basically indestructible.
- There’s a wide range of settings so you can dial in the perfect grind for your beans and brew method.
- It’s a super popular grinder which means (1) it works and (2) there are loads of learning resources online.
- It’s a burr grinder, so it grinds more consistently than a blade grinder.
Honestly, even though it is usually ranked as “entry-level,” it will probably be my forever grinder. It really does do a great job, and unless something majorly goes wrong, I don’t know why I’d need to get a different grinder. (Unless I somehow strike gold and get a fancier/prettier one to show off like the Fellow Ode.) They’re available at a handful of local cafés (like Indie), and you can also snag one off of Amazon.
Miir Coffee Canister
My Miir coffee canister is one of the newer pieces of my collection. Until recently, I was a fold-the-coffee-bag-and-shove-it-in-a-cabinet kinda guy, and I can’t believe I wasted so many years just casually disregarding my coffee like that. But no more!! I recently scored this super custom and super beautiful Miir canister from the WDRFA + Tinker collab, and it really is just beautiful.
This canister has an accordion-style vacuum seal inside that keeps coffee super fresh and tasty. It’s also beautiful just sitting on the counter. Makes me think of my friends every morning and how far they’ve come, so that helps, too.
I went down a long coffee canister rabbit hole the other day because I really like my Miir, but it’s also all I really know. A lot of what I found (including this video from James ) pointed to the Fellow Atmos canister. The Miir pushes the excess air of itself, but not completely. The Atmos, on the other hand, used a built-in pump to create a vacuum which is a tighter seal. I will report back (mine gets here on Friday).
While the custom Miir canisters aren’t available anymore, Miir still carries the plane ones and Sharpies are hella cheap on Amazon.
- Miir Coffee Canister: https://www.miir.com/products/coffee-canister-airtight-seal?variant=30279838892106
- Fellow Atmos: https://amzn.to/3uoJlcE
You know, it doesn’t matter how fancy your coffee brewing equipment is if you aren’t using good beans. I could scream from the rooftops (and have) about supporting the amazing local coffee roasters in Indy so I won’t belabor that point here. 🙂 Just know that your coffee won’t ever be better if you’re using beans that don’t have a roast date!
My Brewing Equipment
When it comes to the actual brew methods I have on hand, we could talk for days on end about the ins and outs of the different pieces of equipment and what they’re good for. They all literally have books written about them, so I won’t say that now is the time for us to dive into each of these in detail (at least not yet). There’s another blog on the way about what I like about each, but here’s what I have in my arsenal:
- 6-Cup Chemex
- Kalita Wave
- Hario V60 (I have the Olive wood)
- Fellow Prismo (Cool espresso attachment for the Aeropress)
It’s a Process
I’ve been fussing lately about my coffee not turning out how I want it to at home, and my blame immediately goes to my equipment: my equipment not working right, what equipment I don’t have but want, etc. Really though, it’s me. So I’ve decided to dedicate the time to really dive in and figure out a process and system that work for me, and I can’t wait to share more about it as I go.
What are you brewing on at home?