Top 10 coffee gadgets & gizmos – Christmas gift guide!
My dad send me an article for the Daily Telegraph’s top 5 coffee gizmos. Sad to say I wasn’t very impressed with the list, it was just so random! The only thing that I can agree with is the Aeropress because they are a top coffee gadget, still not enough to redeem the list. I was so annoyed at this list I decided to make my own!
It’s getting pretty close to christmas (only a week) !! – So, if you haven’t got round to buying your coffee-loving-friends a gift then THIS is your chance!
On a Budget (< £15)
- Hario Plastic V60 (£5)The Hario V60 is one of the cheapest ways to get in to making coffee at home. The V60 is a pour over brewing method. These use a cone shaped paper filter that hold the coffee and stops any particles from passing, producing a really smooth cup.They come in two sizes 01 and 02 depending on the size coffee you are brewing, I think it is supposed to be 1 or 2 people respectively. I’ve always used a 2 just because it’s bigger.My V60 came with a couple of filters in the box, even still I suggest grabbing a pack of filters since you can’t brew without them and running out is the last thing you’d want.
Quick tip – wet the filter before brewing to remove the papery taste!
- The Modern Field Guide to Coffee (£8)This little book came out about a month ago, seemed pretty popular at CupNorth and is on my Christmas list. I don’t know a surprising amount about it, but looks like a good stocking filler.
- A film About Coffee (£3 / £8)
After seeing the trailer for this film I am pumped and looking forward to watching it. This film is available to rent or download, in sizes up to 4K for any of you HD addicts! More info on their website: http://www.afilmaboutcoffee.co.uk/ or Vimeo On Demand page.
- Fresh coffee (£5 – £13)
Ok this technically isn’t a gadget or a gizmo but if you use stale, it won’t taste good. On my list of brands I recommend: Square Mile, HasBean, Ozone, Small Batch Coffee Company, Monmouth, Workshop and Coffee Circle.
Middle ground (£15+)
- Porlex hand grinder (£25)I’ve had my hand grinder a couple of years now and despite having to put in the effort, it makes a very consistent grind. By grinding your coffee per cup the beans will last longer and taste better. It’s a burr grinder (better than a blade grinder), it allowing easy access (to burrs) for cleaning / replacing. It is an ideal size allowing you to take it place if you ever go camping or fancy a brew somewhere out an about.
- Aerobie Aeropress (£25)Quick, easy and consistent. The Aeropress is brew method where coffee and hot water are added and pressed through a paper filter (in theory similar to an espresso machine). These are a popular choice if you brew by the cup.I’d recommend this to anyone, especially those who want to get it to making coffee at home. Size comes into play again and when paired with the aforementioned hand grinder allows you to make fresh coffee whilst out camping or hiking. A quick tip – try the inverted method!
- Hario Timer & Scales (£30)This set of scales models not just accuracy to 0.1 of a gram but also a built in timer making it perfect for tracking of how long your coffee has been brewing. The main use for these is to monitor how many beans you are putting in, I own these scales and have noticed a drastic improvement in my coffees since weighting my coffee. Once you’ve got to grips with your chosen brew method you can also play with different coffee-to-water ratios and geek out if you are so inclined!
- Airscape Coffee Canisters (£20)
I have to break it to you but storing coffee in a fridge or freezer is a complete myth, since it can introduce moisture to the coffee making the coffee get stale even quicker. As mentioned before coffee is similar to perishable food items, once roasted it should ideally be consumed within 2-3 weeks. This canister helps to keep coffee beans fresher by forcing air out through a valve, minimising the amount of air in contact with the coffee.
A tad expensive £50+
- Chemex (£40 – 60)The Chemex is a favourite in the coffee world, is it the sleek design? (probably not), is it the smooth cup it produces? (probably not) or is the fact that it can brew 6-8 cups of coffee at once? (Yep, and that’s why I want one). These come in a couple of different sizes 6 cup, 8 cup or the 10 cup. Chemex works very similar to the V60. One benefit over a cafetiere is that it stops extracting once brewed, whereas a cafetiere will keep brewing the longer the water is in contact with the coffee grounds.
- Bonavita temperature controlled kettle (£90)Possibly a tad ridiculous / pricey but this kettle brings complete pouring control, by-the-degree temperature control and cool aesthetic. This style of gooseneck kettle are particularly popular with the pour over brew method since it allows fine flow control and is well balanced in the hand.
There we go – Hope that helps, if you think I’ve missed anything off feel free to comment below or if you have any questions to ask I’ll be more than willing to try answer them!
PS.- Beyond that list you'll go into the territory of buying an electric burr grinder which should be a separate guide in itself. I also left off any espresso machines on purpose since practically I can't see why it would be worth buying one for home use. If you want to get a decent espresso machine they are normally paired with a grinder and you can easily spending £500+ to get perfection. On top of that the effort of cleaning and maintaining them for 2 - 3 cups of coffee a day is ridiculous compared to the ease and cheapness of brewing coffee from home.