Coffee-making advice wanted, for a beginner

I drink tea at home and coffee when I’m out and about. I have been doing that for 20 years. Before that I was 100% a coffee drinker.

After a heavy round of business travel in the spring, I find a few times a month now I want a good cup of coffee first thing in the morning at home. I’m thinking about starting to make coffee at home, which I haven’t done regularly for 20 years. I had a drip coffee machine with a built in grinder – still have it somewhere – that I used with supermarket beans. I gather the home coffeemaking art has gotten much more advanced since then.

Fortunately, from what I gather, I don’t have to spend much money at all to get really good coffee at home, and it’s easy to make. (Although as with most things of this type I can, if I choose, go all-out and spend a lot of money and go to a lot of trouble.)

So, my coffeehound friends, what do you advise for a person, like me, who’s starting out making coffee at home? I don’t cook, and I’ll be half-asleep when I’m making coffee, of course, so keep that in mind.

We have local microroasters so I’m not concerned about finding a supply of good beans locally.

What equipment do I need? I gather from my reading that I want a burr, rather than a blade, grinder.

What should I brew the coffee in? I’ll want one cup at a time.

This 2013 article by Seth Colter Walls on Slate recommends pour-over, with around $100 in equipment: How to make amazing coffee at home, even if you’re cheap and lazy.

Walls recommends a conical burr grinder. The model he recommends is $91. Is there a cheaper one, maybe hand-ground, that is a better option?

How about an AeroPress? Do I want to go that route?

Any other advice? Remember, I don’t want to spend a lot on equipment, and I want making the coffee to be easy!

Another alternative, since I do only want coffee a few times a month, is just hop in the car and go to local coffee shop, or the Starbucks drive-through.

3 Replies to “Coffee-making advice wanted, for a beginner”

  1. Burt? I use a Cuisenart with a built in blade. Best coffee maker I’ve ever owned. Burr is useful if you use different coffee makers — my daughter brings her own French press with her, but the blade in mine is designed for that machine and makes a perfect medium grind every time. My daughter wants coarse grind for her press do she gets that at the store. Where I’m going is forget generalities. How much coffee in the morning? Do you need a 1 cup, 6 cup, 12 cup maker? I also have a di Loungville espresso/late/cappuccino maker which is an indulgence but there it is. So, those are the questions to start with I’m thinking.

  2. This is my setup…

    Capresso burr coffee grinder (www.amazon.com). I grind it in the setting between Fine and Medium.

    Brentwood hot water kettle (www.amazon.com). I fill to the minimum level, .5 liter, which is a little more than one cup.

    Brewologist stainless steel pour over coffee filter (www.amazon.com). It has micro-holes and you don’t need paper filters. Works for tea as well as coffee. Just dump the grounds or leaves and rinse after each use.

    Lautechco 350ml Stainless Steel Gooseneck Pour Over Drip pot (www.amazon.com). This is exactly the amount of coffee or tea most people pour for themselves.

    How I make coffee or tea:

    Boil water.
    Put two tablespoons of ground coffee or empty a teabag or teaspoon of loose tea into the filter and place the filter over a coffee cup.
    Fill the Lautechco pot to the top with hot water. The long thin spout makes sure you don’t poor too much at a time.
    This is where you get the good coffee or tea: Pour water over the grounds or leaves until they’re just covered. Let the water drain and then let the grounds or leaves steep for about 30 seconds. Then pour the rest of the water into the filter in a circular motion, to get the grounds or leaves circulating and brewing throughout the water. If the filter fills before the Lautechco pot is empty, let it drain a little, then pour the rest. Let the filter drain fully, which will be a few minutes.

    This is the best way to make coffee or tea that I’ve found. It makes even K-Cup grounds taste good and stronger, and when I tried it with tea, it was perfect. My Keurig is gathering dust now.

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