One thing that looks daunting but actually isn’t, is buying coffee equipment to start brewing from home. Now if you have not looked into much coffee stuff then it can take time to learn what set up and equipment you need to buy. Especially if you are like me where you like to research into a product and its reviews. Normally that is a good approach when buying things online as there is a risk involved as you don’t see the product in person. But this approach has led me to buy cheaper alternative/dupe and paid the price in terms of quality.
So I thought it would be a good idea if I share the coffee equipment you need right now to start brewing coffee at home. This recommendation is for beginners so I am going to focus on products that are within a reasonable budget and easy to use. The list is in no particular order, you can buy all these stuff right now. But lets get into what coffee equipment you need to get brewing.
1. The Brewer
To make good coffee you need a good brewer and the Aeropress is widely known to make exceptional coffee. This is without a doubt the most popular manual brewer in the world right now. I could have recommended a pour-over like the V60 but the Aeropress is a lot easier to use and more flexible.
The Aeropress is an immersion brewer that can produce really good tasting coffee quickly and without much effort. It’s also very light, durable and perfect to travel with. There are different ways to brew it including the standard or the inverted way. Also, the methods are endless to on the Aeropress that you can create your own one to taste.
That is why the Aeropress is perfect for beginners because it can give the consistent coffee and still let you experiment if you want to. Which is what you want when getting into speciality coffee. It is also relatively cheap for a manual brewer between £26 – £30 and as it is almost impossible to break means this brewer should last a long time.
I have talked a lot about Aeropress on this website – like a lot – so check out my post on why you should buy it by clicking here. Also, sign up to my newsletter and you will get a free PDF Aeropress recipe.
The Aeropress is available on Amazon right now so check current prices below.
2: A Coffee Grinder
One thing you must fundementally do is to use freshly ground coffee everytime you brew. Therefore, you need have a grinder so you can take your wholebean coffees and have it ground.
There are two types of coffee grinders, manual and electric. Now which one you should go for really depends on if you are looking to do some work or you want to press a button and have the work done for you. I used a hand grinder for couple of years and it is not really that hard work but more time consuming. I prefer the coffee being ground really quickly so I can start brewing quickly. Also, electric coffee grinders will help you brew a larger batch easier if you have family or just love to drink lots of coffee.
But let me recommend some grinders. For manual I would say the best budget-priced grinder is the Hario Mini Mill+ grinder. It’s small, light, compact and perfect for brewing single cups. It actually goes well with the Aeropress as a good companion piece. You can get this grinder from £30 – £35 and is widely available online.
For a electric grinder, my recommendation is the Wilfa Svart Aroma which what I use. For me and many others this is the quintessential filter coffee grinder for domestic use. It’s powerful, quick and just fits in the kitchen better then your toaster. Generally priced around £95 – £130 which is a real bargain for this type of home grinder. Link here to Crema website who have decent prices on the Wilfa Svart.
Now you might think why get this grinder if you are using just an Aeropress which is not known to brew large amount of coffee. Well, the Wilfa Svart is a smart investment if you are looking to get into using more brewers in the future including pour-overs. There are cheaper electric grinders and I used to have one but I really cannot recommend it because they won’t give you anywhere near the same quality.
This is my top pick out of all the equipment I would advise on this post because it has made my life easier and given me great brews. Also, there is nothing better then the fresh coffee aroma that hits you in the morning when you first use it. I have done a review on the Wilfa Svart which you should check it out if you are interested by clicking here.
3: Digital Scales
You have heard the term ‘practice makes perfect’. Well my sports coach one said quality practice makes perfect. To get quality practice when brewing coffee you need digital scales. Without digital scales you won’t get coffee to taste good consistently. You will also find it harder to improve your coffee brewing skills without one too. All coffee brewing methods will refer to using a digital scale. So it is vital you purchase once before you start brewing any coffee.
Now, I will go out and say you don’t need to spend too much on digital scales. There are some really expensive ones that look great and are designed for coffee brewing. If you have the money then spend away. But I would say to just get a digital scales with a timer from Amazon (ensure you search under coffee digital scales) between £10 to £20 because they will do the job. The only thing to bear in mind with cheaper scales is they may have lagging issues. But check the reviews before you buy one and get good batteries. I don’t want to complicate anything further, cheap digital scales is fine for home brewing.
4: A Water Filter Pitcher
This is a very heavy topic area so I am going to try to be brief but probably won’t! You ideally want soft water to brew your coffee with because that will produce the best taste. You are unlikely going to get quality soft water from your tap so you will need to look into purchasing a water filter pitcher.
Tap water in the UK is generally not the ideal type of water to brew with due to high levels of calcium and magnesium. This is what leads to water being referred to as ‘hard’ water. Hard water will mask out the coffee flavours and sometimes even lead to bitterness. Whilst soft water is generally clean and clearer and helps produce better tasting coffee. Therefore, you want to find a pitcher that works with the water level your tap produces. So if you live down south in the UK then the water can be really hard. You might notice the limescale in kettles and taps. So you want a pitcher to make the water softer and reduce limescale.
Now if you don’t want the hassle to research into this then there is a water filter pitcher produced specifically for coffee. This is the Peak Water Jug which does some really cool stuff. Firstly, they send testing strips to measure the hardness of your tap water. Then depending from your results, you can adjust the pitcher to the optimum water for brewing. This pitcher costs around £50 which is a bargain. It is also a great investment to get good tasting water for your coffee and even your pasta too. Link here to Peak Water website where you can purchase this pitcher.
What you don’t need and potential next steps?
There are few things I have not included which I don’t think you need for the time being. Firstly, you don’t need a gooseneck kettle when using the Aeropress. However, I highly recommend one if and when you are looking to buy a pour-over brewer. Your pouring skills matter more then. But for the time being you can put your card back in your wallet.
Another thing which you might want to buy is but it is not vital at this stage is a kitchen thermometer to check your water temperature. The rule is you want higher water temperature around 90 degrees celsius plus for lighter roasts. For medium or darker roasts you want to be somewhere around 80 degrees celsius. It might be a good idea to just check the how hot your kettle gets…obviously do it ‘safely’. When I just used the Aeropress, I let the kettle sit for 30 to 60 seconds before using it and the results were still good.
So let’s say you have all the equipment I recommended in this post, then what equipment can you be looking to buy in the future? Again, a pour-over would be a good step to the next direction once you are happy using the Aeropress and want to explore further. I would recommend using the Kalita Wave instead of the V60 as it a lot more consistent and beginner friendly. I did a post on why the Kalita Wave is a good brewer for many reasons, check out that post here.
There are other brewers if you don’t want to go down the Kalita or V60 route. The Clever Dripper is another immersion brewer but with the pour-over characteristics. You can event try the Moka Pot especially if you prefer the medium to darker roasted coffee. The Moka Pot produces coffee between filter and espresso and the Wilfa Svart has a grind setting for it so you are already set up. I have talked how to make better coffee with the Moka Pot which you should check out here.
So there you have it, some coffee gear you need right now to start brewing coffee at home. If there is any equipment missing here then let me know in the comments. Furthermore, check out my post on a guide to buying speciality coffee (link here). That post is a companion piece to this one and creates this beginner guide into buying and brewing speciality coffee.
**Please note, there are Amazon Affiliate links on this post