For the girls trying to save some money—or getting started in a gratifying new hobby—at-home coffee is exciting. It’s trial-and-error, smells fantastic, tailored to your tastes, and is somewhat scientific: coffee has something for everyone! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the different coffee makers available—and how to get into coffee, more generally—we’ve got you covered.

*If you’re totally intimidated by the coffee realm, here are some of the basics:

  • Coffee is not the same as espresso. Espresso is produced in a pressurized brew, while regular coffee is brewed with heated water and gravity. Espresso is a concentrated, intensely flavorful shot; coffee can be made in any amount and with any ratio of coffee grounds to water. 
  • Contrary to popular belief, coffee has more caffeine than espresso!
  • Lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos and other specialty drinks are all created with espresso.

Ease of access: Keurig

Keurig K-Slim

A Keurig machine, popularized in recent years, uses disposable pods to brew coffee. This means you don’t have to buy beans, grounds, filters, or any other accessories usually associated with other machines. As a plus, Keurig machines can brew iced or hot coffee, meaning you don’t need different machines (or watered down hot coffee) in order to enjoy both. Keurig machines can be as simple or extravagant as you’d like: prices range from ~$60 to $500+, with some generations able to connect to wifi. (?!)

As another plus: if you’re turned off by disposable pods—i.e., you want something more cost effective or sustainable—Keurig offers a reusable K-cup, which acts like a traditional coffee filter for grounds. After each use, you can wash out the K-cup—you’ll just need to supply the coffee.

On-the-go: Moka Pot

Bialetti Moka Pot

This is my favorite at-home coffee maker: it’s hands-on, has a personal touch, and requires a bit of dirty work. (I enjoy the process—the toying, tinkering, burning, perfecting.) Moka pots produce a few ounces of concentrated coffee, akin to a hefty shot of espresso. They’re popular in Europe and Latin America, as they don’t require a lot of time or money. 

Moka Pots require a kettle, a stovetop, coffee grounds, and patience. After unscrewing the different parts, you’re going to fill up the bottom compartment with near-boiling water. Then, you’ll add the filter—the funnel-shaped part—and fill that with a healthy amount of grounds. Then, screw the top part on and set it on the stove-top, where you’ll keep it at a steady, low temperature. Once you hear a gurgling noise, your coffee is ready!

Like a cast-iron pan, Moka pots produce better results with more use—plus, you’ll get better at gauging when the brew hits its sweet spot. It’s a win-win: you get to practice your coffee-making skills while enhancing the taste of your brew. 

Traditional: Coffee Maker

Haden Coffee Maker

Just like the one in your parents’ kitchen: ol’ reliable. You can purchase one of these second-hand or at most retail or general merchandise stores, with most basic options hovering around $10-$20. Of course, more lavish options exist that supposedly enhance your morning brew; however, the difference is negligible for beginners. You’re going to need coffee grounds and filters that are specific to your machine; besides that, you probably know how to operate and what to expect from traditional coffee makers. 

Basic: French Press

The beloved French Press: she’s easy to use, transportable, and reliable. You’ll have to purchase a grinder, or you’ll need to get your beans ground pretty coarsely. Because FPs work by steeping and trapping the grounds, they need to be large enough to be “caught” by the plunger mechanism. If this sounds confusing, check this out:

Experienced/Hobby-level: Espresso Machine

Breville Bambino Espresso Machine

Considering I’ve been a barista, I’m a bit biased in my coffee inclinations! So, besides the Moka pot, I love using my Breville Bambino espresso machine (which I snagged off of Facebook Marketplace). There are several different types of espresso machines and associated accessories, with prices on the higher end in the several thousands. If you’re more particular about the taste of your coffee and enjoy steamed milk drinks, like cappuccinos or lattes, you should consider an espresso machine.

Like we’d covered earlier, espresso isn’t the same as coffee, and espresso machines only brew espresso shots. So, if you’re looking for a traditional cup o’ joe, you might want to opt for a different machine, like the French Press or Keurig. Espresso machines are complicated, and are associated with a bit of a learning curve. While we can’t cover everything you’ll need to know here, so you can check out this NYTimes article or Whole Latte Love’s how-to videos.

I've found that making my coffee at home gets me excited to start the day—plus, I'm saving a lot of money. Hopefully you'll join me!

Flush Balm - 300x600


Similar posts