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Hands-On Gear Brings the Coffeehouse to Your Kitchen

Making coffee as well as the professionals is no easy task, but it's possible to brew a great cup at home with a little work. Making good coffee means getting your hands a little dirty, but starting with the right gear can cut back on the time it takes to get it right. Fortunately, good equipment can also eliminate some of the drawbacks that accompany the gear that most coffeehouses use - price and hassle.

Fine Grinding 
Coffee starts with the bean, of course, but the way that bean makes it into the coffee machine can have a huge impact on the taste of the cup. Grinding beans is therefore one of the most important, yet often overlooked, steps to making a good cup of coffee, and some experts would contend that it's the No. 1 thing to make or break the brew. Coffee should always be ground just before it's used, but there's more to the grind than its timeliness. The size of the individual grounds can change the way that oils are extracted into the water, with larger pieces taking longer to impart their flavor than smaller pieces.

This can cause problems when grounds aren't of a uniform size, which is a common issue with many grinders. According to The Atlantic, burr grinders are the choice of the pros, and for good reason. Unlike grinders that use blades to chop the beans, burr grinders actually crush them, producing much more even grounds. Unfortunately, this quality usually comes at a price, since most burr grinders on the market are made for professional uses and sell for hundreds of dollars. One option for home baristas is the Mr. Coffee® Automatic Burr Mill, which produces consistent coffee for a fraction of the price of other grinders.

Press Your Luck 
Automatic coffee makers have a lot of advantages, but if you're just brewing your own cup at home, they can feel like overkill. Single cup coffee brewers are a great way to scale back, but if you're going for the hands-on approach, a French press may be the best option. These coffee makers produce a great-tasting brew, but to make a truly perfect cup with one, baristas often have to break out an electric kettle to get the heat of the water just right. The Mr. Coffee® 2-n-1 Electric French Press and Hot Water Kettle could simplify the process, heating water and brewing coffee in the same machine for a more consistent brewing process and less cleanup.