From time to time Kirk is asked about coffee equipment. He is always glad to give it. And we thought that it would be a service to post some basic recommendations here.
Coffee has a limited shelf life–2-3 weeks from the roaster, and 2 hours from the grinder. The oils begin to break down almost immediately after the coffee is ground, and staling happens quite quickly. We recommend a good burr grinder so that you get a consistent grind. It is almost essential for a press pot, and absolutely essential for making espresso. The blade grinders just won’t give you the consistent size particles you need to get an excellent cup of coffee.
We recommend the Baratza line of coffee grinders, which is an updated version of the one Kirk uses every day in his house. They can be found for around $200.
French Press/Press Pot
One of the simplest ways to make coffee is to pour hot water into a vessel and let it steep for four minutes. There are a lot of press pots on the market, most of them use a glass vessel. We have ended up breaking every single glass press pot we’ve ever owned. So it was a no brainer to move to a stainless steel one. We like the stainless steel ones for several reasons: they are unbreakable, they keep the coffee hot longer without a heating element, and they are dishwasher safe. The one Kirk uses holds 850ml or 30oz of water along with 48 grams of coffee. This is enough coffee for Kirk every morning (5 cups).
We recommend products made by Bodum because replacement parts are easy to find. These cost around $75.
For commercial coffee brewers, Kirk recommends the BUNN line of brewers. Please call for a consultation (775.391.0087).
Coffee needs to be brewed with the water between 196-205F. Most drip coffee brewers can’t get the water hot enough for a correct steep temperature. Because the water is not hot enough, the resulting coffee is not as good as it could be.
The only make we recommend is one that requires the water boil before it leaves the holding chamber, the drip coffee makers manufactured by Technivorm. One of these brewers cost around $300.
We don’t make recommendations on commercial espresso equipment. There are simply too many great machines to choose from. But we do have a recommendation on a home model. We recommend the Rancilio Miss Silvia. It is a simple machine with a commercial size portafilter and a good size boiler. It is simple, and it works. With this machine and a bit of practice, you’ll be pulling excellent espresso shots and be making wonderful lattes for years. It is a single step below a commercial machine, and it is priced like one too. One of these will cost around $650. You will also want to purchase a heavy tamper as well, which can be found for around $60.