It's always tricky compiling a "best of" list for coffee equipment, since tastes vary so much from person to person. There are lots of ways to make a cup of coffee in your kitchen, and the method you prefer depends on how much time you want to spend on prep and whether you go for a stronger or lighter brew, among other factors. Still, we're giving this list a shot by rounding up 12 sources and products that consistently get shout-outs as readers' and writers' favorites.
Home Coffee Roasting
Unlike wine, coffee beans are best enjoyed soon after they're roasted and rested a bit. Some coffee enthusiasts like to try their hand at home roasting, since it gives the roaster control over the flavor and allows you to have the freshest possible cup of coffee.
Burr and blade grinders are the two most popular tools for grinding coffee beans at home. A blade grinder is usually fine for a basic drip brew, while a burr grinder can create a finer, more consistent grind for espresso makers.
Boutique coffee companies — from Stumptown to Intelligentsia — swear by Chemex brewers, French presses, and other back-to-basics tools that provide more control over the coffee making process.
For a fast and consistent cup of coffee without a lot of prep work, automatic coffee makers are the way to go. Drip coffee makers are common and affordable, while pod systems like the Nespresso are gaining ground.
• Best Online Sources for Coffee Connoisseurs
• How to Shop for a Coffee Maker
• Coffee Brewing Posts from the Kitchn
• What is the Best Way to Make Coffee at Home? from the Kitchn
• 10 Best Looking Coffee Makers from Unplggd
• Best Coffee and Espresso Machines 2009 from Unplggd
• Top Ten Coffee Machines from Apartment Therapy
• The Best Coffee Grinder You Don't Know About from Apartment Therapy
Photo: Ty Nigh used under Creative Commons License 2.0