5 Gadgets You Need For Great Home-Brewed Coffee And 5 You Can Skip

Say goodbye to the inconsistency of the daily drip at your go-to coffee chain by utilizing gadgets and accessories at home that will give you the satisfaction of making a delightful cup all on your own. You may even save a buck or two! Taking the time to learn about the coffee beans you like best, how to grind them, and achieve your perfect level of flavor intensity will not only ensure you have the perfect coffee every day — or at least most days — it will give you more appreciation for the beloved morning beverage.


While the process might seem intimidating at first, with the right gadgets you'll find making your own coffee is easier than you expect, and well worth the effort. Some grind, some measure, and some steam, but all will help you to become a better barista than you'd ever imagined. So, if you're a beginner — or even a seasoned at-home coffee barista — this guide to must-have tools will help you take your Java to the next level as well as help you discern which flashy items you might not actually need.

Buy: electric coffee grinder

The first step to becoming an at-home coffee aficionado is investing in a grinder for a more flavorful cup of coffee. If you're just starting your at-home coffee journey, opt for an electric coffee grinder that will make your morning a bit easier and help you enjoy your caffeine hit faster as opposed to a manual version that will require more time and a bit of elbow grease. A quality electric grinder will also grind your beans to more consistent grounds for a better flavor.


When looking for a coffee grinder, it's important to find one that's durable, reliable, and easy to use. The best-loved Baratza Encore is a favorite among everyday coffee drinkers and baristas alike for its simplicity and longevity. So, even if making the initial purchase of a coffee grinder feels tough — know a quality machine will pay off in the long run, all while delivering fresh and delicious coffee that's significantly better tasting than coffee you'll make with pre-ground coffee.

Skip: espresso tamp

When you're just starting your at-home coffee journey, you can skip pro tools like the tamp — which compresses loose coffee grounds in the portafilter to brew espresso. While it might become a must-have later on if you decide you want to focus on brewing espresso beverages –  like lattes and cappuccinos — it takes some serious knowledge to use correctly.


It's even possible to injure yourself over time while using one if you don't have proper form with a straight wrist. Plus, they can be pricey with some popular models going for nearly $200, not including the espresso maker needed to use it!

You might have seen your local barista using one like a pro and want to give it a try yourself, but for beginners, a more classic coffee machine is a fantastic everyday option. A good machine will deliver delicious coffee without the difficulties that come with brewing espresso — which can be much more complicated than coffee.

Buy: accurate coffee scale

Skip the cutesy coffee measuring scoop and opt for a scale for your best possible cup of coffee. Many coffee novices don't realize that different coffees have different masses due to the moisture content, with darker coffee weighing less than a lighter roast coffee — even if they're taking up the same amount of space in your scoop. This discrepancy in weight can lead to noticeable and often unwelcome changes in flavor. For example, using too much coffee can make your cup taste sour whereas using too little can lead to a bitter flavor.


The best way to measure is in grams with a good, old-fashioned digital scale. Any brand will do — but if you want to splurge on an ultra-high-tech, sleek scale, we like the durable Greater Goods digital coffee scale or the Acaia Pearl which is very responsive, and easy to read. Plus, it has some great features — like the real-time flow-rate indicator for pour-over coffee.

Once you're a pro at weighing your coffee grounds you can use a simple brew ratio to achieve your perfect cup of coffee. The golden ratio for a flavorful brew is considered by many to be 1:16 — coffee to water i.e. use 1 ounce of coffee in a 16-ounce cup.

Skip: capsule coffee machines

Capsule coffee machines like a Keurig or a Nespresso have soared in popularity due to their ease of use, and while they can be a quick and easy way to get your caffeine fix early in the morning, there are better options. For example, taking a few extra minutes to brew a cup made with fresh ground beans will deliver a much better taste that's worth the time investment.


Unfortunately, the grounds in capsule coffees are known for being stale. The speed at which the coffee is delivered also has its downsides. The machine isn't able to heat water up quickly enough or brew the coffee long enough to produce a flavorful cup of coffee. Not to mention, the single-use design is also worse for the environment than other brewing methods. 

If you're looking to elevate your at-home coffee and achieve the best possible taste and flavor, using the right coffee maker is key. So, choose a brewer that allows you to add your own grounds, grind them fresh, and measure them to perfection — all of which give you the ability to tailor your coffee's flavor and strength.

Buy: electric milk frother

If you want the perfect, creamy coffee, don't make the mistake of just dumping some milk or cream in your cup, or worse, making a mess with a handheld frother. Instead, use a device that can both steam and froth your milk, giving you more options when it comes to your beverage's taste. Try the Instant milk frother, which can make cold foam, warm thick foam, warm light foam, and even hot milk.


Even if you're just starting out making simple cups of coffee with cream, having a gadget that can steam your milk to the perfect temperature will help you achieve that perfect hot cup of coffee while enhancing some of the milk's sweetness. This creates a better-tasting cup of coffee than one that has cold or even room-temperature milk added as-is. 

Once you decide to try out at-home espresso drinks a good frother allows you to create all kinds of different beverages. Use cold foam for iced cappuccinos, warm thick foam for hot cappuccinos, and steamed milk for the perfect latte.

Skip: coffee roaster

A deep dive into coffee culture may have you believe you're ready to start roasting your beans from home, but it's not a necessary step for beginners — or even seasoned at-home coffee connoisseurs. Not only are there plenty of delicious, perfectly roasted beans available to choose from at your local coffee shop, grocery store, or online, but at-home roasting can be time-consuming and very difficult to perfect. It's way better to avoid potentially burning your delicate coffee beans and instead leave the roasting to the professionals.


Some of the best reviews and highly rated roasted beans to purchase from across the country come from Lavazza, Intelligentsia, and Stumptown Coffee Roasters, so try ordering these online before you even consider trying your hand at at-home roasting. You can also support your neighborhood coffee shops by buying directly from a local roaster and enjoying the brewed end result at home.

Buy: heated mug

The traditional thermos has served coffee lovers well in keeping their cups of coffee hot, but new advancements have led to the development of heated mugs. These mugs allow you to choose the exact temperature at which you'd like to enjoy your beverage for a better overall coffee-drinking experience.


Plus, these cups look more like traditional coffee cups and allow you to cool your cup down enough that you avoid the dreaded burnt tongue sensation without having to suffer through a cold coffee if you get distracted mid-morning.

One of the most popular options is the brand Ember which has a built-in heater that can be controlled directly from your phone through an app to ensure your coffee is the perfect temperature every time — letting you select your precise temperature preference in one-degree increments. Plus, it has a battery life of up to 90 minutes, so you have plenty of time to enjoy your coffee without having to worry about it cooling down.

Skip: handheld milk frother

A handheld milk frother will require you to heat the milk, in the microwave or saucepan, before you froth it. This can quickly lead to milk that is either too hot or cold, altering the taste of your cup of coffee. Milk that's too cold will chill your coffee, whereas milk that's too hot can taste gritty, especially if it's heated too quickly.


Using a handheld milk frother also requires positioning the frother at the perfect depth for frothed milk. Positioning the frother too close to the milk's surface will leave you with a mess of splashed milk whereas placing it too deep in the liquid will be ineffective. To save yourself the extra trouble — and to get the maximum amount of sweetness from your milk — opt for an electric frother. An electric frother will not only save time, it will also ensure you have the perfect temperature and texture of frothiness for your coffee with minimal effort.

Buy: water purifier

Ever wonder why coffee from a coffee shop always seems to taste better? Believe it or not, something as simple as the taste of your water will have a significant impact on your cup of coffee. Using murky tap water straight from the sink will leave you with cloudy coffee not fit for a true coffee enthusiast. Additionally, adding different minerals can alter the taste of coffee (which isn't always a bad thing). Magnesium can highlight fruiter notes in the coffee whereas calcium can enhance a coffee's heavier, creamy notes.


Prioritize using filtered water, through a Brita or other water purifier, as this will render for a better-tasting cup of coffee. Filtered tap water will remove all sorts of chemicals like chlorine and other sediments that could affect the taste of your morning joe. Try to avoid using distilled water as it's reputed to yield a bitter cup, also it's been stripped of all the minerals that the body needs (like magnesium and calcium). Distilled water is generally used for things like steam irons, lab experiments, and for aquariums. 

Skip: cold brew coffee maker

If you love cold brew, you might have a cold brew coffee maker on your wish list, but we recommend you save your money. Cold brew is great for making ahead of time, storing in the fridge, and having on mornings when you need your caffeine quickly, but even without a cold brew-specific coffee maker, it's simple enough to make this form of coffee without any fancy gadgets. Plus, some cold brew coffee makers are a little pricey, setting you back $100. So, it makes sense to make it yourself, and the process is very simple. 


This cold brew recipe will walk you through it. All you need is a coffee grinder, a large mason jar, a fine mesh strainer, and a nut milk bag  — all things you likely have in your kitchen already. Plus, it should only take 5 minutes to prep. Just make sure you allow for 12 hours of brewing time.