Whether you’re stepping up your coffee game or just getting started, every home barista needs a home brewing toolkit to get the job done right.
When it comes to coffee brewing methods there are many. From automatic drip to home espresso machines and pour overs to cold brew, there is a brewing process for everyone. If you’re just getting started or are an avid coffee gear collector, a proper coffee toolkit is absolutely necessary.
Some brewing methods require extra accessories and others less but you’ll never regret a well equipped coffee toolkit, so here are your absolute must-haves.
Brew Method: How Do You Brew?
Your brewing method may seem like an obvious part of your toolkit but we’re nowhere without our brew method. Different brew methods result in different flavors and characteristics for each coffee. Our favorite brew methods include the Aeropress and pour overs like the Chemex or Hario V60.
Filters: One Size Does Not Fit All!
Filters are a key part of your brewing process and can affect the quality of your brew immensely. One size does not fit all for coffee filters and brew methods so be sure to user the proper filter for your brew method. We always recommend using filters manufactured by and for your specific brew method. For example, the Aeropress requires specific filters that are best made by the same company.
Most paper filters are compostable, however, if you are hoping to decrease your environmental impact there are alternate methods to filtering your coffee. From metal mesh filters to hand sewn clothe filters, eco-friendly alternatives abound.
The Grinder: Burr or Blade?
Coffee grinders are an essential tool for improving the quality of your coffee at home. The importance of grinding coffee fresh is often overlooked despite its importance. Freshly ground coffee releases aromas and flavors during the brew process that are not present in coffee that has been pre-ground days or weeks before brewing.
More specifically, burr grinders are an important addition to your toolkit. There are two main types of coffee grinders: burr grinders and blade grinders. Generally speaking, blade grinders are more affordable but do not grind efficiently or accurately. Burr grinders are becoming more and more affordable and continue to be of higher quality, efficiency and, in the end, a better deal as they are made to last.
Tradition Coffee Roasters’ favorite burr grinders are the Baratza Encore and the Baratza Virtuosa+. The Virtuoso+ is amazing for the hardcore coffee enthusiast as it grinds effectively for both espresso and drip. With that said, I have a real soft spot for the Baratza Encore. It’s a true workhorse and puts out a high quality grind while looking pretty on your countertop (I’ve had mine for five years!).
Scale: Weigh It Out?
Weighing out your coffee is the best method to increase your consistency, efficiency and quality of your coffee at home. Using a coffee scoop or even a measured spoon will not accurately dose the amount of coffee each and every time. Using a kitchen scale or a proper coffee scale is the only way to increase the accuracy of your brewing.
Accuracy when dosing out coffee for brewing is so important not only for the quality of coffee but so that you can minimize coffee waste. This way you will only be grinding and brewing the exact amount of coffee you need with no left over grounds waiting to be brewed the next day. Again - freshly ground coffee is the best coffee!
The most important factor for choosing a scale is that it weighs in grams. Any kitchen scale will do but Tradition Coffee Roasters’ favors the Hario V60 Drip Scale - read on to find out why!
Timer: Time is Money… And Flavor
A timer is a crucial part of your home brewing coffee toolkit and, luckily, the Hario V60 Drip Scale has a built-in timer making this one less purchase for you! Timing your brewing process allows you to remain consistent with your coffee brewing when it comes to manual brewing methods like pour overs or the French press.
Brew time has an enormous effect on the flavor and quality of your brew. If you brew your coffee for too long, it will become bitter but if you brew it for not long enough, your coffee will turn out sour and acidic. Timing your brew will allow you to avoid bitterness and unwanted acidity, giving you the perfect brew every time!
And finally, the last but arguably most important addition to your home brewing kit . . .
Tradition Coffee Roasters’ Freshly Roasted Coffee!
Whether you sip a different coffee from Tradition Coffee Roasters every week or stay the course with a tried and true favorite, we have an option for you and we cannot wait for you to brew our beans with your new coffee toolkit. So what are you waiting for? Stop by the shop and grab a bag - or two!