If there’s one piece of advice I can pass on to people who are working from home for the first time, it is this: caffeine is key. Working from home effectively requires more discipline than most might realize. You’re surrounded by comfort—your bed, your couch, your things, your kitchen—and infinite distractions from work. Getting things done requires focus (and having the energy to get out of bed and get to your desk, laptop, whatever). And for many of us, that means having a caffeine fix in place is the first step in making the best of working from home.
We also happen to be living in something of a golden age of coffee accessibility—the tools that the barista at your favorite local coffee shop uses to put together the perfect artisanal roast are available from your keyboard. The reality of coffee is that there are infinite ways to make it, but consider this a starter guide to the best coffee makers you can add to your WFH setup.
A French press is, pound for proverbial pound, probably the best uncomplicated at-home coffee setup you can find. The nature of making coffee with a French press (steeping your grounds in hot water for four minutes and then using the press’s plunger to filter out the grounds) is so simple that it’s somewhat difficult to quantify what makes for a “great” press over a “good” one.
But you really can’t go wrong with this number from Bodom Chambord. It’s sturdy, it works, and it’ll make even a cup of Folgers taste fancier than you’re used to.
You probably best know this machine for its increasingly ridiculous ad campaign featuring George Clooney (and sometimes Danny DeVito) but trust me, this thing is the real deal. If you want to splurge on a fancy coffee maker that can get you set with everything from a double-shot of espresso to a cappuccino, this is the one to go with.
Moka pots can be messy if you don’t use them properly (or clean and maintain them consistently) but if you stay on top of that it’s a great way to brew up espresso—or a very strong cup of coffee if that’s more your speed. They separate into three pieces, the bottom of which is filled with water and the middle (which contains a filter) with coffee or espresso grounds.
As the water below boils, it rises, filtering through the grounds and up into the third capsule as caffeinated delight. Bialetti is one of the biggest name in the field when it comes to Moka pots and their 6-cup edition pretty much guarantees satisfaction.
I know, I know. It’s 2020, who drinks drip coffee outside of local diners anymore? Well hear me out: a cup from the Cuisinart is as good as any fancy-schmancy aeropress coffee you’ll find. Even setting the excellent flavor you’ll get from it aside, the unfortunate reality of working from home is that you’re not always going to have the energy to make an elaborate cup of coffee.
Sometimes what you need is to wake up to a freshly-brewed pot and not worry about exerting any extra effort. The Cuisinart Programmable Coffee Maker allows you to preset the machine before bed so that you wake up to the perfect cup. We’ve all got enough to worry about throughout this working-from-home tenure. Coffee shouldn’t be added to that list.
Like I said, sometimes effort isn’t ideal. Whether it’s an early morning and you forgot to steep your cold brew or it’s 2PM and you just have too much work on your hands to worry about operating a moka pot without making a mess, having a Keurig around can be super helpful in a pinch.
This one is pretty simple and makes individual cups of coffee in a matter of seconds. Is it going to taste as good as a slow-steeped French press cup? Probably not. But hey, you can’t beat that brew time.
For those of you hoping to take advantage of the time at home to fine-tune your barista skills, a Chemex pour-over is the right move. Making a cup of coffee with a Chemex is a painterly process that requires beans ground to the perfect consistency and patience and the right kind of high-quality paper filters, but the payoff is worth the time and effort. Accept no imitations - the folks at Chemex take the art of making coffee seriously.
If you want to start small with your pour-over goals, try a mug-sized brewer. Pour Over Mugs take the brewing method utilized by Chemex-style coffee makers and shrinks it down to a mug-sized apparatus that drips your coffee directly into a mug. The best pour over is going to vary depending on how big your go-to coffee mugs are but you can’t go wrong with Le Creuset’s offerings.