While coffee machines can simplify your work you won’t really get the kind of control that a manual setup offers. With a manual coffee setup you can do things the way you want to, right from setting the temperature to the consistency and even the flavour!
Adding a scaler to the setup helps you measure out exact quantities of coffee beans used, you can even experiment a bit tampering the conventional ratios to something that is more according to your taste.
Also coffee lovers appreciate the time taking but as a ritualistic process of manual brewing unlike the mechanical coffee makers where one can get a cup of coffee with just the push of a button!
For Coffee Machine’s, Freshpresso’s roundup of the best single serve coffee makers is a more indepth guide to buying coffee makers.
All about grinders, kettles and scales
People who prefer the pour over method of brewing must be familiar with the other machines without which the setup is incomplete. This includes grinders for grinding the coffee beans to powder, kettle for boiling the mixture and scale for measuring the exact amount of ingredients to be added.
Grinders are necessary for the uniform grinding of coffee beans, of course the texture and consistency can be controlled by the user but grinding the beans increases the flavour of the beverage tenfold. Go for a burr grinder than a blade one as they are more powerful and reliable. A compatible grinder brand recommended by most customers is Baratza that has a solid track record for delivering only the best.
The conical burr design is extremely compatible with the pour over methods of brewing. It has even proved its mettle in the comparative study involving some of the best brands conducted by Prima Coffee. Baratza is an ideal choice for users who want fine grinding, and if you want coarser and larger lumps go for the Baratza Virtuso model, these go really well with Keurig’s k-Cup coffee maker series.
Other popular options include Rancilio Rocky and Breville smart Grinder. And for people looking for something cheaper there’s Hario Coffee Mill Slim Grinder. However it is not as powerful and consistent as its peers.
The only two things you need to look for in the kettle are its temperature range and length of the spout. A long gooseneck spout is preferred as the user then is more in control of where and how much water should be poured. Among the many brands of kettles available Bonavita is the best because of its speed of operation, power and solid structure. Also the insulated handle and spout is just right, and with the auto shutdown feature and high capacity it sure is a keeper!
According to Sam Lewontin, winner of the Northeast Barista Champion, a temperature controlling system only simplifies coffee making. There are some versatile kettles as well that allow brewing of both tea and coffee, these kettles usually contain a regulator to control the temperature accordingly. The Bonavita kettle is one such versatile product that reduces the acidity and bitterness of coffee effectively.
Bonavita however has a weak structure that might fall off any moment; Hario Buono is a much better and cheaper alternative. Ambitious coffee lovers can also check out the commercial quality names such as Takahiro and Kalita.
Scales help you measure out the exact quantities of ingredients to be used in the coffee making process. A conventional scale is not only easy to read but can accurately measure 1/10th of a gram. The American Weigh SC-2KG pocket scale is one such reliable scale and is a rage among coffee lovers all over.
Combining everything together
The ideal setup would include a Baratza grinder, Bonivata Encore kettle and an American pocket scale for brewing that perfect cup of coffee.