Manual coffee brewing has become one of the most popular ways to make coffee at home or off-the-grid, as well as at many in-style and high-end coffee shops. Due to the explosive increase in the world’s obsession with brewing coffee at home, it makes sense that many different styles of brewing have developed throughout the years. From stovetop espresso makers to french presses and multi-part aeropresses, any method you use to brew coffee will require a couple of tools. Our favorite technique is the pour over. But, what other equipment is really needed? The coffee aficionados will tell you all six of the items below are absolutely required. Technically, you could skip the first two by using good pre-ground coffee and measuring by volume vs. weight. It’s really about how technical and precise you want to be. Either way, you’ll still have a great tasting cup of coffee that’s better than any machine can produce.
1. The Coffee Grinder
Let’s start with the grind of beans. Yes, you can use pre-ground drip-style coffee for pourover but just keep in mind that the coffee is losing flavor with every passing day. How fine you grind your beans also impacts filter drain time and flavor extraction. Ground too course and it will be under-extracted (weak flavor)t; too fine and you’ll over-extract (bitter flavors) and may clog your filter. For that reason, most will prefer to grind their own beans each day to achieve maximum freshness and grind size.
Whether you choose a hand-turned grinder or one with at least forty different grind settings to choose from, grinding your own beans truly makes a difference in your daily cup of coffee.
Best Coffee Grinders of Amazon
- For something even a professional barista would trust, but that doesn’t break the bank, we recommend the OXO Brew Conical Burr grinder. The machine can produce up to twelve ounces and has fifteen speed settings to give you control over the process.
- If money is no object and you brew multiple styles of coffee, then the top-ranked Fellows Grinder may be more your speed.
- If you plan to use off-grid, check out the TIMEMORE Chestnut C2 MAX Manual Coffee Grinder.
2. The Scale
Serious coffee enthusiasts measure their grounds and water to the gram. First, they use a digital scale to measure the weight of the beans. Then, they set their carafe and dripper on the scale and use the Zero-Out/Tare function before they begin pouring the boiled water, so that they can precisely measure the weight of the water as it is added. It’s all very scientific and their are many online sites and social media influencers with detailed videos on the various methods of pour over.
The Best Coffee Scales on Amazon
If you want to be precise, our favorite scales are:
- Amazon Basics Stainless Steel Digital Kitchen Scale
- Escali Primo P115M
- Farberware Professional Electronic Glass Kitchen and Food Scale
- Brewista Coffee Ratio Scale
Here at Big Joe Coffee, we’ve made it simpler by giving you “close-enough” volume conversions so that you can measure your coffee with common measuring cups, based on the amount of coffee you want to brew. For example, it takes about ½ cup (or 36 grams) of coffee grounds to make 20 oz. of coffee. Need a whole pot instead? Up the coffee grounds to 1 ¼ cups and add 64 oz. of near-boiling water. Using the less accurate volume measurements instead of weight is definitely easier when making your coffee on the road or when camping.
3. Pour Over Coffee Maker
Who says you can only drink one cup of coffee at a time! Made for those of us who want a lot of coffee, but no fuss, our favorite pour over is the Big Joe Pour Over Coffee Maker. With a flat bottom designed to sit atop almost any cup (though we’ll suggest our favorites below), you can brew up to 75 ounces of coffee straight into your container of choice. Also, since the Big Joe Coffee Maker is made of BPA free, food-grade plastic, you can bring it anywhere you may need coffee. From camping to college, the Big Joe Coffee Maker is portable and durable, and won’t break like glass pourovers do. It is also dishwasher safe allowing for easy clean up!
4. Coffee Filters
To go with your Big Joe Pour Over, you need Big Joe Coffee Filters! Though specially designed for the Big Joe Pour Over Coffee Maker, these coffee filters also fit most 10-12 cup coffee brewers. Using a large, strong coffee filter prevents grounds from spilling over into your coffee and ruining the taste, as well as a huge mess. We recommend a coarse grind or drip-style grind to ensure you get the most out of your pourover coffee. The Big Joe Coffee Filters are made with chemical and chlorine free biodegradable paper, and are also compostable!
5. The Kettle
The kettle is almost as important as the pour over brewer itself. While any kettle will get the job done, you’ll want control to pour your boiling water in a circular pattern to extract the best flavor from your coffee via the pour over method, and the best control comes from a good gooseneck kettle. A gooseneck kettle not only looks sleek and stylish, but is also vital to your pour over routine. With a slim, long spout, a gooseneck kettle allows slow and precise pouring. For home/on-grid use, our favorite is the 1.7L model from Bonavita but it has been out of stock for some time. Second favorite by volume is their 1.3L model, the Bonavita Cosmopolitan 1.3L Variable Temperature Body Electric Kettle. We also like the COSORI Electric Gooseneck Kettle. This kettle has five temperature presets to ensure you do not burn your coffee, and is actually reasonably priced but note that’s its volume is limited to .8L at a time. For camping, we suggest you keep using your old percolator but only for boiling the water for your pour over, like this one.
6. The Carafe
After making your big batch of coffee using the Big Joe Coffee Maker, the last thing you’d want is for the coffee to get cold before you drink it! With glass pour over makers, you start losing heat from the first minute. Big Joe allows you to brew directly into almost any thermal cup or carafe that you already have, keeping your coffee hot during and after brewing.
Our favorite way to keep our daily pot of coffee hot is with the DrinkTanks Craft 64 oz. Growler. It’s a great multi-tasker product, as it keeps your coffee piping hot all day and then you can use it to keep your beer carbonated and cold in the afternoons/evenings. Designed to meet all of your temperature preservation needs, this growler allows you to enjoy your favorite beverages at optimal temp – anywhere, anytime. Additionally, the DrinkTanks growler is made with passivated stainless steel which will keep your coffee from tasting like anything else you’ve used it for. We’re also big fans of their thermal cups.
If you want to take just one big cup of coffee for your daily commute, we’d recommend the huge 30 oz tumbler from Milwaukee. If you’re making coffee for a small office or for your family brunch, you may be better served with an airpot like this 2.2L one that we use from Zojirushi.
Though it may seem like many steps and a lot of gear, you know that a good cup of coffee is always worth it. Thankfully, the Big Joe Pour Over Coffee Maker makes brewing your best cup of coffee ever even quicker and from anywhere! What are your essentials for making the best cup of coffee at home?
Please note that Big Joe receives a small commission from sales of certain items linked in this article.