Did you know that 7 in 10 Americans drink coffee daily? That’s according to the National Coffee Association. Perhaps you didn’t need that stat to tell you coffee is (almost) ubiquitous in America, but it does paint a more tangible picture of where we stand on drinking the dark-ambered beverage.
You might have been in the habit of stopping to get a coffee to go on your way to work from your favorite coffee shop pre-pandemic, but what if you could recreate the same atmosphere in your home to suit your WFH style? Make your own coffee corner with a blackboard, a few bar stools, cubicle-style furniture and more.
Making your new relaxing corner can be easily done if you take a few of your less frequently used items into storage. A 5’x5′ storage unit near your home would suffice for a couple of boxes and would be easily accessible whenever you want. This service comes especially handy if you live in a city where home sizes are not so generous. Renting a storage unit in Seattle, where apartments come with the smallest sizes in the country (676 sq. ft.), costs $205/month.
One other thing to consider is coffee-making equipment: no coffee corner is complete without a coffee machine. Here are some coffee makers you can consider for your home:
1. Auto drip brewer
The automatic coffee maker is the most popular in-home brewing method. The Wigomat is the first patented drip coffee machine, introduced in 1954 by Gottlob Widmann. By the 1970s, they replaced percolators in homes which tended to make coffee bitter because of over-brewing.
The automatic drip brewer works by pouring hot water over ground coffee in a paper filter. Then, the coffee gradually drips into the pot below. It’s easy to find both no-frills and professional models. A lot of them can brew coffee for up to 14 persons, which makes it perfect for families and also for fans of the old-school diner coffee experience.
2. Manual drip brewer
The manual drip brewer follows the same principle as its automatic cousin – with hot water slowly being poured over coffee grounds placed over a cup or a pot. It actually predates the automatic one as it was invented in 1941 and made by the Chemex Corporation in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
The simple, elegant design of the flask has been deemed to have one of the best designs for a product by the Institute of Technology of Illinois. Don’t be surprised to see it featured in the MOMA collection in New York.
The manual drip brewer works by pouring hot water over the ground coffee until you get you’re the amount of coffee you want. It takes some time to master using it, as you might discover brew flavor tends to vary and you need some patience to get your coffee done. Perks include a simple and gorgeous design as well as a clean and smooth coffee flavor.
3. Single-serve coffee makers
The popularity of single-serve coffee makers makes sense – you don’t have to wait as long as you when you brew an entire pot of coffee. Additionally, if you’re making coffee for just two people, single-serve makes more sense.
The single-serve uses the K-cup, the most popular delivery method, which is a plastic container with a tin foil top. The coffee machine pierces the container allowing hot water to flow and pour ready-made coffee into the cup set below.
4. Drip and K-cup combo
If you’re not sold on drip or K-cup exclusively, why not enjoy both? The drip and K-cup combo coffee maker comes with both options. You can brew a pot of coffee when you have company over, or you can make a single cup when it’s just you.
When you’re in a hurry, and you just want a cup of coffee on the go, you can easily get your coffee fix, without all the cleanup that comes when you’re using coffee pot functionality.
5. French press
Also known as a press pot or a plunger pot, the French press is an easy coffee-making device that is travel friendly. It was invented by Mayer and Delforge, two Frenchmen; however, the modern version we use was invented by Milanese designer Attillio Calimani in 1929.
To make a cup of joe with a French press, you simply add ground coffee to a plastic, glass or steel French press and let it steep for a few minutes. Then, a mesh metal filter is placed over top and plunged down to help separate the coffee from the grounds. The technology behind it is simple but effective: The mesh metal filter allows the coffee’s flavor oils to get to your coffee cup, unlike the drip method, where they get trapped in the coffee filter.
The French press is easy to use and clean. It’s great for students looking for affordable coffee as well as parents who love a full-bodied cup of coffee before taking their kids to school.
Invented in Italy in 1884 – have you noticed a theme already? – espresso machines became ubiquitous in cafes throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. They make espresso-based coffee drinks such as cappuccinos, lattes and americanos. They come in various shapes and sizes, but they generally tend to be bulky. Let’s take a look at the types of espresso machines:
Manual espresso machines
It is the original espresso maker, and it was invented by Italian Achille Gaggia. Manual espresso machines use a lever or a manual pump to push water through the ground coffee. They’re entirely run by pumping, with no electricity required. They’re usually found in coffee shops, with the barista controlling all aspects of the coffee-making process. However, there’s no reason why you can’t do the same thing from the comfort of your own home. One downside is that they require some effort to make the coffee and a milk frother is not part of the combo.
Automatic espresso machines make coffee by pressuring hot water and pushing it through the ground beans. With automatic machines, you have to press the “start” button twice, and you don’t have to worry about stopping the water flow as they do it automatically, unlike semi-automatic ones, which require you to do it. They boast fast brewing time, have a milk frother and can yield cafe-quality coffee drinks at home. However, they can be expensive and might take a while to be mastered.
This is the most common type of espresso machine that you’d find in a home. They look very similar to the ones you see in cafes, with a home-oriented function. They work by grinding the coffee. Next, you load the portafilter, tamp and push the start button to help you get your shot. You can personalize much of coffee-making process, from the amount of water used for brewing and the pressure applied to the tamper. This produces a coffee that can range in taste, opening up a world of sensory experiences.
7. Siphon coffee maker
If you’re looking to have a coffee machine that looks like it came out of a chemistry lab, then you need a siphon coffee maker on your countertop. It’s also called a vacuum coffee brewer, and it was invented in Germany by Loeff of Berlin ca. 1830s.
It is made out of two chambers – one for putting the water in and the second for grinding the coffee. Hot water is pushed into the upper chamber with the ground coffee. Then, as coffee is brewed it drips back into the lower chamber. The two chambers have a filter in-between; with a little help from gravity, you can get an excellent espresso-style coffee.
This is a slower and more complex brewing method, but you do get to enjoy a clean and smooth brew if the artistry of making coffee appeals to you.
8. Vietnamese coffee maker (Phin)
Coffee is very popular in Vietnam, and it’s usually made using a single cup filter brewing system called a “phin.” This is a steel filter where ground coffee is placed. You pour hot water through it to make the delicious beverage. Add condensed milk and ice for the hot summer days. This device combines the German pour method and French press method and the result is a strong and sharp cup of coffee.
This coffee maker is ideal for anyone looking to enjoy a traditional cup of coffee in a simple and easy-to make way. It’s perfect for one cup of coffee – just make sure you like your coffee strong before choosing this method.
9. Cold brew coffee maker
Cold brew coffee has become fairly popular lately due to the smooth and strong coffee it yields. You can go either the immersion or the drip route. Soak your ground coffee beans at room temperature for 12-24 hours if you’re following the immersion method. If you’re brewing your coffee via the cold drip method, you simply let cold water slowly drip over ground coffee.
This method can take some time, but the result is incredibly flavorful. Enjoying a cold brew is perfect if you live in a hot climate or if you’re looking to enjoy a low-acidity cup of coffee.
10. Moka pot coffee maker
The Moka pot is the stovetop version of the espresso machine. It is a more affordable, easy to use and portable version of it. You can get a rich, strong brew that can make amazing coffee drinks. Just flavor the coffee with creamers, syrups and everything else you like at Starbucks.
Boiling water is pushed under pressure through the ground coffee, located in the second chamber. Coffee flavor depends on how well-roasted the beans are, how finely ground they are and also the temperature of the water. This device is great if you want to enjoy a high quality cup of coffee with little effort and also if you’re an RV enthusiast.
11. Ibrik (Turkish coffee pot)
Just like the Vietnamese phin, the Turkish Ibrik-style coffee makes a strong cup of joe. It’s a simple stovetop method. You take your Ibrik – Turkish word for “coffee pot” or “jug” – and you add cold water and a teaspoon or two of ground coffee. Put it on the stovetop on the lowest heat setting until it becomes foamy. Pour this foam into your cup and sweeten it with sugar. You’ll get a bittersweet strong coffee similar to an espresso.
The Ibrik method might take a while to perfect, but if you enjoy a strong no-frills coffee, go to the store and buy your special new coffee-making device. Besides, you can hide it inside your kitchen cabinets, and you can keep your countertop breezy.
Which coffee maker is your favorite and why? Let us know in the comments section below.