4 Must Have Accessories for Coffee Lovers
True coffee enthusiasts understand that quality cups of Joe can be found beyond chain joints, simply by taking matters into their own hands. Their kitchens not only have a trusty home coffee maker, but also an impressive cache of coffee accessories. Read on for the items necessary to join the ranks of the truest coffee connoisseurs.
1. Coffee Grinder
For the freshest of coffee, invest in a coffee grinder. When ground just prior to being put in a machine, coffee beans are said to achieve their full flavor. Less expensive coffee grinders may possess just one grind setting or only enable you to guesstimate when to stop grinding. Meanwhile, pricier options will offer a multitude of easy-to-control coarseness levels, such as coarse, medium, fine and super fine. For easy future use, grind extra coffee in a container stored in the fridge.
Tip: A coffee grinder also delivers much more than ground coffee. Alternative uses include the grinding of:
- Chili pepper flakes
- Flax seeds
- Small amounts of flour
- Powdered sugar
- Chopped nuts and seeds
- Anything else you need in a finer form
2. Reusable Filters
Gold Tone Filter: Constructed by stainless steel and enhanced by gold plating, a gold tone filter is a great replacement for disposable paper filters. Gold tone filters are designed for reuse, making it an environmentally friendly and cheaper option. In comparison to paper filters, gold tone filters also retain more original and rich flavors. Reason being, gold tone filters allow the coffee beans’ oils and other palatable properties to pass through into the brew. Meanwhile, paper filters tend to absorb them.
- Cleaning: To clean, just dump out the filter’s remains and give it a thorough rinse, or even place it in the dishwasher.
Cloth Filter: Some coffee drinkers may prefer yet another layer of filtering or simply an alternative to the gold tone filter. Reusable cloth coffee filters, available in cotton, flannel or hemp, can get the job done. These resemble socks and permit less oil to go through than gold tone filters, but more than paper filters.
- Cleaning: It’s suggested not to let the cloth dry out after use, or else it will develop a foul odor. For proper cleaning, wash the cloth out in hot water, place it in a bag and then store the bag in the fridge until next use.
3. Milk Frother
To attain a delicate foam decoration for your drink of choice, purchase a milk frother. These handy devices aerate (or rapidly add air to) warmed milk, making a pretty froth top layer for coffee. Some cappuccino makers have an incorporated steam-operated milk frother. Other options include:
- Hand-Held Milk Frother: Requires more effort but is the cheapest option
- Hand-Held Electric Milk Frother: Has a motorized whisk; better for multiple cups of coffee but is more expensive
- Self-Contained Manual Milk Frother: Requires more effort than its electric equivalent but is less expensive
- Self-Contained Electric Milk Frother: Hands-free and automatic option; better for multiple coffees but is more expensive
Tip: Before use, store your empty pitcher in the freezer because both the milk and the pitcher used for frothing should be cold. Use skim milk for denser foam and fill the pitcher no more than 1/3 way full. Afterward, let the froth stand for at least 30 seconds before spooning it onto your drink.
4. Espresso Tamper
Espresso drinkers are typically very particular about the taste and look of their small, concentrated beverage. With the help of an espresso tamper, the espresso can be done right.
Used to gently press ground coffee into an espresso machine’s basket, an espresso tamper ensures uniform water flow through the coffee. Without the tamper, the flow may be uneven and produce irregular brewing: A portion of the coffee will be under brewed, while the rest will be over brewed. The espresso will also look less appetizing because the crema, the top froth, will be harmed. You want a crema that is thick and rich.
Many espresso machines supply a complimentary tamper; however, the usual plastic material is considered subpar to that of a metal tamper. Moreover, tampers may feature a flat base, a rounded base or an inverted base. Pick whichever suits your fancy and fits your espresso machine—otherwise, you may end up with loose grounds.
Fully customize your coffee experience by cultivating it in your own kitchen. With the proper coffee equipment and accessories, you can become the favored, expert barista of your family and friends.