GearScout

The essential base-camp coffee gear

But first, Coffee.

What is it about this brewed hot beverage that makes it so consumable by so many? For some it’s an art, and others an addiction. It starts most of our days—and for graveyard shifters, it ends theirs. It serves as a fuel, and for some, it’s a meal. In Ethiopia, rituals are dedicated to it; in America, the drive-thru line won’t move fast enough. Soldiers pour packets of MRE instant coffee directly into their mouths and wash it down with water—just to stay awake. Meanwhile, in California, on a Hollywood set, an actor playing a soldier orders a double ristretto venti half-soy nonfat decaf organic chocolate brownie iced vanilla double-shot gingerbread Frappuccino extra hot with foam whipped cream upside-down double-blended, one Sweet’n low and one Nutrasweet, with ice—just to pretend that he’s someone else. WTF?

Anyway, coffee is a culture, an economy, and a passion—all in one. No matter how you take it, it’s a common daily requirement for most of us. Some brew and drink coffee in personalized private ways that sets them apart from everyone else, and they do it with pride. How do you make your coffee? Here are a variety of ways to enjoy your next cup of Joe, that’s a little more exploratory.

DRIP IT

A minimalistic way to brew one perfect cup of coffee. All you need is 3 tablespoons of ground coffee, roughly 20oz of hot water, a filter, and preferably a glass container—the rest is pretty straight forward. Or, you can order this Drip Kit. It’s that easy.

Shop Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker, $59.

PRESS IT

Depending on the size of your French Press, you can brew several cups at a time. Dump your favorite ground coffee into the press, add just off boiled water and let sit for 4 minutes, then gently press the plunger until you meet resistance. Here is a great French Press to get you started.

Shop Veken French Press, $26.

ESPRESSO IT

The stove top method of making a great espresso is globally known. It takes some disassembly and reassembly but once you do it couple of times, you’ll be good to go. The outcome is a great cup of espresso sipped from a preheated cup, don’t forget that part. Here is a simple stove top espresso maker to get you started.

Shop Grosche stovetop espresso maker, $28.

COLD BREW IT

Cold brew is certainly trending and takes a bit longer to make… like 12–24 hours longer and you need access to cooler full of ice or refrigerator. Grind your coffee nice and course, this will prevent bitterness. One ounce of coffee grounds per cup of water is a good rule of thumb. Mix coffee and water together in a jar and place in refrigerator for 24 hours. Slowly separate your grounds from the brew using cheesecloth and strainer. Boom, cold brew is served. Here’s a cold brew kit to get you started.

Shop CoffeeGator Cold Brew Kit, $27.

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