Our Guide to the Best Coffee Brewers | Equator Coffees
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Our Guide to the Best Coffee Brewers

Brewed differently, the same great coffee can vary widely in taste. Understanding the ways that different coffee brewers cater to different coffee drinkers is essential to making the right choice for your household.

The great news for those of us brewing our coffee from home is that there are more coffee brewers available than ever before. Yet, this degree of variety can also be plenty daunting for both new and experienced brewers.

In over twenty years of roasting coffee, we have experimented with our fair share of brewing methods. To get it out of the way now: there is no definitive "best" coffee brewing method on the market for everyone. However, we think we can help you to identify one or two of the very best coffee brewers for you

Below is an assessment of our favorites currently on the market— taking into account overall design quality, practical application, and value—for those looking to enhance their own coffee brewing routine at home.


AeroPress Original Coffee Maker

Designed by inventor & Stanford University engineering instructor, Alan Adler, the AeroPress Original revolutionized the coffee brewing game upon its release in 2005. The worldwide love for this brewer even led to the creation of an annual World AeroPress Championship, where coffee lovers compete to make the best cup possible using their AeroPress recipe.

The Aeropress stands apart from the pack with its overall design and size. For the morning coffee drinker looking to quickly make a strong cup for one, the Aeropress may be for you. It is also easily the best brewer on this list for travel.

Check out our Aeropress Brew Guide for set-by-step instructions on how we brew using this method.

  • Batch Size: Brews one cup at a time
  • Taste Profile: Strong and rich
  • Recommended Grind: Medium-fine ground coffee
  • Our Favorite Features: The light and portable design makes this the best brewing method for brewing on the road. Plus, it can be easily disassembled for cleaning.
  • Customer Feedback: Due to the concentrated brew, some drinkers will prefer to dilute with milk. Not the best brewer to experience a clean, "neutral" cup of a new coffee.


Chemex Coffee Maker

Perhaps the most visually iconic coffee brewer in specialty coffee, the Chemex got its start all the way back in 1941, invented by Dr. Peter Schlumbohm to brew the perfect cup of coffee. The Massachussets company is still family owned and operated today, creating the brewer that many in the coffee industry celebrate as being a true convergence of form and function.

Apart from looking great on a countertop, the Chemex delivers on brewing a truly balanced cup of coffee. There are an array of sizes available, although we have frequently gravitated towards the formidable 8-Cup for brewing for groups at our roastery.

Check out our Chemex Brew Guide for set-by-step instructions on how we brew using this method.

  • Batch Size: Brews two generous cups, or 4 small cups
  • Taste Profile: Clean & balanced 
  • Recommended Grind: Medium-coarse ground coffee
  • Our Favorite Features: While other pourover methods on this list need to rest atop a glass server or the mug itself, the Chemex functions as a own brewer and server, all in one.
  • Customer Feedback: Due to the unique size and shape of this brewer, and its corresponding filters, there can be a learning curve here to achieving the right flavor. If you're new to Chemex, we recommend following our Chemex brew guide to remove any guesswork.


Fellow Clara French Press

The French Press has long been a staple in many households and local cafes. With a design that dates back to 1850s France, and later significantly improved and patented in the 1920s, this brewer uses a sealed lid to trap coffee grounds together with hot water for a longer extraction than pourover allows. The result is a fairly hands-off way to brew strong coffee.

While there are many subpar iterations of the French Press design out in the world, we love brewing with the Clara — Fellow's French Press design with vacuum insulation to retain heat during brewing. This modern brewer is chock full of great features and sits in the higher price range among this brewer list.

Check out our French Press Brew Guide for set-by-step instructions on how we brew using this method.

  • Batch Size: Brews two cups
  • Taste Profile: Strong & rich
  • Recommended Grind: Coarse ground coffee
  • Our Favorite Features: While many coffee brewers on this list require fairly active attention to get just right, brewing a great cup with the Fellow Clara French Press can happen in the background. Just keep an eye on your timer.
  • Customer Feedback: Because French Press is an immersion method, small coffee particles and oils are likely to make their way into your cup. Plus, regular cleaning of this brewer's container and plunger is especially important.


Hario Mizudashi Cold Brewer

Distinct from just iced coffee, cold brew refers to an alternate method of brewing your coffee that is true to its name— cold or room temperature water is used to brew a batch of coffee over the course of several hours. Just a few years ago, the newly-released Hario Mizudashi became our favorite way to make cold brew coffee.

Similar to the Chemex, the Hario Mizudashi is an all-in-one glass brewer and server. Here, ground coffee is added to the filter basket and left to soak in room temperature water for 12-24 hours for optimal immersion. When it's ready to serve, the Mizudashi's sleek design makes for a lovely addition to the table for serving guests.

Check out our Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Guide for set-by-step instructions on how we brew using this method.

  • Batch Size: Brews four to five cups
  • Taste Profile: Mellow & refreshing
  • Recommended Grind: Coarse ground coffee
  • Our Favorite Features: Having this brewing method ready to go on a hot day can really help your favorite coffee "dress for the weather" in a delightfully refreshing way. Plus, the Mizudashi's removable filter makes cleaning much easier than with many other coffee cold brewers. 
  • Customer Feedback: While the hands-on brewing time is light, the wait time for this brewer is greater than any other. Your carafe will need 12-14 hours in the fridge to properly extract before it's ready to drink. Pulling your cold brew out earlier may lack flavor. 


Hario V60 Glass Dripper 02

Another phenomenal coffee brewer from Hario is the V60 Dripper: a family of ceramic & glass pourover coffee drippers that are ideal for a balanced single cup of coffee. Along with the Kalita Wave and Origami, the Hario V60 is one of our favorite brewing methods to recommend for coffee drinkers looking to experience a new coffee in it's "truest" form, highlighting natural flavors.

Together with a gooseneck kettle, this Hario V60 Glass Dripper 02 offers a slow and controlled pour rate that is incredibly satisfying to master— a personal & meditative way to make your coffee.

Check out our Hario V60 Brew Guide for set-by-step instructions on how we brew using this method. We also highlight more of the subtle differences between the Hario V60 Dripper vs Kalita Wave Dripper in a previous blog.

  • Batch Size: Brews one cup at a time
  • Taste Profile: Balanced & clean
  • Recommended Grind: Medium-fine ground coffee
  • Our Favorite Features: Coming in under $25, the Hario V60 02 is the most economic coffee brewer on this list— a phenomenal value for those looking to get started with pourover coffee at home. Plus, the Hario V60 filters also double as a perfect fit for the Origami Dripper.
  • Customer Feedback: Like any pourover method, there is a learning curve for brewing with the Hario V60 Dripper. We recommend following our Hario V60 Brew Guide carefully to find your footing with this method. And, as the most economic of our poruover options, the Hario V60 02 falls a bit short on overall heat retention.


Kalita Wave Dripper 185

The Kalita Wave is another iconic name in pourover coffee, with this Japanese-made brewer serving as a popular home brewer companion. This brewer gets its name from its "wave" design, where its 20 contrasting internal ridges works together to limit water contact and ensure each coffee brew takes place at the right rate.

With a flat bottom and three small holes for extraction, the Kalita Wave Dripper 185 features the a faster flow rate than it's Hario V60 counterpart, and is the only of our three listed pourover brewers to feature a stainless steel body.

Check out our Kalita Wave Brew Guide for set-by-step instructions on how we brew using this method.

  • Batch Size: Brews one cup at a time
  • Taste Profile: Balanced & clean
  • Recommended Grind: Medium-fine ground coffee
  • Our Favorite Features: The Kalita Wave strikes a great balance in heat retention and consistent brews at a reasonable price. Customers for this coffee brewer rarely have second thoughts and find it to be a reliable coffee travel companion as well.
  • Customer Feedback: With a more metallic and utilitarian look, some find the Kalita Wave's aesthetic appeal to be a bit lacking; although that makes its brewing design no less refined. 


Origami Medium Dripper Set

Another recent favorite of our coffee team is the Origami Dripper — the final of our featured pourover options. A visual standout available in red, white, and an array of other colors, Origami drippers are hand-crafted from Mino porcelain in Gifu, Japan and yield an incredibly balanced cup of coffee.

Sold along with its own wooden base, this pourover coffee brewer does an incredible job with heat retention and features a faster flow rate with a larger hole at the bottom for draining. 

Check out our Origami Brew Guide for set-by-step instructions on how we brew using this method.

  • Batch Size: Brews one cup at a time
  • Taste Profile: Balanced & clean (with a highlight on sweet flavors)
  • Recommended Grind: Medium-fine ground coffee
  • Our Favorite Features: Among the many pourover brewers available, the Origami Dripper is perhaps our favorite to use with sweet, fruit-forward light roast coffees— a match made in Heaven! 
  • Customer Feedback: While this beautiful brewer is a fit for its wooden base, its easy for the brewer to shift out of place if bumped or nudged from the side. It's delicate design also requires especially safe storage and protection from chips and body damage.


Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine

A true departure from the rest of our list of coffee brewer favorites in both size, approach, and price, the Brevile Bambino Plus is what we believe may the very best selection for coffee fans looking to invest in a quality espresso machine at home. The Bambino features everything you need to pull the perfect shot of espresso and froth milk for your homemade latte, macchiato, or cappuccino.

There are many semi-automatic espresso machines that are more expensive, and a handful of quality machines that are cheaper, but we feel the Breville Bambino sits in the perfect sweet spot of range of features, longterm reliability, and value for a home kitchen.

Check out our Espresso Brew Guide for set-by-step instructions on how we recommend brewing with espresso machines like the Breville Bambino Plus. 

  • Batch Size: Option to brew one or two shots of espresso and steam milk
  • Taste Profile: Intense & rich
  • Recommended Grind: Fine ground coffee
  • Our Favorite Features: With optimal water pressure, temperature control, and a quality portafilter & steam wand, Breville Bambino Plus truly enables you to make cafe-quality espresso drinks from home. 3 & 4 year extended warranties are also available directly through Breville ®Care.
  • Customer Feedback: Although a latte may be a crowd-pleaser, solo espresso shots can be initially too intense and concentrated for most coffee drinkers accustomed to drip coffee. Before investing in a costly espresso machine, just make sure it is the right fit for how you enjoy drinking coffee.

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