Basically, you need some various types of equipment to do different aspects of the coffee hobby. My personal setup is very simple, not expensive, yet still produces delicious coffee.
Let’s have a look at what I am currently using.
For roasting coffee beans, I am using a simple stovetop method. There are lots of types of coffee roasting equipment that you can buy, but for now, I just pan roast my beans. It’s not the most elegant way of achieving roasted beans, but it is cheap, and good enough.
I have a simple rice pot that I use to roast beans on the stovetop. It’s a small rice pot that can handle roasting of about a half pound of beans or so. Perhaps you could roast a larger amount of beans in this pot, but I haven’t tried it. I feel that a half pound is about the maximum that I’d be comfortable doing in this size pot.
Perhaps someday I will purchase a better roaster, I’ve considered getting an “iRoast2” which is a personal sized roasting machine that costs about $200. For now, though, I’m gonna stick with pan roasting.
Of course, once you have roasted your beans, you have to grind them before you make coffee! There are different types of grinders available. The best grinders are called Burr Grinders, but they can be expensive. As I said, my equipment is inexpensive stuff, and I have what is called a blade grinder. That is kind of like a blender, but smaller, just for grinding coffee beans. The drawback of a blade grinder is that it is hard (read… imposible) to control the size of the grind. With a burr grinder you can set it to grind at different sizes.
My blade grinder cost me about $10 or so, and works well for me. A burr grinder can cost between $50 to $200, some are even more. For now, a burr grinder is working well enough for me, and I am happy with it.
There are lots of ways to brew your coffee. Some use drip machines (although people who love coffee don’t), some use French Presses, some use Aeorpresses. There are others too. I prefer a French Press. I have tried coffee from an Aeropress, but I think that the French Press makes a better tasting coffee, so I stick with that.
Currently, I have a total of 8 French Presses! I have 5 small presses which are single cup presses. Each press produces a single cup of coffee. This is what I primarily use, because I am the only coffee drinker in the house. I also have some larger French Presses that make 3 cups (large cups) of coffee per brew. I use one of these if I have guests over. I don’t make 3 cups if I am the only one drinking, because even though I may drink 2 or 3 cups, I want to make it fresh, right before I drink it. So, I make the number of cups that will be consumed immediately. Usuallly that is just one cup. If you are getting into coffee…. try some different types of brewing methods and see which method you prefer. For me, a French Press is best, but your taste buds may say differently!
My small presses cost me only about $3 each brand new. They are Chinese made knock-offs but work fine. My big presses are brand name (such as Bodum) presses from Europe, but a friend found them for me in a surplus store here in Mindanao. They are used, but in like-new condition, and work great for me. They also cost me only about $3 each. So, with 8 presses, I have only a total of $25 or less into them!
See, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to start making good coffee! You certain can spend a lot if you choose to, but you can also do that later on when you are certain that you enjoy the hobby! Start cheap, and find out how good the coffee is!