15 Best High-End Coffee Makers and Grinders To Make You Forget About Starbucks

coffee makers2

Ratio, Technivorm et al.

Who doesn’t love a great cup of coffee for breakfast . . . and lunch . . . and dinner . . . and some of us could drink coffee 24/7. But now that you’re trying to stay safe (and sane) during the quarantine, you’re probably limiting your trips to Starbucks and making coffee at home. If you’re using an average coffee maker, it’s probably producing an average-tasting cup of Joe, leaving you longing for something that will delight your taste buds.

Have you considered bringing the high-end coffee experience home, where you can enjoy it around the clock? Granted, we’re not talking about $50 coffee makers, but when you consider how much you spend going out for coffee, these items will pay for themselves in no time. And since you’re spending more time at home, this is also a great opportunity to experiment with new coffee concoctions. Also, if you’re trying to create a gourmet kitchen, one of these beauties should definitely be on your list.

We found the 15 best coffee makers and grinders, and then rounded up a team of baristas, coffee shop owners, and also coffee and coffee machine manufacturers, to explains what you need to look for when choosing a high-end coffee maker. They also explain everything you need to know about coffee beans, water, grinding, roasting – and how to make the perfect cup of Joe.

coffee makers Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Stainless steel carafe keeps coffee hot
  • Bloom function
  • Beautiful design
Price: $345.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
kitchen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Grinder
  • Dual heating system
  • Tamper
Price: $490.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
coffee makers Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Replaceable parts
  • Easy to use
Price: $349.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
coffee maker Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Thermal carafe keeps coffee hot
  • Choice of knob colors
  • Option to choose Accu-Brew or manual mode
Price: $446.15 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
high end coffee maker Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • One touch control panels
  • Automatic milk frother
Price: $160.91 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
best coffee makers Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Bloom feature
  • Cup warming tray
  • Dual wall 1 and 2 cup filters
Price: $203.24 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
coffee maker Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Carafe keeps coffee hot
  • Timer is simple to use
Price: $128.21 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
coffee maker Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Variety of settings
  • Dual filter baskets
  • Stainless steel design
Price: $319.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
coffee makers Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Built-in grinder
  • Espresso maker
  • Heats up in 40 seconds
Price: $899.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
high end coffee maker Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Grinder
  • 3 temperature settings
  • Frother
Price: $649.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
coffee maker Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Makes a variety of coffee drinks
  • Choice of glass or thermal carafe
  • Frother folds out of the way
Price: $156.06 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
high end coffee maker Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Beautiful, compact design
  • User friendly
  • Keeps coffee hot
Price: $139.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
high end coffee maker Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Choice of 2 colors
  • User friendly
  • Has a dial
Price: $139.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
coffee maker Amazon Customer Reviews
  • A variety of colors
  • Pre-set timer
  • Stainless steel burrs
Price: $99.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
high end coffee maker Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sleek, slim design
  • Patented ceramic combo burr blades
  • Adjustable grind selector
Price: $43.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Ratio Six Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

    Pros:
    • Stainless steel carafe keeps coffee hot
    • Bloom function
    • Beautiful design
    • Slim profile
    Cons:
    • Not cheap
    • Carafe could be heavy to some people
    • Not programmable

    A sample was provided for an honest review

    Fool everyone into thinking you’re a true barista with this Ratio Six Stainless Steel Coffee Maker. It includes a thermal carafe and a heat shield to keep your coffee hot, and the water tank holds 44 ounces of water. The best part is that you only have to press one button and the Ratio takes over. It dispenses hot water through a stainless-steel showerhead on the coffee grounds through the bloom and brew phases. And when you remove the carafe, it automatically turns off. Another great feature is that the coffee maker doesn’t take up a lot of space, regardless of which way it is positioned.

  2. 2. De’Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine with Sensor Grinder

    Pros:
    • Grinder
    • Dual heating system
    • Tamper
    • Latte system
    • Stainless steel
    • Milk pitcher
    • Cleaning brush
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Only 6 grinder settings
    • Learning curve

    A sample was provided for an honest review

    One high-end coffee maker that can help you create a gourmet kitchen is the De’Longhi La Specialista Espresso Machine with Sensor Grinder. To call it ‘beautiful’ is an understatement. The gorgeously-designed stainless steel appliance also includes a stainless-steel milk pitcher, portafilter, single and double filter basket, cleaning brush, and descaling solution. There’s no need for a grinder since the La Specialista has an integrated sensor grinder and smart tamping station. The dual heating system has separate hot water spouts for coffee and tea. Active temperature control ensures that the coffee is extracted at the best temperature. In addition, the advanced latte system allows you to choose from micro-foam frothing for high-end lattes, or rich foam for high-end cappuccinos.

  3. 3. Technivorm Moccamaster KBG Coffee Brewer

    Pros:
    • Available in a variety of colors
    • Replaceable parts
    • Easy to use
    • Automatic brew basket
    • Hot plate has 2 settings
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Cannot manually adjust brew basket
    • Not programmable

    It may look like a high-tech lab experiment, but this Technivorm Moccamaster KBG Coffee Brewer is one idea that has already been perfected. It’s made of a combination of materials, including stainless steel, aluminum, glass, copper, and plastics. The Moccamaster is also available in 25 colors, including the copper version shown above, and also colors ranging from silver to matte black to brick red and red metallic to turquoise to off white to matte silver. It has an automatic drip brew basket function, so it will stop brewing if the carafe is pulled away – which is great when you want to cheat and grab a cup before the cycle has finished. There’s also a hot plate with two settings (175 degrees or 185 degrees) and the hot plate stays on for 100 minutes and then turns off.   

  4. 4. Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee Maker

    Pros:
    • Thermal carafe keeps coffee hot
    • Choice of knob colors
    • Option to choose Accu-Brew or manual mode
    • Adjustable brew strength
    • Timer displays how long coffee has been ready
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • May not hear ready signal in another room
    • If carafe is positioned carelessly, coffee may leak

    A sample was provided for an honest review

    Wolf is well-known for its quality kitchen products, and this Wolf Gourmet Programmable Coffee Maker is no exception. It uses Accu-Brew technology, featuring an integrated scale that weighs the coffee grounds as you add them to the coffee maker. When you’ve reached the amount needed for your level of preferred boldness, the LED screen tells you to stop. The stainless steel structure is designed to last a long time, and the stainless steel thermal carafe keeps coffee hot. The water reservoir is removable to fill over the sink, or you can leave it in place while adding water. Since the coffee maker has a front load brew basket, counter height is not an issue. There are also 3 water filters included, in case you have crappy tap water. The coffee maker is available in 3 knob colors choices: red, black, and silver.

     

  5. 5. Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

    Pros:
    • Relatively inexpensive
    • One touch control panels
    • Automatic milk frother
    • Adjustable cup tray for various size mugs
    Cons:
    • Plastic materials
    • Froth is not thick
    • No warning to add water

    A sample was provided for an honest review

    If you like your coffee with all of the bells and whistles, consider this Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse Espresso and Cappuccino Maker. It really is a “coffee house” and makes espressos, cappuccinos and lattes. Add milk and the milk frother turns it into a light, creamy foam. The machine also provides the ability to choose a single or double shot of espresso. The CoffeeHouse has a 19-bar professional quality Italian pump, and can make dual espressos at one time. It can also make 6 cappuccinos, or 3 lattes at one time. Another feature of the machine is a one-touch stainless steel drip tray that is designed for durability.

  6. 6. Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine with Steam Wand

    Pros:
    • Bloom feature
    • Cup warming tray
    • Dual wall 1 and 2 cup filters
    • Stainless steel milk pitcher
    • Cleaning pin
    • Tamper
    Cons:
    • Manual controls
    • Tamper may be inconvenient to some
    • Also includes plastic parts

    One high end option that doesn’t have a bulky design is the Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine with Steam Wand. It uses thermoblock heating technology and PID temperature control, and the pre-infusion feature blooms the espresso grounds. Durable and beautiful, both the machine and the milk pitcher are made of stainless steel. The 15-bar Italian pump ensures just the right amount of pressure for your espresso, and there’s also a cup warming tray. The machine has a dial interface for steam, hot water, and pre-programmed single and double shots.  

  7. 7. OXO Brew 9 Cup Coffee Maker

    Pros:
    • Relatively inexpensive
    • Carafe keeps coffee hot
    • Timer is simple to use
    Cons:
    • Manual controls
    • No alert when coffee is ready
    • No replacement parts

    A sample was provided for an honest review

    Another stylish option is the stainless steel OXO Brew 9 Cup Coffee Maker.  It heats the water and then holds it at the perfect temperature (between 197.6 to 204.8 degrees). There’s a rainmaker shower head to ensure that the water is uniformly dispersed for even saturation. The coffee maker has a dial that’s used to select the brew time and number of cups, so you can program it for up to 24 hours in advance. The thermal carafe helps to keep the coffee hot and fresh for a long time. In addition, The LED display keeps track of how long the coffee has been brewed.  

  8. 8. Breville Precision Brewer

    Pros:
    • Variety of settings
    • Dual filter baskets
    • Stainless steel design
    • Carafe keeps coffee hot
    • Replacement parts are available
    • Includes bloom feature
    • Has cold brew and ice coffee settings
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Somewhat noisy brew cycle
    • Large

    The Breville Precision Brewer makes 12 cups of coffee – and honestly, that’s just the icing on the cake. This brushed stainless steel work horse also has six settings: gold cup, fast, strong brew, ice coffee, cold brew, and my brew (your customized setting). You can adjust everything from bloom time to flow rate to brewing temperature. The Breville Precision Brewer also includes dual filter baskets, so depending on the volume, you can use either the large, flat bottom basket or the smaller, cone filter basket.

  9. 9. De’Longhi Dinamica Plus

    Pros:
    • Built-in grinder
    • Espresso maker
    • Heats up in 40 seconds
    • Choice of 2 colors
    • Programmable timer
    Cons:
    • Quite expensive
    • Manual steam wand
    • Large profile

    If you’re looking for the granddaddy of coffee makers, look no further than the De’Longhi Dinamica Auto Coffee and Espresso Machine. Don’t let its sleek design fool you – this machine does everything! It includes a built-in, adjustable steel burr grinder that can be customized to roast, origin, and personal taste preferences. There’s also a recommended grind setting in case you’re overwhelmed by those choices. In addition, the stainless steel and plastic Dinamica Plus has an integrated, adjustable manual frother for the perfect foam and steam levels. The LED touch control interface can be used to select various drink options, including regular coffee, espresso (multi-length), cappuccino, latte, hot water, Americano, and over ice. There are also 4 one touch recipes: single espresso, double espresso, over ice coffee, and long.  The machine is available in white and also in black.

  10. 10. Gaggia Anima Coffee and Espresso Machine

    Pros:
    • Grinder
    • 3 temperature settings
    • Frother
    • Slim profile
    • Programmable
    Cons:
    • Not cheap
    • Manual frothing
    • Short wand

    The Gaggia Anima Coffee and Espresso Machine is another option for achieving that coffee shop effect at home. It includes a ceramic burr grinder and bypass doser – and five ground settings – so you can brew either whole beans or pre-ground coffee. There are 3 different temperature settings, and the LCD screen and six dedicated buttons make it easy to choose the desired action. A Pannerello steam wand siphons air into the milk, ensuring a creamy, rich foam. When the coffee maker has not been used in an hour, it will automatically enter low energy standby mode. The machine looks huge and can hold 60 ounces of water and 8.8 ounces of beans, but it’s actually slim – less than 9 inches in width.

  11. 11. Ninja CM407 Specialty Coffee Maker

    Pros:
    • Makes a variety of coffee drinks
    • Choice of glass or thermal carafe
    • Frother folds out of the way
    • Removable water reservoir
    • Additional size settings
    Cons:
    • Uses manual controls
    • Large profile
    • No grinder

    Form meets function in this Ninja CM407 Specialty Coffee Maker. It’s a specialty brewer that can make lattes, cappuccinos, macchiato, iced coffee, and other drinks reminiscent of your favorite coffee shop. The frother can be used for either hot or cold milk, and it folds out of the way when not in use. There’s a removable water reservoir, making it easy to fill the coffee maker and clear the basin. The coffee maker uses a dial and buttons to make selections, and is available with either a glass carafe or a thermal carafe.

  12. 12. Espro P7 French Press

    Pros:
    • Beautiful, compact design
    • User friendly
    • Keeps coffee hot
    Cons:
    • Expensive for size
    • Takes time for multiple cups
    • Cleaning isn’t hard but could be tedious

    A sample was provided for an honest review

    If you just want a good cup of grit-free coffee, consider this Espro 1132C2 P7 Brushed Stainless Steel French Press. Unlike traditional glass presses, the P7 has a tank design with vacuum-insulated, double-walled stainless steel. This means the container is unbreakable – and it keeps drinks hot for several hours. The double micro-filter actually filters the coffee twice, so there’s no grit or sludge at the bottom. The 32-ounce brushed stainless steel French press is compact, so it won’t take up much space on your countertop, and using a separate filter, it can also brew loose-leaf tea.

  13. 13. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

    Pros:
    • Choice of 2 colors
    • User friendly
    • Has a dial
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Doesn’t have a measurement function
    • Loud

    If this is your first time using a coffee grinder, the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is a great entry level grinder that’s user friendly. It has a front-mounted pulse button and the on/off switch is simple and easy. There are 40 grind settings to help you find the perfect one for your brewing needs. The coffee grinder is also a space saver, and it is available in black and also in white.

     

  14. 14. Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder

    Pros:
    • A variety of colors
    • Pre-set timer
    • Stainless steel burrs
    • Crushes beans instead of using blades
    • Anti-static borosilicate glass
    • Silicone band prevents slipping
    • Replacement parts available
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • No cup size selection
    • No auto shutoff

    The Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder has stainless steel conical burrs that crush beans, providing a more consistent process than blades. Crushing the beans also does a better job of preserving the aroma and flavor of the beans. There’s a simple push button process, and the pre-set time ensure that only the desired amount of coffee is ground at one time. The grinder has 12 adjustable grind settings, and uses a friction clutch to protect the grinding gear. The borosilicate glass catcher catcher is dishwasher safe and the lid doubles as grind guide. The model shown above has a shiny copper color, but the grinder is also available in black, die cast copper, red, and white.

     

  15. 15. JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder

    Pros:
    • Sleek, slim design
    • Patented ceramic combo burr blades
    • Adjustable grind selector
    Cons:
    • Manual
    • Could be slow if grinding for more than one person
    • Small

    If you like to manually grind your coffee beans, consider this JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder. The removable hand crank is easy to use, and you won’t need any batterys or cords to operate the grinder, so you can use it anywhere. In addition, the hand crank mechanism means you won’t have any loud noises. There are well over a dozen settings to choose from, so you can grind everything from espresso to French Press coffee with the patented grinder blades.

Tips for choosing a high-end coffee maker

When trying to decide on the best high-end coffee maker, there are several things to keep in mind, such as the type of coffee you want to brew, and what features can help you achieve that goal.

“When thinking about a coffee setup at home, I recommend thinking about your lifestyle and your budget first,” says Mark Hellweg, founder of Ratio Coffee.  “Do you enjoy the process as much as the result, or do you just want it easy and consistent?” Also, Hellweg says a lower budget is not going to really accommodate a high process technique like espresso. “A simple, well-made French Press is going to be 5 times tastier than an espresso drink made on a machine that's too cheap to properly make espresso,” he says.

If this is your first time purchasing a high-end coffee maker, Asser Christensen, a Q Arabica Grader, and founder of The Coffee Chronicler,  recommends focusing on the essentials, instead of fancy features. “Things like temperature stability and having an efficient showerhead design are crucial if you want a consistent extraction,” he says.

Bloom/brew considerations

Christensen also believes that pre-infusion, also known as “blooming" is worth looking for when choosing a coffee maker. “This feature means that the machine will start by sprinkling a little bit of hot water on the grounds and then pause for some time before resuming the brewing process.” He explains that this feature is important because it reduces the probability of dry pockets. “Blooming is also a crucial step if you're using freshly roasted beans, since it allows carbon dioxide to escape.” 

According to Marta Philips, group marketing manager and a member of the engineering team at Wolf Gourmet, good coffee is largely a function of brew time, water temperature and extraction – which is what the water takes from the coffee grounds, and she says a good high-end coffee maker will achieve the preferred results in these variables. “One important variable in good brewing is time of water contact with the coffee grounds.”

You might think that the longer coffee soak, the better, but Philips says coffee can become over extracted if water comes in contact with the grounds for too long.  She recommends looking for a coffee maker that brews below the 8-minute mark to ensure the coffee is not extracted.

Dan Conner, owner of Storyteller Coffee, actually recommends a brew time between 5 to 6 minutes.  “Brew times longer than this will start to extract more of the bittering compounds found in coffee, resulting in a far less pleasant cup of coffee.”

Temperature is another consideration. “For proper extraction to occur, water that contacts coffee grounds must reach 200F and then maintain the temperature between 195F to 205F for the brew cycle,” Philips says.  Conner agrees, and says that brew temperature is extremely important when choosing a coffee maker. “Look for one that has a controllable thermostat and can maintain that temperature throughout the brewing process; it will produce a better cup overall,” he says. “Having water too hot or too cold impacts extraction - the hotter the coffee, the faster it extracts, the colder, the slower.”  

When selecting a bean-to-cup machine, Phil Smith, coffee expert at Coffee Direct, suggests considering the capacities of the water tank and coffee bean hopper. “You don’t want to be refilling both constantly, but equally, you wouldn’t want to leave fresh water in it for too long, and beans will lose their flavor the longer they are in a non-airtight container,” he says.

“Some machines - even the very expensive ones- struggle with oilier varieties of coffee beans, so if you enjoy fresh, very strong coffees, then stick to models where beans won’t get stuck in the hopper,” Smith says.   

All about grinders

According to Matthew Hitcham, director of Eighty Seven Plus Coffee, your coffee maker is only as good as your coffee grinder – especially with espresso machines. “If you do not already own a decent conical burr grinder, consider purchasing one that is up to the job.” And if you want to save space, he recommends one that combines a grinder with the espresso machine.

David Belanich, president and co-founder of Joyride Coffee, agrees that a good quality burr grinder is important. “A good extraction requires the use of properly and consistently ground coffee, which can only be accomplished through a burr grinder,” he says. “Blade grinders will never get you the consistency you need to make the perfect cup.”

While Conner also agrees that a conical burr grinder can help you achieve a more consistent ground, he offers an alternative. “If you don't have one or have a blade grinder, it would be preferable to have the company you bought it from to grind it for you,” Conner says. “They have a commercial grinder that can achieve a much more consistent grind, producing a better cup of coffee.”

Hellweg is a fan of grinding fresh. “It's like going from freeze dried basil in the back of your pantry to a bunch you just bought at the farmer's market this morning,” he explains. “Same flavor, but waaaay more intensity.”

If you’re not experienced with grinders, Josh Williams, owner of Cohesive Coffee in Greenville, SC, provides a few tips.” If it is too bitter - coarsen up the grind; if it’s too weak, make the grind a little finer.” Williams says every variable in the coffee process can change the flavor.

Coffee beans

Fresh coffee bean can really make or break your coffee, but freshness is often a concern. “When you go to your local supermarket, you'd assume the coffee on the shelves is fresh, but this is pretty much never the case,” says Rob Hodge, owner of Rave Coffee. “Coffee beans are roasted, left to cool and then put in packages or cans as ground coffee or whole beans.” And by the time you make your first cup, he says weeks or even months may have passed.

“Beans begin to lose their flavor as soon as they come out of the roaster, because most of the flavor in coffee is found in oils that are removed when air hits them.” That’s why Hodge recommends supporting your local coffee roaster for fresh coffee. “If you do have to buy coffee from the supermarket, look for packets with valves on the front, because these don't let any air into the bag, so they should be fresher."

In addition to buying freshly roasted beans, Hellweg recommends using them up before they’re a month old. He also recommends local roasters and cafes. “They need it now more than ever, and buying beans from them rather than a grocery store will help make sure your favorite destination for a pastry and coffee is around for the long term,” Hellweg says.

James Caverly, CEO/founder of Booskerdoo Coffee & Baking Co. in Asbury Park, NJ, provides specific information for determining if coffee is out of date. “Look for the roast date, and if there is no roast date, assume it's stale as all get out, because coffee's flavor peak is the week after it's roasted.” Caverly goes through the stages of freshness:

Day 1-7 after roasted: will be extremely flavorful and insanely delicious.

Day 7-21: still very good.

Day 22-30: tasty, but not bursting.

Month 2: not so great.

Month 3: kind of card-board like.

Months 4-12: will be gross and will give you bad coffee breath.

Here’s another tip: your coffee beans should be ground according to your brewing method. “A French press will require a very coarse grind, a filter coffee should be ground medium, and espresso requires a very fine grind,” Hitcham says.  “Getting these right is key to making a great cup of coffee.”

Green coffee beans

Jon Burman, owner and managing partner at Burman Coffee Traders, recommends green coffee beans. “They’re much cheaper, so you can purchase larger amounts of your favorite specialty top lots and treat your friends.” So, how to you choose the best green coffee beans to match your desired flavor profile?  “Many home roasters choose coffees based on their favorite coffee regions, or unusual exotic strains, or specific processing methods that create their preferred cup profile,” Burman says. “Most of the fun with roasting your own coffee is experimenting with various green coffee beans types and origins.”  

Roasting options

As it relates to roasting coffee, Burman says there are a number of ways to do it. “You could choose to roast them the ‘old fashioned’ way, by simply placing the beans in any sturdy metal container and setting it over/in a flame, then stirring and mixing well throughout the duration of the roast.”  When it is roasted dark enough for your taste – but before it catches on fire - he says you should remove the container from the heat and then cool by shaking in a strainer or by placing in front of a fan.

“However, if you are looking for a more consistent method of roasting your own coffee, you should consider investing in specially designed counter top home coffee roasters to get that perfect roast every single time."

Here’s something else to consider. Conner recommends buying fresh roasted coffee, but says you should let it rest. “Drinking coffee the same day it's roasted might not produce the best cup for that coffee, so give it 2 to 3 days to rest, which will make it easier to brew.” There are several reasons why. “When the coffee has had time to rest and is easier to grind, the seed is more malleable, making it easier to extract – and this is especially important for light roasted coffees.”

Not just any water will do

You can’t use just any kind of water and expect a great coffee experience. “Coffee is 98% water, so be sure you're using fresh, filtered, or spring water,” Hellweg advises.

Christensen agrees. “If you drink specialty grade coffee with fruity notes, it's especially important to avoid water with high levels of bicarbonates, since this compound mutes acidity,” he says. “A small thing like switching from tap water to soft, bottled water will improve the flavor right away. “

However, Conner warns against using distilled water. “Distilled water contains no dissolved minerals that aid in extraction, and using it will cause you to have a flat cup of coffee that lacks flavor.” He recommends filtered spring water.

Coffee machine maintenance

Like other appliances, it’s important to maintain your coffee maker. “Regular maintenance and keeping your machine clean are key to brewing the perfect cup time and again,” Belanich says. “If a machine builds up with residue and oils from former brew cycles, you are effectively extracting your last cup each time you brew, so keep it clean.”

Smith agrees. “Coffee can be oily and make equipment oily, so keeping everything clean will ensure no residual oil affects the flavor,” he says.

Final tips

Smith warns against storing opened ground coffee near other strong flavors, as these will be absorbed by the coffee. “Your coffee should always be stored in an airtight container, in a cool dark place,” he says.

And Williams wants readers to enjoy the process. “Coffee is a science - but it's a really fun science,” he says. “Whatever equipment you go with, take some time to get acquainted, and see what works and what doesn’t.”

If you’re only making one cup or one pot a day, he recommends taking notes, since it will be difficult to remember what you’ve done without a journal. “And for the love of God, stop buying Folgers and putting it in the freezer,” Williams says. “You are killing the coffee and your baristas cry a little each day; the science shows that putting coffee in the freezer doesn’t keep it fresh but instead takes flavor away.”

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