1. Ottomatic 2.0 by Chemex
The classic Chemex carafe is a perfect marriage of form and function. The glass shape evokes the precision of a laboratory; the wood and rawhide handle brings warmth while protecting your hand. How to improve on that? With an automated pour-over machine that mimics the “blooming” pour favored by your favorite barista.
2. Le Creuset French Press
lecreuset.com, $75 for the 34 fluid-ounce model
French press adherents swear by the saturation achieved through the steeping method (as opposed to dripping through paper filters), which retains oils and hence flavor. These pots produce a headier brew. What could make such a tool even better? This model replaces the usual glass or steel pitcher with stoneware. It’s easier to clean and a lot harder to break.
3. illy X9 iperEspresso Machine
Illy did not invent the espresso machine, but in 1933 they revolutionized the process by which these devices force water through grounds, so we pretty much owe how espresso is made today to them. The X9 is designed specifically for Illy capsules (from $19 for 21), but the selection is broad and the quality unassailable.
4. Angels’ Cup Coffee Subscription
angelscup.com, from $18 (plus shipping) for four 2.75-ounce samples
Tasting more broadly is the best way to expand your knowledge. Tasting blind, free of any preconceptions, is even better. Angels’ Cup buys from great roasters, but you won’t know who until after you’ve brewed the bags they send you marked only with serial numbers. Taste them blind and take notes using their app, then find out where the beans came from, just like the pros do.
mistobox.com, from $11 (plus shipping) for 12 ounces
How to choose from Mistobox’s nearly 600 coffees by 50-some roasters? You don’t. Instead you fill out a profile covering how you drink it, what roast you prefer and whether you want single-origin, a blend or espresso. After you try the first bag they send you, you give them your review of the coffee, and they then adjust the next selection shipped to you to better meet your preferences.