How to make coffee at home without breaking the bank

Michael Finney shows you how to make a cup of joe at home coffeehouse style, so you don't have to pay coffeehouse prices.
March 12, 2014 8:42:41 PM PDT
Most of us get coffee during the week. In fact, the average person spends more than $1,000 a year buying coffee.

Of course, brewing your own cup-to-go can save you money. We'll tell you how you can get that coffeehouse taste, without the coffeehouse price.

We called in an expert to show us the latest technology for under $100 to help brew the perfect cup of coffee at home.

Richard Sandlin is a certified barista trainer who works for Fair Trade USA and trains baristas all over the world.

He met us at Artis Coffee in Berkeley.

"At the cafe, they're manipulating these four key variables: freshness, time, grind size, temperature," Sandlin said.

He says to make a great cup of coffee you want it hot, but not boiling.

"When we're talking about temperature, you want to brew coffee within about 196 to 205 degrees," Sandlin said.

He also says that choosing the right brewer can make all the difference.

Many automatic brewing machines only raise the water temperature to 150 degrees.

A new automatic coffee machine called the Bunn Phase Brew addresses this issue. It costs about $100.

"What is so special about this Bunn is it will only brew between 195 degrees and 205 degrees," Sandlin Said.

Cone-shaped pour-over coffee makers have been improved on too and these are some of the newest options.

"What makes this pour over different from many other pour-overs out there is this flat bottom," Sandlin said.

The Kalita Wave style set sells for about $80.

"When we're extracting this coffee its coming out these 123 holes. This is going to help us get a really even extraction," Sandlin said.

This one is called the Clever Coffee Dripper and runs just under $20.

"When the coffee and the water sit in this Clever, it won't extract until you hit the trap door," Sandlin said.

The Aero Press costs about $40.

"What's cool about the Aero Press is it will give you an espresso style cup of coffee," Sandlin said.

The coffee grounds and water soak and brew together.

"After about 60 seconds or 90 second of brew time, you then push. And by utilizing pressure you can get an espresso style coffee at home," Sandlin said.

Invented in Germany about 150 years ago, Siphon coffee pots are actually one of the oldest coffee makers. But siphons pots have recently reentered the U.S. the Yama Vacuum Pot runs about $60.

"This uses vacuum pressure in a very short brew time to make a great cup of coffee," Sandlin said.

Experts tell us that freshness is one of the most important parts of brewing a good cup of joe at home. Artis in Berkeley is a new coffee store concept. They roast each bag of coffee to order. And all the coffee makers in this story are sold at Arti's too.


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