La Marzocco Linea Mini

How to pick a coffee maker (at any price)

Buy a good coffee maker on any budget
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Buy a good coffee maker on any budget
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I’m on a mission: to help lawyers drink seriously good coffee. Getting your hands on good brew during the workday is easy — Toronto is full of great cafés. But if you want to make a decent cup at home, you’ll have to invest in the right equipment. First, the coffee grinder. Make sure you get a “burr” and not a blade grinder — this will keep your coffee grounds uniform, giving you consistent flavour. Now you’ve got to grind your coffee beans every day, right before you use them, otherwise they lose their flavour and complexity.

OK, that was the easy part — the part all coffee snobs agree with. Now comes the tricky part: choosing a coffee maker. The choices are endless, and no one can quite agree on one machine to rule them all.

To start, think about how much you’re willing to spend in search of that perfect cup.

Less than $100

Yes, you can make great coffee at home with inexpensive machines. I am in love with my Aeropress — it’s portable, makes deliciouscoffee and only cost me $40. I also keep my $30 French press nearby, since it makes quality coffee and doesn’t require filters. Many of my friends live and die by their Chemex, which retails for around $50. (However, if you choose a pour-over coffee maker like the Chemex, you’ll probably want to invest in a gooseneck kettle, which controls the flow of water and allows for a more precise pour than a regular tea kettle. That could set you back another $50 or more.)

Less than $500

This is what you’ll pay for a good drip coffee machine. (No, I’m not talking about that sad Mr. Coffee-type-thing you find in hotel rooms.) According to the coffee pros at Pilot Coffee Roasters, the best home-brewing drip machine on the market is the eight-cup brewer by Bonavita. I took it for a test run and it turns out the hype is true. This baby brews a very good cup of joe at the reasonable-ish price point of about $240.

More than $500

Think you’re ready for the big leagues? This means shelling out the dough for an espresso machine. But think of what you’ll save when you stop spending a small fortune at Starbucks on Americanos and lattes every day. A decent espresso machine will set you back at least a few hundred dollars. An amazing espresso machine will set you back thousands. If you want to splurge, La Marzocco, the Italian company that supplies many coffee shops, makes a home model called the Linea Mini, which retails for a galling $6,500. But the espresso tastes like a dream — and who can put a price on good taste?

la marzocco linea mini

The La Marzocco Linea Mini
$6,500

aeropress

Aeropress
$40

bonavita coffee maker

Bonavita eight-cup coffee maker
$240

diguo classic

Diguo-classic pour-over drip coffee kettle
$50

chemex

Eight-cup classic Chemex
$50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Iman AkoborIman Abokor is an insurance defence lawyer at Lawson LLP and Precedent’s coffee columnist.

 

 

 


This story is from our Spring 2016 issue.