5 tools for making better coffee at home, according to caffeine aficionados

Because good coffee doesn't have to be complicated

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published April 7, 2022 9:00AM (EDT)

Coffee made in a French Press (Getty Images/Onzeg)
Coffee made in a French Press (Getty Images/Onzeg)

One of life's simple joys is a really good cup of joe first thing in the morning. The intoxicating aroma alone is enough to lure true coffeeholics out of bed. But did you know coffee touts a long list of health benefits, such as boosting serotonin levels and cancer-fighting effects? Hence, it's often referred to as "liquid gold."

It's possible to make the perfect cup of joe in the comfort of your own home without any fancy equipment.

Barista-quality coffee should be a daily indulgence — not just a fleeting treat for the weekends at your local roastery. It's possible to make the perfect cup of joe in the comfort of your own home without any fancy equipment. You don't need high-tech espresso machines, fancy tampers or complicated burr grinders. That's because good coffee doesn't have to be complicated. 

Whether you're a fan of cold brew or premium roasts, the caffeine aficionados on the Salon Food team have you covered. Here are 5 tools for making better coffee at home, all of which are guaranteed to make every sip better:

1. Kitch Large Cube Silicone Ice Tray

Warm weather is upon us, which means it's already time to enjoy iced coffee and cold brew. According to Salon deputy food editor Ashlie D. Stevens, the best way to make a refreshing cold coffee drink is to swap out the ice for a coffee cube. To make some at home, simply pour leftover coffee into an ice cube mold, freeze it overnight and voilà.

Stevens recommends the large silicone tray from Kitch, which holds a generous amount of liquid. Coffee cubes are now an integral part of her morning cold brew routine — and they've been nothing but "life-changing." This pro-trick ensures that your drink is always icy but never watered down. 

Kitchen Large Cube Silicone Ice Tray


Kitch Large Cube Silicone Ice Tray

Giant 2-inch ice cubes keep your drink cool for hours

For stunning, giant, ice cubes that pop out easily without any need to fight with the ice tray.

Buy for $8.95

2. Aphse Electric Milk Frother

A milk frother is a nifty tool that elevates not only the flavor but also the presentation of an otherwise average cup of joe. With one, you can whip up airy, creamy and delectably sweet clouds of foam. Stevens suggests the Aphse milk frother, which is portable, affordable and versatile (aka the holy trinity). "I find that the nicer milk frothers stand up well to thicker, non-dairy milks like oat milk and coconut milk," Stevens says.  

Aphse Milk Foamer


Aphse Electric Milk Frother

Stainless steel electric milk frother

This handy little gadget really packs a punch! With a 12,000 rpm motor, it produces the thickest, foamiest milk in seconds.

Buy for $13.49

3. Bodum 1928-01 Chambord French Press Coffee Maker

Want to know how to brew a better French press coffee? We already asked the experts, so you don't have to.

Available in various colors, sizes and styles, the Bodum 1928-01 Chambord French Press is recommended for home users by Stevens, who promises "it's super simple" and easy to use. "It just works without a hitch," she adds. "And it's also very, very cute to have on your counter, which is a plus."

Chambord French Press


Chambord French Press

The French press is accepted as one of the best ways to brew coffee

A 3-part stainless steel mesh filter is included, which allows for a premium extraction of your coffee's aromatic oils and subtle flavors.

Buy for $27.99

4. Brita Standard Water Filters

In the wise words of Salon senior writer Mary Elizabeth Williams, "If you've got good water, you're good to go." When preparing a cup of coffee, the type of beans and milk you use a difference. Likewise, the quality of the water you add to your pot matters. For crisp, fresh water, it's essential to have a good filtration system. Williams' go-to filter is Brita, which she has faithfully used for almost 25 years.

5. Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker

"It's literally just got one button," Williams says of her go-to Mr. Coffee Maker. The best thing about this machine is that it has the ability to produce large quantities of fresh coffee fast, which makes it the perfect tool for big families and hardcore coffeeholics alike. It may not have a timer like other more fancy coffee makers, but it definitely gets the job done.

Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Make


Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker

Makes 12 cups of coffee!

Grab a cup auto pause stops the cycle if you need a cup before brewing is finished. Lift and clean filter basket for fast and easy clean-up.

Buy for $39.72

More stories about coffee that you might enjoy: 

Salon Food writes about stuff we think you'll like. Salon has affiliate partnerships, so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.


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