Making good coffee is not necessarily an expensive endeavor. You can make good coffee for cheap, too. In this post, we’re going to look at our 4 favorite (and cheap) ways to make good coffee at home.
The key to make good coffee(it’s not money)
We’ve talked about this in great detail in many posts, but it’s worth repeating here again. Good coffee comes down to a few key factors, after which the actual brewing method is icing on the cake. Sure, some methods will brew bolder cups whilst others will be milder, but the overall taste and feel of the coffee depends on the following:
- Freshly ground coffee: The first essential of good coffee is to brew from freshly roasted beans that have been freshly ground. Coffee beans retain their optimal flavors for only 10-15 days, so to get the most punch out of your coffee, order fresh coffee beans every time and keep a supply on hand. Once you grind the beans, you’ve got a few hours at most to use them before they lose their punch.
- Using the correct grind size: You need to make sure you’re using the correct grind size for the coffee brewing method you’re using. Each brewing method is suited to a particular sized grind. If your grounds are too coarse, you’ll have an under-extracted cup, and if they’re too fine, your cup will be gritty. Espresso needs a fine grind, drip and pour over need a medium grind, french press needs a medium-coarse grind, and cold brew needs a very coarse grind.
- Proper water temperature: The best temperature to brew coffee at is around 90 to 95 degrees Celcius. Anything less and you’ll have under-extracted coffee, and anything more and you’ll burn the coffee.
If you’re making coffee on a tight budget, spend more money on getting fresh coffee and less money on fancy equipment. This way, you’ll at least have fresh coffee every day and eventually you can save up for a bigger/more complex coffee machine.
Although I’ve stated above that you should buy freshly roasted beans and grind right before brewing, if you’re on a really tight budget and don’t want to get a grinder(though cheap grinders are as little as $10-15, but you’re the master of your own budget), you can order ground coffee too.
Just get it from a craft roaster so you know the coffee was roasted very recently and ground just before being shipped out to you.
Supermarket coffees have been roasted and ground who-knows who long ago, so you’re just not going to be able to experience the same kind of cup.
1. Use an inexpensive drip machine
One of the cheapest ways to make good coffee at home is to use an inexpensive drip machine. Simple drip machines cost as little as $20-30 and they’re a full solution: you don’t even need anything extra to heat water.
All you need are paper filters, and if you wash and dry the filters right away, you could probably use each filter a few times to save a bit more. Inexpensive drip machines are great to start out with.
In fact, I remember from when I was growing up that a company called Gevalia coffee would send free coffee machines with their coffee grounds if you signed up!
- COFFEE POT MAKER - 5 Cup Drip Coffeemaker with illuminated One-touch button On/Off Switch. With Glass Carafe. Including Reusable Filter and Removable Basket Filter for the Coffee grounds of your choice and for easy cleaning.
- TRANSPARENT WATER WINDOW - Water window allows visibility as you fill—no more overflows. brews up to 5 cups at a time
- PERFECT DESIGN - Small and compact design to fit almost everywhere in your kitchen counter. Dimensions (LXWXH) : 9.50 x 5.00 x 10.00 inches 650w
- KEEP HOT CARAFE PLATE - The nonstick carafe plate keeps coffee warm after brewing is complete.
- CUSTOMER SUPPORT - We, At MIXPRESSO, Offer Not Only Top Grade Coffee Pots With Good Quality Products, But Also Provide Top Of The Line Customer Service Along With Our 1-Year No Questions Asked Warranty Policy Which You Won't Get With Other Brands.
2. Use the pour over method
Another really good method for a cheap cup of good coffee is the pour over method. Pour over coffee is similar to drip coffee, except you have to manually pour the water over the coffee grounds.
You’ll still need a paper filter, and you’ll also need a hot water kettle, too. It’s OK if you don’t have an electric kettle, though, as you can always heat the water on the stove.
To get the temperature you want, let it sit uncovered after boiling and removing from the heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Purchase from Authorized Resellers: e-Home Shopping, Barista Lab, Visions Espresso Service, TheShoppingTimes, Big Kitchen
- Made of non-porous Borosilicate glass which will not absorb odors or chemical residues
- CHEMEX pour-over allows coffee to be covered and refrigerated for reheating without losing flavor
- Simple, easy to use with timeless, elegant design
- Use CHEMEX Bonded Filters FP-1, FC-100, FS-100, FSU-100
3. Use an Aeropress
The AeroPress(and the Aeropress Go) is one of the most amazing coffee inventions that I’ve ever come across. It is such a simple device (and cheap, too), but it makes some of the most spectacular coffee you’ll ever taste.
It’s also very versatile: you can use it to pull something that is very close to a proper espresso shot, or you can also brew an old fashioned Americano black coffee too.
Additionally, the Aeropress is really easy to clean and maintain. You do need a paper filter for brewing, but you can just wash and dry the filter to reuse a few times.
- THE PERFECT CUP: Rapid, total immersion brewing process makes rich, smooth coffee without the bitterness associated with other brewing methods.
- FAST: Total brewing time for an espresso shot is about 30 seconds—brewing coffee is about to become the fastest part of your morning routine!
- EASY CLEANUP: The tightly compressed coffee grounds pop right out with the microfilter, making cleanup a snap.
- QUALITY: Unlike a French press, the microfilters prevent grit from getting in your coffee, and the fast brewing time reduces acidity.
- PORTABLE: The BPA and phthalate free AeroPress system is completely portable, making it the perfect coffee maker for travel and camping.
4. Use a french press
As far as inexpensive brewing gadgets go, the french press certainly makes the list. French presses come in many sizes and shapes(and price ranges) but a decent french press will be no more than $20-30.
French press coffee is an all time favorite for pretty much all coffee lovers. Depending on how big your french press is, you can brew up to 4 or 5 cups of coffee in a single go.
- 4 LEVEL FILTRATION SYSTEM - We use double stainless steel screen filters on a durable plunger supported by a spring loaded base plate to seal the edges, followed by a final top lid strainer to give you a pure brew with no grounds unlike other cheap presses. Perfect to make fresh French coffee, tea, espresso or even cold brew.
- ONLY THE FINEST QUALITY MATERIALS - Every single metal piece is 304 grade stainless steel giving the coffee press a resilient shine and protecting it from rust. The large carafe is made of thick borosilicate glass that can withstand boiling water! It is also portable and small enough to fit in a travel bag or backpack, making it easy to bring on camping, hiking or backpacking trips, outdoor activities, or to work or the office.
- LIFETIME REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE - If anything happens to your original Café Du Chateau french press coffee maker or accessories, no need to buy another. We will send you out a replacement for FREE. We take delivering ultimate customer satisfaction personal. We are here to serve you with our lifetime warranty!
- BPA FREE - All individual materials on the cafetiere surpass food/drink grade quality requirements with certified lab tests to back it up. BPA free plastic lid strainer, 304 food grade rated stainless steel, thermal resistant borosilicate glass pot (8-cup, 34oz). Also features a unique modern European design beaker housing that adds luxury to any kitchen.
- DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE THE PERFECT BREW - At Cafe Du Chateau, we go above and beyond to satisfy our customers which is why you get a detailed coffee brewing guide and brewer manual to accompany your coffee presser, giving you the best tasting coffee or tea in the palm of your hand. Also makes a good gift!
- IF YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT YOUR COFFEE – We tested enough mechanisms and filters to make your head spin to tweak and uniquely design our press with a triple layered filter structure to stop the sediment, but let the yummy coffee oils through for a full-bodied delicious brew that will make you a very happy camper. And to share the java love, we give you a bonus matching travel canister that holds enough beans or grounds for two full batches.
- 33% THICKER, 20% HEAVIER, BUILT TO LAST – Our huge capacity professional grade 304 18/10 double-layered stainless-steel baby will keep your coffee hot for 60 minutes longer than thinner steel and glass models. And it’s drop proof, rust proof, and probably bulletproof (be nice).
- MULTIPLE USES: Besides using the french press as a coffee maker, it is also the best appliance to make tea, mct oil coffee, hot chocolate, cold brew, frothed milk, almond milk, cashew milk, fruit infusions, and plant and herbal drinks as it seals in their flavors and aromas
- A GIFT PEOPLE WILL ACTUALLY USE - Perfect for house warmings, weddings, birthdays, holidays and all coffee/tea lovers, DIY enthusiasts & healthy foodies! Two bonus stainless steel screens and the matching travel container are included with every purchase while quantities last.
- EUROPEAN ENGINEERED – AMERICAN GUARANTEE - Our total satisfaction promise covers all our products (partly why our products receive 1000’s of positive reviews). So choose Mueller with confidence and look forward to a lifetime of java pleasure.
- Secura stainless steel French Press coffee maker is made from top quality 18/10 stainless steel, both the interior and exterior. It is made to outlast other coffee maker.
- 3-LAYERED STAINLESS STEEL FILTER STRUCTURE traps the smallest coffee grounds to produce an exceptional full-bodied flavor.
- BONUS Stainless Steel Screen included with this French coffee press. Filter screen is easy to dissemble and clean. Stack one or more screens together gives your coffee espresso more refined taste.
- This French press maker comes with Cool touch handle and knob for comfortable and safe pouring.
- The capacity of Secura Stainless-steel French coffee press is 34 OUNCE/ 1000ML. All the parts of this French coffee maker are DISHWASHER SAFE.
- Multiple uses - Coffee is the primary purpose, but you can also use it for juice, tea, frothed milk, hot chocolate and more. There are plenty of choices for you to renew and re-energize yourself.
- Precise scale line - our French press Coffee maker features an exact scale line, so you can accurately prepare the amount of Coffee or tea according to your needs. You can prepare your own fresh Coffee just as perfect as Coffee made by professionals.
- Portable design - the small size is perfect for making single serve Coffee, you can taste the freshest Coffee every time. The individual sized press is easy to carry Which is perfect for trips, camping adventures or at work.
- Makes a perfect gift - This personal size French press is a perfect gift for a friend or family members that loves coffee or tea. Perfect for housewarmings, weddings, birthdays, holidays, Christmas, thanksgiving, new year, and Valentine’s Day.
- Why purchase this product? – The affordable price, user-friendly functions and elegant design makes this French press a great addition to your kitchen. In addition, our French press is a great gift for friends and family. Purchase one today and enjoy the benefits of owning a veken French press.
- French press: Chambord French press brews a premium cup of Coffee in just 4 minutes, simply add course ground Coffee, hot water and press
- Stainless steel: 3-part stainless steel plunger has a mesh filter that helps extract your coffee's aromatic oils and subtle flavors instead of being absorbed by a paper filter
- Durable design: Coffee press features Bodum Patented safety lid to keep contents from spilling and is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
- Maximum flavor: pressed Coffee extracts the perfect amount of essentials oils and acids from the Coffee bean for maximum flavor; the preferred method for brewing for Coffee enthusiasts everywhere
- Servings: premium French press Coffee maker makes 8 cups of Coffee, 4 oz each
- Add coarsely grounded Coffee. Add hot water. Wait 4 minutes. Plunge.
- No paper filters or plastic capsules required.
- Base and handle made of BPA-free polypropylene. Carafe made of German heat-resistant borosilicate glass. Plunger made of stainless steel
- 34 oz. capacity.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Hate boring, cold coffee? Us too. Our huge capacity kit is vacuum-layered and double-filtered for flavor fuller than a centipede’s sock drawer and a toasty brew for longer. Oh yeah, you even get a mini canister for storing your next caffeine hit
- Keep coffee (or tea) warm for 60 minutes longer than glass. 304 stainless steel is 33% thicker and 20% heavier than the competition. A cool touch handle protects your hands and the spring-loaded, double-screen filter brews a cleaner cup
- Professional-grade in every way. This brewer is tough, durable and rust proof. Unlike glass it won’t break when you drop it (but your floor might need some attention). Your search for coffee that makes you smile every time ends here
- Plunge into next-level coffee. The Gator press is uniquely designed to stop sediment but let the delicious coffee oils into your cup. This results in a rich, full-bodied brew that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. Water becomes magic
- We’re not satisfied until you are. Our total peace of mind promise covers all our products - partly why we have over 35,000 (and counting) happy customers. So choose Gator with confidence and look forward to more smiles per cup
- PLASTIC FREE FRENCH PRESS | the ONLY Coffee Maker with ENCAPSULATED Stainless Steel DOUBLE LID! Built double to endure high temperatures and to keep your fingers SAFE compared to other thin lids that can burn you. FULLY SEALED with just a slight twist of the lid to trap all the essential oils and not let them evaporate, ensuring an exceptional full-bodied flavor.
- 4 LEVEL FILTRATION SYSTEM | every extra filter screen you add to the french press plunger increases the purity of your coffee, giving it a delicate and satiny texture. WHY DIFFERENT? Double density to last longer & fine lined edges instead of the scratchy ones that allow sediments to pass. This French Press Coffee Maker has every single metal piece manufactured from TOP QUALITY 304 GRADE Stainless Steel.
- GERMAN BOROSILICATE GLASS | while cheap carafes are made from two regular glass pieces affixed together making the Coffee Press highly sensitive and easily breakable, the Kitchen Supreme Carafe's GERMAN GLASS is one single element carefully crafted from DOUBLE GLASS truly making it STRONG & Thermal Shock-Resistant. Unlike metal presses which may generate unbearable scratching noises as you push the filters down, the German Glass protects your peaceful morning mood by never generating any noise.
- NEWEST SUPERIOR Design Bundle | the Large 1 Liter Coffee, Cold Brew, Nut Milk & Tea Maker (about 8 small coffee cups or 4 coffee mugs) + 1 thick stainless steel unique SPOON + 4 Level Filtration System that stops ALL sediments + 1 Coffee/Tea SCOOP + HARD COPY Instruction Book and Pro Barista's Recipes. Makes the BEST GIFT!
- 3-YEAR REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE | Kitchen Supreme is renowned for World Class customer service and 100% Positive Seller Feedback on Amazon (over 10900 OUTSTANDING ratings). BUY WITH CONFIDENCE! Because we trust the quality of our products, if something happens to your original French Press Coffee Maker OR accessories, no need to buy another. WE WILL REPLACE IT immediately without any costs OR efforts from your side!
- To provide you with a cup of coffee like those made by professional baristas, we have improved our products, to meet customer needs and enhance their overall experience. BAYKA French Press is available in three sizes (21oz, 34oz, and 50oz) in order to cater to families of different sizes.
- GREAT FOR COFFEE LOVERS ON A BUDGET: After rigorous testing, we have created a perfect French Press for you to enjoy from home without waiting for long queues in an expensive café. Now you can enjoy the craft drink experience at an affordable price in your own home.
- SAY NO TO CHEAPLY MADE: Tired of fragile glass, unhealthy plastics or inferior metal flavor? Choose BAYKA! Our French Press is made of high quality 304 stainless steel to be rust-proof and unbreakable. Durable and stylish, this French Press is a terrific gift for coffee and tea lovers!
- FULLY UPGRADED & ENHANCED VERSION: A U-shaped spout allows coffee to flow smoothly, without dripping onto your table. A spout marker added on the lid helps you accurately pinpoint the pour spout, while the inside marker will take your brewing accuracy and hosting skills to the next level.
- INCREASE HEAT RETENTION: Our large insulated French Press with double-layer vacuum structure not only keeps the coffee warm for a long time, but also keeps the handle cool when brewing, so there is no risk of burns. Take your time and savor every delicious sip - the coffee will still be hot when you are ready for a refill.
- 【Enjoy Your Exclusive Coffee】As a coffee fanatic, enjoying a cup of fresh homemade coffee can make you feel much better than drinking in a coffee shop. When grounding the coffee beans, the air will be filled with a comfortable scent. On pouring the hot water, the aroma will diffuse as you press the filter arm. Once the hot water and coffee grounds are separated, you have finished the brewing, and the aroma permeates your room and dispels all your worries at once.
- 【Brew Master Design】Cumbor French Press is made of 20% thicker glass and wraparound stainless steel to minimize the risk of breaking your carafe and provide a pure brew without stainless steel aftertaste. The steel base is anti-scalding for your protection, and you can monitor the whole brewing process through the glass. No plastic comes in contact with your beans, ensuring a cup of coffee with the purest original flavor, free of BPA.
- 【4 Minute Filtration 】Skip the queue at your local coffee shop, as only 4 minutes is needed to brew a cup of pure coffee with this French press. Increase the extraction of flavors, oils and acids from your coffee beans with our 4 level filtration system that keeps coffee grounds out of your cup. Whenever you crave it, a cup of smooth and delicious coffee is just at hand.
- 【Multi-Functional】You think a French press can only make a fantastic cup of coffee? That’s not all! If you want a cappuccino, just use a blender to turn semi-skimmed milk into foamed milk and pour it into the Espresso from your French press. There are many more choices, such as tea, hot chocolate, cold brew, frothed milk, almond milk, cashew milk, lemonade, as well as fruit infusions. Start making your DIY drinks at home!
- 【World-class Experience】 Cumbor provide “All Size French Press” and Accessory. If you need to find the “Other Size French Press”, Swiping to the bottom of the page. (If you need installation support, our support team 24-hour online）
5. Make coffee without a coffee maker
Finally, if you are not planning on picking up any of these things, you can just make a good cup of coffee without a coffee maker. I’ve gone over 5 or 6 methods for making coffee without a coffee maker in this post here.
Add ons for when budget permits
Since we’re on a tight budget here, we’re not recommending that you get other coffee brewing accessories from the onset, but once you do have a bit of a budget and are willing to up your game, these add-ons will make a huge difference. Best of all, each one is not that expensive, either.
Coffee should always be measured by weight rather than volume. Interestingly enough, the amount of time that you roast the beans will make a difference as to the weight to volume ratio of each bean. To get a consistent cup every time, use weight as a measurement.
Remember, you’ll want about 14-15 grams of coffee per cup of drip coffee/french press.
To weigh coffee beans, any old kitchen scale will do, but if you’re willing to get a little fancy, there are also coffee scales available that have extra bells and whistles like a timer.
- Accurate: food scale weighs up to 11 lb (5kg); graduation: 0. 04oz/1g; minimum weight recommendation: 3g-5g
- Multifunctional: kitchen scale measures units between oz, g, mL, and lb: oz. Include water and milk volume measurement modes
- Stainless-steel: digital scale is designed with food-grade 304 stainless-steel platform for easy cleaning and maintenance
- Easy: food Weight scale features easy Tare function, clear Backlit display and low battery indication
- Professional: small profile with included 2 AAA batteries. Enjoy 1-year free replacement and lifetime support from Etekcity
Since great coffee is brewed when it is freshly ground from freshly roasted beans(that has got to be the catchphrase for Coffee In My Veins, I think!) you want to have a grinder on hand to grind beans into coffee grounds.
Grinders come in all shapes and sizes. As a rule, you want to stick to burr grinders rather than blade grinders, as burr grinders grind coffee beans more evenly.
Automatic grinders can cost an arm and a leg, but manual grinders are cheap.
- Built-in adjustable grind selector with over 18 click settings ensures you have 100% precision control over the coarseness of your coffee beans.
- Convenient removeable hand crank mechanism consistently eliminates over 90% of the noise that electric grinders produce. No batteries, power, or long plastic cords needed to operate your portable compact coffee grinder.
- Our patented ceramic combo burrs are design tested through three professional grade inspections to last 5x's longer than stainless steel blades.
- Coffee is in our DNA. JavaPresse products are designed to liberate and empower you to transform your favorite coffee ritual into an extraordinary daily experience.
- Every Javapresse coffee grinder comes with an unique code to redeem a free bag of coffee ($21.99 value).
A gooseneck kettle
Last but not least, a cool addition to your coffee brewing toolkit is a gooseneck kettle. Regular kettles are fine, too, but gooseneck kettles are much better because they allow a lot more control over the pour. A more controlled pour will result in a much better pour over brew.
- Designed in California. This Cosori’s Gooseneck Kettle features 5 precise temperature presets, so your tea is brewed just right. It also has a Keep Warm function that automatically keeps water at the same temperature for 60 minutes. The accurate variable temperature presets allow you to never again burn your coffee or tea leaves. Leaving you with a gourmet cup of coffee or tea whenever you want
- Turning Off The Ready Tone：The kettle features a ready tone that beep 3 times when the water reached the preset temperature. If you don’t want this beep alert. You can press and hold “HOLD TEMP” for 3 seconds to turn beeps on/off
- The Purest Taste: The kettle is made with food-grade stainless steel in its housing, lid, and spout, with no Teflon or chemical linings, which keeps the perfect taste for your coffee and tea. It's durable, rust-free and easy to clean, unlike other kettles use plastic for the inner lid
- Precise Pouring: The COSORI's precision pour spout is designed for the optimal pour-over flow rate. The counterbalanced handle helps keep your pour steady, handle moves the center of mass back towards your hand - encouraging a more comfortable, slower pour
- Quick Heating: The 1200 watts of power boils a full kettle in just 3-5 minutes, meaning you can enjoy a cup of coffee in no time. Stop wasting your time in front of the microwave or stove. A 1-hour keep warm function means hot water is always on standby
As you can see, brewing a great cup of coffee does not require you to spend a lot of money. As long as you have the three factors under control, brewing great coffee is not a difficult task.
Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API