Coffee is like toothpaste: You take it for granted, but go without for a day or two and people will start to notice. But if we had to choose a season of coffee it would be fall — coffee in all forms just tastes a little better this time of year. Whatever way you prefer your ground beans brewed, however, odds are there’s a better way to do it: Automatic machines have never been better. Neither have French presses or, when things get desperate, instant coffees. Tech has tricked down from high-end machines to create barista-quality brew in your kitchen. As such, here are our favorite new coffee machines.
Best Travel Coffee Maker: Stanley Classic Vacuum Travel Press
Whether you’re in the woods or just running late for work, the on-the-go French-pressing flexibility of the Stanley Classic Vacuum Travel Press makes it an easy pick for our list. Combining the durability and performance of stainless steel with the company’s iconic green, it looks as good as it works. Just sift coffee into the mug, pour in hot water over, and press down with the included strainer before sealing it with an insulated lid that keeps 16 ounces of java warm for a minimum four hours. In a flash of prescience, Stanley even made it cup-holder compatible.
Best Automatic Pour Over Coffee Maker: Chemex Ottomatic 2.0
Everyone’s favorite pour-over company Chemex gets a 21st century upgrade for its Ottomatic 2.0. The trademark carafe is still there, but instead of a surly barista, a nine-point spray head evenly dispenses hot water over your bean of choice to sequentially bloom your grounds and then brew the perfect six-cup pot. Here’s to the café system that will leave thousands of former English majors searching for employment.
Breville Precision Brewer Glass
Longtime drip-drinkers will recognize the silhouette of the Breville Precision Brewer Glass while appreciating its head-and-shoulders improvement over their dusty machines. Five brewing modes, including Gold, Fast, Strong, Iced, and Cold Brew, fills its massive 60-ounce carafe, while a six mode allows for user customization of bloom time, flow rate, and brewing temp. A separate adapter even allows for pour-over.
Best French Press: Espro Press P7
There’s that cheapo French press you received as a non-registry wedding gift, and then there’s the Espro Press P7. Utilizing a double-filter system, this press ensures a full-bodied 18 ounces with none of the last-sip grit you’re used to grimacing through. And unlike your current model, its double vacuum-insulated stainless walls won’t shatter after an errant drop. Bonus: You can even brew tea in it.
Best Instant Coffee: Alpine Start Original Blend Instant Coffee
Now, before you start leaving angry comments, we’re not advocating drinking instant coffee. For that matter, neither is Alpine Start, with its Original Blend Instant Coffee. But when you can’t drink fresh-brewed, the Boulder-based company’s product is the best we’re found. Sourcing high-altitude Arabica beans from Columbia, it has brewed the perfect pot of coffee and then dehydrated it. Simply add hot or cold water and enjoy when that’s all the time you’ve got.