One thing these days, to stock up on toilet paper. Or sparkling water. Or microwave popcorn. Lately, I’ve developed a stranger hankering. Or maybe it was in me already, lying dormant (like a virus). If I’m honest, the urge to acquire coffee scoops began way back when they came in the can (Chock full o’Nuts), like a prize in a box of cereal. All different colors, they were — collectible, and so we collected — they doubled as toys in the bath, in the sandbox, strewn across the kitchen floor. (This was long ago, in the days before we bought whole beans and ground them ourselves first thing every morning — which we’ve been doing, religiously, ever since I started writing a book called Coffee, just out this month.) Now there’s only one left. It’s green. Not that anyone needs to own more than one coffee scoop, two at the most. And we’re not supposed to buy plastic anymore (although, if you did want plastic, there’s the 2-in-1 Smart Scoop, which has a built-in leveler, or the $3 Chef Craft duo, which comes in a nice, shiny black).
I’m saying I don’t know how to justify my recent obsession — shelter-in-place anxiety, I suppose. Whatever the reason, I’ve a newfound appreciation for a truly great scoop: the feel of the handle between your fingers; the perfect demi-globe to deliver your two tablespoons’ worth of grounds. I’ve recently accumulated the following five new models, from the cushioned, to the extendable, to the sleek and ergonomic. And I’m not finished with shopping. Just this morning, I nearly ordered a cast-iron scoop, which has a Teflon coating for a “nonstick” experience. I’m still mulling — because when was scooping coffee ever sticky? — but I haven’t yet ruled it out. It would be a great gift.
The Rolls-Royce of coffee scoops
I was sold on the shape in the picture: like an egg, or a triangle with rounded edges. Then there’s the handle, just slightly curved to accommodate my thumb. These Apace Living scoops have heft, weight, integrity — they give me joy. Even the font — “2 Tbsp/30ml,” engraved at the end of the handle — is pleasing. I got the rose gold, who knows why (it doesn’t go with anything else in the kitchen), except it looks like copper to me — so warm, so elegant, I’m tempted to change out all our cookware. That’s how pretty these are. In fact, I’m keeping one of the two on my desk, where it doubles as a worry stone — a worry scoop, that is — to comfort me post–morning coffee and all through another long, strange day.
The most versatile coffee scoop
I like the GoodCook’s extendable handle and the shape of the bowl, round and commodious. Plus, the color, a deep shiny red, more licorice than lollipop, works so well in my kitchen. And they may be plastic, but I promise they will never be landfill. I’ll never throw this one away.
The longest coffee scoop
What distinguishes this baby is the handle, not only because it’s made of “endurance metal” (stainless steel No. 304; that’s a good thing, apparently), but because it’s longer than even the GoodCook fully extended: It measures a whole five inches. Too long, in fact, to keep in the container, unless the container is bigger than average for those who grind well in advance (and, in that case, this scoop is much less likely to get buried in all those grounds). There’s another even longer option from Magnum Steel, 11.5 inches from the cute little barrel to the tip of the handle, allowing you to scoop efficiently from the bottom of a 12-ounce bag.
The vibrant coffee scoop
Yes, you have to buy a 16-piece set here, but it comes with an eighth-cup measure — two tablespoons’ worth, perfect for coffee scooping — which, it turns out, isn’t easy to find (measuring cups generally come in sets of four, the smallest being the quarter-cup size). And all the pieces have these vibrant handles, silicon-cushioned, not too short, not too long, purple in the case of the eighth-cup measure. It’s worth noting, too, that the spoons are magnetic (although the larger ones tend to slide down the side of the fridge).
The most generous scoop
I never met a wooden spoon I didn’t like. These, on their way via USPS, I’m going to love, I just know it, from the swirl in the grain of the wood to those smooth, round-bellied bowls. I had to have both — the long- and short-handled — that’s what I decided. But first I wrote to Redbud to find out how much coffee they hold. The answer lifted my heart: “[A] little more than two tablespoons,” wrote the proprietor. (The bowl size doesn’t vary with the handle.) That’s “a little more generous than a standard coffee scoop,” he went on to explain, “which is perfect for the way I like my coffee.” Him and me both. I can’t wait till they come, I can’t wait to hold them — and also I can. Times being what they are, a person needs something to look forward to.