If you follow our monthly Strategist haul, then you’re familiar with the idiosyncrasies of our editors’ and writers’ shopping habits. While we think of those as the highlights, there are plenty of other, less glamorous things that we buy — and love — on the regular, too. So whether you’ve wondered about the SPF moisturizers we slather on our faces, or the toothbrushes we use, this is the Stuff We Buy Ourselves. In this edition: the coffee makers (and one tea maker) we rely on to get our mornings going, starting with Maxine Builder, who’s written at least six other articles on coffee gear, and has lots of opinions.
Maxine Builder, writer
I own an excessive amount of coffee-making gear — including a French press, a cold-brew coffee bottle, and an all-in-one pour-over coffee brewer — but my go-to coffee maker is the pour-over setup from Blue Bottle. I like the Blue Bottle–designed coffee dripper because it’s ceramic with a flat bottom. That means the hot water drains through the grounds more evenly than through a traditional cone-shaped dripper, and this design makes it easy to ensure a smoother, less bitter, and over-extracted brew, even if your pouring is shaky. The dripper fits nicely over this handsome glass coffee carafe, but if I’m in a rush, I’ll brew straight into a travel mug. The one annoyance about this setup is that I can only get replacement filters from Blue Bottle because they’re custom-designed for the brewer, but the inconvenience is worth it for a reliably good cup of coffee from a solid brewing setup. I like it so much that when I cracked it accidentally in the kitchen sink a while back, I bought a new one.
Jason Chen, deputy editor
When I’m not drinking bad work coffee (I know), I like to make a pour-over at my desk with this guy. The dripping sounds are a little extra, but it’s perfect for making a cup or two for one person, and the double-walled glass just looks nice.
Lori Keong, writer
Sometimes people try to fight me on whether or not French presses are more efficient than pour-overs, but I’m solidly in the pour-over camp: They are super easy to clean, store, and carry for a single cup of coffee and yada yada about the enhanced flavor. I don’t get too fancy with my pour-overs, though I know some people do — there aren’t any thermometers or design-y kettles involved — but I do insist on making coffee out of a certain beautiful, colored glass pour-over from Yield because just look at it. It’s made of double-walled borosilicate glass and looks like a little art objet when it’s not in use.
Lauren Ro, writer
This works great with limited kitchen counter space, as I can put it away after I’m done with it. Sometimes I wish it were a little bigger so that I could make more than two cups at time, but I still reach for this over my French press, which just doesn’t cut it when it comes to making a smooth cup of coffee. I stockpile these filters because there’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning and realizing that you’ve run out.