Coffee. Is. Life.
Happiness is a full coffee mug. Therefore - a good coffee maker is a tool for happiness! But which coffee maker is for you?
For most of us, there isn’t a day that goes by without coffee's welcoming aroma and delicious taste. The advent of the coffee maker might be a more important invention than indoor plumbing for some.
When it comes to a good coffee, we all have a different idea of what makes “the perfect cup of joe.” Some want it quick as they dash out the door for work. Others take their time and love the ritual of the coffee making process. Coffee is a pursuit of passion, and passionate coffee connoisseurs want full control of the brewing process.
Whether you're after a coffee maker for home, camping or work, and you're a lover of pour-over, espresso, french press, cold brew or beyond – we 're confident we've found the perfect coffee maker for you!
The coffee makers in this article are great for many different styles and occasions, however, we've tried to structure it to indicate what we think they are best suited for.
So ... read on below as we take you through what we believe are the best manual coffee makers currently available, for all styles and situations!
- Best Camping Coffee Maker - GSI Outdoor Ultralight Java Drip
- Best Pour Over Coffee Maker - Chemex
- Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker - Toddy Cold Brew System
- Best Stovetop Coffee Maker - Bialetti Moka Express Stove Top Maker
- Best Turkish Coffee Maker - CopperBull Turkish Pot
- Best Single Serve Coffee Maker - Aerobie AeroPress
- Best French Press Coffee Maker - Mueller Frenchpress
- Best Small Coffee Maker - Handpresso HPWILDHYBRID Coffee Machine
- Best Cold Drip Coffee Maker - Yama Cold Drip Tower
- Best Manual Espresso Coffee Maker - Flair Espresso Maker
Leaving the tent on chilly camp mornings can be a struggle but a good cup of coffee will help you brave the crisp mountain air and strenuous hikes to come.
The GSI Outdoor Ultralight Java Drip makes a great cup of pour-over style coffee and it's compact and robust design makes it super easy to take on all your outdoor adventures.
Check out the details below.
Brewing with the GSI is as easy as it gets. The general process is as follows:
How To Use The GSI Ultralight Java Drip:
- Add your coffee grinds to the top basket. The amount will depend on the batch size you're making
- Fold the arms out on the basket and attach it to the top of your GSI cup or camping mug
- Pour hot water over the grinds and let the coffee filter though to your cup
PRO TIP: For a stronger batch of coffee, use an extra paper filter in the basket or extra-fine grounds for a longer brew time.
The whole process takes less time than putting your shoes on and the set-up makes it the simplest thing to operate in your camping bag.
Don't be deceived by its size and simple design - this small camping coffee maker makes some seriously good coffee. The nylon basket removes any sediment issues and produces a smooth and consistent pour over batch, time and time again.
The GSI Ultralight Java Drip weighs practically nothing - to be precise, a little less than 10 grams.
The whole system folds down into a thin disk that fits into any sleeve, compartment, or small pocket. The arms are made of tough and durable plastic, while the basket is made from a sturdy nylon mesh. If the arms ever do break, the price of replacing of them is negligible.
Quick and easy. Simply knock to grinds from the basket into your green waste and rinse everything with warm water. You're looking at about 30 seconds and 200 ml of water.
Cheaper than dirt. Seriously though, a pack of garden soil or cheap instant coffee (practically dirt) will set you back more. For next to nothing, you can have a super sleek camping coffee maker that performs time and time again!
If you want to explore a great alternative, check out the Sea to Summit X-Brew.
Super compact again and includes a mesh filter, so no paper filter waste! It fits perfectly inside other Sea To Summit products such as the X-pot, so if you get the kit then you'll be maximising on space.
Pour over coffee is one of the easiest ways to make coffee at home. Using a simple coffee maker and basic process you can create a delicious & full-bodied batch in next to no time.
A pour over maker give complete control of how much coffee you make — so there's no need to waste good coffee grinds or pour out stale coffee from the day before.
As far as pour over coffee goes, we believe that there is no better option than the Chemex Classic Series!
Check it out below:
Pour over coffee is simplicity at it’s finest.
How to Use A Chemex:
- Gently unfold a specialty Chemex paper coffee filter and place it in the top neck of the Chemex coffee maker
- Gently rinse the filter by pouring hot water through the filter for about 5 seconds. Discard the water from the bottom of the brewer. This helps 'seal' the filter to the coffee maker and removes any unwanted paper taste from your coffee.
- Add medium-grind (uniformly ground) coffee of your choice to the filter. The amount of coffee you add depends on the size of the batch you're after.
- Pour enough hot water over the grinds to wet them and then let it sit for 30 seconds. This is called 'blooming' and releases trapped gases, oils and aromas from your coffee.
- After 30 seconds is up, continue pouring water into the filter in a circular motion, making sure to cover all of the grinds with the water
- Wet the coffee grinds with a 30 ml of bit of water. Wait about 30 seconds and then pour the remaining hot water over the grinds in a circular motion.
- Pour water until the Chemex bottom chamber has filled with appropriate amount of coffee, relative to the grinds used. Remove the filter and discard in your green waste - your coffee is good to drink!
PRO TIP: Using a gooseneck kettle, scales and a timer will give you optimal control and help you dial in a consistent recipe that you love!
As one of the most popular pour over coffee makers for many years now, the Chemex is known for consistently producing sediment-free, full-flavoured coffee.
The specialty paper removes all unwanted particles while allowing the oils and aromas to shine. The high-quality glass carafe isn't porous, so it won't absorb chemicals or odours and affect the coffee's flavour over time.
The Chemex is in our opinion the 'poster-child for pour over coffee'. Not only does it make top notch coffee, but also looks stunning!
The curved and flowing glass combined with the polished wood neck adds a brilliantly rustic style element to it (and also protects your hand from the heat!)
It comes in a variety of sizes from 3-cup to 12-cup, catering for all coffee occasions.
Again - as easy as can be. Discard the paper filter in your green waste and rinse out the glass carafe with warm water. Let it sit and dry before storing it away.
A reasonable price for something this elegant and well made. Not as cheap as a no-name pour over but the finer details (non-pourous glass, wooden neck etc.) go a long way.
Best Alternative: Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker
If you want to explore a great alternative, check out the Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker.
Featuring many similar design principles to the Chemex, Bodum's version also comes in widely well regarded. The Bodum comes standard with a metal filter basket which while being reusable, it doesn't remove sediment as well or add the same depth of flavour as a paper filter. Placing a paper filter inside the metal basket is an easy fix though!
The popularity of cold brew coffee has risen drastically in the past few years and rather than paying a marked-up price at a café, consumers are figuring out that a cold brew system at home is cheap and easy.
Cold brew has become popular not only for its flavour and temperature (who wants hot coffee on a hot day?), but it's also being touted as a healthier coffee as well. This is mainly down to the cold brew process removing less acids from the coffee, making it easier on the stomach. Furthermore, the caffeine has been shown to be more of a 'sustained delivery' - meaning you don't get a 'kick' and then 'dump', but more of a smooth buzz!
Cold brew coffee is not rocket science; it’s water, coffee, filtration, plus time. So, cold brew coffee systems don’t have to be very expensive or complex to yield incredible tasting coffee.
The Toddy Cold Brew System is one of the most popular cold brew systems on the market and is great for both cold brew coffee and tea.
Check it out below.
There are a number of different recipes out there to make cold brew - the ratio we'd recommend for the Toddy is 340g of medium / coarse ground coffee to 1.6 litres of cold filtered water.
How To Use The Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker:
- Stick the rubber stopper in the hole on the outside bottom of the brewing bucket. container to begin.
- Dampen a Toddy felt filter with water and place it inside at the bottom of the container above the drain hole.
- Add about 50g of coffee & 200ml of water to the bottom of bucket. Let this infuse for a minute or so. This stops your brew 'locking up' and makes sure water reaches the bottom.
- Add the remaining coffee and then top with the remaining water. Stir gently until all coffee has made contact with the water (don't stir too vigorously)
- Place a cover over the top and let your brew infuse for approximately 12 hours. You can play with this timing depending on your preference.
- Once infused, place it on top of the decanter and pull the plug out. Your cold brew coffee concentrate will filter out over the course of an hour or so.
PRO TIP: This is a cold brew concentrate that will last weeks in the fridge and is super versatile. Take it black, make iced lattes or use in cocktails!
Using the recommended 340g of ground coffee and 1.6 litres of water will produce just over 1.1 litres of cold brew coffee concentrate.
There is nothing that is 'rocket science' about the Toddy Coffee Maker, but it does make home brew cold brew super simple and convenient.
The felt filter does a great job of removing any sediment too.
The size of the Toddy Brew System is why it so appealing, allowing you to make a decent amount of cold brew that will last you weeks.
We can all agree that there is nothing 'beautiful' about the top container, however, the glass decanter is stylish and the top bucket can be easily packed away after brewing.
Another easy one to clean. Discard your coffee grinds in the green waste and rinse everything with warm water. Let it dry before packing away.
The felt filter can also be rinsed and reused up to 12 times before needing to be replaced. Store it in a plastic bag in the freezer between batches.
Not 'cheap' per se, but brilliant value. Considering you get roughly 14 servings out of each batch, it will pay for itself in money saved from your easting out budget real quick!
Best Alternative: Hario Cold Brew Maker
If you'd like to explore a great alternative, check out the Hario.
We love the cold brew that comes out of the Hario, however, for the time and effort it takes to make a brew, we prefer a larger vessel like the Toddy.
Again, this is just about personal preference as opposed to quality in cold brew makers, if you have limited space in your fridge and are just making cold brew for yourself, then the Hario may be the way to go.
The Italians have taken it upon themselves to gift the world with a stellar, simple and timeless stovetop coffee maker - the Moka pot.
The Bialetti Moka Pot has proven itself as one of the best stovetop coffee makers year after year and will have house guests coming over for breakfast way more often than dinner.
Check it out below.
With no pressure gauges, knobs, or hand cranks - operating the Moka Pot is relatively simple
How To Use A Moka Pot:
- Unscrew the top chamber from the lower chamber and remove the metal filter basket.
- Fill the bottom chamber with boiled filtered water to the 'max' line. Boiled water is better than cold as the coffee will spend less time on the stove and be less likely to burn.
- Fill the coffee basket with espresso / medium grind coffee and scrape the top level. Give it a shake to settle the grinds.
- Place the coffee filter basket into the lower chamber. Be careful as the bottom chamber will now be hot.
- Screw the top and bottom chambers back together and place on a stovetop at medium heat.
- When the water in the bottom chamber approaches boiling, a steady stream of coffee will flow from the stem in the top chamber. When you hear a hissing noise, the process is finished. Remove from the heat quickly to prevent burning.
PRO TIP: Once the brew has finished, run the bottom of the pot under cold water to stop it heating the coffee further and extracting any metallic flavour.
Strong, espresso-style coffee is the mark of the Moka Pot. It's been the staple coffee maker of many a home-kitchen across the globe due to its ease of use and reliable performance.
Just remember - medium heat is the key. If you follow that rule, the Moka pot produces a magical cup of coffee!
The Moka Pot is made of high-quality aluminium, which is a great conductor of heat. The Octagonal shape ensures that there is even heat distribution and every fluid ounce of coffee comes out tasting great. The Bialetti stovetop coffee maker also comes in a variety of colours and sizes, ranging from 1 to 9 cups.
The unit can be washed by hand with warm water and dried down with a towel. Don't reassemble the parts until everything is dry. You may need to occasionally remove accumulated oils with a damp cloth from the rubber seal on the bottom of the top chamber.
Another very affordable and high-quality coffee maker. The price varies slightly depending on the size you're after, but none of them will break the bank.
Best Alternative: Bellman Stovetop Coffee CX 25P
If you're looking for an alternative to the Moka Pot - the Bellman is simply AWESOME!
You can brew multiple cups of coffee, plus there's a steam wand to make that silky smooth frothed milk for your much loved cappuccinos.
The built in pressure gauge lets you pour your brew at the exact right moment, giving you a perfect shot with a beautiful golden crema.
So why is it 2nd? As you'd expect - it's notably more expensive so for the average brewer the Bialetti Moka Pot is probably better value for money (depending on the depths of your coffee obsession of course!).
One of the best places on Earth to get the most authentic, dark & rich coffee is in Turkey. If you get the chance to visit, you are in for a real treat. Turkish coffee is known around the globe for its signature taste and epic strength.
Traditionally, it combines bold and strong coffee with caramelised sugar for the perfect blend of savoury and sweet.
It's a bit of a mouthful but the CopperBull Thickest Solid Hammered Copper Pot is a fantastic Turkish coffee maker. Made of dense, beautifully crafted copper, it's as beautiful as it is practical.
Learn more about it below.
The CopperBull Turkish Coffee Maker is a single pot (traditionally known as a Cezve) and is the only instrument you need to make an excellent Turkish coffee.
The method below will yield 2 cups.
How To Make Turkish Coffee:
- Combine sugar (if desired), 3 cups of cold filtered water and 2 heaped tablespoons of Turkish coffee in your coffee pot. Any very finely ground dark roast coffee is suitable.
- On a medium heat, slowly bring the mixture to a boil (about 3 - 4 mins)
- As it comes close to the boil a dark foam will build up. Take it off the stove and scoop and drop a teaspoon of foam into the bottom of both cups. Return coffee pot to stovetop.
- As coffee begins to boil, pour half of the coffee into the cups.
- Return coffee pot to stovetop again and boil for another 15-20 seconds.
- Pour the rest in to the coffee cups to the top.
PRO TIP: The foam is key ingredient to a good Turkish coffee. It can be hard to get a good foam to form, the thick base on the CoperBull pot will help with this.
Sweet as Love, Black as Night, Strong as Death - the CopperBull makes a thick-foamed Turkish coffee that is delectable. The high angle handle is designed to keep away from the heat and may feel awkward to use at first, but you will get used to it quickly.
The CopperBull is hand-made in Turkey from 2mm thick copper - as authentic as it gets.
This particular pot is ornately engraved with a thicker base than most pots on the market.
The handle is sturdy with custom pearl in-lay. It has a nice compact design with the base measuring approximately 9.5 cm in diameter and standing about 10 cm tall. It will hold about 440ml, which is approximately 5-6 demitasse cups of coffee.
The inside of the pot is a soft metal that can be easily scratched. Clean the pot with hot water and a sponge or dishcloth. Never use abrasive cleaning materials.
For a hand-made product coming from straight from the home of Turkish coffee, the CopperBull is an absolute steal in our opinion.
Best Alternative: Beko BKK 2300 Automatic Turkish Coffee Maker
The Beko BKK 2300 Automatic Turkish Coffee Maker brings what is the oldest coffee making method known in human culture, right into the future!
There's no denying it is extremely quick & easy - but we are suckers for the coffee ritual, process and tradition so in this instance, it comes in second.
Most 'single-serve coffee makers' are automatic pod-based systems that are highly convenient, but make a pretty average coffee and are terrible for the environment!
There are a number of single-serve coffee makers that offer coffee enthusiasts complete control over their brew and can be used time and time again.
Our pick of the single serve coffee makers is the multi-award-winning AeroPress.
It’s a phenomenal coffee machine that is makes brilliantly-consistent espresso-style coffee.
Learn more about it below or Read Our Full Review.
The AeroPress is very straight-forward and easy to use. It only has only two major parts, a plunger and a chamber. The bottom of the chamber has a screw cap for holding a paper or metal filter.
There are many different recipes now out there for AeroPress coffee, but the general process to make a single espresso-style shot is as follows.
How To Use The AeroPress:
- Push the plunger out of the chamber
- Gently rinse a paper filter (or use a metal filter) and place it inside the filter cap.
- Screw the filter cap to the bottom of the chamber
- Stand the chamber upright on top of a metal cup or sturdy mug, and add one standard AeroPress scoop (or heaped tablespoon) of fine to medium grind coffee to the chamber
- Shake the chamber to level and settle the coffee grinds
- Add hot water fresh off the boil to the 'level 1' mark indicated on the chamber
- Gently stir for 10 - 15 seconds
- Insert the plunger back in the chamber and apply even and consistent pressure to depress it into the chamber and extract your coffee through the filter
- The extraction is complete when you hear a 'hissing' sound and the plunger has reached the grounds.
PRO TIP: AeroPress has become quite a cult classic and there is now and AeroPress World Championship. Head over and check it out for all of the winning recipes.
The AeroPress is a very forgiving coffee maker and while we recommend fine to medium ground coffee, you can still get good results with a coarser grind. We recommend experimenting with time, temperature and grind for yourself to see which yields the best result for you!
Simple & sturdy. The Aeropress coffee maker proves that an expensive price tag and fancy design doesn't necessarily make better coffee.
It's famous worldwide for its ease of use, robustness and fantastic coffee. It's compact and also makes the perfect road trip buddy or overnight hike companion. We love it for our #vanlife adventures.
As close to 'self-cleaning' as you can ask for from a manual coffee maker. After you’ve pressed your coffee shot, remove the filter cap and pull the plunger back slighlty.
Position the bottom of the Aeropress chamber over your green waste ... then, take a strong stance, quickly push the plunger back in all the way, yell PHWOAR! and the coffee grinds will catapult into bin.
Okay, so maybe that's just what we like to do.
... Gently rinse the plunger and funnel and let them dry.
Very friendly. Many people say they’ve had their Aeropress for years, and based on our experience, will have for years to come.
You only need to use it a handful of times to make back what you would have used on buying coffee out - an extremely affordable, delicious way to do coffee.
Best Alternative: The Delter Coffee Press
The Delter Coffee Press is the 'new kid on the block' and a worthy contender to the AeroPress.
Working with a similar design style, the Delter has brings a few new ideas to the table and is even compatible with the AeroPress filters. The AeroPress wins this round due to its simplicity and longstanding reliability - time will tell if the Delter Coffee Press is up to the challenge!
The French press has been a staple in most coffee lovers kitchens for many years. Even people who don't drink coffee (apparently they exist?) know what the French Press is.
Although simple in nature, brewing the perfect batch of French Press takes a measure of skill and refinement.
As far as making quality and consistent French Press coffee goes, the Mueller French is as good as they come.
Check it out below.
Making a great coffee in a French Press follows much the same process, no matter the brand.
How To Use A French Press:
- Hold the handle of the pot and remove the plunger.
- Place the pot on a flat surface and add a heaped tablespoon (7-8 grams) of plunger ground coffee (medium to coarse grind) to the pot for every 200 ml of hot water
- Pour your water (just off the boil) into the pot with the coffee and gently stir. Pour the entire 200ml at once.
- Reinsert the plunger back into the pot and slowly press it down, stopping just above the water and ground coffee. Let it stand and steep for 3-4 minutes
- At the end of the 3 - 4 minutes, press the plunger down slowly with even pressure until the plunger reaches the bottom of the pot. Your coffee is good to pour!
PRO TIP: Pre-heat your French Press with hot water for a few minutes prior to using it for better temperature control and a better coffee!
If you've used a cheap and nasty French Press in the past, you'll likely be familiar with finding sediment and small coffee particles in the bottom of your cup that have escaped the filter.
The Mueller French press uses a triple-layered mesh filter to ensure a clean and pure cup.
It's heat retention is second to none, utilising a double-walled and insulated thick stainless-steel pot that keeps your coffee hot for ages.
Made from 18/10 grade stainless steel, the Mueller will look brand new for years to come. No more worries about dropping it on your counter and shattering a glass pot too.
Pull the plunger out and empty the coffee grinds in the green waste. Rinse the carafe and rod filter with hot water. Use a soft sponge to wipe away any pesky coffee residue that won’t wash off. Allow the French press to dry thoroughly before packing away.
The same price as a basic glass French Press but with much better heat retention and durability. With a 4.8 Star-Rating from over 4500 reviews, it's safe to say it's a very worthy purchase.
Best Alternative: The Bodum Chambord French Press
A very classic looking French Press, the Bodum Chambord French Press brews a delicious coffee and is simple to use. We prefer the Mueller for is heat insulation and sturdiness, but if you'd prefer a glass model - the Bodum Chambord is our pick.
The Handpresso Wild Hybrid takes the word “manual coffee maker” to a whole new level.
In our opinion - this is the most unique coffee maker on the list. It looks and operates like a bike pump and probably takes up less space.
The novelty of it is terrific, and the coffee it makes is fantastic!
Get the details below.
The Handpresso isn't exactly the simplest coffee maker on the list, but once you make a few cups of coffee the process becomes second nature.
How To Use The Handpresso Wild Hybrid:
- Turn the pump handle counterclockwise to unlock it. Make sure the 'release button' at the other end of the unit is in the up position
- Pump the handle until the pressure gauge reaches the 'green zone' (16 Bar). Expect to pump about 10 times
- Turn it over and unscrew the cap at the bottom of the chamber to remove the basket
- Fill the basket to the top with your favourite espresso ground coffee and gently 'tamp' with the end of your Handpresso unit
- Fill the water chamber with freshly boiled water to the water level mark on the inside of the chamber
- Replace the coffee basket and screw the cap back on until it locks.
- Place the Handpresso over your cup and hit the switch to release your espresso!
PRO TIP: Watch the quick video below for a great visual walkthrough of how to brew with the Handpresso.
An excellent espresso maker for one or two. As you'd expect for its size, the Handpresso only makes a single espresso shot, so you'll be doing a lot of pumping if you have a bunch of friends over!
The Handpresso is small and compact unit, designed so you can throw it in your bag and make espresso anywhere. Whether you are at home, the office, or traveling, this durable device is easily kept close by. Perfect for coffee loving climbers who want a pre-arm warmup before they start out!
Super simple. Tap the coffee filter lightly against your trash bin to eject the coffee grinds. Rinse out the filter and chamber and let them sit to dry.
Not the cheapest on this list but a definitely a fair price for something so innovative, clever and convenient.
Best Alternative: Espro Travel Coffee Press
Creating more of a French Press style than espresso like the Handpresso does, the Espro Travel Press Coffee Maker is another great small coffee maker to consider. It has excellent heat retention, is super durable and is simple to use / clean.
As far as a small coffee maker goes, the Handpresso is still our number one pick due to it's innovative design and our preference for a strong espresso hit!
Cold drip is a style of 'cold brewed coffee', but instead of the coffee sitting on the water for many hours like a classic 'cold brew', it slowly drips through the coffee and into a beaker below.
As it slowly passes through the coffee it performs a 'cold extraction', taking anywhere from 3 to 12 hours depending on the brewers preference, batch size and style of brewer.
As with classic cold brew, it typically makes for a much smoother coffee with a lower acidity level than hot brew coffee. The Yama Cold Brew Tower is widely regarded as the top of the pile for cold drip coffee, and this one in particular will make you enough cold drip coffee to power on for months!
Check out the details below:
The Yama tower looks like a crazy lab experiment, but its pretty straightforward to use. There are countless recipes debated, this is one of the best we've tried.
How To Make Cold Drip Coffee With The Yama Tower:
- Insert the ceramic filter at bottom of coffee cylinder (middle chamber)
- Place 280 grams of ground coffee in coffee cylinder and tap so grinds settle and are level
- Load ice and water into the top vessel. Add 2000 ml of water and then top with ice. Drain water back out after adding ice so there is only 2000 ml of water total. You want as much ice in top section as possible without poking out the top
- Place the vessel back on top and ensure everything else in in place and position
- Saturate the coffee grinds with approximately 200 ml of water, making sure you can see damp grounds the whole way around the cylinder.
- Set a drip rate to 40 drops per minute. Monitor and adjust to maintain this rate - it will change as the water pressure changes.
- Once the first 2000 ml of water has dripped, reload the top chamber as per Step 3. Set drip rate to 40 per minute again.
- Once this water has passed through your cold drip is complete. Yields approximately 3.6 litres.
PRO TIP: Altering the drip rate will change how quickly your brew develops and hence, the strength and characteristics of your batch. Play with the coffee / water ratios and drip rate to find your own ideal batch.
For another great recipe and brewing method, hit play below:
The Yama Coffee Tower gives you a coffee that has less acid, smooth flavours, and a solid kick. It may take some time to dial in your perfect drip - try out a variety of grind sizes and different drip rates until you land what you're after. You’ll want to occasionally check the drip rate as it can change as the water pressure drops.
The Yama tower is a coffee lovers work of art. It draws the eye in any room it's placed, with many cafes around the world keeping them in their display windows as a drawcard and talking point. All of the chambers are hand blown glass, the timber frame is handcrafted, with three variations of mid-century designs. It should go without saying - don't knock it over!
Cleaning the Yama Tower is a bit more involved than some of the others on this list.
Discard the coffee into your green waste and wash all of the glass components with hot water. As the coffee sits on the glass for many hours, you may find you'll need to add soap to your water or use some elbow grease and a cloth.
If you use soap, make sure you do a final rinse with clean water so you don't affect the taste of your next batch. Allow all parts to dry before placing them back in the tower.
The 25 Cup Yama Tower is definitely not the cheapest coffee maker available, but it needs to be recognised that it is an artisan good. You're paying for a super high-quality hand-crafted piece of equipment that is stunning to look at, and produces what is probably the best cold drip coffee you'll taste.
Best Alternative: Hario SBS-5B Slow Drip Brewer
Another fantastic cold drip coffee brewer is the Hario SBS-5B. This cold drip coffee maker is much smaller and much more affordable. It brings all of the quality and craftsmanship you'd expect from Hario to the table - perfect if you're looking to make a smaller batches or limited by budget and space.
Espresso = Coffee + Hot Water + Pressure.
This has traditionally been pretty hard to achieve without a gas or electric boiler, but the Flair Espresso Press gets it done, and well.
Its completely manual (no electronic parts) and folds away neatly and compactly into a small carry bag. When you don't need to move it, it's sleek and simple design makes it a great piece for the kitchen counter too.
Check it out below.
There are a few steps to making a great espresso with the Flair, but none of them complicated. The general process is as follows:
How To Use The Flair Espresso Maker:
- Place the brew chamber in a mug and pre-heat with hot water
- Fill the porta-filter (coffee basket) with espresso ground coffee and tamp
- Attach the coffee basket to the pre-heated brew chamber and attach to the mounting point on the frame
- Insert the piston plug into the top of the brew chamber
- Place your cup at the bottom of the chamber
- Pull the level down with steady even pressure to extract your shot
PRO TIP: You can purchase and add a Flair pressure gauge to the system to really dial in the right amount of downforce.
When done correctly the Flair produces rich espresso coffee with a beautiful crema.T he brew head gets extremely hot after making an espresso shot so don’t expect to make another one immediately after, you'll need to let the brew head cool down before starting the process again or use a second brew chamber.
The Flair manual espresso maker looks like something out of a vintage workshop. It's embodies the 'minimalist' idea with a simple, robust and practical design.
Everything on the Flair easily comes apart for a simple cleaning process. Use a cloth to take out the brew head as it might still be hot. Take the screen off the coffee basket, and gently tap the coffee basket on the side of your green waste bin to eject the grinds. Wash all the disassembled parts with water and allow them to dry.
In comparison to a traditional electric or gas powered espresso machine, the Flair is much cheaper. Due to it's sophisticated design and metal housing you can expect to pay more than simpler manual brewers like the AeroPress.
Best Alternative: La Pavoni Professional PDH
Like something straight out of a museum, the La Pavoni PDH is the peak of manual espresso makers. Pure gold-plated with a steam wand to froth your milk, the La Pavoni PDH makes cafe-quality espresso and is a talking point for any occasion. It does require electricity for the water boiler in the bottom, and does require much deeper pockets than the Flair Espresso maker!
That's A Wrap!
That completes our list of the 10 best manual coffee makers for almost any occasion! It's a hard job diving deep into the world of coffee, but someone has to do it hey? ;)
We hope you've found something to take your coffee game to the next level and keep you caffeinated no matter where you are or what you're up to.
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