Behind the Screens: Trevor’s custom coffee and espresso bar

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Behind the Screens is a weekly 9to5Toys series that takes you through our writers’ setups, be it mobile, desktop, gaming or home theater. Next up is Trevor Daugherty, Senior Editor 9to5Toys.

Over the past few months we’ve been showcasing the various setups of our writers, primarily focusing on desktop workstations. Today, we’re switching things up a bit. I’m here to show off my coffee bar. I’ve become pretty passionate about various forms of coffee in recent years and my arsenal of brewers has increased accordingly. Head below for a quick look.

Overview |

When we moved into our home about a year ago, we decided that a coffee bar was a must-have. Not only do we appreciate various forms of espresso and the like, but it’s also a great way to entertain visitors. During this time I’ve also started learning about where beans are roasted and the process behind it.

I like to lean on Brian Jones’ Brew: Better Coffee at Home as an instructional guide when trying new methods. Not only is the photography stellar in this book, but it’s also clearly written and takes a lot of the guesswork out of brewing. You can pick it up at Amazon for under $13.

Grinder |

I bought the Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Burr Mill about six months ago when we ran a deal here at 9to5Toys. It’s been a hit in my home for a few reasons. First, burr grinding is a far superior way to prep beans for grinding. The adjustable knob delivers just the right shavings for your brew, from coarse to fine. You can also grind up to 18-cups into the removable chamber. It’s made from stainless steel, so I feel great about the build quality and it ships with a few tools, including a brush and scoop.

Drip |

After trying various drip brewers, and Keurig (ugh), I finally decided to do some research last summer and find a top-grade coffee maker. I finally landed on the Technivorm Moccamaster Brewer. I first read about it on r/BuyItForLife and when coupled with strong Amazon ratings, I decided to take the plunge.

Without a doubt, it’s an investment. The model I chose currently sells for around $300 at Amazon. But I’ve found the price to be well worth it. A few key features help deliver a stellar brew each time.

Copper insulation delivers precise 196 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures, which is right in the sweet spot for coffee brewing. Also, the unique drip arm provides more of a Chemex experience versus a traditional drip brewer. I couldn’t be happier with my investment here, and the peace of mind of a five-year warranty is a nice bonus.

AeroPress |

A 9to5 favorite, the AeroPress is a classic and dependable way to brew coffee or espresso at home. Amazon sells the starter kit for around $30, which includes microfilters and all of the tools to get started.

There’s a rather intense community behind AeroPress that obsesses over different brewing methods. I personally go the inverted route, which I think delivers a stronger flavor. It’s a simple and easy way to make a cup of either drink quickly without wasting precious beans. Oh, and Amazon customers love it too.

Siphon |

Admittedly, my Yama siphon coffee brewer was a bit of an impulse purchase. I was in an artisan coffee shop in my hometown and just couldn’t resist. We don’t use it as often as the price tag demands but it’s a fun weekend science experiment.

If you’re not familiar with siphon coffee, you might check out this nifty video. The cool part is that it uses a burner to create a vacuum, which helps capture flavor. I love it because it’s unlike anything I’ve seen and it’s always a conversation starter during after dinner coffee.

French Press |

I wish that I had a sleek french press or something more unique, but alas, it’s just from IKEA. It’s tough to beat one for $10. There aren’t any particularly notable features here, and it’s fairly straightforward. It gets the job done.

Espresso |

The latest addition to my setup is the Bellemain stovetop espresso maker. This is my first time with a moka pot, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it. You won’t get that frothy brew that comes with a steamed drink, but it’s still a nice way to quickly make a strong brew. It’s also a blast to use over open flames, be it a fire pit or while camping. At roughly $15, it’s an easy buy and fun way to make a drink.

Mugs |

Sorry friends, my mugs are tough to come by. Most are one-offs or limited runs. In high school I was lucky enough to work as an apprentice for a world-renowned potter by the name of Dick Lehman. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with various vessels and their backstories. Our coffee bar is littered with mugs from our travels, with each one telling a unique story.

That about wraps it up for my coffee bar. It’s always a work in process, and is most certain to change in the coming years. I’d like to add a pro-grade espresso-maker at some point, but that’s likely a ways down the road.

Share your coffee setup down in the comments below, I’d love to hear about it!

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