It’s safe to say I’ve brought my passion for the coffee bean to our coverage here at 9to5Toys. From gift guides to tours of my own setup, I’ve enjoyed sharing my favorite ways to make a cup of joe with you all over the years. And while there are plenty of ways to make a great brew, latte, or espresso, it can be rather intimidating to know where exactly to start. So today, I’ll be sharing four ways, without breaking the bank, to upgrade your coffee setup. Hit the jump for a full breakdown.

Ditch the pre-ground coffee

Look, I could wax poetic about the joys and benefits of grinding your coffee for days…weeks even. There’s a joy to the manual nature and ritual of grinding your own beans each morning. Not to mention, a number of benefits, making it the easiest way to upgrade your cup of coffee.

You see, the moment you grind a coffee bean, it starts drying out and losing essential oils that deliver richer flavor profiles. So that pre-ground coffee you got from the grocery store? Chances are it’s nearly stale before you even get started. And let’s not even talk about K-cups. Go with a manual option for a low-cost alternative or something like a burr grinder if you’re really ready to dive in here.

coffee bar

French press brings flavors out

The french press has been around for a long time. When used in combination with freshly ground beans, it delivers some of the best coffee out there.

Leaning on the principles described above, french press coffee leverages the natural oils provided by your freshly ground beans. The french press keeps all of the oils mixed in with your coffee, as opposed to be siphoned off by a filter, resulting in a much more robust and flavorful cup of joe.

Give this favorite from Bodum a try and thank me later. Its classic design and a metal holder around it, which will help you avoid cracking your new purchase. Oh, and it has stellar ratings as well.

Upgrade your filter

If you’re all about a drip coffee experience, and I can get behind that, it’s a good idea to think about what kind of filter you’re using. A traditional white coffee filter has a number of downfalls, including the potential to transmit chemicals and a paper-y taste that you may not even realize is there.

Switching to brown unbleached coffee filters will help remedy some of those issues. However, switching to a reusable filter, cloth or stainless steel, can really curb any taste concerns while also cutting down your daily waste.

Measure, measure, measure

Finally, if you’re grinding your own beans, it’s important to consider measuring your coffee. Too much coffee results in a strong flavor profile that may overwhelm the complexities. Too little coffee is weak, and won’t convey the intended flavor.

Consider using a kitchen scale like this to weigh out your beans. I’ve found this calculator to be super helpful when trying to measure out my beans.

How do you like to make a cup of coffee? Sound off in the comment section down below.

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