2021 is shaping up necessarily to look a lot like 2020. More time at home. More time for contemplation. More stress brought on by screens and moments like this:
“You’re on mute.”
One of the lessons we learned last year was that we had been spoiled silly by the good coffee and company at local cafes. In these new times, though, without such public comforts, a trend shaping up to last for a while longer, we have had to adapt. The lucky ones gathered all the necessities (grinder, water, brewer, coffee) and, after some light researching online and clearing space in the kitchen, den, living room, or even breezeway (hey, it takes all kinds), began to make expert cups of coffee at home. Some even started to use the word percolation. Loved ones were mystified. It was a time of change. Others have kept an eye out for the perfect equipment, scouring forums but laying low, daydreaming about extraction rates, bottomless portafilters, and walnut accents.
Regardless of which coffee person you are or have become, you, like us, could use something or some things to look forward to as we wait for the day when we can truly emerge from our homes to a brighter world. Here is a list of the coffee gear we're looking forward to in 2021.
Because of its speedy drawdowns (around two minutes) and the quality of the cups it produces, the Espro Bloom has us (and soon, we hope, you!) blooming with joy. This dripper's unique shape and steep angles encourage an efficient drawdown even at fine grind sizes, nearly halving the average pour over brew time, and its patented microfilter design provides the option to brew with or without a filter. The result is that this one brewer can produce two very different results—a clean and bright cup of coffee with the paper filter, or a rich and full-bodied cup without. The Bloom has proven to be exactly what we need as we work our way through 2021—great, evenly extracted coffee, right now.
The Hario Switch combines two of our favorite things: drippers and immersion brewers. It greatly resembles the tried and true V60 but has an eponymous switch to open and close a valve in the cone. Hario advertises it as “fail-proof” brewing, which is true, because all you have to do is pour the water, wait, and then flip a switch when the coffee is sufficiently steeped. Simplicity seems to be a commonality across many of the products we are looking forward to this year, and that’s because in the chaos that is our current situation, a good cup of coffee, made easily and without too much fuss, i.e., the Switch, is perhaps the best way to start the day. In stock soon.
The Lelit Bianca has been around for a few years, but it’s new to the Prima team, along with its little sister, the Anna. We are excited about these two machines because their presence signifies our 2021 effort to significantly increase our home espresso offerings for all budgets and personalities, a list that includes the Victoria Arduino Eagle One Prima, these Lelit models, and two machines we’re excited to announce soon. The Bianca offers unparalleled flow control and programmability for its price. Plus, it is a beauty on the bar because of its walnut accents (on the knobs and portafilter handle), shiny silver finish, and innovative moveable (on either side or the rear) or removable (if plumbing in) water reservoir. The Anna, our entry-level electronic machine, offers true espresso and capable steam for less than $500 in a minimal package that can be customized with accessories like a bottomless portafilter and metal tamper. Too, the Anna heats quickly and moves between brewing and steaming in less than a minute. Whether you’re a beginner looking for your first espresso machine or an expert looking for an upgrade with more control and personality, we are proud to say that in 2021 we now have a machine for you and your budget, including but not limited to these two from Lelit.
Mahlkonig E80 Supreme & E80 GBW Espresso Grinders
Just five years ago, we (and likely you!) were blown away by the Mahlkönig Peak’s speed and particle uniformity and thought, “This is indeed the peak.” Well, we were wrong. Late 2020 saw the release of the impressive E80 Supreme that uses the same burr geometry as its predecessor for wildly consistent sweetness, and 2021 will see the release of an even more impressive (is it possible?) model, aptly called the GBW because it grinds by weight with precision load cells. In a few months, you can have a grinder that doses enough fluffy grounds for an 18g espresso in under three seconds (what!) or a grinder that does that in addition to all the tedious (but important!) weighing business down to taring the portafilter. Now you can talk to your customers instead of the scale.
Peak Water Pitcher
Water is a variable that plays a huge role in the quality of your coffee, but it’s often overlooked in the home-brewing world because the appropriate treatment options either seem prohibitively expensive or painfully inconvenient. This is precisely why we are pleased to offer Peak, a 100% recyclable water-filtering pitcher designed specifically to turn your ordinary tap water into coffee water. Put simply, Peak works by using a dual-ion resin filter to capture flavor-muddying minerals while allowing others to pass through. What's more, we will do the recycling for you—just send us your spent cartridges and we'll do the rest. A simple solution in complicated times.
The Puqpress has become a staple in coffee shops across the globe, and that’s because it delivers flat and leveled tamps consistently, leaving baristas without sore wrists, arms, or shoulders. Now, in a time when many of us are spending less time at cafes, Puqpress is releasing a smaller, less powerful version of its flagship to help us less skilled home baristas achieve cafe-quality tamps at home. The Puqpress Mini comes with a 58mm piston and includes options for different tamping styles and pressures. We are thrilled to have one in our office right now—in fact, we can already feel the difference—and can’t wait for you to experience this kind of convenience.
Third Wave Water
Before this year, Third Wave Water meant only one thing: one-gallon mineral packs. Now, however, in addition to the mainstay, the company has released 5-gallon packs, which are perfect for home users who want to optimize more water at once or catering operations with Flojet bottled water pumps inside jugs. TWW has also released some accessories, including a beautifully designed stainless steel cupping spoon with a lustrous royal blue bowl that gives way to a stark white handle at the ideal angle for slurping; and an affordable TDS meter (finally!) to help you home in on and record the perfect water chemistry for each and every coffee you brew.
When compared to electric grinders, hand grinders are great for many reasons, including cost (you get more quality for less money) and size (you get a smaller object for a smaller price tag). More often than not, though, they, like most grinders in general, are built for one style of coffee-making because of their unique burr geometry. With its recent release of the E&B (espresso and brewing) burr set, which comes standard on the NANO and Slim Plus models and comes coated in an indestructible layer of titanium on the G1 Plus, Timemore has solved your problem. With just one grinder, you can now grind for espresso as effectively and efficiently as you can for filter.
Like you, we were thrilled to have and hold the Bayreuth Coffee Maker from Walküre porcelain factory in Germany. It is a functional work of art. In fact, we still use it at least once a week in the office and marvel every time at the delicate threads of its porcelain filter. Lucky for us—and you if you’ve never used one and were too late to buy one before the hiatus—Walküre is bringing it back in the spring of 2021. Not excited yet? Take a quick read the company’s dead-on description: “classically elegant, supported by clear lines and a straightforward design language." Who wouldn’t want that on the counter, coffee or no coffee. Check back soon and often for the Walküre’s spring release.