If you’re a drip coffee drinker and simply want a better morning cup, there’s no better option than a siphon, which resembles a giant hourglass with a grip handle attached to its waist. It uses vacuum power: Fill the bottom half with water and the top with coffee, then place over heat: the water evaporates into the upper chamber, condenses, and then trickles back down through the grounds to pool in the lower half. Traditionally, the best siphon is the Pebo from Bodum ($80, bodumusa.com), first introduced 60 years ago. It’s an idiotproof, dishwasher-safe workhorse. For slightly lighter coffee, try the Chemex ($38, chemexcoffeemaker.com). With its flowing, hourglass design, it resembles a siphon but is slightly higher maintenance, requiring water to be heated separately and manually poured through the grounds at intervals. The secret to the Chemex-brewed flavor is in the filter. “It’s between 20–30% heavier than a standard one, so it makes sure there’s less sediment,” says Brenna Ciummo, a specialist at the hardcore coffee seller Seattle Coffee Gear. “It’s a fun piece to pull out to show people, too.” (For both of these products, set your grinder to medium.) Another simple upgrade is the moka pot, a stovetop metal jug popular in Europe’s coffee mecca: Italy. These sturdy devices produce a thick, robust, and rich brew, with a lot of kick. When using a moka pot, be sure to grind the beans as coarsely as possible, and use the model offered by Bialetti ($25, bialetti.com).
If you’re an iced-coffee guy, invest in a Hario Cold Water Coffee Dripper ($208, amazon.com). As its name suggests, it exclusively makes cold coffee. Ironically, good iced coffee requires more patience: The water drips slowly over the beans for up to five hours to produce a flatter, smoother drink with less acidity.