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Coffee? Coffee! - My Coffee Recommendations

At the beginning of this COVID-19 pandemic, I was asked by a good friend for some coffee recommendations. I originally brain dumped all of those into a Twitter thread, but I needed a better spot to find them.

TL;DR: My goto is a portable Aeropress kit, local beans, and brewed following this guide.

This post may get rather long, so for ease of finding your way around, here is how to find the important bits:


One can go crazy when it comes to searching out beans. Like any good rabbit hole, finding “good”, “the best”, and so on quickly becomes an exercise in patience and budget. It is also highly individualized. My recommendations are what I’ve found to be reliably good, at least by my standards.

My primary recommendation for beans, if you are not going to roast your own, is to find and support a local roaster. This was important under normal circumstances and is even more so now. However, the in person approach may be more… complex in the short term.

Ruta Maya

Ruta Maya Coffee Bag

Ruta Maya, is sturdy, reliable, relatively cheap, and consistent. For these reasons, as well as it’s availability, make it a good daily driver coffee. If nothing else it is a wild step up from whatever you have currently sitting in the Maxwell House can you got from your grandfather.

Shotgun House

Shot Gun House Roasters

Shotgun House is local to me (for Texan values of local anyways). The shop is great, but even more so, I have yet to be disappointed in a coffee I’ve brewed from them.

Brown Coffee Co

Brown Coffee logo

My friends, I have saved the best for last. Brown Coffee Company is the coffee I aspire to when I roast my own beans. Like Shotgun House, they are local to me, and the coffee they produce is near perfection.


A gear selection is a bit harder. What follows here is what has become my ‘goto’ kit.

tl;dr - Here is the Amazon list of my goto coffee gear.


Aeropress coffee maker being pressed to produce a cup of coffee

Yes, the Aeropress. It is a coffee maker that punches way above it’s weight class in terms of producing a flavorful cup of coffee. The best part is, that when you roll out of bed at a time that should not have an o’clock associated with it, the Aeropress is simple enough to operate without being entirely awake.

Amazon Smile Link

I brew with it using the method documented here.

Porlex Mini Grinder

Porlex Mini Grinder

There are a number of good ceramic burr grinders out there. Portable, electric, and with costs that will boggle your budget. The Porlex mini grinder has become my goto for two reasons: reliability, and repeatability.

Reliability: I have been using said grinder almost daily for about 12 years. It has yet to fail me.

Repeatability: Not just for me, but for others. When I describe the coarseness of a grind using the ‘clicks’ I mention in my post on how to brew with the Aeropress, the grind itself is consistent over time, and on other Porlex mini grinders.

It also happens to fit almost perfectly inside the Aeropress when going portable.

Amazon Smile Link

Bonavita Kettle

Bonavita 0.5L Kettle

When traveling the 0.5L kettle is the way to go. It produces enough hot water to brew an entire Aeropress, and has a little extra you can use to cleanup afterwards. The 0.5L kettle also fits nicely in the go bag.

When at home I use the 1L version of the same.

Amazon Smile Link

Rothco Mechanics Tool Bag

Rothco Mechanics Tool Bag in olive green

This bag is not the most stylish, but it is sturdy, and just the right size to hold all of your coffee gear along with a bag or two of beans. It fits at the bottom of most laptop or carry on bags as well.

Amazon Smile Link