As summer comes to a close, back to school season is coming ever closer. With it will come early morning classes, late night study sessions, and loud roommates that never seem to get in trouble for blasting music during quiet hours. That means that your college packing list shouldn’t just contain textbooks, school supplies, and room decor – you also need to make sure you have the tools to keep you properly caffeinated this school year.
Whether you’re an underclassmen living in a dorm on campus or an upperclassmen or grad student in your own apartment, it’s important to get the right coffee makers and tools for your needs. This list goes over a few of the essentials to make sure that when sleep fails you this school year, coffee won’t.
Coffee Essentials for Dorm Living
Living in a dorm usually means that you’re on a dining plan and may have some on-campus coffee options available to you, but there’s nothing worse than oversleeping and having to skip your morning coffee because the line is too long at your usual shop. Whether you need a coffee maker for daily use or just on days when you don’t feel like trudging to the dining hall, these are some great options that will still fit in your dorm.
Single Serve Espresso Machines
Single-use pods and capsules can be a lifesaver when you’re running late or too busy with work to take a break long enough to measure out coffee grounds. These machines are compact and easy to use so you can worry about your classes instead of your caffeine.
Illy ESE Pod Machine
This extremely compact, sleek machine is very easy to use to brew yourself a single or double shot of espresso. After brewing, the machine automatically will eject the pod into a compartment behind the drip tray that holds nine ESE pods, so you won’t have to worry about too much daily cleanup. There’s even a fold down tray if you want to brew directly into an espresso cup instead of a larger mug for making milk drinks or Americanos.
Lavazza Classy Mini
This compact machine features an adjustable drip tray as well as the option to brew single or double espresso. It’s ready to brew 28 seconds after being turned on, so you won’t have to worry about a long warm-up time when you’re already tight on time. Just pop in a Lavazza Blue capsule and you’ll have a delicious drink in no time!
Nespresso Vertuo Plus Deluxe Espresso Machine With Aeroccino
If you like to alternate between brewing espresso and coffee, this pod machine may be the right choice for you. With just the touch of a button, the machine will read the barcode on the capsule you insert to figure out what size drink you’re brewing and get to it.
This set also comes with an Aeroccino milk frother, which allows you to froth milk for lattes, macchiatos, and flat whites. You even have the option for a cold froth if you prefer iced drinks or want to add cold foam to a drink.
Nespresso Lattissima Plus
This machine is a bit more expensive than the other pod machine options, but it packs a punch the others don’t. With one touch you can craft customizable milk drinks from cappuccinos to just warm milk for hot chocolate. The detachable milk carafe can be stored in your fridge between uses so you don’t have to empty it out and clean it daily.
Pods and Capsules
If you’re getting a pod machine (or if you already have one), it’s important to stock up on pods so you don’t suddenly run out when you need it most. Make sure to check what kind of pods the machine you chose uses to ensure that you’re getting the best quality coffee and espresso.
Lavazza Blue Gold Selection
Lavazza Blue Gold Selection are some of our best selling Lavazza-compatible capsules, and it’s easy to see why. With notes of almond and honey, you’re sure to get a delicious shot of espresso to drink alone, in a milk drink, or in an Americano. This 100-pack will keep you stocked for a few months so you won’t have to worry about buying new capsules until midterms are over.
Illy E.S.E. Pods Intenso
If you’re looking for a bolder, more intense flavor for your coffee pods, these Intenso ESE pods from Illy are a great choice. You can brew authentic Italian espresso shots with these perfectly premeasured pods filled with sustainably grown Arabica beans. The best part? These pods are 100% compostable.
Compact Coffee Makers
If you want to brew with a coffee maker instead of a pod machine, but you’re still tight on space in your dorm, these coffee makers are a great solution. You can choose to brew one cup or a bigger batch to share (or drink over the course of a long cram session).
Bonavita BV1900TS 8 Cup Coffee Brewer
Bonavita’s coffee makers are known for their status as brewing coffee that fits the SCA Golden Cup Standards. That means that you’re getting delicious coffee that’s brewed right every time for a coffee that’s well balanced and delicious every time.This Bonavita brewer holds up to 8 cups of brewed coffee, so you can make a big carafe for your friends or choose to only brew one to two cups for yourself.
Technivorm Moccamaster Cup One Coffee Maker
Moccamasters are known for brewing delicious coffee with just the touch of a button, and the Cup One is no exception. If you’re low on space but want the delicious flavor of a larger Technivorm, this coffee maker is the perfect option. This Moccamaster also brews SCA-approved coffee, and it will brew a 10oz cup of coffee in just four minutes, so you don’t have to think too far in advance to make sure you have fresh coffee before class.
Off Campus Caffeinating
Once you move off campus, it’s a little more crucial to have an at-home coffee setup. You might be lucky enough to have a coffee shop on your commute to campus, but when you’re short on time (or money), it’s much easier to be able to brew at home. These espresso machines, coffee makers, and grinders will help you brew barista-quality coffee without ever leaving your place.
Super-Automatic Espresso Machines
If you want to step into the world of at-home espresso, these super-automatic espresso machines are a great choice. With built-in grinders and programmable settings, you can play around with how you brew without worrying too much about having a range of accessories to keep track of so you can keep your focus on your schoolwork.
This Italian-made espresso machine allows you to easily brew espresso and steam milk to craft delicious drinks using its intuitive controls. The pannarello steam wand allows you to steam milk with little-to-no effort on your part, so you won’t have to worry about your steaming technique. The 8.8oz bean hopper also means that you will have freshly ground coffee for every brew cycle, and you can switch between five different grind settings on the grinder to get dialed in for whichever coffee you’re brewing with for the drink you’re brewing.
JURA ENA 4
If you’re looking for a sleek, stylish, and easy-to-use espresso machine, the JURA ENA 4 is a great choice. You can choose to brew single or double shots of espresso as well as a single or double coffee, so you can get barista quality espresso and coffee at home with just the touch of a button. The built-in Aroma G3 Grinder is quieter than a grinder outside of a machine, which is perfect for making sure you don’t wake up any of your roommates who may have stayed up too late the night before.
Coffee Makers and Tools
If you aren’t ready to make the jump to getting a full espresso machine but you still want to be able to make your own coffee at home, these coffee makers and accessories can help. Whether you want the ease of a french press or the control of a pour over setup, these products are perfect for all of your at home brewing needs.
Fellow Stagg Kettle
This kettle is perfect for any brew method. You can easily set it to the exact temperature you want using the PID temperature control and keep it at that temperature for up to an hour if you want to brew more than one cup without waiting for your kettle to reheat. The gooseneck spout allows for extreme control during pour over brewing, so you can make sure that you’re getting an evenly extracted cup of coffee every time.
Espro Stainless Steel French Press
When you’re trying to fit all of your necessities in a too-small college apartment kitchen, it’s inevitable that there will be some wear and tear on your kitchenware. This Espro Stainless Steel French Press will not only stand the test of time, but it will also brew delicious coffee with Espro’s double filter basket. You can also use your french press to brew cold brew alongside hot coffee if you want to add variety to your routine.
Espro Bloom Pour Over
Sticking to durable brewers, the Espro Bloom Pour Over is a stainless steel pour over device that has survived camping and is sure to be fine in your off campus housing situation. Using filters for this pour over device is optional, so if you run out in the middle of the week, you can brew without them for a few days until your next order comes in.
AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
If you want to brew espresso without an espresso machine, the AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker is convenient, durable, and pretty easy to use once you have the hang of it. The AeroPress creates a vacuum seal in order to build pressure for brewing espresso, so you can try out different grind sizes to see what will work best for your taste preferences during the brew process.
Breville BDC450BSS Precision Brewer Thermal Coffee Maker
This drip coffee maker not only makes delicious coffee that meets the SCA Golden Cup Standard, it also has a range of other settings so you can brew quickly, extra strong, over ice, or even brew cold brew. The thermal carafe will keep your coffee hot (or cold) for a while, so you can brew a pot for the entire apartment and let everyone get up and grab a cup on their way to class.
Fresh ground coffee makes a noticeable difference in the quality of your brewed coffee, which is why it’s best to get your own grinder for high-quality at home coffee. Whether you’re opting for a pour over, a cold brew, or a french press, these grinders will produce the right consistency for your grounds.
The Baratza Encore is a coffee-focused grinder with 40 grind settings that allow you to dial in for your taste and brewing preferences. It’s also designed to keep relatively quiet while grinding at 450 RPM to reduce heat on your coffee grounds while still ensuring that you’re getting the right consistency. In addition, you can choose to grind into the included plastic container that hooks into the machine or remove it and place your french press or pour over device directly under the chute.
Some kitchens can be a little short on the number of outlets provided, and if that’s the case in your off campus housing, this Hario Ceramic hand grinder is a perfect solution. You can adjust the grind setting to suit whatever your preferred brew method is to ensure your coffee is perfectly dialed in every time. You can also easily travel with this grinder if you like to spend the night at your friends’ houses or if you like to travel during the summer or weekends.
Drinking Coffee On the Go
Whether you’re heading to class or to a shift at your part time job, you need a dependable travel mug to bring your coffee with you. These mugs go from functional to just for fun so you can find the right one for your coffee drinking preferences.
Espro Travel Mug
If you have a tendency to run late, this travel mug is perfect for you. The built-in french press will allow you to brew on the way to your destination, so you can arrive to class on time and with a delicious, fresh cup of coffee. You can also brew cold brew in this mug by putting in grounds and water the night before and grab it on your way out to really keep your morning moving.
Goat Story Black Leather Goat Mug
Although this travel mug may be the least traditional option on this list, it’s easily the one that will turn the most heads. Whether you’re heading to class with coffee or tea in this mug or to a party at a friends, this mug will easily make any drink more fun. This dishwasher-safe mug seems non-functional at first glance, but you can easily carry this mug using the included strap, and once you arrive at your destination, the hot sleeve can be removed and used as a stand for your mug.
Fellow Carter Everywhere Mug
This sleek mug comes in a range of colors, so no matter what your aesthetic is, this mug can match it. This travel mug will keep your coffee hot (or cold) for hours, so you can sip at it throughout your three-hour lecture class without worrying about it tasting gross by the end.
Whole Latte Love Camelbak Mug
I might be a little biased on this one, but I love this Camelbak mug. The insulated mug will keep your coffee warm for hours, so if you have a long study session ahead of you, you can sip from this cup for hours at a time without having to drink lukewarm coffee. When I was in college, I used a mug like this when I pulled all-nighters in the library and would refill it at the cafe in the lobby so I felt more like I was at home and not in a crowded library during finals week.
College requires caffeination, and whether you’re living on campus for your freshman year or in an apartment off campus for the final year of your masters degree, these products can help you brew the best way for you. Whole Latte Love wishes you the best of luck for your upcoming school year, and we hope this guide helped you find the best way to caffeinate!
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