There are many ways to make a cup of coffee, and that number is only getting larger as coffee consumption wends its way into the 21st century and standard drip machines are replaced by more futuristic advancements such as Keurig, Alexa and robotic baristas. As something of a coffee snob, I prefer to have almost complete control over the preparation of my morning joe, so I hew to a more antiquarian approach, using tools like the French press and the Chemex. Never have I made my own coffee maker, though, since I am not particularly skilled in the toolshed.
The DIY dudes over at Men’s Health have created a list of detailed instructions (along with a how-to video) on one way to make your own machine. It isn’t the prettiest contraption you’ve ever laid eyes on—it more resembles some sort of jury-rigged drainage pipe than a gadget that will produce the best cup of coffee you’ve ever made, as Men’s Health has it, without explaining in any more detail why that is—but it certainly looks sturdy.
The machine consists of a wood base from which a black steel pipe protrudes vertically. The pipe leads up to another wood plank, which serves as a support for a glass funnel, carefully inserted into the top of the pipe. A filter is placed inside the funnel, then grounds are poured in, and then hot water, and there you go—your coffee drips out into a cup below. It’s simple. Do not be intimidated by the flanges listed in the directions. They’re harmless.
What this DIY coffee maker is, my unhandy mind has realized, is a basic pourover system. If you’re the kind of person who likes to make things, or if you are the kind of person who doesn’t like to spend money on things you can just make, this coffee maker will beckon. As for me, I’ll stick with the French press. It’s smaller, easier to clean, and it doesn’t look like a sewage pipe dripping brown liquid.