TLDR? Here's a link that compiles all the gear, but I encourage you to read on to see why the gear I do have listed, is listed.
The question I get asked more than any other question is always about gear.
"Do you recommend X or Y?" - to which most of the time I can't really give an answer because I haven't had any experience with X or Y. All I can do is try to pass along any info about said products that I've read about from countless hours on Reddit and/or YouTube.
Coffee is a funny hobby.
You really only need 2 things to make a good cup of coffee: ground coffee and water. Everything else we do in this hobby is supplemental to how we use water with coffee.
With that being said, I f**king love gear. I'm an absolute gear head, constantly looking at things to shop for and buy (yet at the same time I hate being a hoarder, confusing right?).
With that being said, here is my current complete list of coffee gear that I personally use as well as some recommendations from some of the interwebs research I've done in my year or so into this hobby.
I'll try to include a good mix of luxury to normal to budget items on this list. All opinions are my own, none of the brands or companies listed have paid for or influenced my opinions in any way, shape, or form.
A quick note that some of these are affiliate links that help support me at no additional cost to you when you use them! In fact, some of these links get you a discount when used! It's a win-win for everyone!
Before you check out some of my recommendations, check out some of my past videos:
The Gaggia Classic Pro - $500
If you're just starting out and want to dip your toes into the rabbit hole of brewing espresso at home, there's no better way to start out than with The Gaggia Classic Pro. You can mod this machine to improve it too - a very fun and hands-on way of learning more about espresso. I also have literally dozens of videos and dedicated guides and tutorials available on my channel.
The Rocket Appartamento (Nera) - $1750
If you're the type that knows they'll inevitably fall for upgraditis - my suggestion is to go full send from the start. I had the GCP for just a few months before wanting to pull the trigger on a bigger and better machine like the Rocket Appartamento. The "Nera" version of the Appartamento essentially just gives it a matte black makeover - which you know I'm all about. I've got literally dozens of videos featuring this machine on my channel, and a dedicated long term review video.
The Rancilio Silvia - $750
I personally have not used this machine - but from what I've read its basically a step up from the Gaggia Classic Pro, especially with regards to steam power. Probably go for this if you plan on doing multiple back-to-back shots for milk-based drinks.
The Lelit Bianca - $2895
Another machine that I personally have not used, but have read a ton about and seems to be extremely popular. This machine has a whole range of other features including PID and pressure profiling if you really like to play with your espresso shots.
The Breville Line Up - $300 - $3000
I talked about Breville in this video, but they have some great stuff. I've personally never used a Breville machine but their line up is expansive, popular, and has a huge community of people willing to help each other out.
The Flair 58 - $530
I can't say too much about this machine yet - but I'm loving it so far. Let's just say if you want to be a bit of a control freak with your espresso, this is the one to get. I also have a dedicated review video coming soon (mid-April) to the channel. You probably won't go wrong with the older model Flairs too.
The 9Barista - $350
The smallest, most compact, portable espresso machine on the market that makes real, good espresso. Not just a fancy Moka pot. Check out my full review here.
The Niche Zero - $700
Perhaps the most popular home espresso grinder currently on the market - and for good reason. This thing performs great and looks incredibly cool while doing so.
The Eureka Mignon Silenzio - $500
A cheaper alternative that's always in-stock and performs well! I have a review video coming soon comparing the Niche to the Silenzio.
The Baratza Encore - $140
This was my first electric coffee grinder and probably THE most popular one on the market (with good reason). It's reliable and upgradable! Although it's not quite suited for espresso, at least not without modifications.
The Comandante C40 - $250
The Comandante is probably the king of hand grinders at the moment, and for good reason. It's built like an absolute tank and grinds through beans with ease. A comparison between this and the Chestnut X is coming soon. You can even pick up the Red Clix mod for more adjustability.
The Timemore Chestnut X - $300
A solid competitor to the Comandante that's more readily in-stock. A comparison between this and the Comandante is coming soon.
The WPM - $34+
Probably my favorite milk pitcher at the moment. Something about the way it feels in my hand is perfect for how I pour latte art.
The Motta - $30+
My first ever milk pitcher. Still use it time to time. Solid quality, matte black finish, and comes in a variety of sizes!
The Tiny - $10
Maybe more of a novelty, but I really like my tiny pitcher. Use it for macchiatos maybe? I personally keep tasting spoons in mine! Check out my video on this tiny thing!
The Nanofoamer - $40
Not a pitcher, but a milk frother! The best way to get latte art milk on the go or if you don't have an espresso machine! Check out my video about this product.
The Acaia Lunar - $225
I've bashed on this scale a ridiculous amount of times for being overpriced af. I recently picked one up anyway to truly test it out. Review coming soon.
The Acaia Pearl S - $185
I really like this scale for pour-over and anything non espresso. Check out my full review on this scale!
The Greater Goods - $14
This is my favorite scale mostly because its the most incredible bang-for-buck. Used it for nearly a year before picking up the Lunar. In fact, this is one of my most viewed videos.
The Timemore - $80
Haven't used it personally, but it seems to be a very popular alternative to the Acaia Lunar.
TAMPERS & DISTRIBUTORS
The Custom One-of-One Pullman Bigstep Tamper - $277.61
I have my reasons for owning this. That being said, it performs incredibly well too.
The Barista Hustle Tamper - $50
Hard to find in stock nowadays, but I used this for close to a year before getting my Pullman. An incredible precision tamper for a relatively affordable price. Plus, matte black.
The Generic Distributor - $25
Honestly one of the best distributors I've used to date and super affordable.
The Asso Coffee The Jack - $125+
Haven't used it personally, but I have seen a lot of good things about it. Tempted to get one ;)
The Pesado 58.5 - $150+
By far the best portafilter on the market. Incredible quality, precise machining, and weighs a metric $%&! ton. I love it. Plus those sharp spouts on the spouted portafilters are super unique and beautiful to photograph.
The Gaggia Bottomless - $50
The Gaggia needs a specific type of portafilter thread (not E61 like the Rocket). This portafilter is the only bottomless for the Gaggia I could find that seems to be readily in-stock.
via TheEspressoShop UK (this one lets you use a custom handle from Etsy for example)
STORAGE & DRINKWARE
The Fellow Atmos - $34+
Coffee bean storage! The best one there is. I personally have 2 of them.
The Mason Jars - $20+
Long term coffee storage. Instead of vacuum sealing, I like to just toss beans into a mason jar and stick it in the freezer for long term storage.
The Not Neutral - $15+
One of my favorite brands for glassware, ceramic-ware, and general drinkware. Extremely good quality, and I've been using them for almost a year. I've used the Linos, Menos, and Veros - all are awesome.
The ACME - $10+
My new go-to choice for cups. I really like the thick ceramic lip of these cups. Creates a nice mouthfeel when drinking from them. They feel solid and the logo embossed into the cups actually looks pretty cool.
The Fellow Carter Everywhere Mug - $30
I had mine customized by Penny & Meriwether! These are awesome mugs that stay cold for hours and hot for hours.
The Fellow Stagg EKG Kettle - $150+
There's a reason why this kettle is used everywhere from commercial settings to nearly the home of every coffee enthusiast in existence. It simply works.
The Precision Baskets - $30+
Precision baskets are a great upgrade to the stock ones that come with your machine. I personally have used both IMS and VST baskets and both are great. When paired with a precision tamper, your baskets will be CLEAN.
The Micro Fiber Barista Towels - $15+
A clean coffee station is a happy coffee station. Grab a pack (or 2) of these and toss em in with your laundry when they get dirty. An absolute necessity.
The Knockbox - $20
A budget knockbox I still use today on my coffee bar! Small and compact. Although I will be upgrading soon.