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How to Make Coffee at Work (That You Actually Want to Drink)

How to Make Coffee at Work (That You Actually Want to Drink)

Words Erin Meister

Most of us spend more time at work than anywhere else. That makes the creature comforts of the office even more important, and the coffee break can be the ultimate day-maker or day-breaker. If you and your deskmates are struggling in the coffee department, and don’t have one of those big fancy espresso machines in the office, now is the time to bring a little caffeinated love into the workplace.

If You’re the Sole Coffee Drinker

If you’re the sole coffee drinker paddling through a sea of tea, it’s a cinch to set up a small personal brewing station that can be kept at your desk, stashed in a drawer, or tucked into a safe corner. A grinder would be a nice touch (but it’s probably a bit much if you’re on your own in the caffeinated struggle). If your office doesn’t have a grinder, you can bring a week’s worth of coffee grounds from home in an airtight container so it stays fresh.

A small manual brewer will sit snuggly next to your sticky-notes and pencil cup, and a low-maintenance, sturdy brewer like a Pour-Over or French Press along with a hot-water kettle is pretty much all you need.

Form an Office Coffee Coalition
Brewing for yourself and a few officemates? It might make sense to form a coffee coalition, to ensure all of your cups overfloweth with the perfect joe. Scrap the K-cups and invest in a 9-cup brewer like the Barista Brain, which can satisfy a small office multiple times throughout the day, and a burr grinder (which grinds coffee beans more consistently than a blade grinder) is great to have.

Print an Easy Coffee Recipe
Printing out an easy recipe (such as 2 tablespoons of coffee per every 1 cup of water) and posting it near the equipment takes the pressure off that one office coffee nerd, and keeping filters and drinking accessories (like milk or sugar) in a shared space will make everyone happy. Even if your bosses won’t buy the machines with company funds, a minimal contribution from a few interested folks should make paying out of pocket a lot less painful.

Bean Duty
Nominate someone to keep the beans stocked up. A group of 5–10 people can each pitch in a few bucks a month and join a whole-bean subscription service that curates a rotating selection of fresh coffee from artisanal roasters near and far, shipping them to your door on a regular schedule. You may also make a monthly “coffee KP duty” calendar, assigning a different coworker to keep an eye on cleanliness and filter inventory every week.

Treat Yourself
Most importantly of all, remember that coffee breaks are you-time, and you should make the most of them. Drink from your favorite mug, bring along a sweet treat to dunk, and always try to savor the flavor.

By Erin Meister

Erin Meister is a freelance writer for OXO. She is a specialty-coffee professional with 15-plus years as a barista, café manager, wholesale account representative, speaker, and educator; she currently sells green coffee for the Minneapolis-based importing company Café Imports. You can also hear her on weekly episodes of "Opposites Extract: A Debate Podcast about Coffee," available on iTunes.

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