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High- and low-tech ways to brew the perfect cup of joe

These home brewers will have you ditching the coffee shop in no time



Standing in line for 10 minutes for a caffeine fix in a bustling neighborhood coffee shop can be a rough start to a Monday morning. However, the perfect cup can be made at home quickly using brewers both high- (a smartphone-enabled espresso machine) and low-tech (a Mason jar cold brew).

  "Built-in coffee makers are definitely growing in popularity, especially with all of the remodeling and construction going on in New Orleans," says Antoinette Theriot-Heim at Nordic Kitchens and Baths (1818 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-888-2300; www.nordickitchens.com). "Oftentimes, the coffeemaker is the treat homeowners give themselves after that long process."

  The TopBrewer ($7,999-$10,999), one of the newest additions at Nordic Kitchens and Baths, features a smartphone app that provides a tailor-made cup of coffee for each member of the household.

  "With the TopBrewer app, you can truly control how much coffee you're using and how much water is used," Theriot-Heim says.

  The TopBrewer is a stainless steel spout that can be installed in your countertop. It brews a piping hot cup of espresso in 25 seconds, and also offers cold water and juices.

  For those looking to spend a little less in the built-in brewing market, Theriot-Heim recommends the Miele ($2,999-$3,699), a popular German-made unit sold at Nordic Kitchens and Baths.

  "With the exception of the TopBrewer, they're the only machines at Nordic Kitchens and Baths with its own water source, so you're not constantly refilling it," Theriot-Heim says.

 Theriot-Heim recommends the Wolf coffe maker ($3,149)for its sleek, stainless steel design. Much like the TopBrewer and the Miele, the Wolf can serve a variety of drinks, including espressos, lattes and macchiatos, and its design coordinates perfectly with the other Wolf products sold at Nordic Kitchens and Baths.

  "They've done a good job with this product in that it requires very little cleanup, just the touch of a button to steam-clean its nozzle," Theriot-Heim says.

  The Bodum Chambord Coffeemaker sold at Whole Foods Market (5600 Magazine St., 504-899-9119; www.wholefoodsmarket.com) offers coffee drinkers an affordable and mobile alternative.

  At $49.95, the 96 oz. Chambord is a classic French press coffee maker. The only difference between the updated version and the 1950s original is the new, environmentally friendly methods used to produce it.

  When it comes to simplicity, some prefer an even more affordable way to enjoy coffee at home. Brady Booney, a barista at Fair Grinds Coffeehouse (3133 Ponce De Leon St., 504-913-9072; www.fairgrinds.com), begins his at-home coffee making process with something that can be found in almost any pantry.

  "I make a cold brew at home, and I actually do it in a Mason jar," Booney says.

  He recommends filling a half-gallon Mason jar with two cups of coarsely ground, dark French roast coffee, and filling the rest of the jar with cold water. After mixing the ingredients together, let it sit for 12 to 14 hours overnight and strain out the beans. You'll have a smooth, flavorful coffee drink.

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