It depends on how you like your coffee. If you want good cheap coffee I would say get a cheap hand grinder, anything is better than the stale preground stuff, and an aeropress, French press, or moka pot based on your preference.


Yeah fresh roasted fresh ground coffee in a drip pot on its own will change the game. If OP wants to up their flavor from there then aeropress or french press. Given the tone of OP's post it doesnt sound like they want to work too hard at coffee in the mornings so I'd say french press is better. More foolproof to make a solid cup compared to the aeropress and less chance of morning brain causing a spill. The only thing with french press is it takes longer since you have to wait about 4-6 minutes after adding hot water, but it makes more than one cup at a time which makes up for that vs the aeropress.


To expand on your point, frenchpress is 1,000% the easiest of the suggested methods and what I personally started my coffee journey on. OP should know that each of these provide a very different final cup. I would say watch some YouTube videos on each for an idea of what your going to get. I know everyone loves James Hoffman and he does cover aeropress in depth and has a good French press video too.


> has a good French press video too this video changed my relationship with the french press method.




You can get a proper automatic grinder for around 100 USD,Ikea sell french press cans for next to nothing.


I'll say the amount of money spent on the grinder is the closest 1:1 correlation with improved coffee quality when you're starting out. A motor is a big cost for grinders so manual is better quality per dollar. That said I have an Eureka mignon so I prefer electric for workflow but not everyone is that serious about their cup of joe.




Yeah. Forget under a hundred, how about $30? And that's not for a machine that produces crap coffee and breaks in six months. I have heard of ten year lifetimes and it produces very good coffee. Plus, it is very portable.


my go to camping method!


And the most important part, the rubber gasket, is replaceable for dirt cheap too


Aeropress with preground fresh coffee (any shop/roaster will know exactly what to grind for aeropress) will run circles around anything else at the 30 dollar price point. Even stepping up higher, harder to beat.


Mr Coffee 12 cup , cheap, reliable and buy it for life.


My bf has one he got in college (so about 10 years ago). It’s only recently started acting up and that’s probably because I’m the first one to actually clean it properly lol


Cost-benefit seems that it is a great coffee maker. Pair it with great coffee beans and a hand grinder you could get better than regular coffee resulta.


The only downside for me personally is that his model doesn’t have a timer option. I typically grind my beans right before brewing but on early mornings it’d be nice to wake up to the smell of already brewed coffee lol


Oh yes! That would be nice to have. For me it’s an everyday ritual , grind, brew drink, very few times I used the timer. Currently have a Mocamaster without timer too, so, don’t miss that function but it is nice to wake up to the Anel of coffee.


This. But if your any type of coffee snob, invest in something a little nicer. Cheaper automatic coffee makers don’t always heat the water to the right temperature for proper extraction. If you plan on buying local beans, then your probably maximizing their potential. If you just want 12 cups of coffee in 3 minutes and plan on using a store branded pre ground coffee, then an inexpensive coffee maker is perfect!!


If you go this way please get a kettle and preheat your water. It will make a huge difference in quality for a moderate investment in time.


I got a $10 drip machine that'll do 10 or 12 cups (I forget). My trick to make its coffee "pretty good" instead of "eh, it's coffee" is to heat water in a separate kettle, use it to bloom the grounds first for a bit, then fill the tank with the rest of the hot water before turning the machine on. This'll make sure that the grounds are fully saturated and are being hit with hot water from the get-go. They're the easiest "hacks" that I got from Hoffman's video about cheap drip brewers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-Ga8SRhRrE


For 100 usd, i think you must spend 60-70 usd in a hand grinder, 1zpresso q2 or Timemore Chestnut c2. And spend the rest on a drip method, Aeropress or french press.


As a former broke college student myself get a metal French press. Your roommate will for sure throw your moka pot in the dishwasher at some point, and you will be hungover one morning and knock your glass French press/ Chemex on the ground. I bought a Starbucks metal French press in 3rd year, used it every day till 4 years out of uni (including my roommates also using it) and its still going strong.


Students have dishwashers in the US? You never see them in student housing in the UK. I agree with your thinking, a plastic v60 may do the trick too. Bodum do a nice plastic travel cafeterie and it's double walled so you can use it as a thermos for those early morning lectures if you want.


Not first year students in dorms. You're lucky to even have a sink in your room in a dorm. Many students move into campus apartments after the first year though, and these have most of the amenities you would expect in a normal apartment.


It's not uncommon in the US for students to live off campus in apartments or houses. I lived on campus my first 2 years and then moved off campus, because I wanted a kitchen and my own room.


In the UK it's common to live on campus in your first year and off campus after. However unless you're wealthy enough to live in one of the shiny tower blocks aimed at foreign students you'll be in a tiny run down terrace in a rough part of town with as many rooms as possible turned into bedrooms. The student houses I stayed in had a mixture of outlets which sparked, black mould on the walls and exposed wiring in the shower.


Canadian but yeah its not super common but some larger dwellings (5+ppl) will have one. Also less common in big cities (Montréal, Toronto) and more common in medium sized towns (Waterloo, London, Kingston)


As a college student, I bought a Frieling stainless steel French press 13 years ago. I still use it every day.


Clever dripper and a hand grinder with a scale and your sorted in my opinion.


I have the Cuisinart 12 cup and it’s okay. Easy to use and clean. I once found an OXO brewer at Home Goods for $50, which was a phenomenal deal. I think you’ll find a lot of people here with a budget of under $100 will likely go with a kettle and a pourover-style brewer. Chemex comes to mind.


It’s obviously not a drip machine - so if you actually need a drip machine for the volume, disregard this. What about an Aeropress with a budget hand-grinder? It’s more budget friendly, naturally more reliable than cheap electronics, and will produce a better cup.


Bunn. Brews in about 3 min. Stores hot water in the machine so no waiting for heating up. Has a shower head (diffuser) for even water on the grounds. Its modeled after the bunn commercial machines. Ours lasted just over 10 years.


This is the answer IMO. Way better results and Mr. Coffee style drip brewers and much faster and more durable.


I have one and totally agree. Just hard to find them under $100.


Yea. I think they are around 125. A little over their budget. But if you can spend a little more than 100 it would be worth it.




Checkout the Amazon refurb store. I got my ninja programmable coffee maker for around $70 there a couple years ago. MSRP is around $120 and it makes a great pot of coffee. I'll also echo the sentiment of a good grinder too but don't get caught up in the coffee snobbery that most enthusiast groups fall into. Get yourself a Mueller herb grinder ($20) until you graduate and can afford something decent.


I'd recommend checking some brick and mortar stores for sale/clearance items. I found an OXO Barista Brain for 20 bucks that way.


Chemex, kettle, done.


Invest in a [decent (budget) grinder](https://youtu.be/QLEBfom0mhM) and get an Aeropress or Moka. Moka is on the stronger side, but Aeropress [can handle more recipes](https://youtu.be/Z9Pa7hxJUfA) and experimenting. Moka has [only one-way to get things done](https://youtu.be/YpjxMWP_UMw) (with excellent results), which can be great for beginners. Just a few tips: Don't buy a bigger Moka than you need or you'll waste coffee since you have to fill it to capacity every-time, especially if you're on a budget. For one person 2-cup is ideal (it measures in espresso cups with similar strength output). If you like an americano style drink, just add hot water after.


(circling back to this) If I were to start all over again, I'd do exactly this. Entry-level Timemore (or, honestly, any random metal-bodied grinder with steel burrs) plus a 3-cup Bialetti. Right smack near a hundred bucks, and just strong enough to mix into milk drinks or dilute americano-style.


Yep, in fact I am going to get a Timemore Slim Plus myself this Black Friday. With the new E&B burrs it's hard to match the price to quality. Feel like they're still VERY underrated.


The Slim Plus is among my top two or three picks right now, too, partly for the new burrs, and also because its grinds catch should fit exactly in my Bialetti's basket. You know how the Commandante fits standard espresso portafilters? It's like that -- the Bialetti's basket is \~45mm, and Prima Coffee says that the Slim's catch measures 41mm across the threaded portion.


Use your school library card to access Consumer Reports and find the best rated/cost effective options! I use it all the time when making purchases! Shop smarter :)


How do you use your school card to access CR??


Or your public library card! Either way, it’s digital access, usually in the business reference section. Ask the library via chat (or however) and they can send you a link to access! Super handy!


Ninja CE251


Best bet would be to check scaa approved brewers. https://sca.coffee/certified-home-brewer Under 100 will likely mean checking eBay, marketplace or craigslist for any second hand ones. Bonavita has a few around 100. And I believe there are others. Just go through the list. Cheaper options would be pourover or french press. Hario and bodum for example. Then all you would need is a kettle. I have the cusinart perfect temp which is around 100 bucks and a great kettle. Or you can go for a gooseneck kettle with temperature control. Not well versed in those. Hope that helps!


Not a machine, but I get better results than a machine and its faster and can be cheaper Hot water kettle - bonus points if you can set the temp Filter holder Insulated carafe


If you can spend another $100, find a decent burr grinder.


A $10 pour over is amazing. And Aeropress is great for drip and nanopresso is great for espresso, both are handheld and easy to use and in my opinion give the best results for the money. Shoot, I believe you can get both for under $100. And they both can be taken on the go, for work and travel or camping, whatever your coffee needs. Im a bit excessive with all the coffee /espresso items I have but these are inexpensive with quality results


A moka pot


Basically any method (drip/filter etc) plus a decent grinder. Spend all your money on a grinder and maybe an aeropress? Second hand aeropress?


All of the cheap brewers will be close to the same, so I'd get a burr grinder, scale and cheapest brewer. Then I'd weigh how much water your machine brews, use that, weigh and grind coffee (dialing in size for correct brew time) I believe James has a video on getting the most out of a basic coffee maker.


The best refurb grinder you can get for that money and then a $10-20 french press. Between plug-in percolation machines, there's really no difference in performance because there is no difference in method. Fresh-ground coffee will increase the flavor and enjoyment of your coffee far more than comparing a pod machine to a Mr. Coffee to a Moccamaster.


In the budget range the only important thing to know is *do not buy the cheapest drip machine.* Buy the 3rd cheapest (\~$50), maybe the 2nd cheapest (\~$35). If you see one for $20 know that it will leak, break, and in general be impossible to clean. Any Target/Walmart drip maker in the mid double digits is going to get you through grad school just fine.


So many options Normal coffee: Electric Coffee Grinder + French press/ areo press/ drip coffee Espresso style/ latte: Quality hand grinder, Mocha pot, milk foamer (the ones that look like a French press) Lazy normal coffee: drip machine but buying ground coffee Lazy espresso. Nescafé style pod machines


Aeropress or a pour over setup (chemex / v60) and a decent grinder




Does it have to be a drip machine or is that just what you're used to? A plastic pour over or moka will be cheaper and less likely to be broken by a housemate when they come home drunk. EDIT: Also bear in mind that a drip machine uses up a lot of space and your housemates may not appreciate your stuff taking up so much space in the kitchen.


Mr. coffee; $20 at Walmart


If you are willing to do some manual work.... Kettle with a melitta Plastic Pour-Over Coffeemaker or V60 setup. Involves more work but at least you still have a kettle for heating water instead of a simple machine that only does coffee. There is also the chemex to consider.


I would go with pour over. You can get a cheap scale, carafe, and goose neck all on Amazon. You can buy fresh ground beans from a local coffee shop or if you have a preferred store bag that also works.




Mocha pot


French press!!! Got mine for $30 and I LOVE it


I have a Moka Pot and I love it (I am also a broke law student lol). I got mine second-hand for $15 but I think Target sells new ones for about $25. I'd recommend grinding your beans fresh for each brew too. You can find cheap grinders all over, I got a Capresso grinder from my sister when she moved but I think the model retails for like $20. I'm planning on getting an airtight container to keep my coffee beans in but that shouldn't be more than $10-20. It takes me like 2 minutes to grind the beans and get everything set up then it's like another 5 minutes until the coffee is ready. All in all, I'm drinking the coffee in under 10 minutes each morning. If you look around second hand you can get the whole setup for about $30 to $40. If you decide to buy new you're looking at more around $55 ish.


Espresso machine?