We here at InStyle love a good cup of coffee, but the real connoisseurs among us agree that some of our favorite cups aren't typically made with an electric percolator. More and more, artisanal roasters across the country are opting for plug-free options that pare the brewing process down to the bare essentials: the grounds, the water, and the filter. And, as it turns out, the simplest methods also yield the most richly flavored, full-bodied java. Just in time for National Coffee Day, our coffee-loving lifestyle editors rounded up four ways to enjoy your daily dose of caffeine that are both functional and look fabulous on your kitchen counter, too.
1. French Press
This sleek coffee pot features a body made of copper-finished steel—a metal that's cropping up in the interior design world and has now found a welcome place in the kitchen. For the uninitiated, it contains a glass vessel with a mesh plunger, which is used to press the grounds down to the bottom of the pot after the mixture has steeped and is ready to be poured.
Bodum Copper French Press, $60; westelm.com.
This hourglass-shaped pitcher is an icon of mid-century modern American design. All you need to do is line the top of the pot with a paper filter, fill it with two tablespoons of ground coffee, and slowly drizzle boiling water over the grounds, letting it drip through to the bottom.
Three Cup Classic Chemex, $39; chemexcoffeemaker.com.
3. Single Cup Brewing Cone
Perhaps the most basic (and effective) method is the pour-over cone. This ceramic one not only feels sturdy—it’s a happy reminder of one of our favorite roasters, Blue Bottle. Simply set a paper filter in the ceramic dripper, place it over your mug, fill it with 2 heaping tablespoons of coffee, then slowly pour boiling water over the grounds, in a circular motion, until the cone is 3/4 full. Let sit, then fill 1/4 of the cone with more water.
4. Sowden Softbrew Coffee Maker
The brainchild of George Sowden—one of the founders of the Memphis Group, the influential 1980s Milanese design collective—this unique brewing system is super functional and features a porcelain pot with a high-tech filter that blocks all non-fine grounds. Just place the filter in the pot, add ground coffee, pour over hot water, and stir and steep for about four minutes.
Sowden Softbrew Coffee Maker, $60; williams-sonoma.com.