Always be caffeinated—even in your dorm room
Coffee is the lifeblood of college students. Being able to make a fresh pot of coffee in your dorm room late at night, when all of the dining halls and off-campus cafes are closed, can be the difference between successfully finishing that term paper or crashing and burning. But dorm rooms aren't exactly known for their culinary firepower, and if you want to make coffee in your dorm room, you're going to have to bring your own coffeemaker and accessories.
But just because you made the coffee in your dorm room, doesn't mean it has to taste like it. You can set up your own dorm room coffee station for less than $100 and make a reliably good cup of coffee whenever you need it most, even if you're using grocery store coffee. And with this particular dorm room coffee bar set-up—which uses either a French press or a pour-over coffee maker—you'll never have to worry about buying paper filters all the time or purchasing all of those (fairly pricey and not so environmentally friendly) single-serve plastic coffee pods.
Here's everything you need to set up a dorm room coffee bar that's Pinterest AF for less than $100.
An electric kettle is definitively the easiest way to boil water in a dorm room. But if you're a hardcore coffee drinker, opt for a kettle with a long, thin gooseneck rather than a more traditional spout. That way, you'll be able to better control the rate at which you pour water into your coffee maker.
LINKYO 1 Liter Electric Kettle Gooseneck Pour Over Drip Coffee and Tea Kettle, $24.95, amazon.com
What's nice about this particular pour-over coffee brewer is that you don't need to keep buying paper filters. The metal mesh filter is endlessly reusable, so you'll never find yourself in a situation where you have to MacGyver a coffee filter out of paper towels or tissues.
Osaka 20-Ounce Pour Over Coffee Brewer, $24.99, amazon.com
...Or French Press
If you don't want to go through the rigamarole of pouring water into a small cone, consider getting a French press. This one is protected with plastic, so even if it tips over or accidentally drops off your desk, it won't shatter into a million pieces.
Bodum Young Press Shock Resistant French Press Coffee Maker in Red/Black, 34-Ounce, $24.02, amazon.com
Airtight Coffee and Sugar Canisters
In order to make sure your coffee grounds stay as fresh as possible (and you don't attract ants or other bugs), you want to get airtight containers. This set of three has a jar for coffee, one for sugar, and one more for tea, just in case you have a friend stop by who doesn't like coffee or you just need a break.
DII 3-Piece Classic Ceramic Food Storage Canisters with Airtight Lid For Sugar, Coffee, and Tea in Aqua, $24.99, amazon.com
Coffee evangelists will tell you that you need to weigh the amount of coffee grounds you put in a pour-over brewer, or even a French press. But if you have a coffee scoop, you'll be able to get an accurate enough measurement. The general rule of thumb is use two tablespoons of coffee grounds per eight ounces of water.
Tablecraft Stainless Steel Coffee Scoop, 1 Tablespoon, $5.45, amazon.com
Hanging your mugs on a mug tree is a great way to display especially cute cups, as well as a good way to ensure they don't accidentally get moldy after you rinse them out.
Spectrum Diversified Euro Mug Holder in Copper, $7.19, amazon.com
And if you're going to have a mug tree, you better have some cute mugs to display on them. Be sure to get nonmetal or ceramic mugs so you can make one-mug microwave omelets, as well as use them to drink the best dorm room coffee you've ever tasted.
Clay Art 16-Ounce Porcelain Stacked Mugs in White, Set of 2, $9.99, target.com