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I went through the same situation recently. I already had a Chemex, so I went on Craigslist and got one of these in good condition for $40. Got an American Weigh scale (the square one in the FAQ), and already had a thrift shop kettle ($8). Now I'm basically all set until I decide to upgrade the grinder or to a temp-controlled electric kettle. (not soon)
In order to seem like I know what I am doing (I really don't) I just follow the stumptown brewing guides. They're pretty good.
I'm in a similar position, and have slowly started down said rabbit hole. My purchases went in this order, and I'm anxious to keep going.
Next up on my list, probably in this order would be:
Bought this one for the hubby for xmas for his French press. Not the cheapest, but the best rated not super expensive one I found. It's been working well for us (but be ready for the static cling of the grounds, that seems to be standard with burr grinders). Best of luck!
I had the stepped-up version and although it served me well for about a year and a half, I invested in a Breville Smart Ginder Pro that has proved to be much better and consistent with grind quality. Similar to the Baratza grinders, you are also paying for more control over your grind (espresso to pour-over to french press).
Like others have mentioned, I think a quality grinder (starting at the Baratza Encore is probably the most important investment for better coffee, next to great beans.
It's not the best. It's a Cuisinart CBM-18.
My grinder and brewer are both among the best at what they do. I'd worry in a combination appliance that I'd have to sacrifice quality for convenience. I am aware that I'm a snob, but friends who've had my coffee generally agree that it's worth putting up with me.
When I first started to fully realize the importance of grinding my beans right before brewing, I purchased this Cuisinart grinder, along with a Chemex. After a year and a half, I am upgrading due to inconsistent grind size and quality. I did a bunch of research and was ready to pull the trigger on a Baratza Virtuoso, when I realized that Breville had recently updated their Smart Grinder, to the Smart Grinder Pro. At the same price as the Virtuoso, it just has a ton more features. Plus Gail over at Seattle Coffee Gear had some really good things to say about when compared to the other similar priced grinders.
Got it. Okay, well, I'd personally recommend that you think about exploring coffee for yourself, too, if that's the case. You gotta know what's good if you're going to serve to a friend, you know?
If you've read much in this sub-reddit, you've no doubt noticed that coffee is kinda a black hole... you can just keep going... and going...
But in your situation, with not much interest in really exploring the coffee world (and the money required!) I'd assume that you are not going to want a grinder. If you WERE going to get one, hopefully to explore fresh whole bean coffee yourself too, I'd suggest this $80 grinder: [link]
It is a great price for consistent medium grinds. Great for many brewing techniques.
But, because you're going to be stuck with pre-ground coffee (maybe you have a good grocer nearby where you can get your coffee freshly ground?), then in any case, I'd suggest this $22 clever dripper. It is consistent and simple. It'll make 18 oz in one go, which is great for a single big drinker, and perfect also for a couple who just want a medium-small cup each.
Pros for the clever dripper over french press: paper filter (healthier and cleaner), easier clean up, easier process and more consistent cup
French press can be good too, and quite classy, but you'll have to learn a process. Clever dripper is kinda brain-dead as long as you know how to boil water, and wait until it's around 205F before pouring it. If you want to learn french press, here's a great, easy vid: [link]
I actually just ordered this Cuisinart today. It seems to be about on par with the other "mid tier" grinders folks recommend.
Edit: Downvoted for ordering a grinder. This sub is truly in the upper echelons of elitist self-fellating cocksuckery.