Some baristas make it look so simple when they make you your coffee in the shop. Just their hand-eye coordination alone can make you want to learn how they do it. The thought of making a similar coffee at home is a dream for many of our customers. It is not easy, but there are some tips that we think can help you to get you on your way.
(Our baristas making the pour look seamlessly easy!)
(The Rocket Appartamento is a great addition to any household! Credit: Neil Goodman)
If espresso based drinks are not your thing, then equipment for filter coffee is easy to get a hold of. Many people have the traditional cafetière at home and to be perfectly honest, they can do the job. However, in many coffee shops, you will see your barista using something called a v60 to make your drip coffee. Despite its fancy name, it is not that technical to use, cheap to buy and very quick and easy. Many coffee shops will sell them on their retail shelves and all they require is a filter paper to go with it and if you really want to get the best results a pouring kettle is a must. An Aeropress is also a good option, and can be handy to take with you on your travels as it does not take up much space! Checkout our retail stash for all the coffee gear you need for home filter brewing! #COFFEETIME
This may surprise you but the coffee grinder can be considered more important than the espresso machine itself. It is all good having the best machine possible but without a decent grinder, the machine is useless. A manual grinder is good and consistent but takes a lot of effort which is why we would recommend an electric burr grinder. If your budget is low, then the Baratza Encore is probably your best choice. If you are willing to spend a bit more on the grinder, then why not have a look at the Rancilio Rocky or the Rocket Fausto as they are used by many professional baristas at home (we even use the Rocket Fausto for our Decaf!). Once you have your grinder, it is important to find the correct grind setting for the type of coffee you are making. For espresso based drinks, a very fine grind is recommended, for filter options, the coffee needs to be coarser. CNET provide a good explanation on how fine or coarse your coffee should be for the different brewing methods in the link below.
It may sound ridiculous but when making coffee, you need a recipe. You do not just put some coffee in the machine and then hope for the best. Instead you will need to find a recipe to ensure you get the best out of your coffee beans. Some roasters provide a recipe on the bags you buy which can be helpful. If they do not, then we can suggest some for you. For espresso based drinks, a 1:2 ratio is used by many people. For example, you would grind 18g of coffee, tamp it in the portafilter and then extract 36g of coffee out of the machine over a time of 28-32 seconds. For filter coffee, it can vary. We use 16g-18g & as close to 220ml of water for our V60 pourers in house. Here is the Hario guide to brewing with a V60!
Take Your Time
Lastly, do not expect your first coffee to be the best tasting coffee ever. It is highly unlikely that you will nail it first time as even professional baristas struggle to do this. You will be using up a lot of coffee and a bit of it will go to waste which can seem tough but it is expected. Your coffee is not instant, it is a piece of art. If you are really struggling with steaming the milk for your latte or finding difficulties pouring the milk, why not look at YouTube videos and see how some people do it? The more practice you put in, the better you will get. You will realise that the recipes can be tweaked with and that you can do more with coffee than you previously thought!
Coffee at home is an investment worth making and we could not recommend it more! Our baristas are always at hand to help make suggestions and will happily answer any coffee related questions that you may have. Working with coffee is fun and we would love to see the progress you make at home! Tag us in an Instagram post or give us a mention on Facebook or Twitter so we can see your handiwork and we'll be sure to give it a like!