If you are a coffee snob or just love a cup or three throughout the day for a pick-me-up, the habit can get expensive if you rely on takeaway. While it is important to support your favourite local cafes right now, there’s nothing better than learning how to master the perfect cup of joe at home.
Here are eight tools you’ll need to create a barista-worthy cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home.
This article has been updated since the original publish date.
This one should be pretty obvious, but finding good beans isn’t just about paying $20 for 350 grams of a local roast with a cute label, because you also have to like the coffee that said beans produce. It takes a lot of trial and error to discover the beans and roasts your palate prefers — whether that’s darker, richer roasts or those with notes of chocolate, caramel, and honey. It’s worth it to buy a bunch of different beans and brew them in a few different ways to figure out what kind you like the most.
Whether you’re a cappuccino drinker or not, there’s nothing more comforting than adding silky, frothed milk to your coffee.
Yes, it’s a little tricky to aerate the milk while still keeping it hot enough to not result in a lukewarm beverage, but with a little practice, it will do the job.
While it’s convenient to buy pre-ground beans or get them ground at the store, you’ll always get the freshest taste from beans you grind yourself — and coffee snobs swear by their grinders. Some swear you actually get better results using a hand grinder too.
You’ll be more precise in figuring your ideal water-to-coffee ratios via the use of a digital scale. It doesn’t need to be fancy — you can find one that will do the job for around $30.
There are lots of resources online to help you figure out exactly how much water and coffee you need, by weight, in order to make the perfect cup via your preferred brewing method. (Here’s a good calculator if you use a French press.)
There are many ways to make coffee, and there are good and bad things about all of them. (There are many more bad things about some of them; convenience aside, there is no good reason to drink anything that came out of a pod, and in my experience, good cups of percolated coffee are few and far between.)
There are lots of coffee drippers to choose from. Some have built-in metal filters; some require paper filters. I like this mostly glass one from Hario, which is cheap and sturdy and can brew 1-4 cups at a go.
Iced lattes are the caffeinated drink of the moment for a reason. Even if you have an ice maker, you still need ice cube trays, because that’s the only way you can make ice cubes out of coffee, which is the only way to chill your caffeinated beverage of choice without watering it down.
The French press is a perfectly cromulent brewing method, and a lot better than using a drip coffee maker (a device best left to diners, petrol stations, and office kitchens that haven’t been updated since the 1980s).
Of course, we’ve spent so much time at home lately that it might just be time to bite the bullet and order a full-on coffee machine for your home. That whole one-press-and-you’re-done thing is pretty enticing, especially when it comes in a bundle like this with a milk frother. You can even buy these planet-friendly, Nespresso compatible compostable coffee pods ($21.25) to go with it.