If you’re a complete coffee aficionado or even just love a cup of joe (or five) to keep you going throughout the day, it’s no secret it can get super pricey when you’re constantly buying it out. While it is important to support your favourite local cafes right now, let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like learning how to nail the best cup of coffee at home.
Hence, here are eight tools you’ll need to create a barista-worthy cup of coffee in the comfort of your own humble abode.
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.
If you want something a lil’ more foolproof, this Handheld Electric Foam Maker — fitted with three adjustable whisking speeds — will have your milk frothed in seconds, giving it that I-just-went-to-my-local-cafe finishing touch without the price tag. It’s also USB rechargeable, so you don’t have to worry about any pesky battery replacements.
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 many resources online to help you figure out exactly how much water and coffee you need, by weight, 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.
This Australian-made, zero-waste, refillable coffee pod is the answer to never having to buy those single-use plastic pods ever again but still getting the perfect cup at home. All you have to do is simply fill the capsule with your fave ground beans and empty the waste in your garden after. Endlessly reusable, easy to clean and refill, all the while stopping coffee capsules from going to landfills. Wins all round, folks!
If you’re itching to have the full shabang at home, this Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine is fitted with all the trimmings — including dose-control grinding, precise espresso extraction, micro-foam milk texturing (perfect for homemade latte art), as well as a grind size dial. It’s also going for an insane sale price of $695 — not to mention, you’ll also be saving a bunch of cold hard cash from making your barista-approved coffee at home.