I recently got a job as a barista, and I am so excited to learn how to make all of the delicious coffee. There’s nothing like a good latte! But I know that buying those drinks are super expensive. If I’m getting anything more than a cup of coffee, drinks are around $5, which is not ideal for my budget!
For the past few years I have been making my own coffee in the comfort of my home (and even dorm room). There are a few items that I have that are vital to my morning coffee routine. I want to share the drinks that I like to make, but before I do that, I want to share the equipment that I use!
Coffee Shop at Home: The Equipment
My parents so kindly got me this wonderful gift for Christmas 3 years ago. My espresso machine isn’t super fancy, but it does the trick! As much as I’d love to spend several hundred dollars on an espresso machine, it’s not practical for me. I think mine was about $115. With it, I’m able to pull a shot of espresso and froth milk. I used the frother for a long time, but I’ll admit that it’s not the best. Most of your espresso machines will come with a frother instead of the fancy steam wands that they use at real coffee shops. There’s not a whole lot of control you have over the way your froth your milk , but like I said, it does the trick!
Glasses – Along with any espresso machine, you must have some glasses to pull those shots in! Fun fact: most shots that you pull will be a “doppio,” which is actually double of what a regular shot of espresso is. In general, the glasses are made for the double shot.
Tamper – My machine didn’t come with one, but this tool actually packs your coffee grinds into your filter holder. Make sure to get one that fits your machine!
Milk Pitcher – If you are going to use the frother on your espresso machine, you need one of these handy dandy pitcher. They’re shaped specifically for you to be able to froth delicious milk in.
Manual Milk Frother
As I mentioned before, the frother on my espresso machine isn’t the greatest. After a while, I got tired of using it and gave up altogether. My lovely friend, got me this awesome present, for graduation and it has been a game changer for frothed milk! You just heat up the milk on the stove, and then manually add air into the milk using the handle to created the yummy frothed milk for lattes or cappuccinos.
I don’t know what I did to deserve this, but my husband does not like coffee. 🙁 Because of this, I’m always just making one cup of coffee at a time. I didn’t feel the need to purchase a separate coffee maker, so I opted for using a french press. These things are awesome, because you can make coffee anywhere! All you need is piping hot water. Depending on the size of french press that you have, you can make anywhere from 1-3 cups of coffee at a time.
I use my electric kettle to boil water for my french press! This thing is also awesome for tea and hot chocolate.
Fresh ground coffee is wayyyy better than ground coffee that’s been sitting in a bag for over a week. Because I make espresso and french press coffee, I need the grinder so that I can have very fine grounds as well as coarse. Like all my stuff, the grinder isn’t the best, but it’s good enough! The big thing you want to look for when buying a grinder is that it is a burr grinder.
Alrighty, that is everything I use to make my coffee. Now, on to the fun part! There are a few drinks that I love to make at home, and they are so easy to make too. I’m going to share them all with you NOW!
Coffee Shop at Home: The Menu
To make a latte, I use espresso with frothed milk. You don’t want your milk to be too thick, because that is more like a cappuccino. The milk will mix in with the espresso and you should have a nice thin layer of foam at the top of your drink. Sometime, I will add a little bit vanilla syrup to make a vanilla latte if I’m in the mood for something sweeter! I’ll put about a teaspoon of vanilla at the bottom, add my fresh shot of espresso, and then top it with milk! This is definitely one of my go-to drinks, and I love it.
Iced Vanilla Latte
In the summertime, this is my favorite way to make coffee! Usually, I’ll leave the vanilla out so that I’m not consuming too much sugar in the morning. I take a 16-oz glass, fill it with ice, pour a shot of espresso over it and then add regular milk until the glass is full. This is so delicious and quick to make, which I love!
A cappuccino has the same ingredients as a latte, but you will want to froth your milk more. You just start with espresso and then add the frothed milk to the top! The thicker foam forms a dense cap at the top of your drink. Hence the name cappuccino.
My favorite way to make this drink a little sweeter is to drizzle some caramel syrup over the top of it in a swirl, and then I’ll sprinkle some cinnamon on top. YUM!
Every year I was in college, my mom would send me some of her homemade hot chocolate mix during the winter. This stuff is delicious, and it’s also what inspired me making mochas. All I do is use a standard amount of mix for a cup of hot cocoa, but I would only use about half the water. The rest of the liquid would come from a shot of espresso! To make this drink even more fun, I use a candy cane as the stir stick, and it turns out as a peppermint mocha. It was the perfect drink during finals week.
I like to think of an americano as a regular cup of coffee, just made with espresso instead. All you have to do is pull a shot and then add hot water to dilute it! I love black coffee, but an espresso is still a bit strong for me, so the americano is perfect. Sometimes, I like to add a bit of cream to my coffee instead of drinking it black. I’ve found that using heavy whipping cream (the liquid, not whipped) is extremely delicious.
This is the only coffee that I make that is not with my espresso machine. It is super simple to use. The main thing you will want to remember is to use coarse grounds so that you don’t end up with too many grounds in your cup. All I do is use a couple scoops of coffee grounds, pour some hot water (that I boiled in my kettle) over those grounds, and let it sit for five minutes. Once it’s done sitting, you can press your coffee and enjoy your morning cup of joe. 🙂
I really do love coffee– the way it smells, the way it tastes, and the way it brings people together. Becoming my own barista is one of the best things I’ve done for myself. I love being able to make fun drinks in the comfort of my own home. I’d say that it is definitely worth the investment if you are thinking about it!