Coffee runs are part of the working person’s routine. However, they’re not budget-friendly with the average plain cup of coffee costing $2.70. That doesn’t even include fancy flavors and add-ons.
During the beginning months of COVID-19, data shows an 11 percent increase in purchases of at-home coffee equipment in light of coffee shop closures.
If you still haven’t jumped on the at-home coffee bandwagon, it’s not too late to start! These tips can help you save a significant amount of money and achieve a barista quality cup of coffee, guaranteed.
Invest in the right coffee machine for you
The type of coffee machine you have will affect the taste, price, and brewing speed of your coffee.
If you’re worried about the price of your coffee machine, save up a bit by putting aside the money you’d usually spend on a coffee run. The right machine will make or break the brew, so don’t be afraid to venture into a new type of machine if you’re serious about your coffee. The list below includes some of the most popular options.
Drip coffee is the traditional, familiar pot of joe. Drip coffee can typically brew a large carafe of around 12 cups, making it ideal if you drink a lot of coffee or if you’re making a pot for a large group. However, some drip coffee makers have settings for brewing single-serve coffees, which is something to consider if you won’t need a full pot each day.
While not the most economical option, single-serve machines grew in popularity because of their speed and variety of flavor options. Single-serve is optimal for an on-the-go joe or for guests who need options of flavors. If this is your primary machine, consider getting a reusable pod that you can put your grounds in to save money and plastic.
This is a classic method that hasn’t changed much since its design was patented in the US in 1929. It’s consistent and reliable because it doesn’t require electricity, just your hands! For those looking to save money on utilities and like hands-on brewing, you’ll find this machine most enjoyable.
Are you looking to make complex drinks like lattes and cappuccinos? An espresso machine is one of the best options—but you’ll need to save. These machines will also require some homework, training, and maintenance to use properly, but they offer a wide variety of brewing options and look highly impressive.
The Coffee Grounds
Even the aroma of brewing coffee can perk you up. The first step to getting good coffee from your machine is putting in quality grounds. It is best to buy whole coffee beans rather than pre-ground beans, which are typically the same price or potentially cheaper depending on how you purchase them. You’ll need to purchase a coffee grinder, and if you can, look for a grinder with different sized grind settings. Buying whole beans has a few advantages:
- Grounds at the grocery store are likely already stale when you purchase them because coffee beans have a shelf life of about 3-5 monthsonce ground. Whole beans aren’t stale and will last longer.
- Having whole beans gives you the advantage of producing a more potent, flavorful brew because you can extract more from the grounds.
- You can determine the ground size yourself, making them suitable for any coffee machine you have. The ground size will have an impact on how the coffee tastes.
- Whole beans are often available at local roasters for purchase, which means you can support small businesses!
Your drive-thru coffee order is probably different than what you’re serving at home. Cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos are fancy but not impossible to make yourself. Now that you’ve set yourself up for success with a good machine and coffee beans, here are some accessories that will have you feeling like a real barista.
- Electric milk-frother: If you have an espresso machine, yours might already have an attachment for this. If you opted for a more classic drip machine, this is the key to making cool latte designs and getting that irresistible foamy top to your coffee. Be sure to pick one that has a non-stick coating inside and can froth at least a cup of milk.
- Milk pitcher: If you steam your milk and want to make a latte art masterpiece, pour it into this gadget and get creative. The spout is a perfect size for control to get barista-approved art.
- Cinnamon shaker: Topping off your coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon gives it that coffee shop finishing touch that will impress your friends and family.
- Drizzle bottles: Store your caramel, chocolate, or favorite topping in a drizzle bottle to get a picture-perfect coffee every time.
The essentials to home-brewing are ground out and ready to serve! Check out what you can do now with the extra grounds you might otherwise toss.