Many people would love the ability to create a café-quality coffee drink at home. It would let them enjoy their favorite caffeinated delight without having to head to a coffee shop, which is incredibly convenient. Plus, making coffee drinks at home usually costs less over the long-run.
Luckily, it’s possible to craft café-quality coffee drinks at home, as long as you have the right tools and use the ideal approach. If you want to make sure your lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and mochas are top-notch, here’s what you need to do.
11 Tips for Creating a Café-Quality Coffee Drink at Home
1. Invest in a Quality Espresso Machine
You can’t brew amazing coffee at home without a quality machine. By investing in an espresso-maker with key features like temperature control and brew strength, you can adjust your approach. You’ll have the ability to fine-tune your coffee experience, ensuring it comes out just the way you want each and every time. [Read our buying guide to learn more]
2. Buy Whole Bean Coffee
When you use whole bean coffee, the end result is always fresher and noticeably more flavorful. Once ground, coffee can go stale surprisingly quickly. By using a great coffee grinder at home, you are ensuring your coffee is in peak shape for longer.
Plus, it gives you another area where you can customize your experience. You can adjust the grind for different coffee drinks or just based on your personal preference.
3. Grind Only What You Need
Building on the tip above, it’s wise to only grind what you need to make your café-quality coffee drink. The coffee you are storing will remain as whole beans, ensuring the freshness, flavor, and aroma last until you are ready to use it.
It only takes a moment to grind enough for a single pot of coffee or one espresso drink, so it won’t be a major inconvenience. Plus, that few seconds elevates the quality of your coffee, making the effort involved completely worthwhile.
4. Store Your Beans in a Ceramic Canister
If you want your coffee to stay in the best shape possible, store your beans in a ceramic canister with a lid. You want to make sure sunlight isn’t hitting your beans, something that can alter the level of freshness. Additionally, opting for an air-tight lidded canister further preserves your coffee.
Also, don’t freeze your coffee. If you do, it may absorb some ambient moisture. This can ultimately alter the taste of your beverages, creating a less-than-ideal result.
5. Try Weighing Your Grounds
Using a spoon to measure your grounds isn’t always ideal. You might not be using the same amount of grounds each time, causing your coffee drinks to taste a little different each day.
By getting a scale and weighing your grounds, you increase your degree of accuracy. You’ll know exactly what to do to recreate your favorite café-style drink once you develop your ideal home version.
6. Filter Your Water
The quality of your water matters just as much as the quality of your coffee. By using filtered water, you can remove impurities that may alter the taste of your coffee drink.
How you filter your water doesn’t typically matter. For example, you can use a filter that connects directly to your tap or a filtered pitcher that you store in the fridge or on a counter. As long as you follow the directions to ensure the filter can do its job, that’s usually enough.
7. Don’t Skimp on Cleaning
Coffee beans are naturally oily. Plus, water can contain minerals. Over time, oils, minerals, and other buildups can occur in your espresso machine, altering how well it works as well as the final taste of your beverages. Oils can also build up in your grinder.
If you want to make a café-quality coffee drink at home, then you need to stick with a cleaning routine. Read the instructions that come with your espresso machine to find out about the manufacturer’s recommendations, then follow them.
If you don’t find clear recommendations, then clean your espresso machine and grinder at least once a week. Additionally, descale your espresso maker monthly to remove buildup from inside the machine.
8. Learn Your Coffee’s Origin
Coffees from different regions tend to have different flavor profiles. Their strength and acidity will vary. It’s wise to examine where various coffees come from before you buy, ensuring you can select options that align with your taste.
If you aren’t sure which ones are ideal for you, try several single-origin coffees from a variety of areas. That way, you can explore the flavor profiles methodically to figure out your favorites.
9. Invest in Quality Flavorings and Toppings
Whether you like your coffee with a dash of cinnamon or a lot of chocolate, make sure that any flavorings or toppings you choose are high-quality. The ones you choose have a significant impact on the taste of your coffee drink, so this isn’t a time to pinch pennies.
This is especially true since you won’t typically use a lot of flavorings or toppings in a single drink. If a container of cinnamon is going to last several months, you might as well splurge a little and get a quality version.
10. Steam and Froth Your Milk
When you are making a coffee drink at home, it might seem like using milk straight from the carton is a reasonable way to speed up the process. But, if you skip steaming and frothing, you are altering the flavor of your beverage.
Usually, it only takes a minute or two to steam and froth milk. Plus, many leading espresso machines have steamers built right in, allowing you to handle the process without additional equipment.
11. Preheat Your Coffee Cup
When you pour a hot liquid into a cold container, the temperature of the liquid falls. If you want to keep your coffee drink piping hot after you make it, take a moment to preheat your coffee cup.
All you need to do is fill the mug with hot tap water and let it sit while you make your drink. Then, once you are ready to pour your coffee into the cup, dump out the hot water and refill the mug with coffee.