Well the simple answer is that there are lots of reasons why. But where do you start when you are new to all of this? Lets face it times are pretty strange, and we are all adjusting to lots of new things, so why not try making your coffee at home?
I will cover some of the most frequently asked questions when starting out. The coffee world like the wine world can be as basic or as complex as you like.
Is it better to buy beans or gound coffee?
In the beginning it can be easier to buy pre-ground, but as you work your way up and learn more try whole beans. Like flowers after they are picked, roasted coffee starts to lose aroma and taste very quickly after it is ground. There is something special about the coffee aroma when you freshly grind per cup. There is also some science behind the particles in the air and messages to your brain and taste receptors.
Most coffee shops these days grind it fresh per cup, this can make even average coffee beans taste good.
Look out for Roasting Date any good roaster will put this on the packet. The fresher the roast the more taste will still be in the bean.
How do I store my coffee?
Store in a airtight tin/jar once opened. No need to put in the fridge, temperature fluctuations can create moisture getting into your coffee which you don't want. A cool cupboard is fine.
How do I grind coffee without a coffee grinder?
You can grind coffee in a Nutri-Bullet, you can find some great videos like this.
Spice/nut grinders work as well.
Which grinder shall I buy?
There are 100's of grinders on the market and it can be extremely confusing.
Some things to think about are your budget, types of blades, what are the parts made of, how many different settings for grind size, how many settings for volume of coffee, size & weight (how big is your counter). What noise level do you like. What type of coffee do you drink? Some grinders only work for making one type of drink.
How easy is it to clean? This one is crucial, stale coffee goes rancid. The last thing you need is stale coffee in places you can't clean.
Spending under £50
This Manual Hand Grinder the Rhino Tall Hand Grinder cost about £40. It makes a great starting point. It takes about 3-5 min to grind about 40g of coffee. It's great for one coffee, if you like to take your time. Easy, simple and you can travel with it.
At home I use the Melitta Molino Electric Grinder. It is small, meaning it doesn’t take up loads of space on my counter. It has been consistent in grind size. For a espresso it could be a tiny bit finer but for this price point it does the job. Costs about £45.
This lovely Fellow Ode Grinder has just been launched. Sleek and chic all of their products are always amazing to use.
Spending over £500
The Niche Coffee Grinder retailing at about £500. It looks great on the counter with a few different colour options available. It grinds per dose with no wastage in the grinding chamber. If you can get your hands on one, you will be one happy home Instagram barista.
Which coffee machine can I buy if I want to make good Espresso, Cappucino, Flat White, Latte?
Don't underestimate the cost of the machine at your regular coffee shop they cost £1000's of pounds. The most expensive I have used is a £20,000 Synesso which felt like the Concorde of the coffee world.
First thing decide how much you want to spend? Then work backwards because like grinders there are 1000's of different options at various prices.
Then look for Bar pressure to make a good espresso base you would need minimum of 15 bars. A espresso base is used to make most milk based coffee, so don't get confused with different buttons you can push for different drinks focus on the espresso.
Next think about size and weight of machine. How much space do you have on the counter? Where is your power point?
Watch some real life videos online, you will find somebody who has posted about that machine on You Tube. If you like a expensive machine look on ebay. Coffee geeks often change/upgrade their machines and will sell their old ones.
If you plan to make Flat white, Latte and Cappucino think about the steaming wand. Ideally it would be metal. You want to be able see the tip of it to control your milk flow. A plastic nozzle where you can't see the tip inside is not ideal for making smooth silky milk especially for a beginner.
How do you clean it? This is crucial you need a clean machine for great taste. Hard water areas mean that you may need to descale regularly.
Spending under £200
At home I use the Delonghi Coffee Machine EC 685m. It has a slim size. Water tank is removed easily for filling. Easy to clean drip tray and nozzle. Doesn't take long to heat up. Good price point for someone making one or two coffees a day. Cost per coffee is low.
How do I make Filter coffee at home?
A simple way is the classic cafetiere some times called a french press. It is a jug with a plunger attached to the lid that you push down slowly so the coffee grinds are left at the bottom.The one thing you may want to think about is thickness of jug, some of the newer sleek styles can have very thin glass. Also look for cup size how many ml does it hold is it just for you or a team?
Can I use freshly ground coffee in my Nespresso Machine?
Yes you can, if you buy Reusable Nespresso Capsules.You can fill them with your own choice of coffee. There are many different options online for different models, so check the compatibility before buying.
How can I do Latte Art?
The most frequently asked question by the the home barista. I am yet to meet someone who does not like latte art. Latte art requires silky textured milk and a steady hand. Variables to control include temperature, jug size, quantity of milk, type of milk, cup size, then finally design.
Which cup shall I use?
Some research has been done into this. Does it make a difference which cup you use? Yes it does.
I want to buy a new coffee gadget?
If you are anything like me you love finding about a new coffee gadget.
This stove top espresso maker by 9barista.com is very sleek and looks like it would be a joy to use. Made in Cambridge they showcased it at the Coffee Festival in 2019. They are taking orders and delivery is for Feb 21. Cost £295. I think it would be great for camper van life, or small spaces like boats, or tiny homes. It has been designed by William Playford who studied jet engineering, but had a passion for great coffee so combined the two together.
I am Yasmin and I have spent over 10,000 hours immersed in the coffee world. I have trained with some of the top World Barista Champions. I like watching competitions and slurping at coffee cuppings. I have used some seriously expensive coffee gadgets through my coffee years. I managed a cafe in Maida Vale, London. Currently I am a mum to a very active toddler, and my barista world is now at home or Insta. My morning coffee is my saving grace for the day. I see it as part of my essential self care routine, making it with joy and passion.
Hope you enjoy your coffee journey.
NB I am not affiliated with any of these products.