How to Make Barista-Style Coffee at Home

September 21, 2018
by Nicole Gulotta for Thrive Market
How to Make Barista-Style Coffee at Home

According to a recent study, Americans consume about 400 million cups of coffee per day so it’s safe to say we’re pretty devoted to our daily dose of caffeine. And though we may rely on it as an early-morning pick-me-up, coffee also serves up some potential benefits. But if you find yourself hitting the local coffee shop several times a week, your coffee habit can add up fast. Thankfully, you can still get a quality cup without blowing your budget. Here’s everything you need to brew up a cafe-worthy beverage at home—no waiting required.

What Is a Barista?

The Italian word for bartender, “barista” has come to mean the person behind the coffee bar who typically prepares espresso-based drinks (and probably knows the difference between a Caffè Americano and a Macchiato).

Coffee Shop Kitchen Equipment

Forget your daily coffee run. Here’s what you need to create a professional-grade coffee station at home.

Coffee Maker

A good coffee maker is key to making a world class cup of joe, but with so many to choose from, it’s tough to know which is right for you. Here’s a roundup of a few of our favorites.

  • French Press: Instead of passing water through coffee grounds, this refined coffee maker steeps the coffee in hot water for an extended period of time.
  • Pour Over: This precision method of making coffee involves manually pouring water over and through freshly ground coffee using a filter and a filter holder.
  • Espresso Maker: If you crave shots of espresso, lattes, or cappuccinos, consider investing in one of these bad boys, which uses steam to create an extra-strength beverage.
  • Drip Coffee Maker: Perhaps the most traditional, drip coffee makers involve passing boiling hot water through coffee grounds (either freshly prepared or store-bought).

PRO TIP: To keep your coffee maker clean and working efficiently, run a solution of one part white vinegar, white wine vinegar, or champagne vinegar to two parts water through it once a month.

Coffee Grinder

Available in both automatic or manual, coffee bean grinders are a must-have for fresh, aromatic daily cups. Simply store whole coffee beans in the fridge and grind as needed.

Tamper

A necessary tool for making espresso, a hand tamper allows you to compress the grounds, packing them evenly for a quality shot.

Frother

From lattes to cappuccinos to flat whites, foam is a necessary ingredient in many coffee classics so having a reliable milk (or non-dairy beverage) frother at the ready is essential. Choose from freestanding to handheld, and get ready to bubble over with excitement.

High-quality beans

We’ve done the research, and you really can’t brew up a memorable cup of coffee without top-notch beans. From fair-trade and eco-friendly to Certified Organic and member-approved, we rounded up the coolest beans we could find. See more below!

Milk (or milk alternatives)

Even if you prefer to drink your coffee black, it’s smart to have milk and/or non-dairy alternatives on-hand for sipping socially. Our top milk must-haves include:

Coffee Lingo, Explained

Want to impress your friends with your coffee talk know-how? Brush up on the latest lingo.

Iced coffee

Cold brew

Smooth and lower in acidity, cold brew coffee is coffee that’s steeped in room temperature water for about 24 hours, producing a concentrate that is then diluted with water by about 50%. (PRO TIP: Serve with a slice of this delicious coffee companion).

Crema

Ever notice that flavorful reddish froth that sits atop a quality shot of espresso? That’s called crema and is typically an indication of an expertly brewed shot.

Irish Coffee

Whether served on St. Patrick’s Day or after a meal, Irish coffee includes a shot of Irish whiskey and a dash of cream.

Mexican Coffee

A treat for the senses, Mexican coffee is brewed with cinnamon and sugar and can sometimes include a shot of coffee liqueur as well.

Nitro-brew

Infused with nitrogen, this frothy beverage has a thick, creamy head similar to a dark ale.

Top Coffee Beans From Thrive Market

Cold brewed, with creamer, or black, one thing is for certain: We take our coffee pretty seriously (as evidenced here and here) so narrowing down our top coffee selections wasn’t easy. That’s why we looked to what our members are saying to bring you the very best beans on the block.

Too much coffee

Thrive Market Organic Breakfast Blend

Smooth and mild, our Certified Organic, ethically-sourced beans boast flavors of dark chocolate, toffee, and caramel and are beloved by our members. “I love this coffee! It is delightfully rich,” says Thrive Market member Stephanie.

Kicking Horse Smart Ass Whole Bean Coffee, Medium Roast

This bright and chocolaty blend of organic arabica beans is described as “unbelievably delicious” by our members. Our member Terese says, “This coffee is so delicious and smooth it needs no cream or sugar.”

Equal Exchange Organic Love Buzz Coffee

Dark and smoky, this fair trade brew is described as “deep without being dark and bitter,” by Thrive Market member Propwash.

Ethical Bean Coffee, Super Dark Roast

This rich, dark roast is blended for balance and has a pleasant cocoa finish. “The flavor is nice and dark but it feels smooth, not bitter,” says Thrive Market member Heather.

Coffee Creamers Our Members Love

Lighten up with our members’ most coveted non-dairy creamers.

Nutpods French Vanilla Non-Dairy Creamer

This vegan, coconut- and almond-based creamer imparts warm vanilla flavor without soy, corn syrup, or refined sugar. “Best non-dairy alternative I've found,” shares Thrive Market member Celia.

Califia Farms Coconut Cream & Almond Milk Better Half

Enjoy the richness of half-and-half without the dairy thanks to this chemical-free, plant-based creamer. Plus it “doesn't clump in my coffee like some soy/almond creamers, “ says a member.

Laird Superfood Organic Creamer

Stir some superfoods into your daily cup with this creamy blend of coconut milk powder and calcium from marine algae. “It's fabulous in my coffee and easy to use! “ says Carol, a Thrive Market member.

Coffee Drink Recipes

Consider your next coffee break upgraded thanks to these jazzed up java recipes.

Vegan Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Cold brew coffee combines with coconut milk, vanilla bean, dates, cardamom, and maple syrup and is poured over ice for a uniquely refreshing sip.

Coffee Jelly With Creamer

We’re not sure you’re ready for this jelly, but these genius coffee jigglers will earn big points at your next dinner party, especially when served with a splash of vanilla macadamia milk.

Cold Brew Coffee Martini

This caffeinated cocktail will perk you up in no time thanks to cold brew coffee, orange liqueur, a splash of heavy cream, and a shot of vodka.

Coffee Soda Float With Non-Dairy Milk

Don’t let the daily grind get you down. Instead, whip up this whimsical take on an iced coffee that calls for cold brew poured over a delightfully sweet non-dairy ice milk.

Instant Iced Coffee

An iced caffeine fix on-the-go is easy thanks to this recipe, which pairs instant coffee with almond milk, vanilla extract, and cardamom.

Coffee-Infused Dessert Recipes

Finish your meal strong with these crave-worthy coffee confections.

Coffee-Frosted Pancake Cupcakes

We can’t help but flip for these protein pancake mix-based cupcakes that are topped with a decadent coffee-infused frosting.

Coffee Jam Chocolates

If coffee is your jam, you’ll love these coffee jam-filled chocolate cups, which combine coffee with raw honey, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and sea salt. The best part? It’s all covered in a creamy chocolate coating.

Coffee Chia Pudding

This luscious treat has a superfood base of chia seeds that are mixed with coffee, cocoa powder, macadamia milk, coconut milk, and honey. Top with chocolate chips and cocoa nibs.

Fire & Ice Frozen Coffee

This frozen cold brew coffee blend is sweet and spicy thanks to cocoa powder, coconut sugar, cayenne, and cinnamon.

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This article is related to: Coffee, Drink Recipes, Kitchen Trends, Kitchen Tips, Coffee Drinks

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