How to Make Barista-Style Coffee at HomeSeptember 21st, 2018
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.
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.
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.
A necessary tool for making espresso, a hand tamper allows you to compress the grounds, packing them evenly for a quality shot.
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.
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:
- Whole milk
- Almond beverage
- Coconut beverage
- Soy beverage
- Hemp beverage
- Cashew beverage
Coffee Lingo, Explained
Want to impress your friends with your coffee talk know-how? Brush up on the latest lingo.
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).
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.
Whether served on St. Patrick’s Day or after a meal, Irish coffee includes a shot of Irish whiskey and a dash of cream.
A treat for the senses, Mexican coffee is brewed with cinnamon and sugar and can sometimes include a shot of coffee liqueur as well.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Coffee Drink Recipes
Consider your next coffee break upgraded thanks to these jazzed up java recipes.
Cold brew coffee combines with coconut milk, vanilla bean, dates, cardamom, and maple syrup and is poured over ice for a uniquely refreshing sip.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We can’t help but flip for these protein pancake mix-based cupcakes that are topped with a decadent coffee-infused frosting.
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.
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.
This frozen cold brew coffee blend is sweet and spicy thanks to cocoa powder, coconut sugar, cayenne, and cinnamon.