Considering that working from home may stick for most of us, the need for an immediate caffeine fix has become ever-present. Speaking for myself, going out for coffee take-out requires all the things—from changing out of my cherished loungewear to applying mascara.
If you’re with me, I’ve sourced all the accoutrements necessary to make café-quality espressos and lattes right at home. The requirements were simple: easy to learn and quick to make. (And all in the same color scheme to create a well-appointed coffee nook in your kitchen.)
As I type this, I am sipping on my first cuppa homemade joe and it’s close to gourmet for a beginner. And it took less than six minutes of instructional videos. So, here’s to you and me living our best caffeinated lives in comfy work clothes at home forever.
First things first, the machines.
The Capresso brand came highly recommended by a friend—the kind who does all the research, so you don’t have to. With that, I went for the Capresso EC100 Pump Espresso & Cappuccino Machine ($149.99) and the Capresso Coffee Burr Grinder ($59.99). Both can easily be cupboard stored if you want to keep those countertops clear.
I heard that this espresso and cappuccino machine is one of the easiest out there to use, and that proved to be true. I familiarized myself with the components in the pamphlet but opted to watch a quick video, too, and in about five minutes, I knew all I needed to operate the handsome machine.
An unexpected bonus is the built-in cup warmer on top. This is an important feature because preheating helps the heat remain in your drink rather than being absorbed by the mug.
I’m marveling at this three-button machine. It could not have been easier, and that includes steaming the milk—just turn the knob to the left for espresso and to the right for steamed milk for your cappuccino. That’s it. As our British friends say, easy-peasy.
The simplicity trend continued with the burr grinder, which has 16 grind settings, from fine to coarse. Those who know more than I do about coffee swear by the steel disc in this grinder because it provides consistent, uniform grinding.
For the beans, I turned to master roaster Blane Charlot.
Charlot is Buna Roaster’s founder, owner and head roaster. She has coffee in her DNA and has sampled coffees from around the world. She was born and raised in the Dire Dawa region of eastern Ethiopia and grew up with elaborate coffee ceremonies in her family home.
Charlot recommended three beans for my coffee experience: Yirgacheffe, Sidamo and Harrar (starting at $17.99 for 16 oz.). Great news is that you, again, do not have to leave the house because she ships. Plus, unboxing the beans is like a gift presentation—lovely and done with care. But it’s the mind-meltingly rich aroma that fills the air as you unpack that will have you heading straight to the grinder to sample.
P.S.: If you purchase your beans from Buna Roaster, you’ll be supporting a local, female and Black-owned business.
By the way, I asked Charlot how to preserve those freshly roasted coffee beans. She didn’t hesitate to recommend an Airscape Coffee Canister (starting at $25). The team at Planetary Design developed this better-than-airtight stainless steel storage with a lid that actively removes and locks out air to preserve and protect freshness and flavor.
Want to make a quicker cuppa?
The Nespresso Aeroccino 3 Frother ($99.95) is for those who prefer a simple, fast, one-button solution to frothing, whether it’s creamy cold for your iced bev or hot froth for any version of your favorite coffee. The ultra-quiet machine whips up dense foam for cappuccinos or lighter foam for lattes or hot chocolates.
After all that, keeping that freshly brewed cuppa warm is key.
Even though the vacuum insulated tumbler by Kinto ($35) will keep your coffee hot for six hours, what’s special about it is the double cap. One part is a closure, as normal. The extra detail is the added insert structure that dispenses the drink in perfect amounts--even catches ice cubes if you go for an iced coffee.
As with your mug, preheat the tumbler prior by filling with a bit of hot water for 1-2 minutes for maximum insulation efficiency.