Jess Magill reluctantly opened her eyes as the sunlight poured through the slats over her window. She dragged herself into the kitchen and began her morning like usual, with a cup of coffee. As the pot brewed she smelled the fresh coffee filling the air and smiled. What used to be an annoying morning chore was now one of her favorite parts of the day after creating her at home coffee bar last spring.
Magill, a former barista at Starbucks and senior at Indiana University, starts her morning the same way billions around the world do, with a warm cup of joe. Fifty percent of 18-24 year olds drink coffee daily, according to a study by the National Coffee Association. In order to fully take advantage of your daily cup, the environment it is prepared in is just as important as the coffee itself.
“Having a specific, designated area of your kitchen for mugs and your coffee machine keeps the space clean and makes the whole experience seem less like something you have to do and more like something you want to do,” said Magill.
If you want to improve the quality of your morning cup of coffee, keep reading for tips on creating your own at home coffee bar – no green apron needed.
Choose Your Equipment
Having the perfect mugs and proper machine are incredibly important when it comes to the perfect at home coffee experience, said Mallory Capestrain, who recently added a coffee bar to her kitchen in Cleveland, Ohio.
Forty-three percent of coffee drinkers prefer to make their coffee at home, according to a survey from Zagat. Since higher end coffee and espresso machines can be over $1,000, opting for a simple, single pot coffee machine is the better choice if you’re on a budget, said Capestrain. “I got my coffee pot from Target and it was only about 30 dollars,” said Capestrain, “and I can make better coffee in that thing than I buy at the café down the street.”
A coffee pot with a reusable filter is the better way to go if you have the option because it’s more sustainable and you won’t have to worry about running out of filters, said Magill. Machines like this are likely to be slightly more expensive, but definitely still affordable, said Magill.
A good coffee pot for your morning cup of joe is only one factor in ensuring a great at home coffee experience, said Capestrain. With the different shapes and sizes of mugs, some fit in people’s hands more comfortably than others. The best way to decipher which mug you prefer is through trail and error, said Capestrain. “I’ve found that ceramic, wide, short mugs work best for my comfort,” said Capestrain, “ I can hold them with boths hands and get all cozy.”
Short and large or tall and skinny, once you find a mug shape that you love, you need to base all of your other mug purchases off it’s form, said Capestrain. However, the shape isn’t the only thing that dictates whether or not a mug is good or bad.
“When it comes to choosing your mug in the morning, definitely make sure it’s a mug that’s from a loved one or one that generally has a funny or good memory associated with it,” said Magill, “it’s the easiest way to get a smile on your face from your coffee.” It goes without saying: no matter how good the blend is, it will taste terrible if it hasn’t been extracted properly. And good extraction starts with good coffee grounds. For this, Home Grounds suggests a burr grinder, not a blade grinder.
Choose Your Coffee
There are two main types of coffee sold in stores, arabica and robusta beans. It is a common misconception that there isn’t a difference between the two, said Mike Rinefierd. As a former barista at a café in Columbus, Ohio, Reinfierd has dealt with the difficulties of picking the perfect coffee bean.
Although the arabica bean is more expensive depending on the brand, it tends to be more popular, said Rinefierd. “The Robusta bean is higher in caffeine, making it more bitter,” Rinefierd said, “the taste is comparative to that of burnt rubber.”
Luckily, most coffee grounds that are bought from a store contain a mixture of Arabica and Robusta beans, so you can get the caffeine of the Robusta bean without the awful taste, said Magill. “My favorite coffee ground is 80 percent arabica and 20 percent robusta,” said Magill, “and of course it’s a dark roast.”
Light, medium and dark roast coffee grounds all differ. “The darker the roast, the stronger the coffee,” said Rinefierd, “and the more awake I am to take on my day.” Choosing the proper coffee bean and roast is important to achieve your ideal cup of coffee, so take the time to experiment.
Choose Your Signature Drink
With all the choices on a café menu, it can seem silly to brew a measly cup of black coffee in the morning. Choosing the right drink for your morning may seem more intimidating than it needs to be, said Alison Tirmonia, who recently included a home coffee bar in her kitchen after seeing them all over Pinterest.
“If you look around, there are actually still some drinks you can make at home that aren’t just a plain cup of coffee,” said Tirmonia, “my favorite creation is a mocha coffee. All you need to do is add some chocolate powder to your coffee grounds!”
The easiest coffee drink to make at home is coffee with some cream and sugar, however, if you’re looking to spice up your drink there are several recipes online to create a specialty drink in your own home, said Magill. “On the weekends, I enjoy taking the time to create my own latte at home by steaming milk and adding it to my coffee,” said Magill.
The Home Coffee Bar Experience
Now that you have your bean to cup coffee machine from Kitchen Home, coffee and signature drink picked out, it’s time to get brewing and back to enjoying your morning coffee!