For many, the highlight of the day is easily that first sip of coffee. From the aroma and the warmth to the complexity of the flavour, and let’s not forget about the jolt of caffeine, it’s a ritual and a critical step to start the day. But now that most of us are working from home, and trips to the local coffee shop are limited, enjoying a well-brewed cup of coffee helps you find a sense of normalcy — something we could all surely use right now. If you’re itching for a properly brewed cup of coffee, read on to learn about everything you need to be the ultimate coffee barista in your own home.
Whole bean coffee
First things first, let’s talk about the beans: the most crucial element. For coffee as rich and flavourful as what you’d get in your local cafe, opt for whole beans to grind at home. Buying whole beans as opposed to ground ones helps keep the coffee fresh longer. We recommend reaching for a locally-made bean, like Toronto-based Pilot Roaster’s Coffee’s Las Palmas – El Volcan, Columbia blend.
Coffee experts will argue that to make a great cup of coffee, a good burr grinder is easily more important than the brewer or the actual coffee beans. The Baratza Encore is a great option, as it’s reliable and delivers the high-quality grind needed to make the perfect cup of drip or French press coffee.
A French press is one of the easiest ways to make a rich cup of coffee at home. If you love the taste of freshly pressed coffee, but seriously dread the coffee ground clean-up — the Bodum Chambord French Press is a game-changer — especially if you are a casual coffee drinker. It’s easy to clean and use and it makes a balanced, rich cup of coffee with little muddiness.
If you’re looking for a simple way to brew your coffee, a pour-over is a great option, as they give you complete control over your cup. We love Fellow’s Stagg EKG Electric Kettle, as it offers a Variable temperature control, a precision pour spout, a brew stopwatch, and a stunning, minimalist design, so you can brew a ridiculously good cup of coffee every time.
The one-stop-shop espresso machine
While you definitely don’t need a world-class espresso machine to enjoy coffee at home, if you happen to be looking for a one-stop-shop machine that can tackle a latte or Americano or anything espresso-based, a luxe espresso machine may be just what you’re after. We recommend De’Longhi’s La Specialista semi-automatic espresso machine. Not only does it make consistently delicious, café-quality beverages, but it’s also easy to use and can be adjusted based on your preferences. Plus, it has a built-in grinder and frother, so you’re getting more bang for your buck.
If you’re looking for a smooth cup of coffee, a Chemex is the way to go. It’s easy to use — all you do is place beans into a filter and pour hot water over them — and you’re guaranteed the smoothest cup you’ve tasted.
A milk frother
If you’re looking to elevate your cup of joe, the best way to do it is with a milk frother. While some espresso machines have milk frothers built-in, this one from Nespresso is a great stand-alone option. It lets you create creamy froth for your favourite pick-me-up at the touch of a button. Just add hot or cold milk to the glass container up to the fill line, set the lid on top, press the button, and let the frother do all the work for you. The end result? Fluffy goodness.
Coffee storage container
To ensure ultimate freshness and to preserve flavour, you need to store your coffee in an airtight container where the beans won’t be exposed to heat, light, moisture or oxygen. We recommend the Atmos Vacuum Canister from Fellow as it has an integrated vacuum pump in the lid which removes oxygen to keep your coffee from going stale.
If you’re looking for a simple yet classy cup that fits your espresso machine, Sweese’s 2-ounce espresso cups are perfect. They’re colourful, come with saucers, and feature a sturdy porcelain wall that retains heat. Using these will leave you feeling as if you’re sipping espresso at your favourite cafe.
The perfect mug
The perfect cup of coffee starts and ends with the right mug. We love this mug from Indigo that’s crafted from satin glazed porcelain and finished with a pink heart-shaped handle that’ll leave you smiling with every sip.