At-Home Coffee Corner Essentials

April 30, 2021 5 min read

Les essentiels d’un coin café à la maison - Café Barista

Our at-home coffee routine is becoming an increasingly important part of our lives. We take the time to carefully select our coffee, paying attention to the quality, the roast, and its origins. We want to know the best techniques to taste all of the flavours within, and carefully select the tools we’ll use to make each cup of coffee; espresso, latte, or filter coffee.

However, it is easy to get lost in all the different machines and accessory options on the market. So here we have provided you a short guide of the essentials to have in your coffee corner so you can make the most of your coffee experience from the comfort of your own home!

Choosing Good Coffee

The coffee is your raw material, so it is crucial to choose high-quality beans which are appropriately roasted for the method you will be using to prepare it. If you have an espresso machine at home, look for a medium-dark roast, which will extract better, and above all, for the most beautiful extraction be sure to choose an espresso blend. If you prefer filter coffee, decide on whether you prefer darker roasts, which make a more intense coffee with stronger grilled notes, or lighter roasts, which are generally fruitier or more acidic.

Regardless of your taste preferences, it is important to choose the proper grind to prepare your coffee, because even with a delicious high-quality coffee, if you have the wrong grind it can turn into a disaster. These are the basics, but also the essentials for an at-home coffee corner.

For all our technical tips on:

Above all, don’t forget to choose a milk or plant-based beverage to go with your coffee! You can find our complete plant-based beverage guide here!

coffee beans
latte


Choosing a Coffee Cup

When it comes to choosing a coffee cup to take with you in the morning, there are virtually infinite possibilities! However, there are two things to consider when choosing a coffee cup for maximum enjoyment.

First you need to know what type of coffee you like to drink, because the quantity of liquid will influence the cup size. If you like to drink espressos, it is better to choose a small, specially designed espresso cup, because if it’s too big your drink will cool down quickly. So, be sure to determine your favourite beverages before you shop for your coffee cups!

Next, it is important to choose a cup made of a material that will retail heat well so that you can enjoy your coffee while it’s hot.

Also check out our tips on how to choose the perfect cup!

espresso extraction in a cup


The Machine

Obviously coffee machines have the place of honour in a coffee corner, and they are essential to making the most of high-quality coffees.

If you love espresso, and espresso-based beverages like lattes or cappuccinos, you have to carefully choose a machine and grinder by first determining your needs and your budget.

Check out our tips on how to choose an espresso machine at a variety of different price points!

If you prefer filter coffees, there are a lot of good manual brewing systems options which will allow you to bring out all of the flavours in your coffee so you can drink high-quality filter coffee! In particular, consider the Chemex, a French press, a dripper or portafilter, the AeroPress, or even the moka pot.

espresso and coffee grinder

dripper


Accessories for Espresso Lovers

To accompany your selected machine, you will need to choose from a ton of accessories to also go in your coffee corner. If you have an espresso machine, here are the small accessories that will make your life easier and allow you to make a wide variety of espresso-based drinks.

A Mat

To avoid getting coffee everywhere and damaging the counter of your coffee corner, a silicone mat is ideal and provides good stability when using a tamper to level and tamp your coffee.

A Tamper

The tamper is a must-have accessory, because it allows you to tamp the ground coffee in your portafilter and level it before extracting the espresso.

A Knock Box

All good coffee corners should have a knock box to collect the leftover coffee grounds from the portafilter after extraction. This knock box will allow you to quickly empty your portafilter in one quick motion. Did you know that there are several everyday ways to reuse your coffee grounds?

A Brush

After emptying the coffee grounds from your portafilter, it is very practical to have a brush to use to clean up the remaining coffee from your portafilter after hitting it against the knock box.

A Scale

A scale is a must-have when preparing great coffee, whether you prefer espresso, brewed, or filter coffee. It allows you to calculate the ratios of ground coffee versus the liquid in your finished beverage. Finally, it will also be your friend when you are adjusting your grinder to calculate the quantities of ground coffee. In this short video clip, we show you how to program an espresso dose.

A Thermometer

To help you get the right temperature, and avoid burning your milk when you froth it, a thermometer can be a very useful accessory to add to your list.

A Frothing Pitcher

If you like to drink cortados, macchiatos, lattes, or cappuccinos, a frothing pitcher is a necessity for your at-home coffee corner. When it comes to making latte art designs the spout shape is not as important as simply making sure that your frothing pitcher does indeed have a spout; otherwise you won’t be able to make the beautiful designs in your coffee that you want.

We also recommend that you choose a frothing pitcher that will retain heat well.

To learn how to froth your milk like a real barista and make latte art, check out our complete latte art video tutorial playlist here!

latte art being made


Accessories for Filter Coffee Lovers

In addition to a scale to precisely calculate the ratios and quantities of ground coffee, it is critical for filter coffee lovers to have the complementary accessories to prepare their coffee, such as coffee filters. Whether you choose paper filters or reusable filters made of cloth or another material, the important things is to ensure that they are the right size and compatible with the system you are using.

Another incredibly practical, but not necessary, accessory for your coffee corner is a kettle. With it you will be able to have hot water within arm’s reach and ready within minutes.

Reading to Perfect Your Coffee Skills

It is always practical to have technical instructions nearby when you try new beverages, practice latte art, or when you can’t remember the ratio. This is why it can be very useful to have a few books, like the Barista Guide and/or The Guide to Latte Art (both in French only), in your coffee corner. If you have a question, just open the book and off you go!

Finally, regardless of how big your coffee corner is, the important thing is to choose the accompanying items that will meet your needs; the goal is to enjoy good coffee and to have a good time while making it.

two barista coffee books


Add some small touches to your coffee corner that reflect your personality, like a small plant, a poster, a cute sugar bowl, or even a jar of caramels to pair with gourmet coffees! Put on a playlist with your favourite music and have fun trying out drinks and latte art. Let yourself get creative! Taking time to make coffee and enjoy it is simple, but it is also a special little routine that can create so much happiness!




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