While we write this article, it seems like working from home is going to be an ongoing routine for some.
So, why not take this time to learn how to make your own speciality coffees at home?
You don’t need an expensive machine
If you’re just getting started with speciality coffee-making at home then there’s no need for an espresso maker or other expensive equipment.
While you might not be able to fully ‘texture the milk’ without a machine – you can get somewhat close to the real thing with just a few simple steps.
Let’s look at how you can make some common beverages at home.
If you can get your hands on a few basic pieces of kit however you will be able to make some of the drinks below with a lot less effort.
Here are some of the devices to consider:
- A stove top espresso maker
- A standalone espresso machine
- A battery-powered milk frother/foamer (a manual or electric hand whisk can also do a reasonable job)
- A decent coffee press or drip-fed brewing system
In the recipes below we’ve explained how each of the component parts can be made at home with equipment like this, but you can also try experimenting with basic items in the house like jusg and saucepans.
Making an Espresso at home
First up the simple espresso – strong and intense coffee usually served in small quantities, and the base for many other recipes.
Obviously the simplest way to make one is with an espresso machine, but that isn’t always an option at home.
Alternatively you could use strong coffee from a hand press, just be careful to select beans suitable for an espresso-like taste and strength.
Have a look at our range of strong coffees.
Latte, cappuccino and macchiato
We’ll deal with these three together as they’re all made from the same constituents, just in different ratios.
The three parts are; steamed milk, espresso and milk foam, and they can all be balanced to suit your taste.
The latte has the most steamed milk, the cappuccino a bit less and the macchiato has hardly any, or sometimes none at all.
If you can make espresso (as explained above) then steamed milk can be easily replaced with hot milk.
Then for the foam, simply shake some milk in a sealed clean bottle or jar and then microwave it for a few seconds and you have warm, foamy milk to add to your coffee – easy!
For vegan alternatives, have a read of our best milk alternatives for vegan coffees article here.
A traditional mocha is basically a cappuccino (or latte, depending on your preference) that has been made using Mocha coffee beans, which are originally from Yemen.
These beans have a distinct chocolatey flavour that give the mocha its well-known taste.
However, in coffee shops a little bit of hot chocolate is usually added to enhance that flavour – and this is just how you can make the drink at home for yourself!
Again, adjust your ratios of espresso and milk to suit your tastes and also try out different amounts of hot chocolate until you’re happy with your recipe.
You can also grate a little chocolate on top for added taste.
A flat white is a little more difficult to make at home.
It is characterised by a creamy, velvety texture that is created by so-called ‘micro-foamed’ milk.
This milk is usually included to espresso in a ratio of 2:1 (that is, twice as much milk than espresso).
If you don’t have a milk frothing or foaming device then it might take some practice to get milk that is as foamy as possible but with small bubbles.
Keep shaking up the milk, as described earlier, and then carefully folding the surface bubbles to the base of the milk in between stints in the microwave.
It might take some practice, but if you love flat white then you know it will be worth it!
Iced coffee recipes
A refreshing iced coffee is a real treat on a hot summer’s day – and is easy to make at home.
There are a few different ways to make iced coffee:
- Add ice to a cooled coffee – though this does water it down a little.
- Make coffee, let it cool, add it to an ice cube tray and freeze. Then, when you want to enjoy your drink, simply pour a small cup of milk, add a few coffee ice cubes to it and enjoy once it has melted a little.
- Similar to the previous method, but this time freeze the milk instead. Just be sure that you let the coffee cool to room temperature before adding the frozen milk, otherwise you just end up with a lukewarm coffee!
You can add sugar and syrups at any stage to enhance the taste – though it is usually easier to add solid sugars to one of the constituents while still hot to make sure it dissolves.
The long black is a style of coffee created in Italy to suit overseas customers used to bigger cups of black coffee.
Traditionally only espresso and cappuccino were served in Italy so when tourists started asking for a black coffee (expecting filter coffee in a large mug) all that was on offer was espresso, so they needed to adapt the recipe.
To make a long black simply make an espresso, or double espresso, and add extra hot water to taste.
Use good quality beans and you can easily create a tasty alternative to black filter coffee that is that bit extra special.
Enjoy your coffee at home!
Let’s face it, when you’re at home the same rules don’t really apply and most of us won’t be crafting barista-style masterpieces like our coffee shop usually serves.
But you can still make a great cup of java at home and also have some fun perfecting a recipe that suits you, and hopefully some of these tips help.
All the best trying them out!