Now that coffee shop culture is growing in the UK, there is more demand for barista-style coffee without having to go out. Plus, we’ve all been spending more time in our homes over the last year. So, Mike Hardman from the kitchen equipment experts, Alliance Online, will walk you through how to elevate your home coffee station, so you can get that barista brew.
Recent research by the British Coffee Association found that coffee culture is growing in the UK. While we Brits have always gone for instant coffee over brewing our own pots at home, we are increasingly trying roast and ground, filtered coffee, and coffee pods.
One of the things that has come with the increased interest in coffee shops in the UK, has been the desire to create barista-quality beverages in our own kitchens. Many people are exploring home coffee stations with cafetieres, coffee machines, and filters.
Whatever you have in your home coffee setup, there are lots of ways to elevate it. So, how do you make your very own coffee station as good as your high street café?
- Set the scene
Decide where you’ll travel every time you have your morning coffee — will you go to Italy, or New York, or the English countryside? Then, have this reflected in the décor and colours that you choose for your mugs, decorations, shelves and coffee-making equipment.
If you want to conjure an English countryside café theme, try blue and white ceramics and wooden shelving. For New York, find some stylish, minimal cups, and for Italy, opt for an espresso cup set and perhaps even a coffee machine. The theme you choose will be a useful anchor when creating your dream coffee station, and will help you pull everything together with your décor choices.
- Find the right equipment
The first thing you’ll need for your perfect cup of coffee, is the right equipment to make it with. The type of equipment you need will depend a lot on what kind of coffee you enjoy making and drinking. You might want a cafetiere, a French press, an espresso machine or an aero press.
Think about how you like your coffee, and the preferences of anyone that you live with. Then, buy the pieces of equipment that will let you make them perfectly. You could also go for a coffee machine, which will allow you to make a whole host of drinks easily, quickly and without much cleaning up. There are a variety of coffee machines on the market, and lots of choices in how much to pay, and how many functions you want. If you go for a coffee machine, take your time in finding the right one for you.
- Syrups and other ingredients
When you go out to grab your favourite coffee, there are extra ingredients that elevate the drink beyond just espresso and milk. So decide if you’re going to explore syrups, sprinkles, liqueurs or spices.
Cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom add a warming flavour to your drink and are particularly suitable for winter. Syrups can be used to make sweet lattes and iced coffees, and liqueurs can allow you to expand your barista skills into espresso martinis and Irish coffees. Marshmallows and cocoa powder can turn a simple drink like a flat white into something much more special.
Other ingredients that you might explore include vanilla extract, cocoa nibs, ginger, lavender (it actually goes well with bright, citrus-infused coffees), and star anise. Collect all the exciting flavours that you want to try, and make them a part of your morning brew.
- Think about storage
It’s important to be able to store your coffee so that it stays fresh, and is easy to get to when you want to make a brew. You can store ground coffee in an air-tight jar. Lots of people store ground coffee in the fridge, but this isn’t necessary. All it needs is a cool, dark place.
If you want your coffee as fresh as possible, then you should ideally grind the beans just before brewing. However, this isn’t always possible, and keeping ground coffee around is extremely convenient. So, just store it away from heat and light, and keep coffee beans in the same fashion. This will ensure the coffee stays as fresh as possible.
- Add some decorations
When you’ve got everything else together, it’s time to add some finishing touches to your home coffee station. Take some little “coffee” signs, or add some pretty shelving to the walls to display your drinks equipment and ingredients.
You might also want to display your collection of mugs and glassware, so it looks like a smaller version of your favourite café. Lots of people use little chalkboards to create their own coffee menus, and list the types of coffee beans they have chosen. You can also find matching accessories such as coffee jars and tins, milk jugs, mugs, and espresso cups. Matching or coordinating accessories will give that professional look to your coffee bar.
Setting up a home coffee station is a great way to wake yourself up in the morning with a brew, and can make working from home more exciting too. So, think about your favourite ways to drink coffee, and then grab the right equipment, ingredients and decorations. You could even have a coffee morning for your household when it’s all put together! Click here for some more great ideas, this time with chocolate!