Barista Coffee in Your Home
For me, the perfect day starts like this:
- I wake up naturally five minutes before the alarm, feeling refreshed
- I jump out of bed and spring straight into the shower
- Feeling refreshed and cleansed, I make a healthy breakfast
- I brew the perfect coffee
- Reading the news, I enjoy my breakfast and my delicious coffee
- I dive into my work for the day, with a smile on my face and a glint in my eye
As you can probably guess, the above list was created with my tongue firmly placed within my cheek. The truth of the matter is that none of those steps actually occur for me – except one.
I am not what you would call an early bird. I struggle getting out of bed and until about noon all of my movements could be described more as “lumbering” rather than “springing”, at least until I completely wake-up. The one thing that gets me through this into a functional state is that every morning I get to enjoy some damn good coffee.
I cannot underestimate the effect that a good cup of coffee does for me in the morning. Taking those few minutes to enjoy a deliciously rich brew never fails to put a smile on my face, even if I just crawled out of bed. Not only do I get the physical benefits of a hit of caffeine, I also get the taste buds satisfied and get off to a positive start for the day. How do I get all this? I brew my own coffee at home, and best of all, it’s completely cost effective.
Enjoying great coffee is one of life’s simple pleasures. From the first sip to the last, a great coffee will elevate your morning, improve your mood and help you get on with the day’s tasks. It’s one of the few luxuries that are readily available that doesn’t cost the earth. It can turn a basic breakfast into a luxurious one and a rough morning into a tolerable one.
Obviously good coffee from either a coffee shop or brewed at home will never compete with instant coffee on price, and nor should it. Instant coffee has its place in the world much like cheap beer and wine. It’s there when we’re in a rush or have budget constraints. However I think you’ll agree with me that “instant” and “good” rarely, if ever, go together.
I’ve had the fortune to work near some amazing coffee shops in my career. Surprisingly some of these have been the type of venue that is primarily for office workers in the building lobby, however the barista has shown a passion for the trade and knows what they’re doing. From sourcing the beans, to roasting them to perfection, then precisely brewing for optimal flavour and aroma, the barista never failed to impress. In those cases, I was always keen to get to the office!
Unfortunately that scenario is a rarity. Most of us do not have access to a passionate barista downstairs, down the street or even in the same neighbourhood. What about those of us who travel frequently or work from home? Oftentimes Starbucks or <insert generic coffee chain here> is the best we can get. But there is an alternative – one that you can use in your own home, your office, or even when travelling (at least, in a hotel – don’t brew and drive).
Enjoying good coffee is one of life’s simple pleasures. It’s one of the few luxuries that are readily available that doesn’t cost the earth.
Specialised coffee start-ups, like Pact Coffee in the UK, are springing up in many countries around the world. They are all working on one premise – bringing good coffee straight to you, and often at exceptionally reasonable prices. These start-ups are sourcing, roasting and grinding their coffee and tailoring this process to your tastes and your brewing equipment. Working on subscription models, you can tailor what coffee you want and how frequently you want it delivered. In this way, it’s always available fresh and you have no leftovers that can go off.
Which brings us to the brewing equipment. It turns out that you don’t need a ridiculously expensive espresso machine to make great coffee. In fact there’s an abundance of choices out there for the home or office. The one thing they require is a little bit more time – and by this I mean it’ll take you a few minutes rather than a few seconds like in a coffee shop. Sans queueing, of course!
Let’s start with my personal favourite, the Aeropress. Invented by the guy behind Aerobie products like the Frisbee (true story!), this device creates espresso-like coffee in as little as 30 seconds. If you’re like me and prefer your coffee a bit stronger, a brewing time of 1:30 is recommended. At around £28 for one of these, you can’t go wrong and they should last you a good few years. Look into investing into a metal filter rather than the disposable paper ones for a further time and cost saving.
Following-on is the Hario V60. An increasingly popular device that is often given away as introductions into the third wave of coffee brewing. Starting at £20, it’s clear why it’s at the introductory end of the scale, but in my opinion is a bit too fiddly and time-consuming to repeat every morning (or multiple times each morning). Still a great investment for minimal cost, especially if you can pick one up for free!
Finally there’s the venerable Chemex. Having been around since the 1940s, it seems to be having a bit of a revival amongst trendy coffee shops worldwide – and for good reason! Best used for making two or more cups of coffee, it similarly has a brewing time of one to two minutes. Starting at around £40, plus the cost of filters, this one will set you back for an initial investment. However given there’s no actual moving parts or anything else that can wear out, this is an investment for a lifetime.
There are of course many many other devices such as the classic French press and Italian cafetiere. These I consider to be well-known enough not to discuss here. Still, they are also a great way to brew amazing coffee in your home and are worth a search in your spare time.
For a truly amazing comparison, the cost per coffee to do this at home rather than your local coffee shop is a simple no-brainer. Working on a very conservative £2.00 for a simple black coffee (or Americano as we call it in the UK) at your local shop, we can compare that with what we can do at home. Working on the assumption that we have an Aeropress and drink one cup of coffee per working day, the sums look like this:
Working days in the UK x conservative coffee price = total annual price
261 x £2 = £522
Aeropress + bi-weekly coffee subscription for the year (26) = total annual price
£28 + ( 26 x £6.95 ) = £208.70
To save over £300 a year for (arguably) more convenient and (undeniably) better coffee seems like a good deal to me. No more need to suffer instant coffee, or to schlep it to the local coffee chain and stand in queues while paying a fortune. Get great coffee delivered to your door (home or office) and enjoy whenever you want!