Making espresso at home can be a fun challenge. Who doesn’t love being able to access coffee as soon as they are up?! As much as we adore going into Belle Surf for some delicious coffee, it’s also very important to have a tasty coffee station at home. We have created a little guide for accessories, tips and tricks for your at home espresso setup for everyone. Having a complete espresso setup, will make things much easier…especially if you are new to making coffee. Sometimes equipment can be unreliable, and the espresso difficult to troubleshoot with taste. Here are some of the things we recommend:
First, you will need an espresso machine! There are a few things you might want to consider before purchasing one. What is your overall budget? What type of coffee drinks do you prefer? How much space do you have? Last but not least, frequency and quantity of drinks is something to consider as well.
Here is a simple way to decide what type of machine you will need:
- Large milk drinks – Duel boiler or heat exchanger machine
- Straight espresso / Americano – Single boiler machine
Read more about espresso machine types by boiler here.
If you are looking more on the budget side to get started, Amazon has some great deals that will do the trick until you are ready to take the plunge on a fancy machine!
Now, if you are going to use a grinder you definitely need a scale! This will help you weigh your coffee beans so that you have the perfect measurement being ground. 6-8 grams of ground beans is equivalent to one espresso shot. 15 grams of ground beans is that of two espresso shots. Scales can also be useful for doing Pour-over coffee, or other things around the kitchen.
Tampers are tools used to pack espresso grounds down evenly before pulling a shot. You are basically taking the grounds from being loose into tight and compressed. When pulling a shot, pressurized water is sent through the portafilter and into the coffee ground-filled basket. If those grounds are left in a loose pile, the water shoots right through them, often finding cracks or the easiest route possible and avoiding more difficult sections. This is far from ideal for picking up the full flavor of the coffee beans.
If you are one who will be steaming milk for drinks, you will need a milk pitcher. Making creamy steamed milk is idea in order to make your latte perfection. Rattlewear milk pitchers are designed to help the milk swirl rapidly, which encourages a finer microfoam and smoother texture. They also feature a pouring spout that makes it easier to get crisp latte art. ( oh yes, you will be doing art in no time! )
Are you in love with your espresso machine? We love taking great care of ours. One way to extend its lifespan is to keep it clean! All you have to do is dissolve some powder in hot water and soak your machine’s dispersion screen and portafilter in it. You can then take some of the water and wipe down your grouphead with it or do a few backflushes. Easy!
Let’s not forget, the shot glasses! These are wonderful little 2 oz measuring glasses that baristas use. This makes your life much easier. You will be able to measure and stop your shot exactly where it’s supposed to be. This way the espresso is perfectly strong and creamy. Measuring it will help you make sure not to water it down!
Which coffee can be used for espresso? How about a bag of our organic Belle Surf blend coffee! You can really use any type of roast for your espresso machine. However, the best results will come with a dark roast or French roast. These roasts will give you the taste and consistency you expect from an espresso. If you prefer a lighter roast, go with a medium roast.
We hope these tips for a successful at home espresso setup for everyone are helpful! If you need some fun accessories for your kitchen, come check our cafe out! We have some locally crafted tea towels, coffee mugs, and more! You can also see our baristas hard at work behind our beautiful La Marzocco coffee machine.