Our top 10 items for getting your home kitted out, coffee style – get the most out of your brewing
We don’t know about you, but it’s been a long old time that we’ve sat and enjoyed our favourite beverage in a sit down coffee shop. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all about the takeaway (and Seven Districts is very much open for you to get your coffee on the go!), but sometimes you want to chill in a comfortable chair and stare out the window, sipping your coffee, give or take a few screaming kids resisting homeschooling and/or crying babies. While we can’t welcome you with open arms to our cosy nook at the coffee house, what we can do is share with you our top items for kitting out your home to be the closest it can be to a barista level coffee shop. We’ve even been kind enough to link you to our favourites of each item! Aren’t you lucky.
You might know by now that there’s a huge variety in brewing methods, depending on the type of coffee you’re after as well as your budget. You can take a look at our variety of articles which explore how you can recreate your favourite beverage from cappuccino to espresso, americano and macchiato at home, within which there will be a recommended brewing method.
1.The Bean to Cup Espresso Machine
You’ll be well aware that the most common barista method of brewing is utilising an espresso machine. These can vary hugely in price, to the industrial machine which could put you back a few thousand, down to the at home piece of kit at a more moderately priced few hundred. This is definitely the most pricey of all your coffee items, so it’s very much an investment! We’ll link you to a variety here to suit several budgets, outlining why we love them.
£££ La Marozzo Linea Mini Espresso Machine
If you’re after the holy grail of espresso machines to use at home, we believe we’ve got the one for you. So much so that we stock it ourselves, and use the commercial version at the coffee house! The machine comes with dual boilers and an integrated brew group allowing the machine to offer temperature stability and a reduce environmental footprint. What’s not to love?
££ Sage SES990BSS the Oracle
If you’re wanting a fantastic piece of kit and have a decent budget to spend, we highly recommend the Sage Oracle. Fully automated, Sage’s espresso machine will give you any drink you’re after with just the touch of a button, bean to cup. Precise temperature, integrated burr grinder and optimal steam and water pressure all ensure you’ll get a fantastic brew. One word of warning is the level to which this is automated: if you’re a tired parent that’s fantastic news, though if you’re after something more handcrafted, you might find the machine does a little ‘too much’.
£ De’Longhi Magnifica
We think De’Longhi’s offering is a great compromise all round. While you might not get the power and gadgetry of Sage or La Marozzo Linea, you’ll get key functions and most importantly you’ll get a lovely brew. Included are a built in milk frother and integrated grinder, so you can buy your favourite whole beans and get them directly from your machine to your cup!
2.The French Press
If the thought of really splashing out on your espresso machine leaves you feeling a bit faint, or perhaps you’re still dabbling in the game, a french press (also known as a cafetiere) is a powerful bit of kit that offers lots of opportunity for a great at home brew. In fact, we’ve outlined our top tips for getting an espresso out of a french press in this article(link), and in several of our articles on how to make particularly well known beverages, there is an optional adjustment for brewing with a french press. As with the espresso machines, there’s a real variety in what you can get based on your budget.
£££ Le Creuset Stoneware Caffetiere
Le Creuset is a well known brand for a reason, and our top choice is based on not just the quirky looks, but the exceeding durability of this clever offering. This baby is dishwasher and microwave safe, so if you forget you’ve brewed and you’ve even surpassed the insulated offering of this all bells and whistles caffeitere, you can even give it a zap to get it back!
££ La Cafetière Edited Thermique Insulated
A beautifully designed piece of kit which will cover you for 3 cups of jo for those deadlines and hazy eyed mornings. What we love about the thermique is its thermal lining, meaning you’re not rushing around to get your coffee poured and drank before it goes cold. It’ll keep the contents warm and the outside cold, meaning inquisitive little hands won’t get burnt, and you’ll probably even get to drink it warm even if you forgot about it for 45 minutes!
£ Bodum Cafeteria
You can’t go too far wrong with a Bodum. A well known brand for simple and functional design, Bodum creates a mean little piece of kit that will give you plenty of opportunity for perfecting your brew. The plastic handle and lid protect the user from heat, though this baby isn’t insulated like the Thermique, so get it drank quickly!
While the french press and espresso machine are arguably the most common brewing methods, they aren’t alone. We’re particularly fond of the Aeropress and dripper methods too. You can read our articles all about how to use these pieces of kit here and here respectively (link).
3. Aerobie Aeropress
An Aeropress is a pretty recent invention, and is a great little piece of kit to add to your repertoire. The aeropress utilises air pressure for the extraction process and does so seriously quickly. You’re looking at just a 90 seconds to get yourself the perfect, uniform brew! If you’re after using your freshly ground coffee with minimum effort but maximum taste, this one’s your bag.
4. Hario V60 Coffee Dripper
Another revelation is getting your coffee from ground beans to steaming cup of jo, this highly inexpensive brewing method offers a gloriously slow-made brew with offers smooth flavour. We think it’s a rather nice mindful activity to watch the coffee droplets come together in your cup. You’ll also need V60 filter papers to use the coffee dripper, though these are also very inexpensive.
Perfecting the brew
If you haven’t got a built in thermometer on an espresso machine, then you’re definitely going to want one of these to ensure your homemade cappuccino, latte and macchiato have the foam you’re after. Achieving the right foam has a lot to do with the right temperature of the milk pre-froth! There are two varieties here, digital and analogue.
Digital: Melarqt Digital Thermometer
We like the Melarqt thermometer for its ease of use as well as handy storage solution. As thermometers like this can be used for other food stuffs as well as milk temperature, they are pretty long. If you are a tad clumsy or have small people running around, a large metal stick can be a little terrifying! This one has a retractable stick, so the fear is somewhat abated, and it’s easier to store in your cutlery draw.
Analogue: Kitchen Craft Stainless Steel Milk Thermometer
A budget friendly option, this thermometer does just what it says on the packet! This also comes with a stand to ensure your fingers aren’t burnt when taking your milk temperature.
6. Steel jug
To go with your thermometer and non machine brewing method or to accompany your in-built milk frother in your espresso machine, you’ll need a stainless steel jug for heating your milk and frothing it. There’s some serious gadgetry available here, but we’ve picked our more simple budget friendly variation and also our all bells and whistles favourite.
£ Anpro Milk Jug
This one is exactly what it says on the jug (get it?). A simple stainless steel offering that will get you precisely where you need to be. Sipping a coffee on your favourite armchair!
££ Dailyart Stainless Steel Pitcher with Temperature Gage
We’ve got to say, this is pretty cool. Remove the need to buy a separate thermometer with this pitcher which includes a temperature gage at the bottom! How cool is that!
7. Milk frother
If you are sans espresso machine and plan to make your favourite foamy beverages, you will definitely be in need of one of these gadgets. These again vary dependant on budget, but usually come in either a handheld variety, like a mini whisk, which relies on you having a jug or similar to mix the milk in, or in a standalone automated frother
£ CoffeeSG Handheld Milk Frother
The cheaper of the two options but still a great choice, this automated whisk will turn your coffee from standard to marvellous in a few minutes!
££ HadinEEon Automated Milk Frother
If standing holding your whisk in place sounds like a bit too much effort, forgo the manual effort and pour your milk straight into this clever automated version and you’ll have velvety right through to fully foamed milk in a few moments.
8. Burr grinder
As we mentioned in our ‘Grinding Coffee 101’ article, a burr grinder is a must if you want to utilise fresh whole coffee beans without a bean to cup espresso machine. As with most electronic pieces of kit, these can vary in price substantially, so here are a few options.
£££ Sage BCG820BSSUK the Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Grinder
If you’re after every option under the sun, the Sage Smart Grinder will give you huge variety in automated grinding. Even better, it will grind directly into your porta filter if you have an espresso machine without the grinding option.
£ De’Longhi Coffee Grinder
With a decent grain capacity and seventeen different grind size settings, this grinder will do all that you need to get your beans from whole to fine grain, course grain and most things in between.
So now you know about pretty much all you could possibly need to get the perfect home brew, whatever your beverage of choice, you have to add in a few creature comforts. We have two final top items to bring the coffee house to you. If you haven’t already, check out our article on what to look for when buying a coffee grinder.
9. A good mug
We couldn’t not reference our in house coffee mugs. When you can’t come and sit in our fabulous leather bound chairs and cosy benches, at least you can sip your coffee with our lovely logo in front of you, to remind you of better days, and better ones to come!
10. Coffee syrups
As much as we love coffee in its purest form in order to explore the different flavours of our beans, sometimes you need a sugary pick me up without the carb factor. A good coffee syrup will do you right!
Monin Premium Coffee Syrup Set
You will likely be familiar with the look of Monin’s coffee syrups, as they’re pretty commonly used in coffee chains. If you’re wanting a quick sugar fix, these guys are a great start.
So, there you have it! We can’t wait to welcome you back to the coffee house, but in the mean time, enjoy the coffee experience at home with our recommended coffee items. Happy brewing!