The question we get asked most often in the café? It has to be either ‘which is the best coffee machine for home’ or ‘how do I make my coffee taste like this at home’. You all want to know how to re-create the coffee shop experience at home and who can blame you? It’s certainly something we strive for.
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as some people would like. It is true that La Marzocco make a single group head version of our coffee machine and it is designed for home use but, with an over £3000 price tag – is this feasible for the average consumer? Never mind the fact that you’d need to have it serviced by a professional and disregarding the grinder can of worms that owning one of these simultaneously opens up.
As for the affordable machines – they are often difficult to use and/or yield substandard results due to pressure levels and lack of filtered water. ‘But what about pod machines?’ We hear you cry. Well, if you can get over the fact that the coffee is pre-ground and therefore all tends to share the same flavour profile of bland, old, caffeinated saw dust then there is the separate issue of the pods themselves. Nespresso pods, for example, are not widely recycled and will sit in landfill for eternity. Sure, you can return your used pods to a Nespresso retailer to be recycled – go for it, if this is your preferred method of making coffee at home them we implore you to do this.
So, you can see the issue when we are asked which machine is best for home – if you’re on a budget and/or don’t have the skills or wherewithal to maintain a high-end Italian machine then it doesn’t look great.
Alas, all is not lost! We wholeheartedly recommend that you get in to filter coffee. It’s fast, it’s easy and it can taste great if you follow a few simple steps. We have detailed all these steps, if you wish to know more, on our YouTube channel we have also done some ‘how to brew’ videos on our favourite brewing techniques.
The key steps to brewing coffee at home are outlined below:
Use filtered water. The PH level of your tap water will be affecting the taste of your coffee. Watch our video on water for coffee if you want more information but suggest either bottled water or getting yourself a filter jug.
We recommend that you consider investing in speciality coffee, most coffee roasters offer a coffee subscription service, which will deliver to your door.
Don’t buy pre-ground coffee. Just don’t. See our video on grind to learn more but, in a nutshell, breaking down coffee beans in to coffee grounds allows for faster reaction with oxygen (more surface area) and it will lose flavour much faster. We also go in to detail about grind size and where you should start based on your brew method.
Yes, there are many more factors that will affect the taste of your brew but if you take these three factors in to account next time you make a coffee we guarantee that you’ll notice a difference in flavour. There will be some cost incurred in order to get yourself set up to make great filter coffee at home but compared to the £3000+ necessary to emulate your favourite café’s flat white… it doesn’t look too bad does it?
Recommended water situation: We recommend Brita water filters, you can pick up a jug for around £20 and the replacement cartridges thereafter are £20 for a pack of 6. The cartridges are recyclable too.
Recommended coffee: We love Origin and highly recommend their coffee subscription services
Recommended grinder: We’ve had success with this Bodum home grinder
Recommended brew method: Well… for ease? Start with a V60 and see how you get on!