Friday, September 27, 2013

Become Your Own Barista and Save

When looking to tighten their budget, many people are advised to cut out unnecessary luxuries. These luxuries often include the morning latte grabbed on the way to work. It’s true that coffee shops can offer up hugely overpriced drinks, and your daily cappuccino could be adding up to a fair sum at the end of the month, especially if you’re often tempted to throw in flavoured syrups or make it a large for what seems like only a few pence extra. For many, however, their daily coffee is more necessity than luxury. Don’t lose all hope and turn to that awful cup of instant; learn how to be your own barista and make delicious drinks for yourself in the comfort of your own home.

It’s totally unnecessary to spend thousands on fancy equipment in order to make great coffee at home. Even a basic drip coffeemaker can brew up a decent cup, and small pump espresso machines which can make lattes as good as Starbucks are available online at very reasonable prices; certainly a solid investment given the potential savings you could accrue by making your own coffee. There's no point taking out payday loans to fund your coffee habit if you can make the same thing for 10% of the price at home. You have the option of either buying pre-ground coffee or beans and a grinder. Grinders are easy to find at cheap prices, but you may find pre-ground coffee quicker and more convenient if you’re going to be brewing up before work in the early hours. If you do choose to grind your own beans, be sure to grind them as finely as possible, as coarsely ground beans can make for watery and weak shots due to the water running through the press too quickly. The finer the grind, the stronger the flavour.

Follow some coffee aficionado tips to be sure that your cup tastes as good as the one you’d be ordering out. When it comes to storing your coffee, don’t be tempted to stick them in the fridge. The cold of the refrigerator will dry up the oils that keep the coffee tasting fresh and lose you some flavour. Instead, keep beans in an airtight container at room temperature, and make sure you use them as soon as possible for maximum taste. Mid-brew, stop and stir the grounds briefly; this will release more flavour and get the most out of your beans. Although leaving the coffee on the heat might seem logical, as you want to keep it hot, the taste will begin to be ruined if you leave it on the burner for too long, as chemicals are transformed into sour acids.

Experiment with flavours to create your favourite drink at home. If you’re a cinnamon fan, try adding a pinch to your grounds before you brew to give your cup an extra kick. This can be done with any spices that excite your taste buds, so play around to create the perfect customized cup. Mint leaves taste delicious in iced drinks and cost next to nothing to grow at home.

For many people, the pull into the big coffee chains comes with the promise of syrupy lattes with seasonal flavours as well as old favourites, be it vanilla, pumpkin or hazelnut. This can easily be achieved at home at a far lower cost. Syrups are available to buy online at really decent prices, on Amazon or from retailers selling primarily to coffee businesses. You can even buy the same syrups as in coffee shops; for instance Monin which is used by Costa. Shop around online to find the best price and you’ll save huge amounts when compared to the cost of adding syrups in a coffee shop. To get the measurements right, experiment with pumps until you find the right balance of flavour and sweetness for your drink to suit your taste preference. If your syrup doesn’t come with a built in pump, then just transfer the recommended pump amount to tablespoons, as this is usually roughly equivalent.

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