If you have a coffee grinder (we'd recommend a burr grinder) it's best to buy whole beans and grind as and when you need them. The coarseness of the grind has a big impact on flavour, so start by grinding to a fine, sand-like texture, see if you like it, then gradually try more coarse grinds until you find the right one for your pallette. We'd recommend Cafe Direct's Espresso Blend whole beans for a delicate raisin aftertaste.
It's no problem if you don't have a grinder. Choose a ground coffee like this medium roast from Bristot - this is what we use in our stores.
For maximum flavour and to prevent it from going stale, make sure you store your ground coffee and beans in an air-tight container.
If you’re like us, oat m*lk holds a special place in our hearts. Minor Figures Oat and Oatly Barista froth up really well, but we’ve got plenty of other plant-based m*lks to experiment with, from hemp seed to tiger nut.
Look at the fat and protein content. The higher the amount of fat, the bigger the mouthfeel and perceived sweetness. Higher levels of protein makes for better froth.
If you don’t have an espresso or coffee machine, here are some alternative ways to get you a shot of coffee.
The classic stovetop espresso maker uses the pressure of steam to extract the coffee, and is probably the best way to get an espresso like coffee at home. Remember to keep the stove temperature low to medium as boiling too quickly will result in extracting more bitter flavours. Learn how to brew with one here:
The Aeropress uses pressure to extract the flavour of the coffee and is great for making a quick espresso style coffee at home. This video tutorial goes through the different brews you can make with this piece of kit.
It won’t taste as strong due to the lack of pressure, but you can make a concentrated coffee in a French press by using a lot less water than normal and leaving to brew. This video gives exact measurements:
If you don’t have any of the above, you could make a really concentrated instant-coffee, using around 50ml of water and a teaspoon of granules.
Luckily there are plenty of ways to froth milk without a steaming wand.
- On the hob. Heat up the milk of your choice in a pan on the hob, Once it’s hot (but not boiling) start to whisk until it works up into a foam.
- In the microwave. Pour your milk into a jar with a lid, leaving at least half of the jar empty. Screw the lid on tightly, then shake it like you’re mixing a cocktail for 30 seconds, until the milk is foamy. Microwave for 40 second, until it’s hot.
- Using a French Press. Pour wamed milk into the French press, leaving plenty of space for froth, then push and pull the plunger up and down through the milk continuously for a minute or so. Once it's frothy, you can even create latte art with it.
For the ultimate coffee-shop experience, warm up your mug by filling it with a splash of boiling water, leaving it for 30 seconds, then tossing the water away before filling up with coffee. It’ll keep your coffee hot.