Whether you’re looking for a new hobby or you’re a coffee-drinking fanatic that is finally taking the plunge, the skill of making the perfect cup of coffee is the goal for any beginning barista.
Not only will you save lots of money compared to the expense of coffee house drinks but you’ll also take great pride in your caffeinated creations. Your cups of coffee will taste better to you, and it’ll become a skill that you’ll love to share with all of your family and friends — who will certainly be impressed with your coffee-making abilities.
Home Barista Meaning
What does it mean to be an at-home barista? What does it take? Being an at-home barista is a lot like being a professional that works in a coffee house — you’ll want to put as much effort into each cup as if someone were paying for it. However, you won’t have to wear a uniform and you won’t get a paycheck. Nevertheless, your at-home barista skills will pay off in many other ways.
Learning about beans and how to prepare them with expertise, along with professional-level presentation is what will set you apart as an at-home barista. Understandably, getting started can be overwhelming for any beginning barista, and you may not know where to start.
We’re here to give you all the tips you need with a beginner’s guide on how to become a barista. Unlike a professional barista, you won’t need to learn all about the history of coffee and other specialized techniques but even a barista beginner can learn a lot from researching coffee in general. This beginner barista guide will show you how to get started in six easy steps.
At-Home Barista Essentials
Every craftsperson knows that you have to have the right tools to create a work of art. In order to get started, we’ve made a basic list of essentials that every beginner barista should have when they start out.
Coffee Maker – Coffee makers come in a wide variety of options, including some that are manual and others that involve more complicated machinery. As a beginner barista, you still have several options to choose from that will most likely be within your budget.
Grinder – Because you should use whole coffee beans, you’re going to need to grind your beans in order to brew them. Coffee grinders either have a blade or a burr, which crushes beans between two surfaces.
Thermometer – The temperature of the water or milk that you use can make or break your cup of coffee’s flavor. Use a thermometer to make sure that the water that you use is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Kettle – In order to heat up water for coffee, you’ll need a kettle with a spout in order to pour more easily. As a beginner barista, this spout will help you learn to steady your hand.
Steam Wand – If you want to latte or add a frothy layer of milk on top of your coffee, a steam wand is the perfect accessory for taking your milk to an exciting new level.
How To Become A Barista At Home
Use Whole Coffee Beans
Packaged ground coffee beans might look appealing because they’re so convenient but because they are not fresh, they lack flavor. Your delicious cup of coffee starts with the beans so you should explore what is out there, as well as what kind of roast you prefer. Different kinds of roasts have their own unique flavors and aromas, so whether you stick with that perfect combination that speaks to you, or tries them all — the choice is yours.
Grind Your Own Beans
Coffee beans tend to lose their flavor when they are ground, typically within half an hour. As a barista beginner, you want to get into the habit of choosing the best, freshest beans and then grinding them at home for the freshest coffee.
Use Filtered Water
For a better-tasting cup of joe, use filtered water to brew your coffee grounds. Using tap water to brew your coffee makes the flavor unpredictable and it could ruin the taste of your coffee. Using filtered water will not only make it taste better, but filtered water also is purer, which is better for your health.
Steaming milk is the process of heating your milk while simultaneously turning it into foam with the addition of air. When you use a steam wand, jets of steam come out through its tip, which then perforates the milk with air. Once the milk has been properly steamed, it can be poured into the coffee. Even as a beginner barista, you can work on your own latte art.
Learning how to become a beginner barista at home takes practice, so don’t get frustrated if your first few cups don’t taste exactly how you want or if your coffee beans aren’t ground as perfectly as you’d hope. Also, don’t rush your coffee-making process — no matter how badly you think you need coffee right away. Take the time to craft your coffee with care, and you’ll soon develop a passion that won’t let you settle for anything less. If you want a little motivation, try looking the part with a beginner barista apron.
Keep It Tidy
If you don’t clean your coffee makers regularly, not only will you get a cup that doesn’t taste right, it won’t be good for your health. The humid environment of coffee makers can harbor bacteria that you don’t want to put in your body. You should always use designated towels to use on your machine and steam wand, as well as a microfiber towel to wipe away any spills. Additionally, you should invest in cleaners specifically for coffee machines and a descaling liquid to make sure your machine is always in top condition.
We hope that this beginner’s guide on how to become a barista gives you some pointers on where to start on your journey to crafting cups of coffee that are better than anything that a chain coffee shop could have made for you.