If you’re living in an urban area, you probably have plenty of options for buying a nice cup of coffee at every street corner. However, having your coffee out every single day can eat a lot of your budget – more than you probably realize. A cappuccino in Seattle, for example, a city synonymous with amazing coffee, costs around $5. That’s roughly $25 per week. $25 per week multiplied by 52 weeks in a year is $1,300 per year, without adding the occasional cookie, muffin or croissant. Not to mention the fact that you might not have the time, or the possibility, to get out every time you crave a nice cup of coffee.
“Shark Tank” investor guru Kevin O’Leary says he never spends money on coffee: “Do I pay $2.50 for a coffee? Never, never, never do I do that,” O’Leary told CNBC Make It. “That is such a waste of money for something that costs 20 cents. I never buy a frape-latte-blah-blah-blah-woof-woof-woof for $2.50.” Instead, he makes it at home. So why not follow his example – as someone who knows business – and set up your own mini coffee shop in your apartment? You will save a pretty penny and enjoy some quality flavors that’ll spice up your mornings right. With all those artisanal coffee roasters popping our everywhere, getting some good quality beans is pretty easy. Here’s what else you need to enjoy the full coffee shop experience in your own apartment:
Free up some space for your coffee corner
You’ll be a lot more stimulated to prepare your daily coffee instead of going out to buy it or having it delivered if you have everything that you need at hand – a coffee preparation area and a cozy spot where to enjoy it.
Clear some space on your kitchen counter for all the gear and utensils you need for coffee preparation. If your kitchen is small and you can’t sacrifice counter space, a wheeled kitchen cart is a great solution. It’s compact; it allows you to keep all the coffee gear in one place and even to wheel everything from one place to another.
You might have to switch things around your home a bit to create room for your mini coffee shop. One way to create more space in a small apartment is by using self storage. Following up with our Seattle example, you should know that a 10×10 self storage unit in Seattle rents for around $150 per month, according to Yardi Matrix, and you can use it to store a variety of items, including sports equipment, extra furniture, appliances, out of season clothing, and so on, thus creating more space at home.
Get your coffee paraphernalia!
A veritable coffee shop offers different types of coffee and coffee-based drinks, so if you want the full experience in your home, you should also be able to prepare espressos, cappuccinos, cold brews and so on. Here are the main utensils you should consider getting in order to be able to prepare a wide variety of coffee drinks at home:
- An espresso machine
Get one that works with ground coffee or coffee beans, and not with coffee pods. It would be a shame not to make the most of what cities like Seattle have to offer in terms of coffee, and that’s access to freshly roasted, amazing quality coffee beans. Coffee pods are never as delicious as fresh beans, and they’re also not environmentally friendly.
- Alternatively, you can brew your coffee in a Moka pot.
You can use it on your stove top, and it’s far less expensive than an espresso machine. It’s also very durable and takes little space, while making good quality, strong coffee, comparable with the one you obtain from an espresso maker.
- The AeroPress
This is a newer addition to the arsenal of coffee aficionados, but it’s a versatile, compact tool that allows you to prepare espresso or cold brew style coffees.
The device is perfect for preparing smoother, more aromatic coffees. You can also use it for cold brews and even plant infusions, so it brings a lot to the table. It’s also affordable, compact, and looks excellent on your kitchen counter.
- A device for frothing milk
Most espresso machines have that option included. However, if you don’t have an espresso machine or you find that steam attachment difficult to use, you could get a handheld milk frother or a stainless steel one that will last you a lifetime.
It’s ideal for slowly boiling a cup of strong and flavorful coffee – and you can have some extra fun trying to read the future in your cup’s grounds.
- A coffee grinder
Get one if only for the smell of freshly ground coffee. However, you should know that coffee grinders for home use are not as good as professional ones, and it will be tricky to obtain the correct grind size for every type of brew you intend on making. Another option is to ask the coffee roastery where you’re getting your beans to grind them for espresso, Moka pot, French Press and so on.
Cozy up your seating area
Once the preparation area and utensils are all sorted out, it’s time to arrange a cozy spot where to enjoy your daily cup – you don’t get the authentic coffee shop experience if you drink your coffee at your desk while working.
You should be able to relax for half an hour – so choose your favorite place in your apartment and take it to the next level. Is it your balcony? Then, find a cute chair and table set a create an alfresco set up for yourself. Or maybe you love the view from one of your windows? If that’s the case, you should turn it into your coffee break area. Explore the idea of installing a window bench – it can provide a bit of extra storage, you can make it comfy with pillows, and it doesn’t take a lot of floor space. The main goal is to create a relaxing oasis for yourself.
Don’t limit yourself. Instead, try different ways of preparing your coffee. Use spices like cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, or cloves to elevate your daily cup. Experiment with milk, cream, syrups, chocolate, and ice cream to create your very own specialty coffee-based drinks. Not only you’ll be saving money – those frappuccinos don’t come cheap – but you’ll also be able to control the amount of sugar you add to your drink. You can also get creative with the coffee grounds left after brewing coffee – they’re great as fertilizer for your potted plants, for exfoliating your skin or to tenderize your meat before cooking.
As you see, there are multiple advantages in getting serious with your at-home coffee making – so why not give it a try?