The coronavirus quarantine has cut down on many office commutes—which also means an end to burrito lunches with friends, bar hopping after work, and (perhaps the worst part) those delicious cappuccinos you once enjoyed during your afternoon slumps.
But if you’re missing your Starbucks runs, never fear: It’s entirely possible these days to re-create an excellent cup of coffee (or tea) at home. All you need are the right tools. Here’s what you need to be your own barista within the comfort of your own kitchen.
1. Espresso machine
Up your game big-time with this gorgeous espresso maker, and you’ll be the envy of your friends and neighbors (when they’re allowed to come visit). This midpriced silver number has its own bean grinder, a cup-warming tray, and even a built-in hot water outlet for the tea drinkers in your house ($700, Sur La Table).
2. Coffee maker
A reliable coffee maker is a must at home, especially one that keeps your joe hot for several hours on a built-in warming tray. This 12-cup pick is large enough for a couple of coffee drinkers, and the removable water holder makes filling (and refilling) at the sink a snap ($80, Amazon).
3. Bean grinder
To true aficionados, pre-ground coffee is an abomination since it leaves the bean’s oils exposed to dry out, affecting aroma and taste. The fix: Buy whole beans when you’re in the store (or online), and process them yourself. The work goes quickly in this smart tool, which can handle half a pound at a time and shuts off automatically when the grinding’s done ($40, Target). It’s worth the extra effort!
4. Milk pitcher
Frothed milk is extremely hot, so you need a pitcher that can take the heat. Go for stainless steel as it’ll conduct heat better and keep the temperature consistent. This pitcher is perfectly sized for a couple of drinks, whether you’re making hot chocolate or flat whites ($10, Crate & Barrel).
5. Coffee mugs
Treat yo’ self to some new coffee mugs and put your crummy old ones in a box for a future yard sale. This set of six dishwasher-safe mugs is rainbow bright, comes with its own stand for easy storage—and offers a shade for each family member ($21, Wayfair).
6. Bar cloths
Pulling shots of espresso is a messy business (wiping spilled coffee grounds, swabbing the frother), so a quality set of bar mops is a smart find for home baristas. This stack of four is made from ribbed terry cloth so it’s highly absorbent, and it’s so well-priced you can get extras for your home bar and the potting shed ($10, Williams Sonoma).
7. Canister set
Line up your supplies in good-looking canisters so you can quickly make a cuppa when you need it. This trio is lead- and BPA-free and features natural bamboo lids that seal tightly to keep your coffee and loose tea leaves fresh ($38, Wayfair).
Ditch that gross kettle you used in college, and upgrade to this sleek pot pronto. Made from long-lasting, heavy-gauge steel coated with durable enamel, this teakettle also sports safe, heat-resistant handles and a wide mouth so you can scrub it out easily. And it’s a welcome pop of color in mostly white kitchens ($70, Amazon).
Spode china from the United Kingdom, first made in 1770, is a worthy addition to your morning tea ritual, especially in this pattern taken from the company’s archive. Remember to warm the pot properly with hot tap water before filling it with your brew so your tea doesn’t cool prematurely ($56, Wayfair).
10. Tea ball
Serious tea drinkers shop for fresh, loose leaves and then pile them into tiny paper sacks or tea balls to steep. This set of two features rust-proof fine mesh to keep flavor from leaking out, and a cute hook at the chain’s end to secure to the cup’s edge ($5, Amazon).
11. Serving tray
Make like the organizing professionals and corral your coffee or tea essentials in one spot. A sizable, wipe-clean tray, like this one, is the perfect solution—and it can double as a serving piece for drinks in the evening or as a breakfast-in-bed tray for a lucky someone ($30, Crate & Barrel).
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