How to make barista-quality coffee at home

If you’re a one-cup-a day slave to your local barista, this year you’ll likely spend a minimum of (brace yourself) $1460 on coffee this year.

(And that’s not including the extra 50c you’ll shell out for one of your fancy mylks … add an extra $182.50 per annum for that little dairy-free indulgence.)

With more and more Aussies investing in good-quality at-home coffee machines, it’s become increasingly easy to replicate your daily brew at home and save time, and money in the process.

But, the secret to cafe-quality coffee is a fine art.

Investing in a luxury, state-of-the-art, fully automated machine like this one (with the very diva name of the De’Longhi PrimaDonna Soul) will certainly help nail the aroma and crema without lifting a finger, but there are still a few simple things you can do to get the best brew possible using any machine.

To help you nail your WFH cuppa, Body+Soul has enlisted De’Longhi Product Trainer, Cheryl Bosworth to talk us through how to recreate that $4 cup of sweet caffeine in your very own kitchen.

The 5 biggest mistakes you’re making when playing barista at home:

1. Stale beans

The taste and aroma of beans are the best when used within three weeks of the roast date. Also, if you grind your coffee – it’s best to grind your coffee immediately before brewing for the best flavour. If you’re using an espresso machine or grinder, don’t forget to only fill the hopper with the amount that you’re going to use so that they’re as fresh as possible.

Be sure to store your beans in either the bag they come in as long as it has the safety valve and be sure to squeeze out all the air, or alternatively you can store them in an airtight container and store them in a cool dry place.

2. Not cleaning your machine properly

Your machine makes the perfect coffee so return the favour by ensuring that you are following your product manual’s cleaning and descaling instructions. De’Longhi fully automatic machines like PrimaDonna Soul have automatic rinsing when turning on and off, and an easily accessible brewing unit that can be simply run under the tap to wash any excess grinds off.

3. Using the wrong beans for your machine

Did you know there are many, many types of coffee beans – there are even sub-categories that fall under these types? Certain bean blends, origins or roast levels need the right settings on the machine to harness the best flavours in the cup.

One way to avoid this confusing you is by purchasing a machine with Bean Adapt Technology – tech that adapts the machine’s settings according to which coffee bean you choose. The Technology adapts the machine’s settings according to which coffee bean you choose – taking the guesswork out of the brewing parameters and providing an extraction tailored to each bean. It means once you set your preference, the results are cafe quality at the press of a button.

4. Don’t be afraid to experiment

You might be brewing a coffee that isn’t roasted to your preference, using a milk you don’t like or making a flat white when you prefer a piccolo latte. Play around with the different variables until you brew a cup to your liking. Look at the flavour notes, strength and bean type on a bag of coffee, and start to learn your preferences so you can choose the perfect bean for your personal coffee.

5. Burning your milk

If you’re using a manual coffee machine, steaming your milk can be a tricky task to master. Burnt milk or not frothing it to your desired liking can make for a bad cup of coffee. Purchase a thermometer to ensure you’re getting the temperature right or educate yourself on YouTube for the perfect texturing technique. Practice makes perfect, but if you struggle with mastering the manual milk, why not opt for an automatic coffee machine?