Everything You Need to Make Coffee Shop Coffee At Home

The Secret Tools Behind a Barista-Approved Cup of Jo
Filed Under > Entertaining

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I don’t know about you, but I can never make a cup of jo at home the way they do at my favorite coffee shops.  I thought a lot about that when we were in New Orleans a few weeks ago and made our way into this gorgeous Stumptown Coffee location.  

So naturally, I came home and did some research, and can say that I think I got to the bottom of what it takes to make barista-approved coffee. A few tools are needed, yes, but deciding on which ones you should buy depends on how much of a coffee purist you really are.  A Keurig is a really great option for those of you that simply want a quick cup, while a Nespresso machine is perfect for an espresso like you’d order at your favorite cafe.  But you may not want either; a French press is for the self-proclaimed coffee snot (I say this lovingly…I know many), while an Aeropress claims to brew a cup that’s even more pure!  If you’re a cold brew kinda person, this iced coffee maker will be your new best friend.  Lastly, a great frother is an absolute must for any latte (and latte art if you’re feeling extra creative)…most are affordable but I’ve gone through so many that I think it’s worth an investment for a good one.  

The list of course goes on, and I’ve broken it down in detail below.  But I’d love to know: what kind of coffee drinker are you?  Do you swear by any of these essentials?  Cheers friends, Kat

A Grinder

KitchenAid® Coffee and Spice Grinder

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When you find great coffee you love, there’s a good chance it’s in whole bean form. You’re going to need a strong grinder to get those beans in the form of grounds to brew your cup of coffee.  We’re big fans of this one by KitchenAid to do the heavy lifting. 

An Airtight Container to Store Beans

Airscape Stainless-Steel Storage Container

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Making a proper cup of coffee starts with good beans, if we’re being honest here.  And in order to store your beans (and their grounds) at their best quality, use an airtight container. It will extend the shelf life and further the flavor. 

A Quick One-Cup Coffee Maker

Keurig® K55 Elite Brewing System in Black

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When you just want a good cup of coffee quickly in the morning or during your afternoon slump, this Keurig does the trick.  It keeps the process super simple, the cleanup minimal, and is perfect if you don’t want to find yourself with leftover coffee in a pot. 

A Quick Espresso-Maker

Nespresso® VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker

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If you’re looking to make a quick cup of espresso, you really need this machine.  Well scratch that, it makes cappuccino, coffee AND espresso. This is your best bet for coffee shop coffee at home, in my humble opinion. 

We’ve gushed about the Nespresso VertuoLine for caramel iced coffee, chocolate espresso cake and the best ever holiday coffee

The French Press

Bonjour® Monet French Press

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Here’s to you, coffee purists.  I know this is the way to do it right.  A French press is an at-home coffee staple.  It’s the key tool to manually brewing a rich, strong and smooth coffee by simply pouring boiling water on top of the grounds.  The method helps the grounds retain their oils for an amazing cup each any every time. 

The Aeropress

Aeropress Coffee Maker

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My favorite coffee shop has an Aeropress coffee item on their menu.  I had to figure it out, and discovered the Aeropress coffee maker.  This is an amazing option for the coffee lover that doesn’t need the fuss of a French press, but still appreciates great coffee on the go.  The Aeropress claims to brew an even smoother cup than the French press does, and includes an easier and less messy cleanup.  It only takes about a minute to brew a cup of coffee or 1-3 shots of espresso. 

A Frother

Rösle Frother

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This magical tool is a must-have for any kind of latte (even and especially a matcha tea latte!). I’ve tried several frothers in the past, and they all have turned out to be quite dinky, so I definitely think you get what you pay for with these.  I’d suggest a higher quality one like this one to last a few seasons of coffee brewin’. 

A Cold Brew Maker

Primula® 50 oz. Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker

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I used to think that I could simply make cold brew by pouring hot coffee over ice. But a proper cold brew will use simple steeping in a coffee maker like this one to bring out all the good flavors in coffee.  The steeping actually works to eliminate the bitter, almost-burnt taste you can sometimes get from pouring hot coffee over ice. 

I like how you can customize the flavor with one of these, AND the maker seconds as a pitcher to serve once you brew.  Bonus!


Photography, Haley Sheffield for Waiting on Martha

Leave a Comment


  • I’m more of a tea person, but these tips are super helpful.

  • allison / 02.18.2017

    You need a burr grinder to properly grind coffee, much better.

  • Yummm!! I’m a coffee fanatic and I’ve been spoiled with good machines. My husband gave me a Tim Horton’s coffee maker (they’re designed to have the hot water already created in the back of the coffee maker so the coffee pours out instantly & at the right temperature), I bought myself a French press and use that when we go camping, and we were given a beautiful little espresso machine as a wedding gift!

  • Kaitlin / 03.03.2017

    Allison is right! A burr grinder is the way to go for a coffee grinder–though they can be expensive. I’d also be cautious about a Keurig–they generate a lot of non-recyclable trash (the hippie in me is showing), the resulting coffee isn’t great, and an Aeropress will do a similar job in the same amount of time with just a little more cleanup. I love my AP and my french press (also, no electricity needed for either so in a power outage or on a camping trip, you’re a-ok!), I also use the Toddy for cold brew, though I think you can make cold brew in your french press and have fewer gadgets if you have a small kitchen! 🙂

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