The Barista Diaries: Making barista-style coffee at home

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Here’s an example of coffee art. If you want to step up your game, you could make your own coffee art at home using cold foam. Photo by Chevanon Photography/Pexels

Most of us coffee lovers are afraid of the hold that Starbucks and Dunkin’ have on our bank accounts. Buying a large iced coffee or latte three or four days a week already costs around $20 before adding in extra syrups, drizzles or alternative milk. As a Starbucks barista, I can confirm that making coffee at home will bring you as much joy as your morning coffee runs. I challenge you to use that $20 normally spent at your favorite coffee shop and invest in some coffee-making supplies for home. 

You will need some flavored syrups to personalize your coffee. The most popular brands currently on the market are Torani, Skinny Syrups and DaVinci Gourmet. These brands all provide a variety of flavors and include plenty of sugar-free options as well. By purchasing your favorite flavored syrup, you will be able to mimic your exact go-to order from Starbucks or Dunkin’. 

To get even fancier, Ghirardelli sells bottles of drizzle for you to line your iced coffee cup with for a true barista-style look. Their popular flavors include sea salt caramel, white chocolate and mocha. Make sure you get a pretty, reusable cup, or use a classic mason jar for an influencer-style photo-op!  

Before I forget to mention the actual coffee part of the whole at-home coffee idea, here are my recommendations for iced coffee brands. Starbucks and Dunkin’ have a variety of different roasts that are either sweetened or unsweetened available at your local grocery store. They retail for about $5 and should last you around a week until your next grocery trip. If you have access to a Keurig machine, “Green Mountain” recently came out with vanilla caramel flavored K-Cup pods that are meant to be brewed over ice.  

Saving the best for last: let’s talk about the never-ending world of creamers. If you prefer your coffee to taste more like a milkshake than a coffee, I recommend the brand Coffee-Mate. This brand also provides sugar-free creamers and has very unique flavors that come out during the holidays. If you prefer a non-dairy creamer in your coffee, I recommend Silk’s oat milk or almond milk flavored creamers. They offer unique flavors such as oatmeal cookie, sweet cream and maple brown sugar. 

If you like the iconic sweet cream cold foam on top of your Starbucks or Dunkin’ coffee, you can invest in a milk frother on Amazon for a reasonable price. A basic recipe for making sweet cream is frothing a mixture comprised of half heavy cream and half 2% milk with one or two teaspoons of vanilla extract. 

With all of these tips about becoming an at-home barista, you should have no trouble making your favorite morning or afternoon coffee from the comfort of your own home. You should not completely neglect the joy of treating yourself to your favorite coffee shop, but these tips will help you budget your money and experiment with making your own coffee creations!  

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