When it comes to whipping up your favorite coffees at home, you have your work cut out for you. Baristas at your local cafe might make the job look easy, but not just anyone can hop on the espresso machine and do what they do. However, with the right tools and some practice, you can make some incredibly intricate coffee drinks in your own kitchen.
As long as you have the right type of espresso machine, ornate beverages like iced mochas and espresso con pannas are easily within reach. According to Sean Yew, a specialty coffee barista and founder of The Hearty Brew, any caffeine enthusiast can’t go wrong when they make their own cold brew. Yew says this style of coffee ranks as the easiest drink to make.
“Cold brew is only getting more and more popular,” Yew told Mashed. “But, it can be quite pricey to order a cold brew from a cafe, so this is one I would recommend replicating from home.” While anyone can easily make this kind of coffee, some beverages are so complicated and technical they could stump even a trained barista.
According to Yew, milk gives coffee enthusiasts the hardest time at home. “In my opinion, for the average Joe, the hardest type of coffee to make from home are espresso-based milk coffees such as a flat white/latte,” Yew told Mashed. “A lot of work goes into it — extracting the espresso shot properly, steaming the milk to the right texture, temperature, and consistency, as well as the technique of pouring the milk into the espresso shot.”
Getting the perfect pull can be the biggest hurdle for the inexperienced. “Espresso is the most unforgiving of all coffee preparation methods,” Yew continued. “A few seconds off, or a few grams short, can mean the difference between delightful coffee and unpalatable bitterness. You can learn this, but it will take a great deal of time and patience. It is a skill that baristas spend months learning, and years refining. I’d say just go to your local café — you get the bonus of pretty latte art too.”
So, there you have it. When it comes to making a milk-based espresso drink at home, feel free to keep practicing. But when you want a break, hit up your local coffee shop and let the pros take it from there.