Depending on which side of the world you’re reading this from, you’re probably either trying to reclaim some sense of normalcy, or (like myself) still stuck in a lockdown. Whichever case you find yourself in, you may be one of the hopped-up caffeine heads that have decided to act on their much-needed fix by becoming a home barista.
The rise of the home barista shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. With the sheer amount of people who love to drink coffee, it was inevitable that a good number would eventually dabble into brewing at home. What might have begun as experimenting at home could now be a full-blown ritual for a lot of home brewers.
One thing to note, is that while the French press and pour over brewers have been around for a while, it is recently that developments in home espresso have gotten exciting.
If you wanted to have an espresso at home, you were often stuck with having to buy yourself a single group espresso machine or a fully automatic coffee maker. With the advent of several manual espresso makers, and the lowering costs of building better machines, the espresso has definitely become much more accessible. Of course, how can we forget the entry of the Nespresso system, in being able to deliver espresso shots with just the push of a button? These newer technologies have helped to enable a culture of brewing at home that has made it exciting to see what people have been making at home.
The home barista, without the benefit of what would classify as a formal coffee education, can get their education from fellow home baristas, or from the vast expanse of the internet. Without the biases that can come from brewing a particular way, the home barista is allowed a much wider opportunity to experiment without the judging taste buds of a paying customer. A great advantage a home barista has is that their limits are defined by their creativity and their willingness to acquire the equipment to brew. A home barista can have as much gear as their wallet will allow them and can mix and match different kinds of gear to make for different brews.
Whether you’ve started mastering the art of a pour over, experimenting with a manual espresso brewer, or went all out with a café-like setup at home, there’s just no denying that the home barista is here to stay.
Words by Ryan Uy @thenameisrye