Expert Barista recommends five ways to improve your coffee game at home

Yes, you heard that right - making a barista quality coffee at home is possible!

Expert Coffee Tips
(Image credit: Nespresso)

Making a coffee has come a long way from just two scoops and a stir. The different varieties, flavours and strengths available continuously change the game, meaning the coffee-making experience is also developing. With such an array of pod machines on the current market, it can often be daunting about where to start. Many of us now work from home, so the opportunity to pop into our favourite coffee shop every morning is no longer there. It’s therefore time to take matters into our own hands.  

To mark the launch of the Nespresso x Starbucks Reserve limited edition Remix Blend, coffee expert James Wise has shared his top tips for achieving a barista level coffee at home. James’ love of coffee materialised through brewing at home and frequent trips to cafés. Now working in consultancy, his expert opinion is helping smaller coffee brands gain the visibility and understanding to do well in the market. 

1. Start with good-quality filtered water

Filtered water is good for the machine and it makes the coffee taste much better. The tap water in our homes contains an extensive mix of minerals and chemicals, often varying in levels each day. This means you can brew the same coffee on different days and get contrasting flavours every time. 

2. Keep your mind open! 

Try many different capsules and find a style you enjoy. Most people assume coffee is always strong or bitter, but tastes and strengths vary enormously. Be open to trying different options. 

3. Change the intensity of your machine

You can program your capsule machine to increase or decrease the espresso size, this will change the intensity. Some people like longer "softer" tasting espresso and some people like short intense espresso.

4. Think about your timing

Be aware of how much time you have and base your coffee around that. If you’re short on time or in and out of meetings, capsules are the choice for you. They only take a few minutes and the taste isn’t compromised. It’s a win-win!

5. Don't keep your coffee in the fridge!

Despite many people thinking it does, keeping your coffee in the fridge doesn’t help its longevity. Small amounts of condensation will build each time it’s removed, causing water to collect and bacteria to grow. Avoid at all costs!

Nespresso Vertuo machines and the new limited edition Nespresso x Starbucks Reserve Remix Blend come highly recommended by James: 

“Pods don’t usually come out of a machine like espresso does. They normally lack the intensity associated with espresso, but I didn’t have that with the Vertuo capsules and this blend specifically.”

Not only does the blend incorporate the flavours of two global coffee brands, but it offers the rare experience of tasting them in the comfort of your own home. Mixed with the Nespresso Vertuo machine, you have now discovered the perfect combination to put your newfound barista skills to the test. Whilst some of the older Nespresso machines are limited to smaller pods, the Vertuo’s rounder and larger pods makes the experience even more exciting – enjoy! 

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.