If you’re anything like me, Starbucks or Scooter’s tends to be where you stop in the morning. Mobile order makes things way too easy for me, not to mention the points you can earn for free drinks. I can’t function without my coffee. Whether hot or iced, it gives me the boost I need to get through the day. I just don’t feel right without it.
If you’re REALLY anything like me, you’re spending too much money on coffee. If you have kids to get ready and out the door, sometimes an extra 5 minutes spent doing anything else but pushing everyone out the door (sometimes, literally) is not ideal. However, if I plan, I can accomplish this simple task and make my day a little smoother.
Let’s talk about at-home brew systems
I’ve tried quite a few cost-friendly at-home coffee & espresso systems. I’m always intrigued by the next fancy machine the coffee market has to offer. Initially, I started with the Ninja Single Serve Coffee Bar. It made regular brewed coffee fine, but there was nothing special about it. It doesn’t brew espresso as I do; however, it has a built-in milk frother. After I had my first baby (who hated sleep), I needed something more.
While doing some research, Nespresso came up. Nespresso brews some of the best coffee and espresso I’ve ever had from an at-home machine. It’s velvety smooth, frothy coffee and espresso made from single serve aluminum capsules (that you can send back to be recycled for free). Many of the machines come with an aeroccino (or milk frother) – these are nice because they can do a warm or cold froth.
There are two types of Nespresso machines – the original line and the Vertuo line. The original line machines take smaller capsules that brew mainly espresso. The Vertuo line takes Vertuo specific capsules that can brew coffee, espresso, and everything in between. The capsules range in price but are around a dollar per capsule and are sold on the Nespresso website and many major retailers. These two are the more cost friendly style of machines – they do offer some great top-of-the-line, luxury items if that’s what you’re looking for. You can find the original line machine here and the Vertuo here. Each of these lines offers different machine versions at different price points.
There are more pros than cons when it comes to Nespresso machines – plastic-free packaging, free recycling, sleek design, and the actual taste of the product. The one thing missing for me was a pot of brewed coffee. Sometimes, I want freshly ground coffee, like a pot full. I like the smell of coffee filling the house in the morning. If only there was a way I could get the tremendous single-serve capsules AND a pot of coffee…
The perfect machine does exist.
I was faithful to Nespresso for about two years. Recently, my good friend, who is also a coffee connoisseur, mom of littles, and a fellow nurse, introduced me to the perfect machine. Not only does this machine brew original line capsules (which have the widest variety and are most widely available), but it also brews an entire pot of coffee. When brewing coffee, you can choose which size pot you want, down to a single-serve cup. You can choose to brew a regular shot, lungo espresso, or espresso over ice.
The machine comes with the cutest coffee scoop that shows you how many scoops of coffee you need for what you’re making. It checked both of my wants off the list and even has the built-in milk frother I mentioned earlier. It’s sleek and takes up no more space than my Nespresso did on the counter. The Ninja – 7 Style Espresso & Coffee Barista System is an outstanding machine. This is the newest machine Ninja has to offer in the world of coffee, and it has nothing but amazing reviews. It has a great price point and is available here.
I’ve got the machine, now where do I start?
We’ve all got a favorite drink or two from our favorite coffee shop; that’s a great place to start. I prefer lattes, so I watch a lot of latte inspiration on TikTok to get most of my recipes. The base for a latte is espresso, a choice of milk, and syrup or sauce. Whether you like it hot or iced will depend on how you prepare your milk. For most hot lattes, I will use the milk frother, and for iced drinks, not so much (unless you want to make a cold foam to top your glass). I’ve had the best luck with Monin syrups, and I highly suggest ordering straight from their website. They have an insane variety of high quality syrups for all types of drinks, not just coffee. My favorite right now is their peanut butter syrup!
Time to Fuel Up
Now that you have all the tools, you can save a lot of money by quickly preparing at home in the morning. In the long run, this saves me time because I’m not fighting the dreaded coffee shop traffic every morning. The night before, fill your reservoir with water, insert the capsule of your choice, or fill your machine with the desired coffee, and set the brew time (oh yes, you can do that on this machine, too). Get yourself a couple of aesthetic cups because that makes the experience of coffee drinking just that much better! I hope this makes your morning run so smooth and extra caffeinated.
Do you have a favorite coffee or espresso machine?
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