There’s a plethora of coffee resources online, but what if you want to get into an intensive course and get accreditation? For coffee enthusiasts, this would be an excellent opportunity to get an in-depth understanding about the thing they love the most. It’s not just about coffee for drinking, but it’s everything about the industry and the nitty-gritty of every aspect from production to consumption.
We’ve rounded up the Top 5 coffee courses you can find online and what you’ll get from each one of them.
The SCAA is the golden standard for learning everything about coffee. They represent every segment of the coffee industry, and they have members in more than 40 countries worldwide. They set the standards for the industry and conduct research, education, training, and business services for their members.
SCAA offers a comprehensive program called Educational Pathways. Each pathway focuses on a different aspect of the specialty coffee field. You might be interested in one or more of the following:
- Foundations of Coffee: The entire program starts with this course to give you a comprehensive view of each pathway.
- Barista Pathway: This course is endorsed by the Barista Guild of America. It has beginner to advanced coursework in espresso, milk preparation, and drink building.
- Coffee Buyer Pathway: You’ll get lessons from leading professionals about quality control and supply chain management. You can also take the entire course online.
- Roaster Pathway: This pathway explores the craft and science of making coffee, and is endorsed by the Roasters Guild.
- Coffee Taster Pathway: You’ll be the quality control expert as a coffee taster with sensory analysis training.
For more info on their course catalog, you can find it here.
Boot Camp Barista offers a free online course which gives you 30-day access to their resources. You’ll also get a “You Did It” Barista Certificate after taking it. They also have intensive online courses (paid) where you can learn to control the quality of your coffee and get instruction from world-class trainers.
They’ve made their intensive courses available at CoffeeCourses.com. Here’s what you’ll get from their various coffee pro resources:
- Mastering Roast Profiles
- Coffee at Origin
- Art of Blending
- Coffee Roasting Theory
- Advanced Roasting
- Basic Barista Skills
- Build Your Coffee Store
- Coffee Quality Analysis
This barista resource site is a good starting point in learning more about coffee. Their coffee school is mostly based in London, Dublin, and Glasgow. The site has downloadable resources, videos and how-to guides, and tips for opening a coffee shop.
Here are the links to their specific resources
- Barista Downloads
- Videos and How-To Guides
- Top Ten Tips for Opening a Coffee Shop
- Espresso Warehouse
Coffee Cup Training aims to provide an e-learning and mobile learning tool for your coffee business. They have free training courses, as well as paid courses which provide complete training for your business and staff.
It’s like having a teacher or coffee consultant right in your pocket. No need to download apps and you can start training using your smartphone, tablet or PC.
La Marzocco and ChefSteps have partnered to provide high-quality barista training videos. The course offers seven lessons, 12 HD videos, and more resources to build you up in the industry. You can learn for free at ChefSteps.com.
These are just a few things you will learn through their online course:
- Introduction to Espresso
- Making Your Own Espresso
- Additional Information about equipment, buying coffee beans, espresso discussions, and so much more.
There are so many ways to spice up the same old coffee you drink everyday. We get it. You love classic black coffee or the usual latte. But wouldn’t you want to go far beyond that and try something a little different? We scoured the web for some of the easiest and delicious coffee drink recipes that will make the coffee lover in you jump in delight.
What’s good about making your own coffee drinks at home is that you can control the ingredients you add to your drink or substitute anything you like and in the process, save cash! Just imagine how much you spend in coffee shops everyday. Win!
Here you go. Click the link to see the details of each recipe.
This is an easy and scrumptious frozen treat combining coffee, kahlua, vodka, and ice cream. Yes, you’ve just read vodka. Sounds super interesting right? That’s right! Coffee + vodka. Doesn’t that make your heart pitter-patter? Super easy to do with just a few ingredients.
If you love nuts combined with coffee, you should try this delicious cold coffee frappe. It’s definitely a perfect beverage to jump start your day. You can serve it with fresh dollop of cream and chocolate sprinkles on top. Now, who doesn’t love that?
A surprisingly delicious coffee frappe whipped from labor of love. The fact that it’s homemade adds a special touch to it. Plus, there’s peppermint. Check it out!
Dubbed as the drink that’s too good to be true, this beverage is “cold, creamy, rich, satisfying, and only 50 calories per serving.” Now you know why it’s too good to be true.
This recipe makes two drinks and can even outdo those that you buy from Starbucks. It’s much healthier and of course a lot cheaper, plus it’s fluffy and foamy and can be prepared in a minute. Talk about convenience!
This is not just another homemade drink and certainly looks like dessert in a cup. If you need a caffeine boost on a chilly day, this makes the perfect beverage. In fact, it’s brilliant!
Why buy pumpkin spice latte when you can make one? It’s convenient, affordable, delicious, and homemade. This beverage is best consumed on a cold weather while you cozy up in your couch or bed. In fact, this will probably make you forget about going to coffee shops especially when it’s so cold outside.
Do you want to level up your iced coffee drinks? This pick-me-upper is a must-try! If you have lots of bananas at home and you’re worried sick about what to do with them, then worry no more. You can have your dose of caffeine with your favorite fruit without paying a hefty price.
Black Forest is just about everybody’s favorite. The rich chocolate flavor is a sure treat to everyone. If you’re a coffee lover, you’ll be thrilled to know you can make your own black forest coffee. How does that sound to you? Try it. Serve with whipped cream and a cherry, then add more choco syrup if you like.
There’s something about the mention of old-fashioned that makes it so intriguing. This beverage has no pretense though. It’s simply delicious and something you’d want to whip on a cold evening while watching your favorite shows on TV or while reading a book. Fancy making one?
Chilled + hot? You might be a little bit confused. You never have to think too much how to cook up this beverage because it’s really super easy and a nice variation to your usual hot chocolate.
The word “homemade” certainly has a homey feel to it. Rightfully so! If you love anything homemade, add this to your list. It can be easily personalized to your liking. This is also best if you want a burst of flavors in your latte as the ingredients of this recipe make a great combination.
Featuring rich chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, and coconut – this beverage is really your version of coffee dessert. It’s also very easy to make. Adding coconut rum to it just makes everything tasty and desirable!
Enjoy this caramel-drizzled drink anytime in the comforts of your home. First, you don’t have to buy one from your local coffee shop. Second, it’s just the perfect combo of sweet, spice, and everything nice.
Vanilla is classic. You’ll be surprise you’re spending too much on vanilla beverages from coffee shops when you can actually make one everyday. You will definitely save tons of cash when you learn to whip this rich and cream vanilla coffee.
Mason jars are so in! It’s not surprising if someone comes up with a mason jar coffee recipe because that’s simply awesome. Strong and easy but versatile, a cold brew coffee might just be your favorite way of feeding your body the caffeine it needs to survive the day. Best thing? You don’t need anything fancy to give it a try.
Sounds fancy? It’s surprisingly very quick and easy. This drink definitely gives a different kind of touch to your regular coffee. In just a few minutes, you’ll be proud you’ve made something Scandinavian.
Said to be “a love affair for your taste buds”, bulletproof coffee is worth creating. It’s creamy, wonderful, and delicious. If you want to whip up something healthy, then try this at home. You won’t be sorry you tried something new.
18. Coffee Shake
Much like an iced cappuccino, this blended coffee drink is a great alternative for that overpriced drink you buy at a restaurant or coffee shop. You can even make it non-dairy by using soy milk. Simply, quick, and satisfies the caffeine-driven.
19. Eggnog Latte
Holiday season is coming up! Got an espresso machine at home? Eggnog latte is something you can easily make on your own, perfect as a holiday treat. Holiday or not though, you’ll surely be delighted with this drink.
This light frozen coffee drink can be personalized easily. If you’re in a rush and in need of your daily dose of caffeine, this can be done in just 5 minutes.
Rich and delicious, this hot buttered toffee coffee is another perfect beverage for the cold weather. It’s so good you would want to whip it everyday. Sounds like a great plan, huh?
Sounds intriguing, isn’t it? This sugar-free + fat-free coffee is definitely the bomb. It’s bursting with flavor and you can even add your own touch to it. For additional flair, top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with shaved bittersweet chocolate and finely crushed hazelnuts. Then you’re good to go!
This is a unique and bubbly coffee concoction. If you want to try drinking coffee without some kind of a cream, then you’ll enjoy the mix of sparkling water and espresso in this nice cup of drink.
24. Mexican Coffee
A nice beverage on its own, this drink is a lovely blend of flavors that is perfect for the cool weather. With kahlua, brandy, chocolate syrup, and cinnamon, this has got to be one of the best post dinner treats.
You can never go wrong with mocha and mint. They go together so well as proven in this low calorie coffee drink. You can add some whipped topping and green sugar for optional color and texture.
Have you found the recipe you fancy? For sure, there’s something for you out of the 25 recipes we shared. Enjoy your drink!
If you are serious about drinking really good coffee, chances are you will find yourself looking for fresher and healthier version of this favorite beverage of yours. One of the ways to ensure you get a great-tasting fresh coffee daily is by roasting your own coffee beans at home.
It might sound like it’s a hassle or too much to do, but trust us when we say it can be habit-forming. Once you learn how to do it right, you’re never going back to your old ways of having coffee.
Why You Should Roast Your Own Coffee Beans
When you roast coffee beans at home, you get to experience unique burst of flavors in your coffee that you don’t usually get from store-bought ones. Aside from that, you don’t need expensive equipment to roast the beans. You can use some of the kitchen appliances you already have.
Freshly roasted coffee beans also taste better and are richer in minerals. You will find that your cup of coffee tastes smoother too without the pungent acid taste that most would get from buying in some coffee shops.
Another thing is that you get to save tons of cash when roasting your own beans instead of buying a cup everyday. In a matter of 5-6 minutes a day, you get to have your own cup of fresh coffee with a sweet, irresistible aroma. You can even control the roasting and brewing process according to your preference.
So if you’re ready to learn and exert extra effort to experience real coffee goodness, then read on for ways on how to roast your coffee beans at home.
First, The Basics
There are several methods to roast coffee beans at home but whichever method you follow, you will always go back to the basics. By basics we mean the features of the beans that you need to remember when you are roasting.
There are also different tricks and techniques in roasting but then again, the main requirements for roasting are the same for all.
1. The smell is the taste.
The coffee beans change color in different stages of roasting. You will start with green coffee beans, then they will become yellowish in color with a grassy smell. This isn’t it yet.
When the beans begin to roast, they will smoke and begin to smell like real coffee. Hmmm. So always remember, it’s in the smell!
2. Length of the roast = color of the beans
As mentioned, you will start with green beans and as roasting begins, they turn into different colors. You will determine the length of the roast by looking at the color of the beans.
Light brown: This color can result in a sour taste because the body is weak, the aroma is medium, and the sweetness is only low.
Light-medium brown: This roast has a full body, full aroma, and just mild sweetness. Here the first crack begins, the aroma changes to caramel, and the beans start to give off smoke.
Full medium brown: This roast has a full body, strong aroma, and only mild sweetness. By this time, half of the sugar content is caramelized while the acidity of the beans is developed. When you brew the beans at this state, the coffee has rich flavor and low acid content.
Medium-dark brown: This roast has a very full body, strong aroma, and strong sweetness. At this point, acidity levels decrease and the bittersweet taste develops.
Dark brown: Also known as espresso, this has a full body, medium aroma, and full sweetness. You can already hear the second crack once this phase is completed.
Very dark (almost black): It has a weak body, mild aroma, and low sweetness. In this phase, the beans are fully covered with oil and the acidic contents are greatly reduced.
3. The crackling sound
As the roasting progresses, the beans also start to dry up because the moisture and water elements would evaporate, thus creating the crackling sound.
There are two stages of crackling as the temperature rises while roasting. With enough practice, it will come off easy for you to distinguish the crackling sound.
Three Methods of Roasting Coffee Beans At Home
It’s important to note that there are more than 3 ways to roast coffee beans. Others involve more complicated techniques. For starters, these 3 methods are the most commonly used.
Note: Be very careful in roasting because it involves cooking up in high heat.
1. Using a Popcorn Popper
The most recommended tool to use are crank-style poppers. If you already have this at home then by all means, use it. If you don’t have yet, you can look into kitchen supplies store or even online shops that sell them for a cheap price.
When you prefer to roast your beans on the stove top through a popcorn popper, expect deeper notes and fuller body, but reduced aroma and bright notes of the beans.
STEP 1 – Put the popcorn popper on the stove top. Use medium heat of about 450 °F (232 °C). You can use a candy thermometer to accurately check the temperature. Note: You can also use a large skillet if you don’t have a popper or you don’t want to buy one.
STEP 2 – Pour the coffee beans. Roast only enough coffee beans at a time; recommended is 8 ounces. Stir constantly so that the beans will be roasted evenly.
STEP 3 – Listen to the crackling noise. Once you hear the crackling sound after about 4-7 minutes of adding the coffee beans, the roasting begins. You will also start smelling real coffee as the beans give off smoke. Remember to turn on your exhaust fan or open the kitchen window. Also, take note of the time when the beans begin to crackle.
STEP 4 – Take a look at the color of the beans. Once the beans reached the color you desired (see # 2 above: Length of the roast = color of the beans), you can then pour them into a container (a metal colander is best). Then stir until the beans cool.
2. Using the oven
Roasting coffee beans in an oven can be the easiest but sometimes, it can lead to an uneven roast due to a lack of airflow. However, this can also add richness to the beans’ flavor. Just make sure to use your oven correctly.
STEP 1 – Preheat the oven to 450 °F (232 °C). Prepare your pan or baking sheet. You need one that has lots of small holes and a lip to make sure the beans are in proper place while roasting. You can find this at any kitchen supplies store.
STEP 2 – Lay the beans on the pan. Make sure that the beans lie in one layer all over the whole pan. They should not be overlapping. When the oven is already preheated, place the pan with the beans on the middle rack of the oven.
STEP 3 – Roast the beans. A good 15-20 minutes will do. As referenced above, always listen to the crackling noise. Don’t forget to stir the coffee beans from time to time to make sure you get an even roast.
STEP 4 – Remove the beans from heat. You should do this immediately once you get your desired color. Pour the beans into a metal colander and stir to help them cool off.
3. Using an Air Roaster
Take note that these roasters really serve a purpose -which is obviously to roast. Thus, it’s more expensive but worth your money because it produces a very even roast and it’s more efficient too.
You can also try a fluid bed roaster or hot air roaster. It comes with a glass container that allows to you easily check the color of the beans while roasting.
For this method, just follow the manufacturer’s directions for use. Usually, you just pour the beans in the roaster, select the settings you desire, and roast.
So there you have it! Have you tried roasting your own coffee beans? If so, what methods have you tried?
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Coffee experts are always on a debate on which coffee maker reigns supreme – Pour-Over Coffee vs. French Press. You might find it hard to decide which side of the debate to listen to, but fear not. We’ve made a comparative review of these two types of coffee makers for you to decide for yourself. We’ve also taken into account the experiences of reviewers regarding these two brewing tools.
Before you spend your hard-earned cash on a coffee maker, here’s what you need to know:
In this guide we will tell you about:
- What is a French Press?
- French Press Brewing Method
- Resulting Taste
- Pros of a French Press
- Cons of a French Press
- Experiences of French Press Users
Pour-Over Coffee Maker
- What is a Pour-Over Coffee Maker?
- Pour-Over Brewing Method
- Resulting Taste
- Pros of a Pour-Over Coffee Maker
- Cons of a Pour-Over Coffee Maker
- Experiences of Pour-Over Coffee Maker Users
What is a French Press?
A French press, also called a press pot, contains a plunger with fine mesh filter screen that presses hot water through ground coffee. It is one of the most popular coffee makers loved by coffee aficionados all over the world.
French Press Brewing Method
Coffee beans are ground to medium coarse and water is boiled to 200 – 205 degrees Fahrenheit (93 – 96 degrees Celsius). Proportions of coffee grounds to water may vary according to taste, but it would usually be around 30 grams of coffee to 500 ml of water.
To start brewing, the handle is held firmly and the plunger pulled out. The coffee grounds are then placed in the empty beaker and then hot water is added to it. The coffee-to-water mixture is given a gentle stir afterwards. The plunger is reinserted into the pot, stopping just above the water and coffee. You will have to wait for about 2 – 4 minutes for the coffee to brew. The plunger is then pressed to separate the coffee grounds and hold them at the bottom of the press pot. You have to be careful not to allow the coffee grounds to remain in the beaker for too long because it will make the coffee too bitter and astringent. If the coffee stays in the beaker for more than 20 minutes, it will spoil and become undrinkable. The best brewing time is still 4 minutes. However, if you prefer to make a cold brew, several hours are required to keep the grounds in contact with water to achieve the right quality of extraction.
Resulting Taste of Coffee
French press coffee lovers swear by the fact that they can’t live without the coffee brewed using this process. The coffee brewed using the French Press method tastes rich, bold, and at times earthy.
A French press needs to be washed after every use. Use a mild dishwashing detergent and warm water for cleaning. Taking off coffee grounds from the bottom might take a little bit longer. It should be dried thoroughly and stored in an area away from direct sunlight.
Pros of a French Press
French presses are self-contained and portable to use compared to other coffee makers. There are travel mug versions made of durable plastic which make them convenient to use while on-the-go. Travel-friendly French presses have a drinking hole and sealed lid which allows you to drink coffee through it after brewing.
Cons of a French Press
A French press keeps your coffee warm at the most, but it may also keep extracting coffee and result into an extremely bitter taste. The taste might also become grittier which other people love while some people hate.
Cleaning can also be a drag when it comes to a French press. There are times that a lot of gunk will be left at the bottom of the press pot, which will be hard to clean. It may get the French press barely usable after quite some time.
Experiences of French Press Users
Coffee drinkers who prefer a bolder and richer taste would prefer a French press over a pour-over coffee maker. It’s also easy to bring a French press while traveling, so your favorite cup of excellent coffee will always be at hand.
However, brewing multiple cups of coffee can be a bit of a hassle when you use a French press. A regular French press would usually provide one or two cups of coffee. This might be inconvenient for people who require more cups of coffee to get through the day, or start their mornings with a huge dose of coffee. It’s also not that practical to use especially when you have a lot of guests to serve. Plus, cleaning is a bit of hassle, so it’s another effort you need to extend in order to get a quality cup of coffee all over again.
POUR-OVER COFFEE MAKER
What is a Pour-Over Coffee Maker?
A pour-over coffee maker consists of a glass carafe that looks like an open-ended hour glass. Paper filters or mesh filters are placed on top of the carafe opening to hold the coffee grounds while brewing. Water just off boiling point is poured over the grounds using a gooseneck kettle. Brewing time usually takes 3 – 4 minutes. The coffee it produces has a different taste from what a French press creates, but the clean and brighter notes are the reason why people have shifted to the pour-over bandwagon.
Pour-Over Brewing Method
Here’s a quick step-by-step overview of how to brew coffee using a pour-over coffee maker.
Heat fresh filtered water to 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (90 – 96 degrees Celsius). Use a gooseneck kettle which has a thermometer to help you check the right temperature.
Grind 24 grams of coffee (for 400 ml of water or 2 cups of coffee) to a medium-fine coarseness. The coarseness would resemble sea salt. You can adjust the amount of coffee according to strength or flavor.
If you’re using paper filters, fold the filter into fourths by separating one outer layer from the other three layers to create your cone. Place the filter into the carafe and rinse it with hot water. When all of the water has dripped into the carafe, pour it out. This eliminates the papery taste of the filter.
If you want to save time and money from using paper filters, a stainless steel mesh filter can be a great alternative for pour-over coffee brewing.
Pour the coffee grounds on the center of the filter. In a slow and controlled manner, pour about a fifth of the water into the coffee grounds. Wait for 30 seconds as you allow the grounds to settle.
Slowly pour in the rest of the water. The coffee should take no longer than 3 – 4 minutes to brew. After that, there’s nothing left to do but enjoy your cup of happiness!
Resulting Taste of Coffee
A pour-over coffee maker produces a cleaner, lighter, and smoother taste in coffee. Depending on the coffee bean type and roast, you will get brighter and fruitier notes that perk up your senses.
If you’re using paper filters for pour-over coffee brewing, you can just easily throw the filter into the trash after use. If you’re using a mesh filter, you can wash it with a mild detergent, and rinse it thoroughly again with water. The glass carafe is also easy to clean using a dishwashing detergent and water. You might have to use a long-handled brush if the coffee has stayed too long in the carafe and stains have formed inside. You can use a baking soda and vinegar solution to effectively clean hard-to-get-rid-off stains. Store the pour-over coffee maker in an area away from direct sunlight.
Pros of a Pour-Over Coffee Maker
Pour-over coffee makers provide are much easier to clean compared to French presses. You can easily clean out any stains in a pour-over carafe while the gunk forming at the bottom of a French press might be difficult to get rid of.
A pour-over coffee maker also produces a cleaner cup compared to the cloudy quality produced by a French press.
There are also travel-friendly versions of a pour-over coffee maker which make it easy to use for camping outdoors, traveling for work or leisure, or getting quality brew on the go.
Cons of a Pour-Over Coffee Maker
There are times that when you use a paper filter, most of the oils and the richness of the coffee will be absorbed by the paper and left out from the extraction. To solve this, some pour-over coffee maker users have resorted to stainless steel mesh filters (https://kitchables.com/products/pour-over-coffee-drip-filter) to effectively extract the richness of coffee without the hassle of buying multiple paper filters.
Experiences of Pour-Over Coffee Maker Users
People love the ritual of pour-over coffee brewing. The entire process of brewing makes you feel like a barista in your own world of coffee at home. Pour-over brewing can be an art in itself.
Many French Press users who discovered the perks of a pour-over coffee maker made the switch to brewing coffee using the pour-over method. Coffee lovers who realized that they love brighter and fruitier notes in coffee have used a pour-over coffee maker more often than their French press at home.
IN A NUTSHELL
It really is a matter of preference whether you’ll go for a pour-over coffee maker or French press. You may even decide to buy both coffee makers and use them for different situations (one for the office and the other one for home use). However, there’s a big possibility that you would use one more than the other. If you prefer a bolder taste of coffee, go for a French press. But if you like a lighter and cleaner cup of coffee, go for a great-quality pour-over coffee maker.
Coffee makes the world go round because it is an important part of people’s lives. We know you love coffee as much as we do, so we’ve come up with a list of ways on how you can make the most out of your daily coffee ritual.
Are you ready to know tips and tricks that would make you love coffee even more? Read on…
(1) Add Butter Instead of Milk
Adding a pad of butter to your coffee will help improve your energy levels, plus allow you to lose more weight. Use unsalted and grass-fed butter instead of your usual milk or cream.
(2) Cinnamon Creates a Twist
Cinnamon has loads of health benefits, and it can be a healthy alternative to your usual spoonful of sugar. It also adds a sweeter taste to your coffee with zero calories. It makes coffee more flavorful, so keep a bottle of cinnamon where you usually get your coffee.
(3) How To Sweeten Things Up
There are other genius (and at times healthier) ways to add sweetness to your coffee. Besides sprinkling cinnamon, you can add agave, honey, cashew milk, or almond milk. If you like a mocha drink, just add unsweetened cocoa powder to your cup of coffee.
(4) And Salt Adds a Smoother Twist
Does the coffee taste too bitter for you? Add a pinch of salt to give your coffee a smoother taste. Salt balances out the bitter taste of the coffee and is much more helpful than adding spoonfuls of sugar.
(5) Additions To Your Coffee
A good way to make the most out of sweeteners or flavoring to your coffee is to add them before grinding your coffee beans. Add cinnamon, chocolate, or lemon zest to your coffee beans and grind them all together. The result will be great-tasting coffee fresh out of the brew.
(6) Do-It-Yourself Latte
Want to know how you can make your own latte at home? Mix some milk and sugar in a mug and microwave for a minute or less. Use a milk frother to make the mixture foamy. Add this to your coffee and mix – and you get your own delicious latte without having to go to a coffee shop.
(7) Cold Brew Things Up
Cold brew is less acidic than hot coffee. You’ve got to try how your favorite coffee beans would taste like in cold brew version. To do this, grind coffee beans and let the grounds soak in water for 12 hours. Strain out the grounds and the result is your very own homemade cold brew. You can add ice to this cold brew coffee and enjoy it during a hot and stressful day. You can also add sweeteners and cream, or heat it up if you want something warmer.
(8) DIY Creamer
You can save more bucks if you make your own creamer at home. You can even make a healthier version than the usual creamer you buy at the supermarket. Purchase organic milk (preferably sweetened condensed) and flavored extract (almond or vanilla). Mix a few drops of the flavored extract to a few cups of milk. You can do a taste test by mixing it with coffee and see if it is to your liking. Store the homemade creamer in a glass bottle or jar, and you’ll always have the creamer you like whenever you want it. It also lasts longer than most of the creamers available in the market.
(9) Coffee Ice Cubes
If you have some coffee left over, pour it into ice cube trays. You’ll be giving new life to old coffee! Use these coffee ice cubes to iced coffee so that it doesn’t get watered down. You can also pour milk over the coffee ice cubes to get an instant iced latte. A simple trick that makes the most out of your coffee supply while making you enjoy coffee even more.
(10) Make Your Own Homemade Coffee Syrups
The secret to great-tasting coffee in cafes lies in their coffee syrups. You can make syrups by adding 2 cups of sugar to 2 cups of water. Heat it up until the sugar dissolves. You can actually go creative with the flavoring, such as adding caramel or vanilla extract. You can also use berries such as mashed raspberries and strain out the berry chunks before adding them to the sugar mixture. Have fun with experimenting with different formulations and add a particular syrup to your coffee according to your mood during the day. Store your homemade coffee syrups in glass bottles and keep them away from direct sunlight to preserve them longer.
(11) Be a Coffee App Master
Your smartphone can hold a plethora of information about the next best coffee destination. We recommend the Starbucks app which will help you find the nearest coffee shop, earn free drinks, and check nutritional information. TripAdvisor can also help you check locations of coffee shops wherever you travel as well as check their reviews. CoffeeGuru is the go-to app when you want to discover independent coffee shops. Beanhunter is another app which is like Yelp for coffee lovers.
Spro is an app that gives step-by-step instructions on how to make different types of coffee at home. If you want to learn more about how to make coffee art, check out Art of Coffee.
(12) Reuse Coffee Grounds
There’s a lot you can do with used coffee grounds, and there’s a Coffeerama feature about it.
(13) Time is Essential for Coffee Drinking
Your body produces cortisol at around 7 AM, 12 Noon, and 6 PM. The hormone cortisol gives you a burst of energy, and it is during these times that you are naturally energized. Get your coffee at around 9:30 – 11:30 AM and 1:30 – 5:00 PM. Coffee will give you energy whenever your cortisol level dips.
(14) Use Your Coffee in Baked Goodies
Old coffee may not be a glamorous thing to your taste buds, but it can still be used for a variety of things, such as baking. Add coffee to cookie or brownie recipes instead of water.
(15) Use Grapefruit To Boost Coffee
The effects of caffeine on your body will diminish as you drink coffee more often. Take a slice of grapefruit with your coffee to get back to your original buzz. The healthy fat in grapefruit will slow down the process of absorbing caffeine in your system.
(16) Coffee Dessert
If you like to have a dose of Frappuccino-like coffee at home, add coffee and ice cream into a blender and mix it until it forms a milkshake consistency. You get your caffeine fix and satisfy your sweet tooth. No need to go to the coffee shop for that much-needed frappe!
(17) Track the Last Time You Brewed Your Coffee
We suggest that you write the last time you brewed coffee on a sticky note and putting it on the handle of your coffee pot. This will allow everyone (family, friends, or roommates) to know how long the coffee has stayed on the pot. Nobody likes old coffee, so if it’s time for the coffee to go (or to be used in coffee ice cubes or baking), then you can brew a fresh new one.
(18) Coffee For Fitness
Coffee may be a mild diuretic, but it gives you that needed boost for a workout session. It also helps motivate you to lose those extra calories. It helps you effectively lose those extra pounds by releasing fatty acids from the fat tissues in your body. Drink coffee at around 15 – 45 minutes before you hit the gym. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water as well to keep yourself hydrated.
(19) Smaller But Better
Drinking smaller doses of coffee frequently is known to be more effective than drinking one large cup in one go. Set your coffee drinking in smaller doses and schedule it at regular intervals all throughout the day. You may also drink a small cup of coffee whenever you feel tired or need that extra boost.
(20) Make Your Own Bulletproof Coffee
Hearing the term “bulletproof coffee” more often these days? This powerful coffee formulation is a marriage between the love for coffee and the desire of most people to lose weight. The originator of bulletproof coffee, Dave Asprey, invented this type of coffee recipe that revolutionized the way people get an effective energy booster and weight loss aid – all in the form of delicious coffee.
Bulletproof coffee might be quite expensive for some, but you can make a cheaper version at home. To do this, brew your usual black coffee (we recommend using a pour-over coffee maker for ease). Pour the coffee into a blender, add one tablespoon of unsalted grass-fed butter, and add one tablespoon of coconut oil. Blend for 20 seconds or until everything is mixed well. You will see a creamy head over your coffee, and it would look a bit like latte. Pour into a mug and enjoy!
The fat in unsalted grass-fed butter and triglycerides in coconut oil will keep you full for hours without the unnecessary cravings for food. It will also give you a boost of energy all throughout the day. It doesn’t give that usual dip of energy after a few hours of drinking regular coffee. It also provides you with a sharp focus on your work or studies. Bulletproof coffee is now widely known to aid in dramatic weight loss, help muscle-building, and improve cholesterol levels.
(21) Secret Starbucks Drinks
There’s a secret menu in Starbucks that most people don’t know about. The baristas have been trained to make these drinks, and coffee enthusiasts have helped formed this menu. Some of these drinks are region-specific, so you might want to try ordering the following if the Starbucks near you offers it.
– Caramel Apple Frappuccino: Tastes like caramel-dipped apples.
– Orange Creamsicle Frappuccino: A marriage of delicious orange and vanilla.
– Nutella Frappuccino: Nutella with coffee? What’s not to like?
– Spiced Apple Chai: It tastes like spiced apple cider. You can have it hot or cold.
– Mint Chocolate Chip Frappuccino: It’s green tea frappuccino with peppermint syrup and java chips. Yum!
– Peach Ring Tea: This is usually available during summertime. It’s composed of Valencia orange refresher, passion tea, and peach syrup.
– Caramel Snickerdoodle Macchiato: This is like a snickerdoodle cookie covered in caramel.
– Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frappuccino: This is a dessert in a drink – with lots of cookie dough love.
– Ferrero Rocher Frappuccino: This is inspired by hazelnut chocolate sweets.
– Caramel Popcorn Frappuccino: A toffee nut Frappuccino with caramel drizzle and whipped cream. Topped off with sea salt.
– Nutter Butter Frappuccino: A hazelnut frappuccino blended with banana, cinnamon dolce syrup, and toffee nut syrup.
– Peach Cobbler Frappuccino: Imagine getting a peach cobbler in liquid form. This drink is composed of vanilla bean frappuccino, cinnamon dolce syrup, peach syrup, and whipped cream.
– Blackberry Cobbler Frappuccino: A vanilla bean frappuccino with mocha syrup and a scoop of freeze-dried blackberries.
– Cadbury Crème Egg Frappuccino: This is oozing with goodness as it blends java chip frappuccino, shots of espresso, vanilla bean powder, caramel syrup, vanilla syrup, and whipped cream.
– Rainbow Sherbet Frappuccino: This is available when Starbucks offers summer refreshers. It is composed of strawberries and cream frappuccino with vanilla bean powder, raspberry syrup, and peach syrup.
– Black Forest Frappuccino: If mocha cookie crumble frappuccinos are available, add raspberry syrup instead of vanilla syrup for a berry-chocolate overload.
– Banana Chocolate Chip Frappuccino: This delectably thick beverage is a vanilla bean Frappuccino with blended banana and java chips.
– Caramel Macchiato Frappuccino: A vanilla bean frappuccino with two shots of espresso and extra caramel syrup drizzled on top. You may or may not add whipped cream.
– Key Lime Frappuccino: This is available when summer refreshers are offered. It’s composed of lime juice, whole milk, cinnamon dolce syrup, vanilla syrup, white mocha, and whipped cream blended in. You can add whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes on top.
If you want to try these drinks out on your next Starbucks trip for FREE, like the Kitchables Facebook Page for weekly contests!
They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and we couldn’t agree more. It’s where you get food to get you through the day. It’s where you prepare meals to nourish your loved ones. Cooking is as enjoyable as eating what you’ve cooked.
Cooking at home will save you a ton of money from the usual food delivery or fast-food takeout. Home-cooked meals allow you to eat the exact food that you want in less time and expenses than getting a meal at a restaurant. Besides saving money, you’ll also build up your cooking skills, which is always a life-saver in many situations. Plus, you’ll have more chances to eat healthier when you cook at home.
If you’re starting out as a family or living on your own in a small apartment, you have to be more discerning as to what to include in your tiny kitchen. We’ll help you strategize on what to pick from the store shelves and what to leave behind so that you can save more space, make the most out of the versatility of certain kitchen tools, and cover all bases in cooking.
You don’t need an overwhelming amount of kitchen tools as a start. On the contrary, you can get by with just some tools, and most of them are quite affordable. The following items are versatile tools that are pretty awesome kitchen staples.
Multipurpose Tools For Small Kitchens
We have narrowed everything down to eight items which are good enough to get you through most, if not, all kinds of cooking.
- Chef’s Knife
You might get lost choosing a myriad of knife options in a store, but a general utility knife is good enough to tackle most of your food prep and cooking tasks. You can use it for chopping veggies and fruits, slicing meat, and so much more. If you’re going to buy just one knife for your kitchen, let it be a broad-bladed chef’s knife. A high-quality and versatile knife will last you a long time. You might even hand it down to your children’s children.
- Cutting Board
Invest in a good quality cutting board, as it will be your constant kitchen aid for food preparation. Get one that is lightweight, rectangular, and around ten by sixteen inches which can be used for chopping ingredients or even serving hors d’oeuvres. You can buy a handy cutting board for a few dollars or a more expensive long-lasting artisan item.
- Pan with Lid
A four to six-inch quart pan can be used for a variety of cooking purposes. You can use it to boil water for pasta, simmer soups, make sauces, sauté vegetables and meat, create one-pot meals, and a whole lot of other things. Choose one which is oven-safe so that you can use it for broiling or baking. A pan with a lid will also help you drain water or liquids.
- Cast-Iron Skillet
You may forego using a non-stick skillet and use a cast-iron instead for a variety of cooking. From the usual frying, sautéing and broiling, you could also bake, pan-sear, and roast using a cast-iron skillet. There are good enough skillets costing 20 dollars. High-end pans which may cost more than a 100 dollars can be your kitchen buddy for a long time.
- Multipurpose Box-Grater
Four-in-one box graters will help you on multiple food preparations. Instead of buying the usual cheese slicer or cheese grater which only serve one purpose, you can save money and storage space by going for a multipurpose one.
- Multipurpose Peeler
Scout the kitchen department shelves for a multipurpose tool that can peel, slice, grate, or zest all in one. If you could see yourself using it in various situations, then make it a part of your kitchen.
- Silicone Spatula
You might think that you don’t need a spatula for everyday cooking, but it will actually save you a lot of trouble in the long run. You can use it to handle batter, scramble eggs, mix ingredients, and stir stews or soups.
And of course, you need plates, glasses, and utensils to enjoy the fruits of your labor. There are still dangers to buying plastic dinnerware such as melamine and polypropylene. Even if at first there’s little threat of plastic leaching chemicals to your food, it may pose significant health risks over a long period. If you want break-resistant dinnerware, go for a tempered glass material such Corelle. There are also eco-friendly options such as bamboo, ceramics, glass, and stainless steel.
Tools To Consider When You’re Home Gets Bigger
And by getting bigger, we mean when you’re hosting large parties or getting involved in community events more often. These tools will help you prepare for a feast.
- A Large Pot and a Small Pot
If you’re going to cook multiple recipes (your pan with a lid and cast-iron skillet may not be enough), go for two pots in different sizes. You can use the small pot to cook for yourself, and the large one can be used for bigger meals.
Look for a ladle which has a bent handle that you can hook on the sides of a pot or bowl.
- Locking Tongs
Go for locking tongs with non-slip handles. Scalloped tips will also ensure a firm grip on food. You can use locking tongs to toss vegetables in a skillet or bowl, turning meats on a grill, and so much more.
Go for a solid instead of a wired handle which will prevent ingredients from getting stuck inside. A whisk with thin wires will ensure a reliable whipping.
- Kitchen Shears
A sturdy pair which has tapered and fine tips will help you prep food easily. Buy one that has large handles and feels comfortable with your grip.
- Baking Pans
You only need two baking pans as a start. Go for a 9” by 13” baking pan and casserole-style pan. You might use one more than the other, but if you need to bake two things at once, the two pans will help you get through the baking jitters.
- Baking Sheet
You can bake vegetables, pizzas, cookies, and other pastries using a baking sheet. A baking sheet is a must, especially when you have kids at home. If you’re single, you can also go crazy cooking anything with it for yourself, loved ones, or neighbors.
- Loaf Pan
This is an optional tool. If you’re going to bake bread or meatloaf regularly, then this is a must-have investment.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
Measuring the right amounts or proportions of ingredients will help you make the most out of recipes. Invest on measuring cups which you can use for both dry and wet ingredients. Opt for oval-shaped measuring spoons that fit right into spice jars.
- Paring Knife
A paring knife will help you peel fruits, vegetables, and other small ingredients. Choose a paring knife which best suits your grip. This is like your chef’s knife best assistant in cooking.
- Knife Rack or Stand
This is a “safety zone” for your knives and prevents them from getting all over the place (or hurting someone). A magnetic knife rack will slow down the wear on your knives, but this won’t be a safe option if you have kids at home. A knife stand with closed sides to protect the blades would be a better (and safer) option.
- Spice Rack
Keep your spice rack well stocked. Include herbs to add a healthier and tastier twist to your meals.
- Food Processor
There’s so much you can do with a food processor. It will also be your health buddy as you can process veggies and fruits with it.
- Reusable Food Containers
Preparing your meals beforehand also saves you a lot of money. You can use reusable containers to store your prepped meals, or turn it to lunchboxes for your kids. Do take note that you must not microwave food using plastic containers. Cool your meals first before putting them in these containers. Glass containers are also a recommended option to keep your food fresh in the refrigerator.
- Classic Dinnerware
The classic dinnerware will add a nice touch to your home. Other types of dinnerware to consider are earthenware, stoneware, porcelain or china, and vitrified glass. Choose dinnerware items which fit into your cupboards or cabinets. You can build up your dinnerware collection over time, which will serve your family and guests during important occasions.
Other Tools Which Make a Whole Lot of Difference
These may be optional tools you can add to your growing kitchen over time. They will save you a lot of time in cooking. These items can also make cooking more convenient.
- Slotted Spoon
A slotted spoon will help you separate the solids from the liquids in cooking. Choose a stainless steel handle which won’t get too hot as you cook.
- Garlic Press
This will save you a ton of time in cooking. Choose one that works well with unpeeled cloves and is dishwasher-safe.
- Can Opener
Choose a smooth edge or safe cut can opener which opens the lid with smooth edges. It would also ensure that the lid won’t lower into your food.
A standard corkscrew will open wine or beer bottles. It also takes less space than a two-armed model.
Look for a shatterproof and easy-to-read thermometer to help you cook on the right temperature.
Choose a peppermill with an easily adjustable grind setting. This will allow you to come up with fine to coarse grinds according to your liking. Look for a model which has a large hole to fit peppercorns easily.
There are digital models available which will help you keep track of multiple time keepings, such as checking time for baking in the oven, cooking on the stovetop, and refrigerating food.
- Wire Mesh Colanders
Buy a wire mesh colander with a foot at the bottom so that it will separate your pasta from the puddle in the sink. A small colander will also work in sifting flour.
- Salad Spinner
Go for one with a solid bowl so that you can swish-clean greens and use it for serving.
- Serrated Bread Knife
Look for a bread knife which is at least 8 inches long with a rigid blade. An offset handle will help you slice through bread or sandwiches without hurting your knuckles on the chopping board.
- Potato Masher
Go for a masher with a curved head. It will help you maneuver easily through the corners of pots and bowls.
- Microplane grater
This would most probably be available in your multipurpose tool, but if the multipurpose tool doesn’t have this function you can settle with a one-function microplane grater. It can be used for smaller tasks such as grating cheese, nutmeg, and garlic. It can zest lemons effectively. Choose one which is stainless steel and has razor-sharp cutting teeth.
- Lemon Press
Look for a lemon press with ridges that allow you to grip fruit better. Large ones will help you press limes or lemons in all sizes.
A blender is essential whenever you want to make healthy smoothies, protein shakes, or milkshakes. It also helps you explore juicing or blending options and see which recipes can help you become healthier.
- Tea Sleeves
Eco-friendly and biodegradable tea filters which help you get a good dose of nourishing teas are the trend these days. Stock up on whole tea leaves and use your tea sleeves for an enriching afternoon tea.
- Cookbooks or iPad
Cookbooks have a functional and aesthetic appeal to your kitchen. They are also a great source of information whenever you’re running out of cooking ideas. If you want to save more space, you can use an iPad to store digital cookbooks and recipes. Your iPad can also function as a timer and play your favorite music while cooking.
40. Coffee Tools and Accessories
Coffee is a significant aspect in most homes, and we recommend these coffee tools and accessories that give you a bang for your buck while helping you brew great-tasting coffee.
Nowadays, people are always on the go and most of the time in a hurry. Through the years, the world has become more and more innovative that people discover so many ways to make their daily tasks easier and better. For many working professionals and students, this innovation has to involve cooking and preparing food for everyday survival. Enter the rise of mason jars.
If you aren’t in the loop yet – did you know that there are plenty of things you can do using mason jars in terms of food preparation? Nope, they’re not just for decorations or for beautifying your food before posting a photo of it on Instagram. It’s more than that.
Mason jars are great for food or meal storage. You can prepare much of your food ingredients before the work week starts and store them in a mason jar. Your food will likely stay fresh longer compared to when you store it in a plastic container.
Mason jars are also better for the environment, cheaper, and do not have harmful chemicals that may get into your food. Aside from that, they’re easier to transport because the lids fit or seals better, thus preventing unnecessary spills. If you plan to bring your salad jar, for example, in the office or school, you can easily place the jar in your bag since it holds up properly compared to a plastic container.
Are you ever wondering how to eat salad in a jar? You don’t have to! Because the whole point of the jar is for you to properly store your food and transport them easily when you’re on the go. When time comes you have to eat your food, just dump it in your plate or bowl. Easy!
But salads are not the only thing you can prepare in a mason jar. There are a whole lot of easy mason jar recipes waiting to be discovered and yes, in most cases, you can actually eat straight from the jar! It depends on what exactly you are preparing.
Mason jar recipes are great for events and gatherings too because you can prepare exact portions ahead of time depending on the number of guests you have.
To give you more ideas, here are 20 quick mason jar recipes you should definitely try making. Perfect for when you’re always on the go or even when you just want to prepare some no-bake recipes. You will love these for sure. Don’t say you weren’t warned! 😉
1. Strawberry Chocolate Yogurt Parfait
Image Credit: Happily Unprocessed
This isn’t just a delicious meal; it’s also super easy and fun to make. It doesn’t take much of your time. Just layer yogurt and granola then top with chocolate bits and strawberries. Perfect! You can make it the night before and bring it with you to your office the next day if you’re in a hurry. Sounds conveniently delicious to me! Get the recipe here.
2. Teeny Tiny Baby Cinnamon Rolls
Think cinnamon rolls in a jar. Isn’t that enough to keep you dreaming of a hearty meal? Pack some teeny tiny baby cinnamon rolls in mason jars through this super easy and quick recipe.
3. Wheat Berry Apple Salad
This recipe can easily be a favorite picnic food. It’s super easy to put the ingredients together, pack and store in a jar, and go. What more could you ask for?
4. Sweet and Spicy Chili with Cornbread Topping
This epic recipe is perfect for a cold and drizzly weekend while watching your favorite tv show and acting like a complete couch potato. Okay, that’s really just an example. But you can prepare and eat it at just about any time and any day you like.
5. Barbecue Sundae Supper
Image Credit: Dixie Delights Online
You will be delighted to find out about this recipe, which according to the author, is both darling and practical for feeding a crowd. Well, we couldn’t agree more. Ready to pull it off? Get the recipe here.
6. Creamy Chicken, Apple, and Cashew Salad
A meal with protein, all natural carbohydrates, and fat – this creamy chicken, apple, and cashew salad will help keep you focused and energized throughout your busy day. The good thing about this recipe is that you can always replace or substitute with other ingredients whichever are available for you at the moment.
7. No-Bake Key Lime Pie
This tropical summer pie in a jar is truly a treat. It’s very easy to make and makes about 4 servings, but of course you can always adjust. You can choose to eat it right away or chill it overnight and devour it the next morning. Either way is a great idea!
8. No-Bake Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Trifles
Blueberry and lemon is a delicious flavor combination so this no-bake cheesecake recipe will definitely not disappoint. You can even directly consume it from the mason jar. Hmmm, yummy!
9. No-Bake Mini Grasshopper Pies
This deliciously awesome pies are not just another dessert in a jar because really, they look so yummy! Why are they even called “grasshopper” pies? Well, there’s the green color, which made it just more fun and all so beautiful. Okay, maybe you should just go check it out yourself.
10. Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
Image Credit: Pop Sugar
Sweet potato and quinoa? Sounds good! Try whipping up this salad for extra fiber that will make you stay full and satisfied for a longer time. Yup, that’s right so no need to grab unnecessary calories for the rest of the day.
11. Spinach and Avocado Salad
There’s really nothing much to do for this salad. Simply layer spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, goat cheese, avocado, dried cranberries for sweetness, and even more spinach. You’re done!
12. Bacon and Eggs in a Jar
Who says mason jars are only for salads and desserts? Apparently, you can use them for a million other things including the timeless bacon and eggs breakfast combo. Easy, quick, and delicious. If you ever need an idea, hop on over here to see how it’s done.
13. Apple Pie Pancake
“Soft, sweet cooked apples, plump and juicy raisins, crunchy walnuts, and a fluffy pancake laced with ribbons of apple butter” are the exact words of the author of this simple recipe. This apple pie pancake in a jar is pure happiness especially to apple pie and pancake lovers out there! With lots of cinnamon on top, this is a perfect breakfast meal or even a quick snack.
14. Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
The unexpected combo of macaroni and cheese is exactly what makes this recipe unique and intriguing. You’ll likely be surprised with how fun this is. And for sure, your family and friends will be delighted too. Mac and cheese lovers will even rejoice!
15. DIY Instant Noodle Cups
Image Credit: The Kitchn via Emma Christensen
Everybody wants and needs noodle cups at one point or another. But not all are healthy. These do-it-yourself noodle cups are genius! You just pack all the necessary (and healthy) ingredients in a jar then pour hot water once you’re ready to consume it. Read more about it here.
16. Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Also known as Monkey Bread in a Jar, this sweet cinnamon pastry is an amazing treat. It’s not only delicious, it smells so good too. You can never resist it as soon as you see and smell it fresh from your oven. Here’s how.
17. Mason Jar Hummus and Veggies Snack
This homemade snack in a jar is packed with healthy and yummy ingredients. It’s definitely very easy and quick to prepare too. The next time you run out of ideas on how to include veggies in your diet, you should try this jar recipe.
18. Chilled Corn Peach and Basil Buttermilk Soup
Chilled corn and peach basil buttermilk soup makes a great picnic snack. This is best for family or friends get together. Rich in taste and low in fat – this buttermilk soup is one for the books.
19. Shepherd’s Pie in a Jar
This is a super fun recipe! It’s a great meal on the go – breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack, it doesn’t matter anymore because once you see how good it is, you probably won’t stop. You’ll get hungry just by looking at it.
20. Chia Pudding
Image Credit: Say Yes
This recipe is extremely easy but full of healthy benefits. It’s also gluten and dairy-free. Chia seeds have earned the superfood title with its amazing benefits despite its size. They’re rich in fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
This is best prepared the night before and enjoyed the day after. Get the recipe here.
So what’s your plan for your next recipe? Which one are you making next?
If you love spending time in the kitchen, whether cooking or eating, chances are you’ve already mastered a lot of genius food prep hacks. Good to know that! Knowing your way in and out of the kitchen and mastering your kitchen tools will definitely save you more time and effort.
If you’re a busy homemaker who’s juggling your job, parenthood, and other responsibilities, you will be delighted to find out that there are quick and easy tricks in the kitchen you need to know to make your life even a little easier. Or fun!
For you, we outlined 40 of the best kitchen hacks when preparing food and other ingredients. Enjoy!
1. After cutting an onion, spread butter on the cut side to keep it fresh in the fridge for a couple of days.
2. For an improvised mixer lid, make two holes on a disposable plate and you’ll never have to worry about too much mess when baking.
3. To keep spinach and other leafy greens from getting slimy, place them in a container then add paper towels. This will absorb the moisture and will make the leaves last a little longer than usual.
4. To make cereals crisp again, spread them out in a pan and put in the oven for about 5-10 minutes at 375 degrees.
5. To retain the flavors of mushrooms, clean them with a moist paper towel or a soft brush. This would also depend on the variety and how dirty the mushrooms are. Some people actually tested washing them quickly under running water and they seem to be fine that way too.
6. To stop you from tearing up while cutting onions, try spraying your chopping board or knife with a little lime juice before chopping the onions.
7. To keep cookies soft and fresh for a longer time, store them in a container with an apple wedge.
8. Use Jell-O to color frosting if you don’t have any food coloring.
9. Put a large marshmallow on your cupcakes for the last five minutes of baking. It will make a great frosting.
10. No stand mixer? Make a whipped cream by shaking it in a mason jar or in a plastic water bottle.
11. Lightly mist your ice cream scoop with a non-stick spray then use it to evenly scoop your batter when making cupcakes or cookies.
12. Boil eggs in the oven instead of a pot. To have more hard-boiled eggs in one go, bake eggs in muffin tins for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
13. Make ready-to-blend smoothie packs. Assemble and freeze the ingredients ahead of time. Measure them early on so that you’ll have perfect portions every time.
14. Pre-assemble salads in a mason jar to keep your veggies from getting soggy. Put the dressing at the bottom, followed by sturdier veggies, then the leafy greens on top. Place a paper towel on top of them all to absorb moisture.
15. Chop raw vegetables in bulk ahead of time and seal them properly in containers to be kept in your fridge.
16. To keep brown sugar soft, try putting a piece of bread into the container. You can also use an orange peel or a slice of apple to keep sugar lumps from forming.
17. Still have leftover wine from your last party? Place that liquid in Ziploc bags and freeze. Next time you need wine for a recipe, you can easily grab one.
18. When in a small gathering – instead of scooping the ice cream, use a hot knife to slice it. You’ll more even portions to serve. Dip the close ice cream container into a large bowl of hot water, remove the lid, and then invert it to a large plate or cutting board.
19. To slice cake without a mess, use a hot knife. Re-heat it as needed to make sure you get perfect cake slices each time.
20. Keep peeled potatoes from turning brown by putting them in a bowl of cold water until they’re ready to be cooked.
21. To come up with crispy bacon, bake it in an oven. Pre-heat to 400 degrees then spread the bacon on a tin foil covered tray for 12 minutes. The evenly distributed heat will help cook the bacon properly.
22. To remove the stem from strawberries, insert a straw in the middle of the fruit until the core is removed.
23. Serve condiments quickly using a muffin tin. This is best for barbecue parties or any outdoor gatherings and events.
24. Use an empty ketchup bottle for your pancake mix and enjoy a no-mess cooking experience.
25. To measure sticky ingredients like honey, spray a little cooking oil onto the cup before measuring.
26. Blend leftover vegetables and fruits then pour the contents into ice cube molds. These smoothie ice cubes can be used at a later time instead of using ice.
27. To keep ice cream soft, place the gallon of ice cream in a Ziploc bag. Now, you don’t have to worry about breaking your spoon or eating just a small portion.
28. To easily mince garlic without mess, lightly coat your hands in olive oil before mincing.
29. To peel individual garlic clove, lay it on the cutting board and place the flat side of the knife on top of it, with the garlic being closer to the knife handle than the center of the blade. Then slap the heel of your hand down and smash the side of the blade against the clove.
30. To neatly drain spinach, poke holes in the bottom of the spinach bag then place it in a bowl to defrost. Next, squeeze it when it’s thawed. The water will just drain to the holes and into the bowl without sticking to your hands and your sink.
31. Always have pre-measured butter on hand by cutting tablespoon-size pieces ahead of time. This way, you can easily just get a piece from the fridge when you need one for a recipe.
32. To easily peel potatoes without using a peeler, boil the potatoes then place them in a bowl of cold water. The skin will just soften and separate from the potato so that it slides right off.
33. Try wrapping celery in tin foil before storing it in a refrigerator so that it won’t get floppy.
34. When poaching an egg, add a teaspoon of white vinegar to simmering water to help keep the yolk from breaking.
35. Pre-soak pasta for about a couple of hours or overnight. It will cook in about 1 minute.
36. Remove tough stems on leafy greens by pinching the stem and gently pulling off the leaves with your other hand.
37. Gently press and roll citrus fruits on the table first to peel them easily and to avoid mess. This quick trick loosens the skin fibers. Make sure to not pound, squeeze, or squash.
38. Batch-roast your vegetables at the beginning of the week to keep a health batch of food. Roast off your usual veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, kale, or sweet potatoes.
39. Wrap your taco with lettuce to keep it from falling apart.
40. For a quick and easy snack, use pre-packaged pastry dough and fill it with Nutella, and then bake.
Go ahead and try everything when you can. Although there’s a possibility that not everything will work for you, there’s also a high chance that you will discover another incredible hack that will work for you!
Imagine a corner in your home where you can always get a happy boost – in the form of a coffee bar. You might no longer need to head outside and go to a coffee shop that often when you can have a little café in your own home. This will save you thousands of bucks from your coffee shop hopping budget. Plus, you can sit back and relax, have the exact kind of coffee you want, within the comforts that your home provides.
In this week’s Kitchables coffee guide, we tackle the ins and outs of coming up with your own coffee bar. We’ll give you ideas on how to design this particular station and what you need to set it up. You can work with what you have by repurposing materials, or you can start from scratch by customizing your dream coffee bar.
We’ll help you cover all the bases in designing a coffee bar such as the following:
- Getting Inspiration
- What You Need In a Coffee Bar
- Working with What You Have
- Starting From Scratch
I. GETTING INSPIRATION
You have to be greatly inspired about something to come up with the best result. Expand your mind by looking for ideas, or brainstorming your own, for a coffee bar that you would love for a very long time. Here are some tips and tricks that would help bring out your best coffee bar idea.
Tip #1: Inspiration Bank
You can find a lot of inspiration in print and online. We recommend that you check out Pinterest boards, or even come up with your own. Making a Pinterest board allows you to curate design inspiration and ideas found all over the web. It also gives you a nice overview of the style set that you want to achieve.
Tip #2: Key Questions
Ask yourself what do you want to achieve? Do you have a particular vision as to what your coffee bar would look like? What do you want your coffee bar to have? Let your imagination run wild as to how awesome your coffee bar would be.
Tip #3: Begin with the End in Mind
Remember that a coffee bar would be like having your own mini coffee shop at home. It should have everything you need (and a little bit more) in making and enjoying coffee. It should help you make great-tasting coffee while being a fun corner to serve your guests. It should be something that you will be really proud of while being functional for a long time.
Tip #4: Sketch Ideas
Sketch ideas on what you want for your coffee bar. It’s best that the coffee bar would fit nicely with the interior look and feel of your house. You can sketch your own or ask for the help of a more artistic friend or expert. Sketching your idea on paper will take you one step closer to building it into reality.
Tip #5: Share the Love
Share your ideas with the people that you live with. Let them into the game of having this happy corner in your living space. You might get them excited about this prospect of having a coffee bar, and they could help you along the way.
Keep in mind that you are creating a space to serve people. This coffee bar will serve your daily coffee needs. It can also be a spot where family and guests can convene to get a dose of your favorite coffee. A coffee bar is more than just a storage for coffee accessories. It can be the conversation starter at a party, a place where you can always be happy, or simply a showcase of your love for coffee.
II. WHAT YOU NEED IN A COFFEE BAR
We start off with the essentials and suggest other things you might need. Every individual will have different preferences on what to include in a coffee bar, but this list covers the common elements found in home coffee stations.
- Coffee Maker
Determine which type of coffee maker best suits your needs. Automatic coffee makers such as espresso machines or drip machines will take more space. Manual coffee makers such as a French press or pour-over coffee maker are classic and functional pieces to add. Whatever coffee maker you choose, make sure that it gives you the best cup of coffee that suits your taste.
- Coffee Beans
It’s still best to buy whole coffee beans to ensure freshness in every cup. Experiment on different coffee beans and brew them with your favorite coffee maker. You may also opt to get a coffee subscription to keep your coffee bar well-stocked. Showcase a collection of your best coffee beans on your coffee bar and be proud of it. Store your coffee beans in air-tight containers to maintain freshness.
A burr grinder brings out the best grind for your coffee. Get a ceramic burr grinder with adjustable settings.
- Weighing scale
This will help you accurately measure the right amount of coffee beans or grounds to make the perfect cup of coffee.
If you’re going to make coffee using a manual coffee maker, a kettle is a must in brewing. Purchase a high-quality gooseneck kettle to make brewing a breeze. We recommend a kettle with a built-in thermometer to get the right water temperature.
- Mugs and Cups
Mugs and cups with saucers are not just functional pieces, but they can also add an aesthetic appeal to your coffee bar’s overall look. You can work with the color scheme of your current coffee mugs in store, or buy extra ones which have a design that you like. Choose pieces which add color or emphasize the style that you want for your coffee bar.
If you have an espresso machine or fancy making desserts in cups, we recommend getting stylish espresso cups to add to your home coffee bar.
- Teaspoons or Stirring Sticks
Store your teaspoons or stirring sticks in fun glass containers. Teaspoons can be used over and over again at home, while stirring sticks are perfect to use whenever you have guests.
These include sugar, sweeteners, syrups, cinnamon, chocolate powder, and any other additions you want in your coffee. You can also add tea leaves or tea bags if you want to have tea at times with your family or guests.
Other Things To Consider
- Portable Stovetop or Hot Plate
A small stovetop or hot plate will help you boil water on the spot. A hot plate is especially useful when you are brewing coffee manually.
- Small bowls
Small bowls will help you in setting aside coffee beans or grounds while you’re brewing coffee. And yes, it can also be used for other purposes.
Gourmet syrups will add a great twist to your usual cup of coffee. Experiment with different syrup flavors and display them as key elements of your coffee bar.
- Instant Coffee
You may add instant coffee packs to your coffee station whenever you need a quick cup of coffee for yourself or guests.
- Sugar and Creamer Packs
Purchasing sugar and creamer packs is a wise and economical move. They ensure that you don’t go overboard with using additions to coffee. These are also perfect condiments to use whenever you have guests at home.
- Cleaning Materials
Keep small towels, napkins, sanitizers and other cleaning agents in store to keep your coffee bar spick and span.
A stick thermometer will help you in the coffee brewing process. Choose a smart stick thermometer to help you efficiently check temperatures.
- Measuring Cups
Glass measuring cups will help you measure the right amount of ingredients to make the perfect cup of coffee, or perhaps mix ingredients for whatever dessert you want to make with coffee.
III. WORKING WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
Recycling or repurposing materials will save you a ton of bucks in making a coffee bar. The great thing about repurposing is that you don’t have to add more furniture that can increase the clutter in your home. Start with what you have at home and go creative!
Do you have a cart?
A vintage tray or cart is the best way to have a coffee bar on wheels. It can also be a breakfast station where you can have your coffee and light meals. If it only has one tray on top, add more trays at the lower level to contain other coffee accessories. Paint it with whatever color or pattern you want.
Do you want to repurpose a table, cabinet or dresser?
We usually buy furniture and forget about it over time. Make the most out of the furniture you don’t need and turn it into the best thing you could ever have at home. Repurposing cabinets, tables, or dressers into a coffee bar will save you money while stretching your creative muscles.
Find a way to organize your coffee tools and accessories in your repurposed furniture. The top portion can hold your coffee makers, beans, and mugs. If it has drawers, you can put condiments and other accessories in it. If you want to add more compartments, simply cut some reclaimed wood and attach them to the coffee bar using nails or screws.
Do you have bookshelves at home?
The compartments of bookshelves are a perfect way to store and display coffee accessories. It’s like going to your bookshelf, not for books, but for coffee now. Organize your coffee makers and accessories within each shelf according to purpose or frequency of use. A bookshelf is also an excellent way to display your gourmet coffee and syrups.
Do you have wooden crates?
Stack wooden crates on top of each other and paint them with the perfect color that fits right into your interiors. They can be instant organizers and display cases to store your coffee essentials. You can also do this with wooden boxes, cases, or drawers that you can find at home.
IV. STARTING FROM SCRATCH
If you want to start from the very scratch of designing your ultimate coffee bar, here are some steps that can help you achieve that dream. This option in making a coffee bar might be more expensive, but it will always result in something stylish, elegant, and more custom-built for your interiors. It can also save you a lot of time and effort in building your dream coffee bar.
- Dimensions of Your Coffee Bar
Take into account all of the things you need and determine the space required for each part of your coffee bar. You might need bigger dimensions if you have an espresso machine or automatic drip coffee maker. Take note of all other essentials such as coffee beans and mugs. Everything has to fit perfectly in your coffee bar without looking too stuffy.
- Sketch studies for your coffee bar
Sketch by hand or with a computer program. One of the easiest ways to 3D-design anything is through Google SketchUp. It might take an hour or less to learn the tool, but designing will be so easy using it. The good thing about SketchUp is that you can design anything according to the right dimensions, and print the design out that includes the measurements using the Layout tool.
If all else fails, you may also opt to hire a designer to help you custom-design a coffee bar. You can tell the designer your wishlist for your coffee bar, and he/she can cook something up for you.
- A custom-built coffee bar
Check online or the local directory for carpenters or custom-designing shops. Send them the design that you want and negotiate prices. The cost will depend on your requirements and the rates of the shop. It pays to canvass prices from different services to see which gives you more value for your money.
IN A NUTSHELL
A coffee bar is a great addition to any home. Take note of the things you need and want for a coffee station. Make sure that your coffee accessories are of excellent quality so that you will enjoy all the perks of your coffee bar. Let your creativity run wild in designing and building this happy corner. Whether you’re repurposing furniture or building from scratch, the result must be something that serves you well.