The Pursuit of Coffee Perfection

I hold my hands up I’m a coffee addict, I’ve been pursuing a home-brewed cup that rivals a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato for quite some time. But finding the recipe is only half of the story, I found out very quickly that making good coffee is going to cost me more than I initially thought. Websites such as coffeegeek and homebarista told me that decent espresso machines will set me back at least £1000! I could buy 333 Macchiatos from Starbucks for that.

Since I’m on a budget I started with an Aeropress (recommended by many forums), which is a plunger type device that claims to make 4 espressos. This device is fantastic and it does make a great cup of coffee, but I wouldn’t call it an espresso, it’s just not strong enough.

Not fully satisfied with my new purchase I took to the internet again looking for a stronger coffee fix. Again looking for the cheap option I found Mypressi a similarly cleaver device to the Aeropress, just fill it with water from your kettle and using compressed gas it provides the correct amount of pressure required for good espresso.

Right so let’s say I buy a Mypressi I’m still not finished, how do I create that wonderful steamed milk? Espresso machines usually include a steam wand but unfortunatly the Mypressi doesn’t have that luxury. The only solution I could find was a stove-top milk steamer by Bellman, a nice piece of kit which should do the job perfectly, but more money! Looking a little further this was just the tip of the iceberg, I made a list of what I would need to buy, but also trying to keep the price as low as possible:

Mypressi: £100
Grinder: £30
Stove-top Milk Steamer: £50
Milk Jug with Temperature Gauge: £12.50
Good quality coffee (from Has Bean): £6
Starbucks vanilla syrup: £6
Starbucks caramel syrup
: £6
Tamper: £20
Open portafilter: ?

Total: At least £230

Expensive stuff indeed, I was gob-smacked when I found out how much it costs. If anyone knows how I could get this any cheaper please let me know 🙂

Update: I have now bought the Stove-top Milk SteamerMilk Jug with Temperature GaugeStarbucks vanilla syrup.

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2 Responses to “The Pursuit of Coffee Perfection”

  1. Phil Brisk 06/18/2012 at 7:21 pm # Reply

    Ric – this is really useful info. Thank you for being a coffee nerd – your research is invaluable. I’ve never had a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato but you’ve piqued my curiosity so I will.

    We buy our beans from Denby Dale Coffee over in Holmfirth but I will obviously check out Has Been.

    Ta again.

    • ricriley 06/18/2012 at 8:01 pm # Reply

      Cheers, the Starbucks Caramel Macchiato is nice but I’ve sort of grown out of it these days. It’s not really got enough punch! It also varies from shop to shop. I’ll have to pop into Denby Dale too. I once went all the way to Kendal to pick up some Coffee, Holmfirth is a little closer.

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