The biggest factor in finally kicking my coffee shop habit is my coffee maker. I've tried a lot of home brewing systems, and the one that each person loves is largely a personal choice for sure, but I haven't heard a lot of people talk about the one I finally fell in love with:
It's called the Mr Coffee Cafe Latte and it is a genius product! It's basically a drip coffee maker with a milk frother built into the lid of the carafe, so it froths and heats the milk and brews the coffee at the same time, into the same pitcher. I've had mine for 3 years and it is still going strong! If you love lattes, cappuccinos, or any other similar drink that mixes some ratio of milk and coffee, I highly recommend it. Even though it's drip coffee instead of espresso, I've figured out how to make the drip coffee strong enough to taste basically the same.
The second part of learning to make my own coffee was figuring out the recipes I liked. I can now very quickly and easily make pretty much all of my favorite coffee shop drinks: vanilla lattes, mochas, peppermint mochas, black tea lattes, chai lattes, and more! Even better, I know exactly what ingredients go into my drink. I admit I like a lot of sweet coffee drinks, but I can use coconut sugar instead of corn syrup and control the amount depending on my mood. If you want to see some of my recipes, here is a post I wrote on how to flavor coffee (you can use these with any drip coffee maker), and here is my recipe for the best chai tea ever (in my opinion)- I make a big batch of tea and then froth and heat it with milk in the latte machine.
I'm not saying I don't still enjoy coffee shops, but I rarely go anymore and when I do, it's either because I'm already out and can't go home or because I'm meeting someone and want to go out- I actually now prefer my own coffee most of the time! It makes me so happy to know that I can now make my own perfect cup of coffee at home.
If any of you are coffee lovers who wish you could cut back on your Starbucks bill like me, give it a try- I think you'll be impressed with your own coffee making skills! And if you're ready to put away hot coffee in favor of the iced variety, here's my easy iced coffee routine :)
Happy Monday, everyone- go get 'em!