HowtocreateanathomecafeBetter Than Starbucks Day #2: Creating an At-Home Cafe

When she came to my house, I knew she was looking for support and a few (OK, maybe more than a few) laughs. But as Tonya came into my kitchen, she revealed her true purpose for being there, “I knew you’d have good creamer for the coffee…”

Even if you don’t love coffee, I think it’s important to have a basic set up for when friends and family come over and need a cup. Not want a cup. Need a cup.

In my house it’s:

  1. Jesus
  2. Family
  3. Coffee

(And let’s be clear. On bad days, number’s 2 and 3 can get switched.)

When my friend Bronwyn moved from our hometown to an Austin suburb, she left a lot of love. Girls who “got” her and who she “got”. That’s hard stuff to leave. That’s until she found her new group: Her coffee group: “I felt the pain of loneliness until I found the gals here in TX I now share my Thursday mornings with. We rotate whose home we meet in and enjoy breakfast and the much needed fuel for our lives COFFEE together.  It is during this time that we share life; the struggles, joys, frustrations and vent about all things we can’t take to our husbands. The coffee dates are the food for our souls.”

If she misses a Thursday coffee date, her husband Jason tells her to call her friends and go out, “You need them and I need you to be with them” he will say.

I LOVE having my own little cafe at home. I love having people over and mixing up new and fun drinks to try. Here are just a couple of things you may want to invest in to start your own at-home cafe:

Get Your Equipment Set Up

    • frotherFrother When Tonya, heard that I was going to be talking about at home cafes, she posted on Facebook,”I was at IKEA and was going to buy another cruddy frother. I put it back because your’s was STELLAR. Please tell us what that one is.” I have tried many a frother, but my favorite is this Bon Jour Rechargeable. It actually froths the milk – not just moves it around. It gets nice and frothy and not only do my drinks taste great, they look AMAZING.
    • Espresso Maker An Aeropress Coffee Maker the BEST system for making espresso shots and is less than treating your family to Starbucks drinks and treats.

Have Some Choices
One of the reasons that going to a coffee shop is such a great option is all the varieties of flavorings available. Here are a few items (besides the basics) you may want to get to set yourself up as an at home barista:

    • Coffee Flavoring
    • Creamer
    • Peppermint sticks
    • Good quality cocoa

Do you need to buy all these things at once? Of course not. Coffee with milk and some kind of sweetener will get you started. But, it’s fun to be “the coffee house” and let people experiment. Plus, even if you did go on a caffeine-induced shopping spree and bought all those fun extras, you could make up for it in a year with avoiding one Starbucks run a week.

Use Great Mugs Using your favorite mug, and having a few mugs put away for friends that are “their mug” at your house instantly makes your friends feel like they have a place in your home.

Yummy Treats are a Must When you make a loaf of banana bread at home, and then compare it to paying $2.25 for a single slice at Starbucks, you’ll feel like a genius for never leaving your house.

Learn Some Moves Ashley Row is a blogger over at who knows the secret to making all those great drinks we love: “I come from a family of coffee drinkers so it was no surprise when I became one myself. After college, I even worked as a barista in a local coffee shop where I learned all about making fun coffee house drinks. I no longer work there, but I do volunteer in my churches coffee shop where I still get to act as a barista. One of my favorite things is using the skills I learned as a barista to make make different kinds of coffee drink recipes and share them with family and friends.” Check out her excellent post on How to Make Coffee House Quality Drinks at Home

Tell me your favorite drink to make at home (and if you know it by heart, give us the recipe!) and you’ll be entered to win an ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP to MOPS for you or a friend! Enter by Friday midnight and we will announce a winner on Monday!