WFH Equipment Review Series: Espresso

When I started working from home, I was lucky enough to already have a basic home office setup. I had a desk that worked, a monitor setup that would get me by, and a space in my house dedicated to office work. However, a challenge that I’m sure gets overlooked by quite a few people when they transition from the office to home is the lack of a trip past a Starbucks or a Caribou coffee, or even the free office coffee to keep them going every morning. This is why the first WFH Equipment Review post is all about espresso.

The Espresso Machine

Now a lot of people are fine with any type of drip coffee pot. I’m not most people, I’m a coffee snob. I’m not sure how I became a coffee snob, but I am. What this means is I needed an espresso machine at home to match a quality similar to an actual coffee shop. This meant that it was time to retire the Keruig and move onto the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista machine.

Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista espresso machine and KRUPS espresso grinder
Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista and my KRUPS bean grinder

Now I absolutely love this machine. It has a high-pressure rating vs most of the cheaper espresso machines you might find (which means it will taste a bit closer to a coffee house with a multi-thousand dollar machine). It is fast, produces consistent espresso, and the bonus features of automatic frothing and milk warming make it a one-stop-shop for your coffee beverages. Of course, I’d love to upgrade to the next step up at some point, but it’s just a wee bit hard to justify a $700 espresso machine.

The Espresso Bean Grinder

Now that you have your coffee machine, you’re going to need to have a way to grind fresh beans, because hey, if you’re going to have an espresso machine and are looking for that coffee house flavor, you better be sure you’re grinding fresh beans. So that is why I’m all in on my KRUPS burr grinder.

This thing has been amazing. Not only does it grind my fresh beans in the best way without concern of burning the grounds, but the settings allow me to grind coffee for espresso, cold brew in my french press, or coffee for a standard drip pot when my folks are visiting. I did start out grinding every day but realized that got to be a bit much, so now I’m grinding enough to get me through about 3-4 days for a double espresso every morning. It is easy to clean and consistently allows me to have the perfect grind of fresh beans.

The Espresso Beans

Fire Dept. Coffee espresso beans: Backdraft Espresso and Skull-Crushing Espresso
Fire Dept. Coffee Espresso Beans

On my quest for a great coffee experience at home I knew tracking down fresh quality beans were also important. When I lived in the upper peninsula of Michigan, I had a coffee roaster just 4 minutes from my house where I could easily get amazing fresh roasted espresso beans. When I moved to Ann Arbor, I knew I had to try to find another high quality product that would take it’s place. That is where Fire Dept. Coffee comes into my life.

Being a firefighter was a huge part of my life. It gave me the ability to lead a team of volunteers in service to our small community. It also allowed me to get on Chicago Fire as an extra. So of course supporting a coffee roaster established and run by Chicago firefighters and veterans is where I want to give my money for high-quality coffee. The best part, it is some of the best espresso beans I’ve ever had in my life. They are always coming up with new roasts and I honestly can’t get enough. It is the only coffee I’m stocked up on anymore.

Ultimately, you need to make sure you are set up the way you need so you can be productive. Whether you are temporarily working from home or you’re in a work from home job, you’re going to need your coffee. So take the time to do some research, treat yourself with some high-quality products, and make sure you start your day the right way every morning.

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