Making espresso at home can be quite the challenge. There are many variables to control, the equipment can be fussy, and the espresso can be hard to troubleshoot because it tastes so intense.
Thankfully, a complete espresso gear setup relieves quite a bit of burden and makes it easier to thrive as a home barista.
Here are ten espresso accessories that will empower you to brew stellar espresso that’s well-rounded, full-flavored, and satisfying. These accessories aren’t fluff items – they’re the kinds of things every home espresso setup needs.
1. Push Tamper
Defying tradition with its push design, this tamper from Clockwork Espresso in the UK is actually quite an improvement on the standard tamper design.
- It’s quick
- It’s easy to be consistent and level
- And it’s far less likely to injure you from bad form
In fact, a new study discovered that push style tampers can result in a “statistically significant” drop in barista back, wrist, and elbow injury. Though the study was geared towards baristas who tamp dozens of times a day, the safety aspect is still something to consider as a home barista.
Either way, you need a tamp. And if you can spare the money, this is the one to get.
2. Brewista Smart Scale
Developed with the home barista in mind, this smart scale has a large 2,000g capacity and is accurate to the tenth of a gram (0.1g).
It even has an espresso mode that starts the built-in timer automatically when the first drop of espresso falls, though you can, of course, start the timer manually if you prefer.
Read: The Golden Ratios in Coffee Brewing
Just like with every other coffee brewing type, a scale gives you unrivaled precision and control over your final cup. I cannot suggest getting a scale enough – and this one is a great option for all your brewing needs.
3. Osaka Knock Box
When the shot’s finished and you’re left with a puck of coffee grounds in your portafilter, you need a way to knock those grounds out.
And you don’t want to just use your regular trash can.
That’s a good way to spread germs and food bits all over your espresso machine.
This knock box from Osaka is perfectly sized for home use and durably made. You can even dishwash the entire device when it’s time for a more thorough cleaning.
4. JoeFrex Shot Glasses
Though it’s perfectly fine to pull your shots directly into espresso cups, I really like pulling them into shot glasses. This allows me to do a few things:
- Split a shot between two glasses using a split portafilter
- Wait to add the shot to the top of the drink
- See the many layers of the espresso through the clear cup
This shot glass from JoeFrex comes with some coffee-oriented measurements, which makes it a little easier to pull shots without using a scale.
Read: The Best Time Of The Day To Consume Caffeine
5. notNeutral Cups
notNeutral is one of the most beloved makers of coffee cups in the USA. If you’ve visited many specialty coffee shops, you’ve probably drunk from a notNeutral cup.
They’re comfortable to hold, simply designed, and look incredible.
There’s nothing like a great ceramic espresso cup or latte mug to make your daily brew a slightly more fun and rewarding experience.
6. Espresso Machine Cleaner
Cleaning your espresso machine is an easy way to extend its lifespan, and thus save you money in the long run.
This cleaning powder by Urnex is easy and quick to use – and it doesn’t leave any residue or taste. This is what we used at the coffee shop I used to work at – it’s great!
All you have to do is dissolve some powder in hot water and soak your machine’s dispersion screen and portafilter in it. You can then take some of the water and wipe down your grouphead with it or do a few backflushes. Easy!
7. Tamping Mat
You don’t have to go fancy here, but you do need a tamping mat. Tamping mats protect your counter from your heavy tamper. They also protect your tamper from hard counters. And lastly, they make tamping much more comfortable by adding some cushion.
Read: Is Hard Water Destroying Your Coffee’s Flavor?
This simple mat by Yolococa should do the trick.
8. Rattleware Milk Pitcher
Want to make creamy steamed milk the best way? Then you need a specialized milk pitcher.
These pitchers are specifically designed to help the milk swirl rapidly, which encourages a finer microfoam and smoother texture. They also feature a pouring spout that makes it easier to get crisp latte art.
The pitchers created by Rattleware are beloved across the USA. They’re comfortable to hold and are thick enough to protect your hands when the milk gets really hot while steaming.
A 20oz pitcher what you’ll probably want for lattes. A 12oz pitcher is great for smaller drinks, like cappuccinos.
9. Microfiber Cloths
If you’re like me, your coffee station has to be spotless.
I LOVE a clean, crisp coffee brewing area.
Good microfiber cloths are also important for keeping your espresso machine looking stellar. They collect dust, coffee grounds, and spilled coffee with ease. However, you don’t just want one cloth – you want two.
- Bar cloth. This is your do-it-all rag. It’s for your machine, counter spills, and just about anything else you could want.
- Milk cloth. This rag is exclusively for your steam wand, which keeps coffee grounds and oils from getting into the wand itself. Once they’re in, they’re hard to get out.
This microfiber cloth set from Crema Pro has you covered with both cloths.
If you can get your hands on all of these, you’ll have a complete home espresso setup. And that means you’ll have an easier time pulling tastier shots – nice!
Of course, all the gear in the world won’t help if you’re not starting with stellar, fresh coffee.
Have uber-fresh coffee delivered to your door every other week with the JavaPresse Coffee Club. We source our specialty-grade coffees from the best farms in the world, roast them with precision, and ship them to you on the same day.
It’s the easiest way to stay stocked with amazingly flavorful beans for espresso.
Check it out!