My Top 3 Essentials For Espresso

I recently posted an image on my Instagram account with what I called “My Top 3 Essentials For Espresso.” Yes there was a glaring omission on that post (I didn’t include a grinder).

I am aware that there is likely no greater piece of equipment that I could recommend when it comes to making great espresso at home, I have to assume that you as the reader are at the point already of having purchased a quality grinder for espresso. You really do need to invest in this, and be prepared to spent upwards of $500+ to ensure you get something that can truly grind for espresso. I personally use the Baratza Sette 270w and I love it. Like I said, this is an area you don’t want to skimp on, so make sure to invest in gear that will last. If you have any questions about this, contact me through this page.

I wanted to highlight briefly the three items from the post and why I love them so much.

Barista Hustle 58.4mm Tamper

Image from @baristahustle Instagram

This is my latest addition to my espresso arsenal and I am so glad I made the plunge and got this specific tamper.

The team at Barista Hustle declares on their website that this tamper is “the one tamper to rule them all” and I will say after looking at literally hundreds of other options I am so glad I selected this one.

Their site says this about it: the Tamper’s 58.4mm diameter fits a VST basket exactly while the unique double flange not only eliminates the frustrating vacuum effect but also helps keep you vertical. Made with military-spec type III hard anodized aluminium with a 304 stainless steel flat base, the Barista Hustle Tamper is durable but lightweight to minimize fatigue. And because a tamper’s lifespan is bound to include a few run-ins with the floor, the base is easily and affordably replaceable.

It was this light-weight feel and incredibly durable construction that had me convinced. There are some tampers out there that are heavy, clunky, and kinda ugly. This one is none of that. And I love that if it ever does get dropped you can easily replace the base. I love not having to throw out an entire tamper and instead only replace one piece.

Ensuring that you get a level tamp is critical for pulling that perfect shot. I am very glad I got this tamper and I can already see the difference it is making.

I grabbed mine from Eight Ounce Coffee Supply.

C.R.E.A.M. Milk Pitcher

Image from @coffeeruleseverythingaroundme Instagram

I have two milk pitchers from Coffee Rules Everything Around Me (C.R.E.A.M). This Canadian company doesn’t seem to have much of an online presence anymore, so I am not 100% sure what is going on.

I wrote a full-length review on my site about this pitcher HERE.

I fell in love with these because they were a Canadian company, and they were one of the first to have fill lines on their pitchers. It was a great idea to ensure you fill only to the desired volume (ensuring less milk waste). Other companies have since followed suit and I am glad to see that.

I am not sure if you can get your hands on these anymore, but I love them, and am glad I got their 12oz & 20oz before they were all sold out. Investing in a quality milk pitcher is a must for any home espresso enthusiast. I am of the belief that it’s a good investment to have two different sizes depending on what size drinks you’re pouring.

When it comes to milk pitchers I find that there are many different spout options (etched, rounded etc.) so if you do have the chance to play around with these (either from a friend, or through a coffee gear retailer) that will help. Each will pour slightly differently and ensuring you find one that you like the feel of, and flow rate of, will make you a happy coffee drinker…and likely help you to level up in your latte-art game!

I grabbed mine from Eight Ounce Coffee Supplybut as I said I am not sure if these are available any more.

ACAIA Pearl Scale

Image from @acaiacoffee Instagram

I cannot stress enough to anyone who is getting into home espresso or home coffee brewing how important a good scale is. It is one of the most significant purchases you will even make so think carefully how much you want to spend.

I have always loved the clean lines, and simple design of the Acaia Pearl scale. I have owned this for a few years now and love its sleek profile and that its bluetooth enabled so I can pair it with the Acaia Coffee App to increase its functionality. The importance of a scale is to ensure your espresso shot has the desired volume that you initially set out to brew. The general ratio for espresso is 2:1. That means if you dosed 18g of espresso into your portafilter, your final shot volume should be roughly 36g. You can’t really eye-ball this, nor does using a shot glass give you an accurate enough indication. You really need a scale! And one that measures to a tenth of a gram….the Acaia lineup can do this!

For some home-espresso pro’s you’ll be the first to likely point out that there is another Acaia model built more specifically for espresso–the Lunar. Trust me, I am saving my imaginary Canadian pennies to be able to purchase this. In the meantime I’ll make due with this since I know it ain’t cheap…but I heartedly believe it’s worth it.

I grabbed mine from Eight Ounce Coffee Supply.

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There are many other incredible tools for helping to brew great espresso at home. Check out my blog about BREWING GREAT COFFEE AT HOME if you want to find a retailer near you that offers great coffee gear.

Did I miss anything? What would you include as your top 3 espresso gear essentials? I’d love to hear from you. Or if you have any questions contact me through my blog.

Stay Caffeinated,

Tyler

*note: This is not a sponsored blog post. I did not receive any compensation for sharing about these products. I whole-heartedly believe in all of them and use them daily. 

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