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How to Make Barista-Style Coffee at Home

Feature: Long Read
Words by Emilie Dock

How to brew the perfect cup of coffee is a lesson we should all learn – and who better to advise us than our coffee roaster Romain Berton? From understanding the differences between light and dark roasts, to choosing the right grind size for your brewing method, allow Romain to revolutionise your cup. Then, of course, you’ll need the kit; state-of-the-art espresso machines, precision filter-brewers, latte-perfecting milk jugs... Coming right up! 

At Harrods, Romain and the team oversee the roasting of 1,000kg beans and the 25,000 cups of coffee made per week. In short: the man knows his beans – and provided you’re starting with fresh, high-quality beans, he’s absolutely certain that you too can brew excellent coffee at home. Firstly, it’s a case of knowing the basics...

ROMAIN BERTON, COFFEE ROASTER AT HARRODS

“Making coffee is an art, a craft and a science. I’m in constant search for the perfect flavour – and every day my tasting vocabulary expands”

A man is holding coffee bean
  • 1. The Roast

    “A light roast sees less heat than a dark roast, meaning you’ll be able to taste all of the subtle nuances of good-quality beans – notes of rosehip, jasmine or blueberry, for instance. Dark roasts are more single-note in flavour, and the pressure on the beans means they release more oils, producing a thicker or more full-bodied cup – usually reserved for lower-quality beans. As ever, choosing your roast is a question of taste!”

  • 2. The Grind

    “Your brewing method should determine which coffee grind to use; it’s all about how long the coffee will be in contact with the water. For a full-immersion brewer such as a French press, where the coffee will sit in the water for a few minutes, you need a coarser grind. For an espresso machine, or even a V60, where the coffee will only come into contact while it’s passing through it, you should use a fine grind.”

  • 3. The Water

    “The water you use to brew your coffee can have a huge impact on its flavour. The Specialty Coffee Association recommends using water that measures 120ppm–150ppm [parts per million, aka how ‘hard’ it is]. Tricky, seeing as tap water in London can have as much as 330ppm… Try brewing your next coffee with mineral water; you’ll easily taste the difference.”

The Best Coffee Machines for Every Type of Brew

For Café-Quality Espresso at Home

Small but mighty, this retro-style machine is the brand’s first venture out of commercial use – La Marzocco machines are used by baristas around the world and in our very own Harrods Café too. Complete with a three-in-one convertible portafilter, you can even connect it to the brand’s app so it’s always hot and ready for your morning cup. 

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SAGE  The Barista Touch Coffee Machine

For Strong, Black Coffee

Nine out of 10 Italian homes own a moka pot, with good reason. The stovetop brewer makes espresso-quality coffee without the need for big, fancy equipment. Designed in collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana, this limited-edition Bialetti option is a stylish addition to your kitchen.

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ALESSI  Moka Espresso Maker

For Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans

How long do coffee beans stay fresh for?


"For optimum coffee drinking, you want to be using your beans within two weeks of them being roasted. If you’ve bought more than you can drink, pack them into small portions and pop them in the freezer. Otherwise, store them in an airtight vessel in a cool, dark place."

For Flawless Bean-to-Cup

It won’t deliver your coffee with a smile, but that’s about the only thing this smart machine won’t do. Simply pre-load with beans, select your style of brew (espresso, latte, etc.) and a few minutes later out comes a delicious cup.

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SAGE  Precision Brewer Coffee Machine

For the Daily Grind

You know the drill: freshly ground coffee yields a more flavourful cup. You also need to get the right grind size for your brewing method (see Romain’s explanation above). With over 100 years of expertise, this professional grinder will do just that. 

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LA PAVONI  Aluminium Cilindro Coffee Grinder

For Precision Bean Grinding

What is crema?


"Crema is that tan-coloured foam that appears on top of a freshly pulled espresso. It’s formed when tiny bubbles of C02 combine with coffee oils. To achieve it at home, you’ll need an espresso machine, as it requires a good grinder and intense pressure."

For Cold-Brew Coffee to Go

Make your own refreshing cold brews on ice thanks to this machine’s cold extraction process, engineered to draw out all the flavour nuances of your favourite beans, without any bitterness. Expect hot and cold brews speciality coffees at the touch of a button.

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SMEG  Drip Filter Coffee Machine

For Latte Art

Hit the sweet spot for perfectly texturised milk (between 65°C and 70°C) every time with Sage’s clever milk jug with a built-in thermometer and indicator strip, and use the expertly designed spout to practise your latte-art designs. 

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SAGE  The Temp Control Milk Jug

For Perfectly Frothed Milk

How do you make frothy milk at home?


"You can use a French press to pump hot milk until frothy, or you can get an electric frother. For latte art, use a professional steam wand which allows you to ‘stretch’ or ‘texturise’ milk to create microfoam, which you can use to draw patterns on your coffee."

For Pour-Over Coffee

You know the drill: freshly ground coffee yields a more flavourful cup. You also need to get the right grind size for your brewing method (see Romain’s explanation above). With 16 settings, this professional grinder will do just that. 

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MELITTA  Amano Pour Over Coffee Maker

For Easy Coffee, and Lots of It

Hit the sweet spot for perfectly texturised milk (between 65°C and 70°C) every time with Sage’s clever milk jug with a built-in thermometer and indicator strip, and use the expertly designed spout to practise your latte-art designs.

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SMEG  Drip Filter Coffee Machine

For the Full-Bodied Brew

What’s the perfect temperature for brewing coffee?


"Brew coffee with water over 95°C and you’ll extract too much bitterness; under 87°C and you won’t pull out all of the individual flavours. Water that’s been off the boil for a minute should do, or you can eliminate the guesswork with a precision brewer."

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  • The Harrods Guide to Coffee

    The Harrods Guide to Coffee

    Think you know your beans? Brush up on your knowledge with our need-to-know coffee guide – from the different types to the many ways it can be served.

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HARRODS STORIES

Bringing you a weekly dose of everything from chef recipes to dinner party solutions – at Harrods, it’s all about living your best life.

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