How Do You Do Your Coffee?

New time Dad here, I have a feeling I may be consuming a fair amount of coffee over the coming weeks!

I’ve previously gone to local cafes to purchase my daily coffee, but was thinking of trying it at home (especially being down to one income!)

For reference, cafe order is usually a flat white with 1/2 a sugar.

I’ve only really done instant coffee at home, but looking for something a bit closer to cafe coffee. Keen to see how the ozbargain community do their coffee at home. A full machine seems a little expensive for a first timer.

For bonus points, do you froth your milk beforehand, straight from the carton, or otherwise?

Poll Options

  • 361
    At Home - Coffee Machine
  • 127
    At Home - Instant
  • 111
    At Home - Capsules
  • 78
    At Home - French Press/Plunger
  • 49
    At Home - Stovetop
  • 36
    At Home - Pour Over/Chemex
  • 23
  • 9
    At Home - Cold Drip


  • +14 votes

    Needs a "I don't drink coffee" option

    • How are pods closer to a cafe than one made with a coffee machine?
      If anything the coffee machine might be batter than the cafe depending on your own skill and the skill of the barista

      • They're not.
        But it's the simplest way to get into near cafe quality at home as a starter.
        Ease of use and access.

        Yes you will get better or close to cafe quality coffee with a machine.

      • If you drink daily, let's say 300 coffee a year, that's $1200 a year in a cafe. A decent machine can last 5 years, which is $6000 worth of cafe coffees in 5 years. If your machine + coffee supply for 5 years is below $3000, it's a lot cheaper in the long run compared to getting one from the cafe.

        Coffee/day with $50/kilo coffee for 5 years cost about $1875 in 5 years, leaving you $1125 for a machine. Breville The Dual Boiler and Grinder fits very well.

        • Can’t argue with the maths!

        • You haven't factored in the time spent making the coffee and cleaning the machine.

          Pods are just so simple and easy, especially if you skip the milk frother.

          • @trapper: What I am saying is you can justify spending more :P

          • @trapper: And you haven't factored in the time required to go and get a coffee from a café.

          • @trapper: Not sure why trapper is being negged. Time is a fair consideration, and pods are more convenient.

            Taste is ignored in that equation, so perhaps that's why, but still, some people like pod coffee. I went from pod to a proper espresso machine and its more work, but I think it warrants the extra effort.

            Just saying if you are a hopeless mess in the morning, maybe making a proper espresso coffee and then cleaning up afterwards isn't for you.

        • Great math for justification, and something that I would argue but then my husband would respond with “but are you going to get up and be bothered to make the coffee every single day to make up for the expense?”.

        • Maths gets better if wife is also on coffee and both start having multiple coffees a day… you will need it as parenthood goes in the next few years.

          a decent $6k machine + grinder package will put you close to the top bracket of domestic espresso machines. Plus a good machine has good residue values and desirable on 2nd hand market. my math does the return in 2-3 years. at 6k package.

          Recommend this coffee machine store if you are close. They ship Aus wide too. I bought and recommended friends to buy machines from them. All very happy and return for upgrades when they got better in coffee making.

        • Do not buy Breville or any of these department store appliances. They are crap. Buy a proper machine from a proper espresso machine vendor. Mine has lasted me 10 years without a service while my siblings Breville's went to land fill a long time ago.

    • Totally disagree there. We purchased a Nespresso pod machine when we had our first baby as we thought it’d be the quickest and easiest option. However when we went to coffee beans a few years later we found it to be 10 times better! We’ve got a DeLonghi Magnifica S which aren’t very expensive and it’s just as easy to make the coffee as the pod machines but with a much better coffee, even with basic beans.

      We felt bad using pods from an environmental point of view but felt slightly better as we recycled all our pods at the Nespresso store.

        • +10 votes

          Nah, even a $200 Sunbeam and $100 burr grinder will provide far superior coffee and be much cheaper. Pods are a joke. My Nespresso sits in the cupboard unused. Exorbitantly expensive and wasteful for very very average coffee, the body is far too thin and flavour isn't there either.

          • @nubzy: i feel like im going around in circles on this one.

            I don't disagree with you that a manual coffee machine produces a better quality coffee and is cheaper in the long run.
            many people upgrade to this from pod machines.
            you need to know how to use the manual coffee machine (which is pretty easy to learn) and have the time to make it.

            I challenge you to be able to grind, tamp and pull a shot of espresso from a manual machine faster than that of using a pod.
            POD machines are easy to use and simplest way into getting an espresso style coffee at home.

            OPs budget is ~$200 and if you care to read - i have recommend a cheap espresso machine and a sunbeam burr grinder above ^.

            • @dasher86: Who said anything about grinding? My $200 machine does that for you!!!! Plus even if the machine cost slightly more it would be worth spending to save in the long run and have better coffee. If OP’s wife doesn’t see the logic in that then that’s another issue altogether. Another option is to buy second hand.

            • @dasher86: My work has the Nespresso pods. They are free and even then I'd prefer even instant. I agree with above poster that they lack body.

              They taste kind of gross

              Love a good proper espresso though

      • Love my Magnifica S - former cafe owner and I've made plenty of Nespresso cups. The Magnifica is cheap, quick, delicious and easy to maintain. Cafes frequently serve up dreadful coffee and the Nespresso costs more in coffee, tastes much worse and is bad for the environment if you don't recycle the aluminum (much worse if you use the plastic variety).

        I appreciate the art of making espresso manually and I'm equipped with Acaia waterproof scales and until recently a $4500 EK43 grinder from my cafe. I have concluded it's just not worth the time and mess. In the morning when my main priority is to wake up I would much rather just push one button for a decent cup without any hassle at all.

        This machine serves consistent quality coffee and so simple. My only complaint is that the milk frother is designed for other countries I guess - it's supposed to be used with the cappuccino attachment which makes very frothy milk. To make a flatty you have to take it off and hope that the plastic bit doesn't fly off into your pitcher during steaming.

  • just get a nespresso coffee pod machine and you'll never look back. the variety you can get now days is phenomenal. and there are re-usable pods to fill in your own coffee grounds.

    its quick and easy to clean. single hand operation.

    • I agree with Archi,
      Knowing that you are the only one having coffee at home, you can’t really go for Espresso as they are time consuming in regards to maintenance.
      The best and cheap way is to get a Nespresso compatible machine and the pods are available for as low as 33c from time to time from Coles/Woolies and frequently from Costco.
      You can get something within $200 and even if you feel it’s bad decision, than all you have to do is have 100 cups out of your Nespresso to recover the cost :)

      • +4 votes

        Maintenance of espresso machines is a bit overrated.

        My espresso machine and grinder are almost 20 years old. The only maintenance is an occasional flush-out with the in-built "blind" filter basket (I usually only bother once a year).

        However, if it's a choice between a cheap-and-nasty espresso machine, and using a Nespresso machine for a couple of years while you save up for a nicer one, then I'd go for the Nespresso. A good espresso machine and grinder will give you decades of fuss-free service. A cheap one will fall apart in a few years.

        Or just buy a nice grinder and a moka pot, then save up for the espresso machine.


          Or just buy a nice grinder and a moka pot, then save up for the espresso machine.

          How did you get this photo of me

          Can't wait til I'm rich and can get an espresso machine, though I do love the moka.

        • Woah, I don't maintain my espresso machine quite as much as I should, but you should definitely be backflushing the machine more than once a year!! Every couple of weeks, every month minimum. Have you seen the stuff that comes out of it?!


            @lionelhutz: When I first bought the machine, I flushed it much more regularly. However, hardly anything comes out of it when I backflush it, whether I do it every month, or leave it a year or so. Every time I do it, it feels like a waste of time, because it's basically clean.

            But I do make sure I gently wipe down the group screen with a tissue after I use the machine each time. I've seen some pretty gunked-up group screens before, which probably contribute to the whole machine needing a backflush.

            My machine is almost 20 years old, and is making coffee as well as it did the day I bought it, so my maintenance routine can't be too bad.

        • I would recommend unscrewing the screen in the group head and wiping it out once a week (it should be silver - not black). Do you use a chemical to back-flush? If you open the machine up you might find a bit of a gross build-up. I'd be surprised if it didn't catch up with you - maybe it'll be the 21st year!

    • its quick and easy to clean. single hand operation

      And tastes terrible

      • I think it comes down to the person and how 'serious' they take their coffee. Some people think 7/11 and Maccas tastes good, some people drink instant and then some people like drinking coffee made with top quality beans made by an experienced barista at a good cafe.

        I take my coffee pretty seriously but Nespresso isn't 'that bad'. It is just an average coffee, but to some my average is their very good.

        There are a couple of different flavors they have had over the years that I actually thought tasted pretty good (I used to work near one and would frequently go there to 'try' different pods)… sure not cafe quality but decent for the time and effort involved.

        Now days I have a proper machine and grinder but it is a decent investment of time to make a coffee with a machine compared to a pod machine. All the sudden you go from pressing a button or two to make your pod coffee to having to grind the beans, tamp, run the shot, froth the milk, then afterwards, clean up.

        • +2 votes

          I was gonna say. Why so much hate on Nespresso. Personally, I'm okay with it. It's not amazing, but I wouldn't say terrible. I guess my taste in coffee is fairly average then :D

  • Should have options like 'at work' or '$1 7-eleven/coles express'

    I have my coffee made with a manual coffee machine at home

  • as a former first time dad, i suggest you take the time out of each day to go for a walk to the local cafe and have a coffee. Getting out of the house will keep you sane. Same with your partner

    • I love to clear my head with a morning walk too… Take the advice above or go for a walk around the block with your flat white made at home in a takeaway reusable cup and pocket the savings like a true ozbargainer. It saves a huge amount of money, in the long run, to avoid buying takeaway coffee daily.

      I used to have pod coffee at work (they provided a machine and you had to buy own pods). Saved some money but coffee was average. The good thing about pods is consistency and it's so easy. Hard and inconvenient recycling is what annoyed me. As well as pricing. Stop thinking 65cents per pod is awesome by comparing with a takeaway $4 coffee. A better comparison would be how much awesome fresh roasted coffee costs to make 1 cup.

      My advice is to get fresh coffee beans (~$30 per kg at Manna Beans on ozbargain frequently for a treat or Aldi single origin for ~$14/kg but not always really fresh), a hand burr grinder if you don't think you'll have too many coffees per day ($50 or so for my Hario) or electric (I got a Breville for under @200 after a year or so and increased Hario usage was starting to get me tired). In terms of an expresso machine get something cheap to start off with (a few good options under $450). I've had a second hand machine for ages too and now I've been given a machine a friend wasnt using anymore. The actual machine is the least important. I've used an old entry-level machine for 10 years+ when I got into coffee. I also recommend a separate easy to clean milk frother if you want ease of use for flat whites and consistency. Many coffee machines can make frothy milk quite easily but when I got to make 2 coffees each morning + 2 takeaway coffees before I get out of the house it's all about speed. It takes me under 5mins :)

    • And it usually comes with a free conversation at the shop, you'll meet new people probably including new dads, and if your barista is good then the theatre of it all adds value too.

    • Great tips. Before bubs arrived we wanted to support the local cafes during lockdown. Went to ~35 different cafes for early morning coffee, so might need to start the list again!

  • I taste no difference between instant coffee and Nespresso coffee pods. but pods offer a lot of flavours if you're into that. I don't even use the machine anymore, just the milk frother.

    • You can't tell the difference between them? You must save a fortune on food as you apparently have no taste of olfactory senses.

      I can understand preferring instant, or having no preference, but I don't understand how you could not taste the difference.

  • Aldi Lazzio dark roast coffee beans.
    Cheap grinder such as Sunbeam.
    cheap Cafetier (aka french press) such as Ikea

    • I just finished a bag of the Aldi single origin Peruvian beans and they were pretty good and $14/kg. I might try the Lazzio ones next as they're even cheaper.

      • I tried the Peruvian, like you. Can't do better for $14. Then bought the cheaper Lazzio - no flavour at all for me. Now trying the Brazilian.

  • Maybe try an aeropress. Simple to use and lets you use ground coffee. If the shop you frequent sells ground beans, buy that to get the coffee taste you like.

    • Congrats on the new bub.

      Logged in just to upvote and agree with this comment
      Find a place that sells beans you like and roasts fresh. Don't buy cheap beans (unless you like them).
      Get a small grinder and an Aeropress. Grind the beans, boil your water, and away you go. It's a quick little ritual, with minimal waste. This has been my goto during Covid for the last 3 months

      I drink black, but my wife has a dash of milk in hers and normally orders a latte. No frothing required.

    • Yes, the aeropress. Don't think I've ever had a bad cup of coffee since owning one. Cheapest option with fantastic results! You'll never visit your cafe again.

  • Stove top moka pot, have one that creates a crema. Heat milk up in the microwave, used to use a little frothing whisk, but honestly don't bother anymore. But it's all about the coffee itself. We buy freshly roasted beans from The Coffee Company online, store in the freezer and grind when we use.


      Exact same process as this guy. Seconded.

    • how do you know which ones creates the crema? I have a barista by baccarat brand. I've been using mine for a few months now and it's great. It really is all about the coffee beans that's being used is my experience also.

      • All can create a crema. It depends on the coffee you use, how much you add, how hard you tamp it in and how fast the water boils through the coffee.

  • Congratulions for the new addition!

    You are better buying a coffee machine as your wife and you will learn soon, you will never be able to drink your coffee hot again.

    Having a coffee machine not only gonna save your time but also save your head. Especially for mum. She won't have to wonder how many scoop of coffee she already put in the cup, if she already add sugar or having to try to jungle with everything while holding bub. You can let the machine do your coffee, run to the bathroom or whatever you need to do or then come back, have sip and run again.

  • My pro tip is for any option get a 'keep cup' that has a pretty secure lid. Hot liquids around wriggly little ones is dangerous.

    I started on instant then when WFH started I moved to a Coffee Machine. Took a while for the little one to not start crying at the noise of the grinder or the milk frother but now seems to know when it is coffee time.

  • Definitely get a moka pot and a grinder. Relatively cheap up-front and running costs and produces great coffee.

  • +13 votes

    New dad here and new coffee machine owner.

    Bought a breville dual boiler around the time baby joined us and have never looked back.

    With that said, I enjoy the making of the coffee - it takes me 5 minutes or so and I really enjoy seeing what I get as a result of the little changes I make. If you're not intrigued by the options then a pod machine becomes a more appealing option.

    If I were you, and looking into getting a machine (for the sake of availability/ease) I'd look at some really entry level ones like a breville barista express, or the one on this recent deal ( because they come with a vaguely decent grinder. If you have coffee daily (as stated) then it will quite literally pay for itself in 6 months (or 3 months in the case of the discounted sunbeam) even with beans taken into account. You then have the time and personal knowledge to determine if you enjoy making coffee at home, and can decide whether to upgrade or move the machine on.

    They tend to resell very well on gumtree/FB marketplace, so worst case scenario you lose a few hundred as a learning opportunity.

    The added (obvious) benefit is you, like me, might genuinely love making your own coffee. I now get excited when I see well reputed coffee beans on sale here, and I get to trial different things with some confidence that I can make something of them. It has perked up the variety in my life, and my wife loves my efforts too.
    I am not an expert, have done a minimal amount of research and already my coffee is dramatically better than 80% of cafe coffees I get, and on par with another 10%.

    Entry level machine with grinder - $400-700
    Aldi Lazzio coffee beans (medium roast for me) - $12

    Saving a daily coffee of $4 (or $8 if buying for you and partner) = $700 over 6 months (or 1400 for two), 1400 per year.
    If making your own coffee interests you then invest and thank yourself later.

    If you have questions feel free to PM me.

    (Also congrats)

  • Instant, because I have an unrefined palate for economic purposes

    • Life is to short for bad coffee

      • for $5 a pop vs instant mocca (Coffee+ jarrah chocolate powder + maple syrup) good enough. Had plenty of $5 coffee that were much worse than my instant.

        $25 a week, $100 a month, $1200 a year. Rather put that money towards something better than brown water

  • Bought a barista express on Ozbargin in 2016 so 4 years old for $543.20 with the 20% good guys special.

    It took maybe a week to learn how to use it and make good coffee (watching some youtube vids) and has been probably the best purchase I've ever made. I still buy the odd coffee out as a treat but I make a coffee every day for me and my wife, sometimes even two if I have a bit going on. I buy beans for about $20 a kilo on special and they last about a month. It can make just about any type of coffee imaginable and even with a basic machine like mine, you can make as good as coffee and the ones you buy at a cafe with enough practice.

    Keep in mind its a semi-auto machine so you still need to tamper, and froth the milk but you can buy fully automatic if that's not your thing. Only regret is I probably should've got the dual boiler to save some time in the mornings but will get one if/when this one decides to pack it in.

    Congrats on the newborn btw

  • Italian E61 machine, usually long black with occasional espresso or latte. Unless there is a deal for 1kg of quality beans for $25-$30 delivered, I use Aldi beans, liking the Brazilian at the moment. A good machine is a worthwhile investment. It is rare that I buy a coffee these days.

    • ooo i'd love an E61 one day… what machine do you have?

      • Profitec Pro 500, a great machine

        • I also have the same machine. It is fantastic! Not a cheap outlay by any means (also got a Mazzer mini grinder with it) but over a nearly 2 years its well and truly paid itself with ~4 coffees made in the house most days.
          When I was searching for a machine this seemed to fit the best buy for the price that had an E61. Got to test it out in a shop in Sydney, along with a few other machines.
          With local roasted beans and not homebrand milk, it's about $0.50 a double vs $4+ at a cafe.
          You can both cheaper and more expensive machines but for us this has worked out great.
          If you skimp on the machine, spend on a quality grinder. A specialty (not good guys etc.) machine + grinder will start around the $1.5k mark and escalate quickly from there.
          I thought it was German made but a quick search found it's manufactured in Italy by a German company(woops).

          A $1500 machine + 1x $.50 latte/day is about 1 year and 2 months before breaking even on a $4 latte/day from a cafe. Also is really convenient to have coffee in pjs.

          • @scrice: I haven't heard of this brand (though I haven't been looking at coffee machines for years), what makes it a good buy over vbm, rocket etc?

            • @kiitos: For me it was simply based on price. I wanted a heat exchange/e61 machine and this fit the bill. When I purchased it, it was a few hundred $ cheaper than a Rocket machine. Had a Rocket or other HX machine been a similar price I probably would have got one of them.

              My machine did have an issue just after 1 year (with 1yr warranty) - but was covered under warranty without any issues. Fixed by a 3rd party, sorted out by place of purchase. Outside of that small issue the machine continues to do its job well.

              I have experience making coffee from work, if you don't I'd suggest a barista course to help set grind, froth milk and all that.
              Coffeesnobs forum is a great place to pick up further info if your interested, or drop me a dm.

            • @kiitos: German engineering, Italian made. I recall that a Rocket machine was the same price, but it had a few drawbacks such as a copper boiler instead of stainless steel like the Profitec, louder pump and a few other differences. Profitec 500 has become one of the most popular E61 HX machines, lots of positive feedback on Youtube and coffee forums etc, and the price has gone up about $400 since we bought ours. They are often sold out and you have to pre order.

    • I totally get you. I went with a Lelit Mara and matching grinder for the long term and enjoy the process of making fresh coffee every morning. Beautiful machine, and better coffee than most cafes. Luckily there's a coffee roaster down the road so I can get freshly roasted beans every 2 weeks, by which point I can see the freshness difference. What has surprised me is how much the grind settings can change for different beans and different climatic conditions. It's not a set-and-forget affair.

      The downside of having great coffee is that all your friends and family want one when they visit.

  • Instead of sugar, you can consider using a zero-calorie natural sweetener like stevia tablets or experiment with a flavoured sweetener like vanilla, English toffee, chocolate, etc.

  • 7-11 Coffee for me. $2 coffee into a $1 cup 3/4 full. Nice and strong, not bitter at all and exactly the same every time. I have trouble finding a better cup for from a cafe and it's definitely the most reliable option. It still amazes me on how good and bad 2 consecutive coffees can be from the exact same cafe.

    • I'm a 7-11 machine noob, how do you stop the machine at 3/4? Is there a button or do you just pull the cup out?

      • I normally just pull my cup out.

        • I was hoping you knew the “good way”. I was making myself a long black so didn’t pay much attention when a staff member showed a friend how to make a flat white “the good way”.
          I think it was a $1 cup, with 2x $1 short black and then pressing the hot milk button until it’s at the correct strength.

          • @mapax: I tried that a while ago and it half filled the cup which was watery and bitter. Ironically it's before my coffee fix so may have missed it or chosen the wrong option. I'll check again tomorrow and try again. Would love a different way instead of wasting the milk.

            • @TheJoker: I think it was the 7-eleven near my work so if I see the guy again I’ll have to ask him.
              The only thing I definitely remember is that the hot milk button was involved, helpful I know.

  • I have a Delongi machine at home so i usually buy better beans then most cafes and definitely better then the 1$ coffee at the servo

    However i got get the 1$ servo coffee (usually long black) when I'm at work (currently WFH) otherwise a hit up a cafe usually to chat rubbish with others and grab a late

    So i didnt select any of the options becuz i do a bit of a mixed bag

    I have got to the point where i cant drink instant though becuz it simply taste like dirt to me - keep in mind i barista for 2 years while i was in Uni

    • Same, but I had to adjust the fill level. The default pushes far too much water through leaving a slightly bitter taste.
      The Delongi may not produce the best coffee but it is great with perfect consistency. When I was in the office, I had min 2 coffees a day from the best place I could find in the CBD and then they still had the odd duds.

  • Coffee is for the weak Glasses Emoji