Repeated trips to the coffee shop add up quickly. If you aren’t careful, you could end up spending over $100 a month on coffee. If you’re feeling the need to tighten up your budget, consider becoming an at-home barista. Not only can you save money, but you get full control over what and how you brew. You can choose exactly which ingredients you are putting into your body, which can benefit your health and peace of mind alike. Here are a few tips to get started.

Choose Whole Beans or Grounds

Should you buy whole beans or grounds? You might be tempted to go out and buy a 2 lb bag whole bean Colombian coffee, but everyone’s preferences are different. Whole beans tend to give off more aroma since they are so freshly ground. Either way, you can find a good variety of coffee with fruity or floral aromas or something that tastes a bit nuttier.

You will want to try different roast levels, too. Light roasts have slightly more caffeine in them, and dark roasts have less mass. While light roasts don’t take on much of a roasted flavor, medium roasts start to without going to excess.

Use Proper Equipment

Brewing at home means you need the proper equipment. You can use a filter/pour over brew device or an immersion brewing device. Pour-overs have cleaner profiles than immersions. You are also going to need to invest in a grinder (for which there are both automatic and manual models, both of which are fairly easy to use), a timer, a thermometer, and a scale.

Your equipment should always be kept clean, especially with how coffee oils can stick to said equipment. You will also want to get some paper filters and rinse them prior to use. Consistent extraction requires that equipment undergo proper pre-heating. Getting everything to the right temperature is important for perfecting taste and aroma.

Grind and Brew

You can get either a burr or blade grinder to use with burr grinders often being considered more effective at getting the coffee evenly ground. Blade grinders, however, are more affordable. You can also find ways to grind beans without a grinder.

To grind your beans, only grind as much as you will need for your brew, and use it within 15 minutes or else it will go stale. You can begin with a medium-fine grind and adjust it from there according to preference. Once your beans are ground, place them in your coffee machine or begin your pour-over.

Measure Accurately

Using a scale for your grounds is important because measuring both your coffee and water by weight is the most accurate method. It is also yields more consistency. You will actually want to buy two scales measuring to 0.1g or more. You can splurge on high-tech models, but a couple of basic scales should suffice.

Brewing your own coffee can become a fun and relaxing part of your morning routine. Learning how to get the right consistency is key, and it will require some trial-and-error. However, once you have the right equipment and a little bit of practice, you’ll have the perfect coffee to suit your individual health needs and personal taste. After all, practice makes perfect coffee.