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Avoiding Starbucks? Make great coffee at home

How to recreate Starbucks-style coffees

Espresso latte coffee maker

Espressos form the base for milky coffee drinks like cappuccino

Whether you’re boycotting Starbucks or just want to save money, there’re no need to drink bad coffee. With a Best Buy coffee machine you can make perfect espressos and delicious speciality coffees at home. 

There have been plenty of revelations recently about companies finding legal loopholes to avoid paying corporation tax in the UK. Several high profile companies have been named and shamed, including Google, Amazon and Starbucks.

Starbucks has now said it will pay ‘a significant amount of tax in 2013 and 2014’ but many people are still angry at the company. If you have been put off visiting Starbucks, but can’t bring yourself to give up its steamed-milk and flavoured-syrup concoctions completely, then see our top tips below on how to recreate them at home.

At Which? we’ve tested dozens of coffee machines and have found Best Buy coffee machines that span all budgets, and will help you to whip up a freshly brewed drink before you can say ‘triple grande skinny caramel latte extra hot with no foam’.

If you’re an espresso drinker…

Add coffee machine to your Christmas list if you like your coffee strong and short.  Espressos, the basis for most coffee-shop-style coffees, are delivered quickly (in less than 16 seconds) and simply, and our coffee expert loved their intense yet smooth, sweet taste and golden cremas. 

It’s not the cheapest machine on the market, costing about £210 (see our full coffee machine reviews for cheaper options). But a daily coffee made with a home coffee machine will always work out cheaper than buying it from a coffee shop chain, so you’re still likely to make a saving in the long run.

If you love cappuccinos…

It’s easy to create beautifully creamy cappuccinos at home with the coffee machine (£89). Cappuccinos have a lovely golden appearance and a very good froth. Read our full review to find out what else it’s good at and whether it’s easy to use and keep clean. 

If you like speciality coffees, such as Starbucks’ caramel macchiatos…

Starbucks’ baristas use a range of flavoured syrups to create the company’s sweet-tasting lattes and macchiatos. To make your own caramel-flavoured macchiato at home, you’ll need an espresso machine, a milk steamer, some vanilla-flavoured syrup and some caramel sauce for the top. 

The Magimix Nespresso CitiZ & Milk 11301 (£200) could be just the ticket, as it comes with a removable milk steamer. Readily available brands of coffee syrup include Monin (available from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Lakeland) Sweetbird and Whittard’s. Some of the most popular syrups are caramel, hazelnut, gingerbread and vanilla. 

You could also try making a caffè mocha-style drink – espresso mixed with chocolate syrup and steamed milk, then topped with whipped sweetened cream.

If you’re in the mood for a festive coffee…

Try whipping up your own Starbucks-style, gingerbread-flavoured latte by combining espresso, steamed milk and some gingerbread-flavoured syrup. Then top this with whipped cream and ground nutmeg for a festive, warming treat. The Morphy Richards 47586 Meno, is another good bet for decent espresso and properly steamed milk for a creamy latte.

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