5 Coffee tools cafes don’t want you to know about - Basic Barista coffee gear review Australia

5 Coffee tools cafes don’t want you to know about

There are different reasons as to why people visit cafes, some people love the experience and social aspect that comes with ordering your coffee and the barista who knows exactly how to make it.

BUT, if you find yourself wondering how baristas make their coffee taste so good and your coffee game at home just isn't hitting the spot then this is the blog post for you. We compiled a list of coffee brewing products that challenge cafes by making coffee that can not be distinguished from your local coffee shop.

These are 5 coffee tools that will make your local cafe hate us:

subminimal nano foamer lithium v2 milk frother

1. Subminimal Nano Foamer

Sometimes the biggest selling point of getting coffee from a cafe vs making it at home is the silky smooth textured milk you get from a cafe poured coffee. If you've tried to make milk based coffees at home you would know that you don't have a whole lot of options.

Using a plunger / coffee percolator can be challenging to master and whenever I have tried this it's always ended up being way too foamy and leaves a massive mess. The Subminimal Nano Foamer is one of the best budget milk texturers available, and no, it isn't like the cheap milk frother's with the wire it is so much more advanced and the proof is in the texture of your milk.

How the Nano Foamer Works:

The Nano Foamer is essentially a propeller with a fine mesh screen, it pulls your milk through the mesh screen creating micro foam that you could normally only achieve by using a commercial coffee machine steam wand.

Subminimal NanoFoamer Milk Texture Basic Barista Coffee Tools Milk Foamer

Reasons to Buy:

  • Capable of making cafe-quality textured milk.
  • Able to adjust the level of foam (thinner for flat whites and thicker for cappuccino and even baby-chino's).
  • Easy to use, takes very little practice to create perfect texture milk.
  • Able to pour and practice latte art.

Reasons to Avoid:

  • If you don't drink milk coffees
  • You need a way to heat the milk before texturing
  • If you need to texture milk quickly (this is not suitable to use instead of a commercial machine).

Wacaco Picopresso Portable Espresso Maker - Handheld Coffee Machine Basic Barista Coffee BRewing Portable truckers coffee maker Barista Suppliers - Travel Coffee Set Up coffee gear Recommendations

2. Wacaco Picopresso

When it comes to espresso there are so many options available with more and more home espresso makers becoming available. The Wacaco Picopresso is by far our favourite manual espresso maker that isn't going to break your bank.

The Picopresso has a 20g non-pressurised basket and even utilises a naked portafilter so you can watch as your espresso is extracted.
The espresso is 1:1 comparable to that of a commercial coffee machine and we absolutely love just how portable this espresso maker is as everything can very easily pack down into the included hard case.

How the Picopresso Works:

The Picopresso can build pressure well and truely over 9 bars, this pressure is generated by pumping and controlling how quickly / slowly you pump. I know that 9 bars of pressure is a lot but I can reassure you that on the picopresso it is not a lot of work at all.  

Reasons to Buy:

  • Great value espresso maker.
  • Everything packs down into a durable carry case.
  • Can produce double shot of espresso (basket has 20g capacity)
  • You can control pressure and temperature, this is a lot more than most entry level domestic machines.
  • Picopresso Pressure gauge is available separately if you want to read the exact pressure.

Reasons to Avoid:

  • If you are looking to make more than 2 coffees at a time / need to make coffee quickly.
  • Note that you will also need to have a coffee grinder and hot water to use this.

1. AeroPress Coffee Maker

The AeroPress coffee maker is one of the most versatile and portable coffee makers that has gained a cult following among the coffee community.
The design is relatively simple but works so well. 

You can make espresso-like coffee, filter coffee and a whole range of other types and styles of drinks. There are a bunch of different AeroPress products available and they have a huge amount of third party accessories and adaptors available to use. 

How the AeroPress Works:

To make coffee with the AeroPress, grind and add your beans to the brewer. Fasten your cap onto your AeroPress with 1x paper filter inside. Add your hot water and start to slowly plunge your water through the filter into your cup. 

The AeroPress is essentially a plunger with a paper filter that can make so many different types of coffees and recipes. 

And yes, the AeroPress range of brewers will pack down into themselves creating a neat, lightweight coffee making kit that can make a range of different coffees.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Great way to make a range of different types of coffees
  • Easy to use
  • AeroPress is forgiving on coffee meaning that making a 'bad coffee' can be hard.
  • Packs down into itself to create a light weigh travel-friendly coffee solution.

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Recently AeroPress has had a nationwide price increase.
  • Note that you will also need to have a coffee grinder and hot water to use this.



Hario V60 Dripper 02 Clear Plastic Basic Barista Pour Over Cone Plastic Coffee Dripper Melbourne Australia coffee Brewing Equipment

4. Budget Coffee Drippers

When it comes to budget coffee drippers, the Hario V60 Plastic Drippers stands out. This plastic dripper is not only affordable but is also incredibly effective due to the materials heat retentive properties.
Unlike ceramic or metal drippers, the plastic V60 heats up quickly and keeps the heat inside the brewer, ensuring optimal brewing temperatures throughout the entire brew. 

How the Hario V60 Works:

The Hario V60 is essentially a holder for your coffee filter and coffee grounds, by pouring hot water over the coffee grounds you rely on gravity to pull that water through your bed of coffee and extract coffee through this process before filtering through a paper filter into your cup. 

Reasons to Buy:

  • Able to control a range of variables when making pour over coffee.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Better at making larger amounts of coffee compared to other brewers.
  • Filters are inexpensive and readily available.  

Reasons to Avoid:

  • More variables can sometimes mean more headaches and more expensive gear.
  • Bringing heaps of gear on trips is not always ideal, V60 is best for making coffee at-home.

5. Hario V60 Drip Assist

The Hario V60 Drip Assist is what we coined the 'Kettle Killer', this inexpensive piece of coffee kit will replace an expensive pour over goose neck kettle. 

Gooseneck kettles are great but when it comes to making coffee on the go, or you don't have a big enough budget to purchase a gooseneck kettle than this is a fantastic alternative.

How the Hario V60 Drip Assist Works:

The Drip Assist sits on top of your coffee dripper and has 2 sets of holes, 1 set (the outer ring) is slow flowing and offers a lower agitation pour where as the inner set of holes is much faster flowing and can dispense your water very quickly onto your coffee grounds.
By alternating between both sets of holes you can customise your pour over coffee and have a fantastic tasting cup of coffee with out an expensive kettle. 

Reasons to Buy:

  • Alleviates the need for a gooseneck kettle.
  • Offers an incredibly low-agitation style of pour over coffee.
  • Inexpensive and budget friendly.
  • Made from a material that holds temperature really well. (loss of only 1-2ºc)

Reasons to Avoid:

  • If you already have a gooseneck kettle and don't make coffee when you travel.
  • Prefer high-agitation pour over coffee brewing methods.


These five coffee tools have the potential to completly change your home brewing experience. Yes, we acknowledge that the title of this blog post title is quite click bait and in fact some cafes even sell some of these products but we truely wanted to stress that it is indeed possible to make 'cafe-quality coffee' in the comfort of your home.

Continue the conversation and share your thoughts by dropping a comment at the bottom of this page.

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