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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Don’t you love starting your day with a hot cup of coffee, cooling off on a warm afternoon with an iced latte, or even relaxing after a long day with an herbal tea? I know I do, so much so that I’ve taught myself how to make some of my favorite caffeinated drinks at home.  Through trial and error, I’ve turned my kitchen into my own personal coffee shop. Here, I’ll tell you exactly how you can too—and the best part? You don’t need to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on a fancy espresso machine.

The first thing you’ll need is a way to make espresso at home. The easiest, and my favorite, way is with a moka pot, an Italian stovetop coffee maker. Another alternative is an Aeropress. Either one works fine because what you want is a small, concentrated amount of coffee. Alternatively, you can use instant coffee and simply use less water; no need for a coffee maker. 

The second tool I use the most is my hand-held milk frother. It’s so easy and convenient, and it makes the best foam. My lattes come out smooth and creamy in no time. 

When choosing your coffee, think of the drinks you make. If you’re a cold brew or americano kind of drinker, a light roast is just as good as anything else—you can even get more flavor with less work. If you’re more of a flavored latte kind of drinker instead, I recommend a medium or dark roast, as it will let you still taste the coffee with your added ingredients. 

For a moka pot and an Aeropress, you’ll need finely ground coffee beans. If you don’t want to buy a grinder, you can always ask a barista at a local coffee shop to grind them for you. 

Side note: If you buy your beans directly from a coffee shop, the baristas will directly offer to grind your beans for you. 

To make your own drinks, you’ll need your favorite kind of milk, and if you want to go a little further, you can purchase different flavors of syrups. There are ways to make syrups at home, but from personal experience, storing them is always a hassle. 

Now, you have your bases covered, and all you need is your favorite mug, and you can start brewing!

Easy Mocha Recipe


  • 1 pack of hot chocolate mix
  • 3 fl oz of home-made espresso
  • 12 fl oz of milk
  • Optional: whip cream

For a hot mocha, mix the hot chocolate mix with your espresso in a small bowl or cup. In a mug, warm your milk (about 1 minute in the microwave). Use the hand-held frother to create a smooth layer of foam. Add in your chocolatey espresso. 

For an iced, mix your chocolate with the espresso in a small bow. In a cup, add a scoop of ice, your milk and chocolatey espresso. Use a straw or long spoon to ensure everything is combined.

Top off your drink with whipped cream, and enjoy!

Note 1: by mixing your hot chocolate powder with the espresso first ensures you don’t have any clumps, as powders dissolve better in very hot liquids. 

Note 2: For a deeper flavor, replace your hot chocolate mix with a couple of squares of chocolate.

Easy London Fog Recipe


  • I Earl Gray tea bag
  • Sweetener of choice (recommended: vanilla syrup—just a splash)
  • 8 fl oz of hot water
  • 2 fl oz of milk

Steep your tea bag in the hot water for 2-3 minutes in your favorite mug. Remove the bag, mix in your sweetener, and top off with milk. 

Note: For extra creaminess, use your hand-held frother and create a nice layer of foam on top.

Mariana Bastias

CU Boulder '25

Mariana Bastías is the Director of Outreach for Her Campus CU Boulder, where she is in charge of coordinating volunteer and social events as well as connecting with local businesses for partnerships. Her articles will range from profiles to movie and book reviews to current events to her own experiences. Mariana is double majoring in Creative Writing and Psychology, with a minor in Business, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is the current manager of Brewing Market Coffee & Tea Emporium on Pearl St. Mall. As an aspiring novelist and poet, she has published a short story, Midnight Adventures, in Meridian Creative Arts Journal in their 50th edition, and she is currently working on a novella for her honors thesis. Whenever she can, Mariana likes to curl up with a book and a cup of tea and read the afternoon away. Her favorite novel is “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, and she always pairs it with a cup of Earl Gray. Mariana is also an avid coffee drinker; as a professional and at-home barista, she’ll experiment with flavors and roasts. As a writer, Mariana loves filling notebooks with stories, poems, and observations of the world around her, as well as ideas for future articles.