I don’t load up on half & half @the milk bar, but I do make my own fancy drinks both @home and @work. If you want to do the same thing, you’ll need two things:
My favorite way to make coffee – hot or iced – is with a French Press (I’ve also heard it called a Brazil Press). I got this @Target for around $15. The only hassle is that if you want to buy beans for it, you can’t get regular ground coffee – it will go right through the sieve. I buy beans and grind them in the store (if the grinder doesn’t smell like vanilla or mint or something) on the coarse setting. Some grinds still go through, but I’ll call that flavor.
It’s been hot here so I’ve been using the press to make iced coffee. This takes advanced planning, as you set it up, with the plunger all the way up, and let the grinds soak in cold water for 24 hours (if you want it almost syrupy). It’s worth it, and gives you quite a buzz. The only bummer @work is I have to go to the deli and buy a cup of ice for 35¢ so I don’t have to deal with the nasty office freezer.
The second tool you’ll need to be your own barista is a stovetop espresso maker. I got this on clearance @World Market for $4, marked down from $20. Originally I got this for camping (camp coffee is the best!), but lately I’ve been making lattes. The exact opposite from coarse grind, you’ll need espresso ground coffee for this maker. I’ll let this percolate while I heat up some milk in the microwave for about 90 seconds.
I used to whisk the milk into a froth but since then I’ve got an Aerolatte frother and that works pretty well. I’ve found that if you’re going to use a flavored syrup, don’t mix the syrup in with the milk – it won’t foam up. So there’s my definition of a ghetto latte. Later.