Hello, I’m Kristin

Hi there. I’m Kristin Trapp, the coffee enthusiast behind Grounds to Brew.

Like many of you, my journey into coffee began at Starbucks. I wasn’t always a coffee drinker. But when a Starbucks cafe opened in my neighborhood many years ago, the cozy and inviting atmosphere drew me in.

The comfy chairs (remember those) and the aroma of the coffee—who could resist? And soon, I loved the taste of espresso-filled drinks! Who knew there was a world of coffee beyond the instant Sanka my father drank?

Coffee Training:

Around that time, my daughter (aka my Starbucks insider) became a barista and her passion for all-things coffee was contagious.

As she learned how to prepare each Starbucks drink, so did I.

In the bygone era of hand-written cup markings, she would randomly place an order with me, “Grande CM.”

My response, “Caramel Macchiato, grande hot cup, 3 pumps vanilla, steamed 2% milk, 2 shots of espresso poured into the milk, and a crosshatch of caramel drizzle—4 across, 4 the other way, 2 around.”

“Why not 4 pumps of syrup?” my trainer would ask.

“Because the caramel sauce is like the 4th pump.”

And so it went.

I mastered learning how to make every Starbucks drink on the menu without looking at a single recipe card. (That’s not an easy feat, my friends.)

To this day, I put those recipes and espresso-brewing skills to good use in my own kitchen!

By the way, if you’re now craving a “CM,” here’s my Starbucks Caramel Macchiato copycat recipe. It’s easy and looks amazing!

Sharing My Coffee Knowledge & Recipes:

As a self-proclaimed coffee-enthusiast and Starbucks cheerleader, I love sharing my recipes and everything I know.

Before starting Grounds to Brew, my career was in marketing and web design.

Much like chocolate and coffee, my interests and skills paired perfectly, and Grounds to Brew opened shop.

For tea and non-coffee drinks, check out my other blog, Sweet Steep.

What you’ll find on Grounds to Brew

At Grounds to Brew, you can find a variety of coffee recipes and Starbucks copycat drinks—from classic espresso drinks to indulgent, coffeeshop-quality treats.

Additionally, I develop original recipes for drinks like this pumpkin pie latte and for homemade coffee creamers.

Every drink is taste-tested (the yummy part of my job) and tweaked until it’s just right. And I pride myself in making sure every Starbucks recreation is as close to the real drink as possible.

In addition to recipes, Grounds to Brew has lots of Starbucks ordering tips & menu guides.

My mission through Grounds to Brew is to:

  1. Teach you how to be a better at-home barista.
  2. Share delicious coffee related recipes, many with an extra shot of indulgence.
  3. Provide insightful Starbucks tips to help you understand the menu better and order the exact drink you crave.

The photography on Grounds to Brew

I love to share information in creative ways.

That’s why I personally take every picture you see on Grounds to Brew!

One of my favorite things to do is to photograph real Starbucks drinks. I think of these barista-prepared drinks as drinks in the wild.

I believe we eat with our eyes first and it’s exciting when I capture every enticing swirl of whipped cream, ripple of caramel or cascade of vanilla sweet cream.

More importantly, you can see exactly what each real drink looks like and decide if it’s worth trying.

Please note: All images on Grounds to Brew are copyright-protected and may not be used without permission.

Collage of Starbucks drink photography by Kristin Trapp for Grounds to Brew.
Starbucks Drink Photography
Collage of Starbucks copycat drink recipe photography by Kristin Trapp for Grounds to Brew.
Starbucks Copycat Recipe Photography
Collage of homemade coffee recipe photography by Kristin Trapp for Grounds to Brew.
Coffee and Recipe Photography

My Starbucks Insider

My trusty Starbucks insider, Kara, has 8+ years Starbucks experience. Her credentials include certified barista trainer and coffee master (the ones with black aprons).

In addition to providing accurate, firsthand knowledge and honest feedback for Grounds to Brew, she’s the best copycat recipe taste-tester.

With her expertise, she lets me know things like the flavor is spot-on, but the consistency is off, or vice versa. And we work on it together until it’s the best possible Starbucks at-home dupe.

My Promise to You

You can trust that Grounds to Brew is 100% me (a real person, not error-filled artificial intelligence)!

Every written word is mine and every photograph is straight from my Nikon.

Every Grounds to Brew recipe passes through my kitchen and all content is based on my firsthand (or should I say, “first sip”) experience.

Follow Along

If you like what Grounds to Brew is all about, I’d love to have you follow along.

Subscribers enjoy a newsletter 1-2 times per month and you can find me at Pinterest.

Some Personal Stuff

If you’ve made it this far, here’s a little more about me.

My husband and I live in the Chicago area. And it’s true, the winters are cold and the summers are quick. Our two adult children and their families, including three grandsons, are all nearby.

I grew up in Connecticut and went to college in Texas (massive culture shock) where I earned a Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing.

When I’m not developing recipes, writing or taking photos of coffee, my favorite place to be is on the shores of Lake Michigan. The sound of the waves and hunting for little treasures of sea glass is so restorative.

Here are my personal accounts: