You aren’t the only one who needs a caffeine boost—chances are, your house could use one, too.
Adding a coffee bar to your home can elevate your morning, just like a trip to your favorite coffee shop. But this way, there’s no need to change out of your pajamas to be served (and no need to pay a pretty penny for a latte).
“I believe everybody deserves great coffee, and it’s not complicated to create your own space, where you can celebrate the ritual of brewing coffee for yourself and your loved ones,” says Emily McIntyre, founder of Catalyst Coffee Consulting.
Setting up an at-home coffee bar isn’t difficult, but it does require some basic equipment and planning. The first step? Choosing the perfect spot for coffee central.
How to set up a coffee bar in your home
McIntyre says the kitchen is usually the ideal spot for a coffee bar, mainly because of the availability of fresh water.
“If you want to keep it simple, just pick a corner to keep your gear and store your coffee,” she says. “If you want to make it more elaborate, I advise you pick a spot in an area of the house where you either entertain a lot or spend a lot of time.”
She also explains that the tools you choose to include will have an impact on your choice of location.
“If you want to plumb in an espresso machine, you’ll definitely need to position your coffee bar near your water lines,” says McIntyre.
If you plan something simple, like a pour-over bar, a drip coffee machine, or a single-serve capsule coffee maker, you can get your water at the sink and take it where you need it.
Just remember that the farther you have to travel with a full pitcher of water, the quicker you’ll lose interest in the process—and the higher the chance of a spill.
Designer Julie Arnold of J. Raine Design in Detroit says you should make sure your coffee bar is in a defined space, away from the rest of your workspaces.
“Allowing this space to serve only one purpose eliminates clutter and makes it feel special,” she says.
“This space should coordinate with the rest of your kitchen and home, but don’t be afraid to add special decor that makes you feel happy,” Arnold adds.
“Vintage mugs are always my go-to, as they can add color and a great energy to your day. Drinking coffee is an experience, and making it should be as well.”
What you’ll need to stock the perfect coffee bar
Your choices of brewing systems are nearly endless, and the decision comes down to your personal preference (and budget).
Do you like to take your time with a French press, or do you appreciate the simplicity of a Keurig brewer? Maybe you like your old-school drip machine because it brews a giant pot of coffee that can caffeinate your whole household in one go.
No matter which option you choose, you’re not done. It takes a lot more than a brewing system to create the perfect coffee bar. You need accessories, tools, and coffee-add-ins to make this special section of your kitchen complete.
Here’s what the experts say you’ll need.
“The single most important piece of equipment for your home coffee bar is the best grinder ($139, Amazon) your budget can allow for,” says John Bedford of Viva Flavor.
“It should cater for a wide range of grind settings—to accommodate everything from espresso to cold brew—and use burr grinders, not blade [grinders]. Burr grinders are more consistent, and introduce less heat during the grinding process. Both these aspects will help you achieve a more aromatic and flavorful brew.”
“Consider getting a coffee storage container ($28, Amazon) to keep your coffee fresh,” suggests Shabbir Nooruddin of Coffee in My Veins.
“It will add a nice element to your coffee bar, by replacing the paper bag packaging that most coffee beans come in, and as an added bonus, it will keep your beans fresher for longer.”
Of course, coffee isn’t all you need to store. Grab multiple containers that can hold sugar, teabags, and all your other coffee bar essentials. Choose something with an airtight seal that blocks the light, to keep your coffee as fresh as possible.
Depending on your choice of brewers, you may need an electric kettle ($70, Amazon)—and you’re going to want to choose one that’s not only fast (because who wants to wait for coffee?) but also aesthetically pleasing. It will take up a lot of space in your coffee bar, after all, so it might as well be nice to look at!
Nothing goes better with coffee than a scone or muffin.
“When I have fresh pastries, I like to keep them near my coffee station,” says Arnold.
Keep them fresh with a lidded serving tray ($28, Amazon).
Of course, these tools don’t cover everything you’ll need to keep your coffee bar fully stocked and functional.
Other key tools to ensure that your coffee bar is fully stocked and functional include:
- Spoons or stir sticks
- Cream (if you have a way to keep it cool)
Think of everything you use when you enjoy your coffee or tea, and make sure it has a home in your coffee bar. You’ll be enjoying café-quality coffee in the comfort of your own home in no time.