The Essential Home Coffee Bar

The Essential Home Coffee Bar

These days, an in-home coffee bar has become a cute design statement. While there are many plans and tips on designing a cute coffee station for your home, coffee stations were a thing long before the design magazines ever thought about them. If you peruse some of the adorable ideas for your home coffee bar – a blackboard to write your coffee menu on or silverware divider to separate your tea bags and K-cups – you’ll notice one thing rather quickly. Most of them are nothing more than pretty shelves to hold your coffee maker and supplies. The DIY coffee station setups often don’t even talk about essentials like what to do with all those electrical cords. We’ve got some practical tips for creating your own home coffee station that really works for the way you make your coffee.

Location for a Home Coffee Bar

Let’s start with the most important thing. If you use an electric coffee maker, kettle or espresso machine, you need to locate your coffee station within easy reach of an electrical outlet. If possible, you’ll want one with an automatic shutoff so you don’t accidentally short out the whole house if you spill water while filling the coffee maker, or accidentally swamp your coffee machine so that it overflows. You’ll also want to make sure that any shelving system you use doesn’t make it difficult to plug in and unplug your coffee maker and other appliances.

Aside from that practical aspect, you also should consider how convenient the space is for your coffee routine. Is it close to your water source? The less you have to travel with a carafe full of water, the less chance there is of spilling en route. Is it close to your coffee mugs – or do you have room on it for your coffee mugs? The more convenient everything is, the more you’ll love your new coffee station as you start using it.

Make Sure There’s Enough Space

Think in three dimensions. That cute microwave cart might look like the perfect coffee cart, but how difficult will it be to fill the coffee maker if the shelf above it is too low?  If you’re using a kitchen counter with cabinets above, can you refill the bean hopper on your coffee grinder without making a huge production of it? A sliding appliance caddy can help – but beware using it on a cart or counter that doesn’t support the pullout shelf.

Cleaning Concerns

Let’s be honest. No matter how careful you are, making coffee can get messy. Coffee grounds spill, machines overflow unexpectedly, and carafes way too often have drippy spouts. All that moisture can play hell with painted finishes, especially on wood or coated fiberboard. If you must have that prefab sideboard for your coffee station, consider topping it with a transparent sheet of thick plastic to make cleanup easier.

Organizing Coffee Supplies

Whether you need a tray for your K-cups and coffee capsules, or somewhere to store coffee filters, there are lots of storage solutions on the market. You don’t have to spring for something purpose-made, though. A silverware divider meant to fit inside a kitchen drawer has separators that are the ideal size for tea bags, coffee capsules and coffeemaker cleaning supplies. There’s even room for more esoteric coffee accessories, like your favorite coffee scoop, coffee tamper and extra baskets for your espresso machine. A sideboard with a drawer lets you keep all of those things out of sight, but in easy reach, alongside coffee filters and spoons for stirring your brew.

Coffee Mug Storage

Install a rack or cup hooks on the wall to hang your coffee cups and mugs, or make room on your coffee counter for a mug tree. If you typically dispense your coffee into a travel mug, a nearby shelf will keep them close at hand to reduce your morning stress level.

Coffee Ground Disposal

Some coffee machines store used coffee capsules for you and only have to be emptied once a day or so. For the rest of us, dumping the filter with the used coffee grounds should be another consideration. One elegant solution is a small covered indoor compost bin or a small bathroom wastebasket beside your coffee station or tucked under one of the shelves. Not only will you save steps, but you’ll cut the chances of a ripped coffee filter dumping wet grounds all over your kitchen floor to practically nothing.

A DIY coffee station is more than just a nice design touch in your kitchen or living room. If you put some thought into the specifics, you’ll enjoy the convenience and ease of making your coffee, no matter when and where you make and drink it.