These past couple of years, we have been challenged to turn our houses into offices, classrooms, doctors’ offices, hair salons… you name it. How about adding another layer of luxury to transform your space? Enter—the at-home coffee bar. All you need is a little counter space, a few essential appliances, some tasty ingredients, and you too can be a café barista. Follow the guide below for steps to making your own coffee bar unique to your personal needs and style.
Find the best spot for your coffee bar
The most difficult part may be finding a spot for your coffee bar. Fortunately, you don’t need much space at all. A little open counter space will do the trick. If you’re already struggling for space, see if there is an unused cabinet where you could store the bigger appliances. Another great option is a bar cart or portable island that you can move around the kitchen to make room when needed. These items are typically easy to find secondhand.
Choose a coffee maker
The coffee pot is going to be the most important part of your set up. Now what you choose to be the brewer of your beans is completely up to you and how you like your coffee. Our personal favorite is a simple espresso machine because it uses less beans, tastes incredible and feels downright luxurious. No matter how you take your beans, the list below is guaranteed to have something that suites your needs.
- Programmable coffee maker: This coffee makers will be the perfect addition to your bar if you’re looking for a sleek, straightforward way to brew a cup of coffee.
- Iced coffee maker: If you are one of those who orders iced coffee in the middle of winter, then look no further. Opt for an affordable coffee machine that brews strong iced coffee within minutes. Bonus: This one comes with a perfect on the go tumbler for busy mornings.
- Espresso machine: If you’re really serious about taking this whole barista thing to the next level, it’s only right that you invest in a proper espresso machine that’s complete with a built-in milk frother.
- Single-serve coffee maker: Crunched for time in the mornings? Forget grinding and measuring beans. Single-serve coffee maker options require little to no cleanup and can make a fresh cup of coffee, tea or hot cocoa in the blink of an eye.
Stock up on coffee
The second, or first depending on who you ask, most important component of the coffee bar is what it’s stocked with. Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur, or just starting out, here is a list of some of our favorite beans and blends:
- Peet’s Whole Bean Dark Roast: There’s something to be said about a tried-and-true dark roast, and this is that. Earthy, full bodied and perfect for black coffee or in a latte.
- Kicking Horse Coffee Kick Ass Dark Roast: This uniquely named fair-trade coffee is known for its bold, smoky flavor and makes a perfectly smooth cup o’ joe every time.
- Jim’s Organic Whole Bean: This coffee not only comes in a giant five-pound bag, but also comes in a variety of delicious brews and flavors, like hazelnut and French vanilla. Pour this bag of beans into an oversized glass jar for a real coffeeshop look, and week’s worth of coffee.
- Equal Exchange Organic Love Buzz Whole Bean: Drinking fair trade, conscientious coffee grown by small farmers just feels right. On top of all that, the coffee is downright delicious.
- Puroast Low Acid Bourbon Pecan Torte: If you suffer from heartburn, GERD or any stomach pains after your morning coffee, this low-acid alternative is perfect for you. Made to be 70% less acidic with seven times the antioxidants, you can feel good about sipping on this coffee and put away the antacids. Not to mention, the flavor is to die for.
- HealthWise Low Acid Decaf: Less acid, 99.9% less caffeine, all the flavor. Perfect for a late-night cup or when you’re looking for a little caffeine detox.
- Crio Bru Light Roast Ground Cocoa Beans: Yes, you read that right. This coffee-alternative is made of purely ground cocoa beans. It makes for a delicious, lower-caffeine, higher-antioxidant option for those looking to switch up their morning routine. It can be used in most coffee makers as long as you use a gold-tone filter.
- Chicory Herbal Coffee Alternative: Another coffee alternative, this one combines carob, barley, chicory and other natural ingredients to make for a smooth, natural energy boost. You really won’t miss the coffee flavor or caffeine jitters.
Select your accompaniments
These are what make a coffee bar a coffee bar. Would a sundae bar be a sundae bar without eight types of sprinkles, crushed cookie garnishes, fresh fruit and a variety of syrups and sauces? That’s what we thought. So, feel free to get creative and go wild with this secion. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Leaner Creamer: Creamer that you can leave on the shelf? Sounds like the perfect addition to a coffee bar. Dairy-free and made with coconut oil, it mixes easily into any hot beverage.
- Laird Superfood Cacao Creamer: Made with energy-boosting superfoods and calcium-filled sea algae, this shelf-stable creamer is another great alternative to your usual.
- Walden Farms Caramel Syrup: Ever dream of caramel macchiatos? Us too. Make your dream a reality with a drizzle of this sugar-free sauce. Swirl it around the inside of your cup and let the flavors melt into your fresh brew.
- NuNaturals NuStevia Vanilla Syrup: This zero-sugar, zero-calorie vanilla syrup brings just the right amount of sweetness and vanilla flavor to any coffee drink.
- Wisdom Natural SweetLeaf Stevia Drops: Perfect to have on hand for when you’re craving basic milk and sugar, this stevia liquid is sugar-free, pleasantly sweet and un-flavored. In a convenient dropper for, this is great replacement for sugar and mixes easily into hot and cold drinks.
Display your tools
Depending on which coffee machine you went with, you may need more or less tools to complete your coffee bar.
- Milk frother: This one is an absolute necessity. Even if you aren’t planning on taking a latte art class, you’re going to want a way to heat up your milk.
- Coffee grinder: This may not be necessary if you prefer to buy grounds. However, if you love the smell of freshly ground coffee or simply need a finer ground for espresso, then you’re definitely going to need one of these.
- Cute mugs: Getting a variety of sizes of coffee mugs will be important when you want to make a wide range of drinks. Small cups are great for espresso and cappuccinos, whereas bigger mugs are great for sleep deprivation.
- Mug stand: Having a stand to keep all your mugs safe and in one place is a must. There are a wide range of designs of mug stands out there, so you’re guaranteed to find one that matches your style.
- Storage containers: You can be as creative as you want when deciding how to store your grounds, toppings, flavors, etc. Mason jars, ceramic jars, stackable drawers – almost anything goes. Try your best to find containers that are air tight to make sure your perishables stay fresh.
Decide on décor
This is where you can really let your personal style shine through. Whether you ant to keep it modern or rustic, or go for quirky and bright, make it yours. Those sassy napkins you’ve been eyeing in the store? The cheeky coffee mug that always makes you giggle? Time to finally grab them and add them to what is now your very own unique, fully equipped coffee bar.