Sipping on a cup of coffee is one of life’s simplest pleasures, but it no longer has to be reserved for coffee shops or your kitchen counter. In many homes, the coffee station remains a kitchen staple to prevent a mess in other living areas. However, life sometimes calls for enjoying a cup on the living room couch, in bed on a Sunday morning, or perhaps mid-workday in your home office. By installing a coffee station in the spaces you spend the most time in, coffee lovers can enhance their home coffee experience by making it all the more convenient. Relaxing, entertaining, or conducting day-to-day tasks can instantly become more enjoyable by having your favorite equipment and coffee roasts at an arm's reach. Factoring in some interior design pointers and tailoring your coffee station to your personal tastes will not only make brewing a cup a seamless process, but you can now bring the joys of fresh coffee to new corners of your home that won't take up additional counter space. Here’s what you need to know.
There are no wrong answers when it comes to finding the perfect spot in your home for a coffee station. Instead, it comes down to factoring in your personal needs and making it a functional component of your home. Some common areas for a coffee station include living rooms, office spaces, walk-in closets, and even bedrooms if you don’t want to walk more than a few steps to have your first cup of the day.
“Functionality comes first in design,” says Alexandra Levy, a residential interior designer for Sundance Custom Homes in Middletown, Delaware. “When it comes to planning a coffee station, we need to consider proximity to electrical outlets. Once a power source is factored in, finding that functional space within your home and making it personal is the most important thing.”
Choosing an espresso machine for your coffee station is all about cleanliness and personal preference. For some coffee drinkers, the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new era of crafting coffee at home, which has since been reflected in consumer trends. “I’ve seen a huge influx in clients wanting a coffee station in their home since the pandemic,” adds Levy. “People wanted to become their own baristas with equipment that can craft their favorite drinks.” While De’Longhi’s automatic and manual coffee machines can efficiently craft barista-quality cups at home, these machines also provide distinct experiences. For example, automatic coffee machines use innovative technology to extract consistent dosages and froth milk at the touch of a button, streamlining the brewing process. On the other hand, manual espresso machines require a hands-on approach to crafting coffee drinks and applying some barista skills to get your ideal cup. In other words, your desire to master standard barista skills and the importance of time efficiency should be factored into your decision before making this initial investment. Another important factor that often goes neglected when it comes to machinery is cleanliness. Manual espresso machines frequently require emptying coffee grounds from the portafilter; meanwhile, both types of machines handle milks and water. “We need to take mess into account when choosing machines. If you end up with a mess, some secondary locations are not ideal. For example, you don’t want a coffee spill or grounds all over your workspace,” says Levy. “For office spaces or bedrooms, I would advise someone to go with something less messy, like a fully automatic coffee machine. But in a larger space where I want my machine to be on display as a centerpiece, I would choose a manual espresso machine. Functionality ultimately directs location.”
The kitchen might feel like the natural spot for a coffee machine, but it doesn’t have to be the sole place in your home.
“I don’t want to give up my kitchen counter space for a machine,” says Levy. “Counter space is sacred, which is why I prefer living rooms as a secondary location for coffee stations.”
Coffee stations are typically intended to minimize the back-and-forth from the kitchen to one’s general living spaces, making them a big part of entertaining guests or going about your daily life. Other than having nearby electrical outlets, available space usually dictates location for home coffee stations.
Some homes have nooks beneath staircases or plenty of shelving in studies, living rooms, or other areas of the house where machinery and utensils can easily be stored. However, if you are tasked with creating new space for your coffee bar, base cabinets can provide a functional workstation.
“Base cabinets are usually 12 to 24” deep, making them perfect for DIY home coffee stations. That’s usually enough space to insert mini-refrigerators, machinery and provide plenty of storage for all of your coffee needs in one place,” says Levy.
But other than space and its potential limitations, materials also play an important role in incorporating coffee into spaces outside the kitchen. In fact, materials are very important in all aspects of design, especially when durability comes into play. Coffee stations are constantly exposed to moisture, heat, and spills, making some materials far less suitable than others.
Levy adds, “I wouldn’t suggest a countertop for a coffee station that’s made from porous materials. I’d advise against wood, since it will get damaged by heat and water. A nice stone, like porcelain, is great, whereas marble is probably not ideal because it scratches.”
Your machines, similar to the materials used in your coffee station, can also become damaged from heat and moisture in the environment. For example, bathrooms that frequently have high levels of moisture are not suitable for coffee machinery, as are outdoor spaces. If you’re interested in enjoying coffee in your backyard or patio, consider placing your coffee machine in a covered, closed-off space that is not exposed to weather and other natural elements.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have extra space for a home coffee station, which is where a mobile coffee cart might come in hand. Carts make it easy to move your coffee station around in your space, bring it closer to guests while entertaining, and have your coffee equipment on display. But similar to non-mobile stations, materials make all the difference. “Espresso machines are heavy,” says Levy. “ I would never put heavy machinery on a glass cart, and other materials should also be avoided entirely. For example, steel can rust and wood is easily damaged. If you’re interested in getting a mobile coffee cart, you would need a durable, sturdy cart and a smaller, automatic machine to minimize weight.”
Besides securing a functional and durable space for your coffee station, it’s important to make it feel personal to you. After all, your coffee station is your own coffee shop.
Some coffee drinkers prefer a more minimalist approach, perhaps to minimize mess or space. However, some coffee drinkers are looking for the full barista experience right in their homes.
“I like to have all the essentials and plenty of things on display,” says Levy. “I like to maximize my space. I’d add a minifridge to store milks and creamers. I’d incorporate shelving to display mugs, cups, and plates. I also would have coasters, spoons, and, in general, a variety of accessories.”
To make a coffee station perfect for you, take time to hand select the details that matter the most. Whether that’s displaying your eclectic coffee mug collection, bulk purchasing your favorite creamer, or centering a space around your beautiful manual espresso machine, your home coffee station should be something that brings you joy and pride every time you make a cup, regardless of where it sits.