If drinking a delicious cup of coffee is the first thing on your mind in the morning, then why waste your time heading to the nearest cafe? Get your caffeine fix faster by setting up your own coffee bar. You can easily recreate the coffee shop experience for your family and friends in the comfort of your own home. Enjoying your coffee at home can also save you money over time, because those $5 lattes add up! We’ve gathered some of the best ideas to help you easily design and implement the home coffee bar of your dreams.
When creating your home coffee bar, you’ll need to consider a variety of coffee bar stations, coffee essentials, and coffee accessories. Personalize your home coffee area by showcasing your unique style.
Types of Home Coffee Bar Stations
The first decision you’ll likely make when setting up a home coffee bar is choosing the type of coffee station that you want. Depending on your space, you’ve got a lot of options to consider. We break down the most popular, but almost anything can work here.
Countertop coffee station
One of the easiest places to locate your coffee bar is on an existing countertop in your home’s kitchen. Your kitchen countertop has the benefit of likely being close to an electrical outlet to plug in your coffee maker. In addition, you can use the upper or lower cabinetry to store your coffee supplies and special coffee items you save for visitors. Often, kitchens are where people tend to gather most, so having a countertop coffee bar can be incredibly convenient.
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Rolling coffee cart
A rolling coffee cart is a great choice if you’d like to be able to move your home coffee bar around from time to time. You can place your mobile coffee bar anywhere, keeping in mind that most coffee machines will need to be plugged into an electrical outlet. Because of this flexibility, a rolling cart is an ideal option for smaller spaces. Rolling carts, also called utility carts, are inexpensive and can be found at craft stores, home organization stores, office supply stores, or online. These carts come in a variety of styles, colors, and price points so you can find exactly what you need.
Repurposed furniture coffee bar
Have a spare piece of furniture in your basement or garage? Chances are, you can repurpose this piece into a unique coffee bar for your home. Repurposing furniture is an economical and eco-friendly choice, freeing up space in your home and giving an old table or dresser new life.
Many different pieces of furniture can work here. Small dressers have the benefit of drawers for hidden storage, and can lend a vintage and “shabby chic” feel to your space. Console tables, with their narrow profiles, look sleek along a blank wall and likely won’t take up as much floor space. Even small desks, storage cabinets, or end tables can serve as your home coffee bar.
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Appliance Garage or Built In Cabinetry
Having an appliance garage or other special cabinetry built into your space is a very expensive way to create a coffee bar in your home. However, if your budget allows, consider investing in this permanent option.
As the name suggests, an appliance garage is a hidden storage space for small appliances, including coffee equipment and accessories. An appliance garage features doors that are often slid or rolled open to access the appliances inside. Typically, the doors are shut when not in use, and lend a seamless look to your kitchen. Leave the doors open, and turn your appliance garage into a special coffee station.
Choosing to build custom cabinetry for your home coffee bar is a big decision, and you can determine whether it is the best option for your needs by doing online research or meeting with a cabinetry company in your area.
Home Coffee Bar Organization
No matter if you choose a rolling coffee cart or a more permanent coffee station, make sure you come up with an organizational and storage system that works for you. Streamlining your space makes it more likely that you’ll actually take advantage of your new home coffee bar!
If you have access to hidden storage and prefer to keep coffee equipment out of sight, great. If not, you can still easily stay organized. Make use of vertical wall space by installing shelves above your coffee station for mugs and coffee saucers. A creative alternative to shelves is to install a peg board on the wall behind your coffee station and hang your mugs from hooks. If that’s too much “DIY” for your taste, you can purchase a ready-made mug rack or mug tree.
Use metal, ceramic, or glass canisters to store “messy” essentials like coffee beans and sugar. For a countertop bar, organize coffee-specific items on different sized trays to designate the space separate from the rest of the counter.
Home Coffee Bar Essentials
There are several essential items you’ll need when setting up your own coffee bar at home, but the first choice you’ll want to make is what type—or types— of coffee machines to purchase. The type of coffee maker you have will determine some of your other essential items.
Consider both your budget and coffee drinking habits when deciding what type of coffee maker to purchase. Are you the only coffee drinker in your household? Do you entertain frequently and want to offer your guests fancy espresso drinks?
Options vary widely, but some of the most popular coffee makers include: automatic or programmable drip coffee machines, stylish pour-over coffee makers, French press coffee makers, and single-serving pod coffee machines.
Depending on the type of coffee machine, you’ll also need a selection of coffee beans, coffee grounds, or coffee pods. If you want to grind your coffee beans fresh every single day, consider investing in a coffee maker with an automatic grinder built in. Otherwise, you can easily purchase a separate grinder for occasional use.
In addition, make sure to have several coffee mugs in your coffee station, including reusable travel tumblers or disposable coffee cups (with lids!) so you can offer your guests an extra cup on their way out the door.
Remember to include small coffee spoons, saucers, sugar or sugar alternatives, and napkins in your coffee station.
Home Coffee Bar Extras
In addition to necessary coffee equipment and supplies, imitate your favorite coffee shop by including all the “extras” to make each cup of coffee feel special. Some creative ideas to get you started:
- Milk frother
- Flavored syrups, such as vanilla or hazelnut. Swap out seasonal favorites, like pumpkin spice in the fall and gingerbread in the winter!
- Special spices like cinnamon or nutmeg
- Biscotti, cookies, chocolate, or other shelf-stable treats
- Reusable or paper straws for iced drinks
- Seasonal or holiday style coffee mugs
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Personalization and Decor
Ideally, your home coffee bar should be a combination of function and style. After you’ve chosen a location and determined what you’ll need for a well-stocked coffee station, take some time to brainstorm how you’d like to personalize your space.
Do you want your coffee bar to blend in with the rest of your interior design? If so, notice the colors, finishes, and style of the room, and choose accessories that complement the existing decor. If you’d prefer to have your coffee bar stand out, consider painting the station a bold color or display brightly patterned mugs.
No matter how you decide to incorporate your home coffee bar into the room, the little details matter! Play around with these decor possibilities to pull your hard work all together:
- Some greenery, like a small plant or wreath
- Coffee themed art, like this, this, or this
- Cafe-style chalkboard featuring your personal menu or favorite coffee quote
- Metal coffee signs
- Printable labels for your storage canisters
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Frequently Asked Questions
The space you need for a home coffee bar depends on what you’d like to include in your station. Coffee bars can be expansive and include several machines and accessories. However, we’ve seen adorable and functional coffee bars on small end tables or rolling carts, so don’t let lack of space deter you from setting up your own.
No, a coffee bar does not have to be in a kitchen. We’ve seen coffee bars in home libraries, dining rooms, or breakfast nooks. We’ve even seen coffee bars in master bedrooms! When planning your home coffee bar, you get to decide what makes the most sense for your lifestyle.
You do not need a refrigerator or a cooler incorporated into your actual coffee station, but you might want to have one nearby. This way, you can easily grab milk, creamer, whipped cream, or ice cubes when you need them for your coffee drinks.
To learn more on how to start your own coffee shop checkout my startup documents here
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
Hi! I’m Shawn Chun
My adventure in coffee began when I first launched my first coffee shop back in the early 2000s. I had to figure out so many things on my own and to make it worse within 2 years of opening two large corporate coffee chains moved in just blocks away from me!
As I saw smaller and even some larger coffee shops in the neighborhood slowly lose customers to these giant coffee chains and slowly close up shop, I knew that I had to start getting creative…or go out of business.
I (like you may be) knew the coffee industry well. I could make the best latte art around and the foam on my caps was the fluffiest you have ever seen. I even had the best state-of-the-art 2 group digital Nuova Simonelli machine money could buy. But I knew that these things alone would not be enough to lure customers away from the name brand established coffee shops.
Eventually, through lots of trial and error as well as perseverance and creativity I did find a way to not only survive but also thrive in the coffee/espresso industry even while those corporate coffee chains stayed put. During those years I learned to adapt and always faced new challenges. It was not always easy, however, in the end, I was the sole survivor independent coffee shop within a 10-mile radius of my location. Just two corporate coffee chains and I were left after that year. All told the corporate coffee chains took down over 15 small independent coffee shops and kiosks and I was the last one standing and thriving.
Along the years I meet others with the same passion for coffee and I quickly learned that it is not only “how good a barista is” that makes a coffee shop successful, but the business side of coffee as well.
Hence why I started this website you are on now. To provide the tools and resources for up and coming coffee shop owners to gain that vital insight and knowledge on how to start a coffee shop successfully.
Stick around, browse through my helpful blog and resources and enjoy your stay! With lots of LATTE LOVE!