Coffee has become more than a drink you enjoy when waking up or you want to get past your 2 pm slump at the office. There is a growing coffee culture in Canada, and one of the ways people are enjoying that culture is by setting up their own coffee bar at home.
Why have a coffee bar at home?
If you love coffee the way I love coffee, you look forward to that first cup every morning. I used to have a drip coffee maker to make coffee every morning, and I really enjoyed the scheduling and 12-cup capacity. Not long after I added a Keurig coffee maker, and I loved having a single serve brewer for specialty coffee and hot chocolate.
By that point I was well on my way to having a full coffee bar, so I added a coffee bean grinder and Breville espresso machine for lattes and Americanos. Now, having a coffee bar is one of my favourite parts of my kitchen. If you’d like to have your own coffee bar, setting one up is easier than you think.
Here’s everything you need to create a coffee bar in your home.
Drip coffee maker vs single brew
Everyone has a different preference for a coffee maker, and deciding between a drip coffee maker or a single brew is one of the first decisions you’ll make for your coffee bar. You can take a look at the coffee maker buying guide for a better idea of the features of all types of coffee makers.
Your choice will depend on how much coffee you like to make at one time and whether or not you want to schedule your brewer to turn on in the morning. Some types of drip coffee maker will make coffee in a 12-cup carafe, and you can find coffee makers with 24-hour programming so they turn on right when you want them to. They also have auto shut off so you don’t have to worry about turning your coffee maker off, and you’ll find types that will only make 1-4 cups if you don’t want a full pot.
Another option for your coffee bar is a single serve brewer. The latest model of Keurig coffee makers have a touch display so you can select your cup size and brew strength, a large water reservoir that lights up so you can easily tell how much is left before you need to add water, and a programmable Auto On/Off so you’re water is ready when you’re ready to brew.
Because I get up before everyone else and I usually make coffee for one, I now mainly use a Keurig for my coffee bar. I love all of the custom K-cups you can choose and really appreciate having the choice to up the strength of the coffee pod.
Create custom coffee with an espresso machine
A single serve brewer or a drip coffee maker is great for your everyday coffee, but if you want to whip up custom coffee, you need an espresso machine.
You can take a look at the espresso machine buying guide for an idea of the different type of espresso machines you can choose. You’ll find all types including those that grind coffee beans, make an espresso shot, or create custom coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos with a tap on a screen. Some types of espresso machine are programmable and semi-automatic, and they will brew up a shot of espresso in 60 seconds or less.
Coffee bar accessories you won’t want to live without
When I started building my coffee bar I knew there would be a few things I’d want to add to make every type of coffee and tea. I also wanted to have everything together, from sugar to coffee pods, so it was all accessible from the coffee bar.
Grind your own beans
You can buy pre-ground packages of espresso beans, but I swear nothing wakes me up in the morning quicker than throwing a bunch of beans in my coffee grinder. Not only does it perk up your senses when you’re feeling sleepy, but you know your cup of coffee will taste amazing because the beans are freshly ground.
If you grind up a lot of beans every morning, look for a coffee grinder with extra room. Some types have up to 14 settings so you can choose your grind, and with a larger grinder there will be a lot of space for beans in the top reservoir.
Add a milk frother
If you have an espresso machine you might not think a milk frother is an accessory you need, but they are designed specifically to make perfectly creamy, hot milk every time you turn it on. Some types offer induction heating there’s no room for error, and they are versatile enough to steam milk for your latte, hot chocolate, or hot glass of London fog.
Electric kettles heat up water fast
I’ll start my day with coffee, but I always end it with tea. My kids and I have a ritual where tea time is around 4 pm, and it’s become easier to make tea since we added an electric kettle to our coffee bar.
I love the clear glass design of some of the latest kettles. With clear glass you don’t have to wonder if the water is boiling; you can actually see it thanks to the blue LED lights inside the kettle. If you boil a lot of hot water you’ll want a large kettle, so look for a type with at least 1.7L water capacity to quickly brew hot water for everyone.
Add some of your favourite mugs
I have a thing for mugs. I tend to collect them when I travel and they all end up on my coffee bar. I have mugs from Disneyland and mugs from Starbucks, and there are also mugs from comic book conventions we’ve gone to. Putting your favourite mugs up on your coffee bar really adds a personal touch. If you have a favourite mug you go to every day, just store it on your coffee bar and it’s ready for you every morning.
Create your own coffee bar
My coffee bar is my favourite part of my kitchen. If you have counter space, you can easily set up your own. Just take a look at everything available for coffee, tea, and espresso at Best Buy right now.