Some joke Starbucks should be called “Fivebucks,” because coffee’s so expensive these days — but they ain’t the only ones raking it in over this magical elixir.
A necessary drug for most of us, java’s the wheel that keeps the modern world spinning.
Let’s face it, the last time I ever went to work without a vat of coffee first was a Sunday I showed up at 8:30 and opened my bookstore when I wasn’t supposed to be working until Monday.
Lesson learned: Drink coffee. Rinse, and repeat.
But that caffeine injection shouldn’t leave me — or you — bleeding money.
Enter home-brewing. For me, coffee beans cost me about $1 a day, and I get two to three cups of coffee out of that, versus $5 to $10 for two “barista”-made beverages, depending on my tastes. The lowly java bean’s mighty price isn’t falling anytime soon, so more folks are self-medicating with homemade joe, and gearing up as at-home baristas.
Coffee gear, like the coffee itself, tends to be a bit addictive. Once you get started on the quest for the perfect cup, it’s time to embrace the art of brewing one, too.
Sooner or later, your coffee schwag needs its own little world.
What’s needed when you’re hooking up a home bean bar to become a self-made barista?
Coffee bars – not just in the kitchen anymore
The days of just making coffee just in the kitchen are long gone. Now, with more convenient tech options than ever before, folks are putting coffee machines in sunrooms, home offices, reading rooms, halls, and other places.
If you’ve got the space, there’s no reason you can’t put your coffee bar anywhere you fancy. What makes sense for your life?
If you take dairy and need a fridge, that may complicate matters, but if not, a power source, a table, and you’re good to go.
For me, the kitchen makes sense. I’m a coffee-with-breakfast type and seldom have it later, unless meeting a friend for an afternoon chat-and-chew. Plus, my place is carpeted. Having a coffee bar where beans can be ground into the rugs is just asking for trouble.
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Setting the stage
If you’re breaking free of the kitchen, scanning the web for ideas for coffee counters is a great place to start. Whether it’s an old roll-top secretary desk, a travelling trunk in a reading room, a converted bay window seat — anything can do the job.
It needs to hold whatever you take in your coffee, your cups and saucers and spoons, napkins, your beans, and your brewing accessories, not to mention the brewing equipment. Whatever you think you need, make sure your space holds all of it.
Clutter is never pretty, so make sure you have a nice balance. I love old buffet counters with some shelving, since cups, saucers, and spoons need to be in proximity, and maybe a box of cookies too.
A Place for Everything
To keep the mess minimized, consider using a rimmed tray to work over when doling out your coffee grind or spooning your sugar. It’ll catch all the little falling bits, and make the cleanup much simpler to do without getting it all over your floor.
Air-tight containers are useful for when you’re changing the size of your grind for different uses and need to conserve the last bits for later use. Simply transfer the excess grinds to their appropriate container, and keep a lid on your station — literally!
And if you’re an open-minded beverage appreciator with a mind to enjoy the odd good cuppa, there’s no reason you can’t have a Tea & Coffee Bar. It’s a great place to enjoy antique tins and use them for decorative storage and a nod to another time. If you’re not buying tea in pretty tins now, it might be a great time to start looking in flea markets and yard sales for such pretty storage.
From grinders to makers, it’s evident coffee-brewing is a huge industry. Picking the right gear makes all the difference in how much you love making coffee. I learned this the hard way by getting the wrong burr coffee grinder.
When it comes to grinders, no one warns you of simple science: The grinding process gives the beans a static electrical charge, and they can be jumpy when you have a plastic canister for the ground grounds. When I got a grinder with a glass jar, I stopped having the Bean-Grind Ground-Zero Counter Disaster happening every time I got me some beans for coffee.
Maybe grinding itself grinds your gears in all the wrong ways. Well, plenty of machines now offer the ability to make single drinks with a coffee or espresso pod, and clean-up’s a cinch.
Here at BuildDirect, we’re a fan of green thinking, so we ask you look at recycling options on the pods for these machines as not all of them are easily recycled. Some, though, like the Nespresso, are pretty green-friendly and make a great drink, making it a perfect machine to have in the corner of your home office for when your day screams “Take me away!”
From shot glasses to tamping tools, the extent of your Coffee-Mixology Needs really come down to what you and your gear choices. Look for baskets, containers, and boxes to keep your space orderly and workable, because getting a coffee should be your break from stress, not the cause of it.
A Last Cup
For those of us who work from home or seek to enjoy quiet time there in our off-hours, a great coffee bar takes those moments to another level. Why shouldn’t you enjoy great coffee at home? What’s not to love about being in pajamas with a great book and a hot mug of java?
Nothing, that’s what.
If you’re nursing a bad java addiction like I am, investing in a great coffee bar might save you dollars every day, while increasing your quality of home life.
So, Cafe Chez Moi — is it coming soon to a room near you?