Blog by Beebe Cline

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Wake Up Your Kitchen With a Deluxe Coffee Center

A dedicated coffee station is on many kitchen wish lists. Having a spot to brew your favorite cup of joe in the morning or to serve guests an after-dinner espresso is a big favorite in kitchens today. While a coffee center really doesn't need more than a coffee machine and cups, today's deluxe coffee centers use all sorts of appliances and accents to take the art of coffee to another level.
Ingredients for a truly deluxe coffee center:
  • Grinder
  • Coffee machine
  • Sink
  • Small refrigerator
  • Cup warming drawer
  • Storage and small garbage can
You also want to make sure to put in a sturdy counter that can take a beating, especially if you use espresso. Just think about the force your local barista uses when tapping the espresso filter to get the powder out!
Grinders. The sound of a coffee grinder was my morning wake-up call when I was a child. The subsequent era of prepackaged ground coffee, silenced the start of the day, but today's coffee aficionados swear by freshly ground beans, so a good grinder is a must.

Sometimes grinders can be taller than the actual coffee machine, so make sure your coffee center has enough clearance when you put in your upper shelving.

Freestanding coffee machines.
There's a plethora of sophisticated coffee machines on the market today — including the newest generation of machines with ready-made coffee capsules. Discerning home baristas probably have very clear ideas of the pros and cons. But freestanding coffee machines of all types tend to be a popular choice for homeowners, due to their flexibility in cost, style and location in the kitchen.
Built-in coffee makers. People seem to have a love-it or hate-it relationship with built-in coffee machines. These machines come in two main models: plumbed in or ones that need to be filled with water. Your choice might depend on your local water quality and how often you'll use the machine.
Small refrigerator. An integrated fridge drawer is easy on your back and on the eye, and keeps milk and coffee beans close at hand. Of course, a mini fridge can get the job done, too.
Sink. An extra-small sink is a good bet. I've successfully integrated sinks as narrow as 6 inches into coffee centers.

If you've been thinking about incorporating a reverse osmosis water filtration system with a spout for drinking water in your kitchen, this would be a great location for it.
Warming drawers. Consider installing a warming drawer under your built-in coffee machine to preheat your cups. This extra luxurious touch will help coffee stay hot longer and make it that more enjoyable on chilly mornings. A shallow model will work for cups, but a regular depth model can store food and plates as well. However, you may want to put a multi-use warming drawer in another part of the kitchen, so you can use it more frequently.
Where to Put Your Coffee Station?

Choose the location for your coffee center wisely. If it's a full breakfast center, it should be out of the way of cleanup and cooking zones, but still close to the refrigerator. Position a bar area in between your kitchen and dining area. A butler's pantry would also be a convenient location for this work zone.

Note the additional pull-out counter underneath the shallow countertop on this coffee center — perfect for adding valuable and much-needed counter space to an otherwise tight space.
Hidden spaces. Many people want their coffee center to be hidden; an appliance cabinet with a countertop and retractable doors tends to work best. Make sure to connect the retractable door function to a shut-off switch that disconnects the power from the appliances inside the cabinet — you don't want to risk appliances or timers malfunctioning behind closed doors.
Breakfast centers. If you have enough space, you could set up a complete breakfast center around the coffee station by incorporating space for a microwave and toaster. If the layout allows, dedicate space close by to store your favorite cereals and breads.

Other setups combine the coffee center with a bar, adding a beverage or wine fridge (or fridge drawers), storage for glassware and items such as napkins and bottle openers. If space allows, consider a single dishwashing drawer for this area. And an ice maker would make this work zone even more sophisticated!
Showpieces. Sometimes a coffee center is better suited to stand out, rather than hide in your cabinetry. This coffee center's unusual shape is a reaction to the other dynamic shapes in the kitchen.