Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 8:24am Subject: Building a coffee bar in the kitchen area??
I'm starting to look into building a coffee bar/ area in this breakfast room I have off my kitchen. This isn't happening tomorrow but I would like to figure some stuff out to plan for it (water lines, drain, etc). Do any of you have a coffee bar or dedicated area for your equipment? Some of the commercial/ semi-commercial machines have the capability of being connected directly to a water supply correct? Drain also? I have this area in mind that I can run a water line to and a connect a drain fairly easily. I know this is a hard question to answer but how much counter space area would be needed for something like this. I have a corner where I have 5' on one wall and approx. 4' on the other wall. It would give me 14sq/ft of counter area. Is this enough room for an espresso machine (say something the size of a Rocket machine), a Mazzer sized grinder, other coffee stuff? What are your thoughts on a small sink in the corner? What kind of electric would I need for a grinder and espresso machine? Is a dedicated 20Amp circuit needed?
I'm just throwing around ideas now but I would love to get some input from you all and see any pics that you might have of your setups.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 7,947 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32 Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Msl. Com. brewers Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 9:22am Subject: Re: Building a coffee bar in the kitchen area??
Hi, Nearly all commercial and a lot of Prosumer machines are plumb in, this includes supply water and drain. Some commercial machines can go either with a pour over tank inside the machine as both my ECM and La Cimbali can but both need to be connected to a drain as the drip trays are just that, trays, they do not hold water at all.
Either of those counters will work, I guess for planning, use 12" of counter for a grinder, whatever the machine is plus about 12 inches so you have a little room around it and a foot or two for whatever accessories you have. The grinder can be back on the counter so that you have room in front of it to work in as well as the room in front of your other items such as knock box, tamper etc. storage so that gives you 2 to 3 feet apx. to work in next to the machine. The machine should be forward enough on the counter to make access to the steam and water wands easy and you are not reaching to use them.
I think most machine manufacturers want 3/8" water lines to feed the machine but my machines are run on 1/4" od tubing designed to feed an icemaker in the freezer. All this means is that the fill time of the boiler takes a few seconds longer but on my machines, from auto on to auto off for the boiler fill takes only about 3 seconds.
The electrical line should be as big as you can get, meaning if you can run a 20a 120v line, do it. In addition you may want to run a 240v 20 amp line if you are running lines, this way you will not be limited to any machine and you gain access to a lot of single group commercial machines that are designed to run on 220v. This is not mandatory but it is nice to have the option if you are pulling electric lines anyway.
Drains should be fairly steep in my humble opinion if you can do it. The spent grounds that get flushed down the drain can build up in slow moving places in the drain line so if the water moves quickly, the grounds just keep going. My machines drain into a 4 gal bottle I bought at a water supply store, I think I paid around $10 for it. With normal use of my HX machine, it can go 3 to 4 weeks between draining and may go longer if I catch the flush water (both cleaning and cooling) in my cup to warm it then pour the cup down the sink not the machine drip tray.
That brings up a good point that if possible, a small sink is GREAT to have in your coffee bar setup. It is not mandatory by any means but it is pretty darn handy to have one right there where you need one!
A water treatment system will be needed, at minimum it should be a sediment filter and charcoal setup and depending on your water a point of use water softener is often needed.
In real life, my name is Wayne P. Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!
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I don't know the dimensions of my space off the top of my head but that sounds like more space than what I have. However, I'm using our wet bar and it has 2 counters (one with a sink) so I might be underestimating the space that I have. It's a tight fit for my Duetto 3, Super Jolly & Gralab 450.
What are your thoughts on a small sink in the corner?
ilcaffedio Senior Member Joined: 31 Jan 2006 Posts: 463 Location: Atlanta, GA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Astra G.A. Grinder: Baratza Vario Vac Pot: Yama Drip: Chemex Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 10:29am Subject: Re: Building a coffee bar in the kitchen area??
All good advice. I'll second, Chris' Coffee is a great place to get everything from your machines, to your plumbing. I'd say, go 3/8" all the way. If you're running off of water mains, you'll also need a pressure regulator (also from Chris' coffee).
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 3,226 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2 Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,... Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 11:21am Subject: Re: Building a coffee bar in the kitchen area??
Yeah, check out the espresso shrines forum for peoples setup photos. My dining room has a wine bar cubby off off to one side. It's a bit smaller than your space, so in that regard I'm a bit jealous. It is not yet plumbed. I debated doing it myself or running a cart-like setup with portble bottles for supply and drainage. In the end, my wife and I are about to close on a refinance that will give us a considerable amount of cash out to do the remodelws we considered when we bought the house. This means I'll finally get my plumbing at the "coffee bar". I'm going to include a small stainless steel sink...which means I have to give up counter space and drawers. It also means I'll have to get creative with gear.
Here's what I have today on my bar...Izzo Alex Duetto II; Mazzer Major (no hopper); Macap M4; a set of 6 ACF cups/saucers - cappuccino size; Motta large knockbox; 4 Motta Europa frothing pitchers; three tampers; dosing funnel, 2 grinder brushes, 3 pf handles (besides the one I always keep on my group); Cafelat tamping stand; Soehne dosing scale (~5" x9"); 3 stacks of stainless saucers for Frabosk cups (latte, cappa and demitasse sizes); flashlight, three more cups, a bottle of agave syrup, rarely used Monin syrup and chocolate bottles, ceramic and wooden cups to hold stirring sticks and spoons, 12"x12" spared work area for drink prep.
You've got plenty of space...especially if you don't have cabinets over it!
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 7:37pm Subject: Re: Building a coffee bar in the kitchen area??
When we re-did our kitchen, I was able to put an "L"-shaped 74 x 42 coffee bar in one of the corners. It holds an MCAL, a Rossi RR45a and my wife's drip brewer in the long arm of the "L" which is open above. There is a deep 9-inch bar sink at the corner and a sliding trash can holder in the cabinet below the MCAL and next to the corner and the sink. Both the sink and the trash can are "must have's" in my opinion. There is a full set of cabinets (two with doors under the coffee equipment and three drawers (2 of which are deep) under the short side of the countertop. There are two cabinets with doors and shelves above the short part of the countertop.
It sounds to me as if you have plenty of room, but don't neglect to consider where you will put your electrical outlets, which will be a little wider since they will incorporate GGCI circuitry. You'll probably want a dedicated circuit or two for your equipment.
Last point - Get a backsplash that will be easy to clean.
Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 2:21pm Subject: Re: Building a coffee bar in the kitchen area??
I really appreciate the advice. I've been checking out (and drooling) over the pictures of peoples setups. At least I know I have enough room to do whatever. I will get some measurements off of some machines/grinders and really plan it out and see if I can squeeze a sink in there as well.
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