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  • Designing a kitchen for coffee

    I'm in the fortunate position of having an architect design a new kitchen with a dedicated coffee station. So far in the initial brief all I have asked for is a coffee preparation area with a built in knock chute and rubbish bin under the counter. In the initial sketch the architect has placed the coffee bench within a set of cupboards. I was wondering what I should consider in the design? What is the minimum size (width, depth, overhead space) I need? I was thinking of having the bench in Ceaserstone to match the main island bench, any comments on the suitability of this material? 4 power points. Anything else I should include?

    I have made a decision not to plumb the machine in, there will be a sink just behind with a water filter tap. For future proofing I want space for any prosumer coffee machine (well unfortunately not a Speedster or GS/3) and up to 2 grinders and accessories.
    Last edited by ArtW; 18 January 2013, 01:07 PM. Reason: removed ref to attached picture - didn't work, don't know why

  • #2
    Hi ArtW
    We were lucky to be able to do a 'coffee corner' in our reno too :-)

    Maybe a computer desk style cord hole with 3-4 powerpoints under the bench? Save all the full length cords flopping about on the bench in the water, that you then have to clean under?
    But who want the 'beast' hidden in a cupboard? That's for toasters!!
    Matt

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    • #3
      I would consider water for a possible plumbed machine, and a drain (for the espresso machine, and for):



      something like that if you drink milk drinks (jug washer). Which requires water and drain rigged up.

      I have a dedicated brew bar without water or drain, but plenty of power and storage. It has over-top cupboards and drawers below.

      I could still do water and drain, but I'd have to go through the stone bench top and then through the wall to the laundry behind my brew bar. Possible but painful

      good luck!

      *edit, here's a pic of my bench:
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Wow James, that's a great setup. Its actually similar to that proposed by the architect with over-top cupboards and cupboards or drawers below. Looking at your pic has given me a couple of new ideas including the lights and having the powerpoints on either side. I also like the glass splashback you can write on. However, given that it takes away from cupboard space, my wife won't allow an area as wide. Do you know what the dimensions (height, width, depth) are?

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        • #5
          We recommend the following:
          • 15-20A dedicated circuit + 10A for grinder
          • 1/2" cold male inlet tap and plenty of clear space for filtration
          • sullage (drainage) for espresso machine as close as possible
          • allow minimum 600mm deep and 600mm or more above

          This will allow for a Speedster or Linea, many 2 gp machines and should be ample for just about everyone.

          Cheers

          Chris

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          • #6
            Keep in mind that many machines are top loading for water. As you are not plumbing in you need enough over-head space to either remove the water holder and replace it or to allow you to see what you are doing if pouring from a beaker etc.

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            • #7
              Nice setup James! I would allow provision for plumbing water/waste, easy and cheap to do while building, often not the case later on when you upgrade to.

              The other thing I think is nice (but often impractical) and worth considering is having the machine on a bench so the machine is accessible on both front/back, or at least not in a narrow recess. This is purely from a social point of view. In my setup the machine is in the corner and a separating wall is on one side, so when making coffee for friends, most want to take a look and see how its done etc and the setup doesnt facilitate this, as there is no real room for them and you have your back turned etc when talking.

              When I was using the Nemox Opera (Lelit Combi) making lots of coffee, at times with many guests present, I moved it to another bench space temporarily with easy access from many angles and this made it easy to chat to everyone etc while making the coffees.

              I think my corner scenario is probably worst case in this regard and I do wish it was in a different spot at times.

              Cheers

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              • #8
                Originally posted by artman View Post
                The other thing I think is nice (but often impractical) and worth considering is having the machine on a bench so the machine is accessible on both front/back, or at least not in a narrow recess. This is purely from a social point of view. In my setup the machine is in the corner and a separating wall is on one side, so when making coffee for friends, most want to take a look and see how its done etc and the setup doesnt facilitate this, as there is no real room for them and you have your back turned etc when talking.
                Cheers
                I agree completely, I have often found it a little frustrating not to be able to easily join in dinner conversation while making coffees. I was hoping for an open bar between the kitchen and the dinning room but the architect says there isn't enough space and I guess that's what we're paying him for . At least when I replace my single boiler making coffee for a crowd will be a fair bit quicker.

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                • #9
                  Coffee machine, a sink, a bench top, a cupboard for glasses, plates and dry food, a fridge for milk and cheeses and a phone for ordering dinner. What more do could you need??? Maybe a dishwasher and a bin.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by danzx6r View Post
                    Coffee machine, a sink, a bench top, a cupboard for glasses, plates and dry food, a fridge for milk and cheeses and a phone for ordering dinner. What more do could you need??? Maybe a dishwasher and a bin.
                    Ha, I like. Only problem is that if my wife doesn't get her new ovens I may return home to find my machine and grinder on the nature strip and an Aldi pod machine in their place Seriously, she wants to spend almost as much on the ovens as I want to spend on the coffee equipment!!!

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                    • #11
                      Just make sure she leaves you an extension cord. A couple days of that shit coffee and you'll be back. Lol

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                      • #12
                        Alternatively if you have a large enough living area you could set up a mobile bench or a semi-permanent bench like this. My wife reclaimed her kitchen bench and this was my solution! She was happy with the look (as well as getting her bench space back) and I am happy with the additional space I gained.
                        I find I can talk to the guests and make them coffee at the same time without having to turn my back to them. Be sure to have good lighting above though.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ArtW View Post
                          Wow James, that's a great setup. Its actually similar to that proposed by the architect with over-top cupboards and cupboards or drawers below. Looking at your pic has given me a couple of new ideas including the lights and having the powerpoints on either side. I also like the glass splashback you can write on. However, given that it takes away from cupboard space, my wife won't allow an area as wide. Do you know what the dimensions (height, width, depth) are?
                          Thanks, it works well. One side for espresso purposes and the rest for other brewing. Neither is more favoured, I brew all kinds of methods.

                          The size of this bench area is 600 deep, 700 high (to the bottom of the cabinets), and 1600 wide. The two lights are LED. I remember it cost me an insane amount to have the lights done when the kitchen went in, there are two others on the other side where the cooking area is. I did 2x 2-GPO sockets on this bench, the other bench has the same (for cooking appliances, phone, etc). The left side of this bench has the grinders and Giotto plugged in. The right side is for a kettle or whatever else I need at the time.

                          The glass splashback is fun. I never originally wrote on it. I've only been in this house a year now since we finished building it. I came up with the idea a few months ago to write on it with a whiteboard marker, it works great and is more a novelty.

                          Here's a pic with some cupboards and drawer open. The other cupboards have other glasses/cups, etc. These are the coffee-dominant ones. The drawer holds stuff I use every day. Scales, the actual coffee, scoops, brushes, cleaning products, tampers, filter paper, etc. The cupboards house brewing devices, vessels, pouring kettles, etc.



                          An understanding wife helps, and I usually keep the right side of this area fairly tidy so it can be used for other purposes if need be (making tea, a sandwich, etc).

                          Clean coffee brew bar = happy wife! She doesn't drink coffee either!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by saoye View Post
                            Alternatively if you have a large enough living area you could set up a mobile bench or a semi-permanent bench like this.
                            a mate of mine did this too. It's a great alternative, but I'm so messy, I gotta have a sink nearby!

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                            • #15
                              Some great kitchen set up ideas, fellas!

                              James, I love the idea of using the splashback as a place to write up what you're currently brewing. Very cafe' style!

                              Saoye, did you make the coffee bar yourself? I like the timber bench and was thinking of a similar style myself.

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