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Thread: Designing a kitchen for coffee

  1. #1
    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    Designing a kitchen for coffee

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    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; 18th January 2013 at 01:07 PM. Reason: removed ref to attached picture - didn't work, don't know why

  2. #2
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    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

  3. #3
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    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 Images Attached Images

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    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    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?

  5. #5
    TC
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    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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    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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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    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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    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    Member danzx6r's Avatar
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    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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    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    Member danzx6r's Avatar
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    Just make sure she leaves you an extension cord. A couple days of that shit coffee and you'll be back. I had a laugh

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    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.

    coffee bench.jpgcoffee bench 2.jpg

  13. #13
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Quote 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!

  14. #14
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    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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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Hi scootagal, I wish I had the talent or patience. The amount of sanding and lacquer on this old red gum bench is impressive. No I bought it from a church auction and it was actually made by one of their congregation decades ago. It really is a show piece in the living room.
    scoota_gal likes this.

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Although I did make the work bench underneath, it's just two ikea shelves glued and screwed into the stack of wine racking...which are permanently glued together and chained to the iron bracing of the red gum for stability.

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    Senior Member brettreaby's Avatar
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    Hey James.
    Drilling through granite etc is not as hard as you think. I purchased a diamond studded hole 40mm for about $45.
    Drilled slowly and also pour water over the bit and it's a snap.
    So don't let the hole in the bench top put you off plumbing in your machine.

    For me having plumbed in has been a huge step up and
    I love it. Your setup deserves it!

  19. #19
    Member danzx6r's Avatar
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    I let the landlord put me off plumbing my machine.... I had a laugh

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    I didn't - but I'm talking about my Fridge/Icemaker...

  21. #21
    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    Well, its over 15 months after my original post but finally the new kitchen is in with dedicated coffee area as well as new machine, grinder etc ... and I'm loving it. The only thing left is the installation of the black glass splashback which should make it look even better but make it harder to photograph. The new machine/grinder is a huge difference over my Silvia / Sunbeam setup that I've used for the 7 years previous.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Hello everybody,

    I too am in a position of designing a kitchen, with coffee high up on the design brief.

    My question fits into this thread, but takes a bit of a turn. It is really early in the design phase, colours an materials early.

    I've had previous coffee stations on timber painted with white enamel, and another on stainless steel. The white enamel is no longer white, which brings me to the reason for this post.

    Can anyone add any pro's and con's when it comes to maintaining their bench tops in general, and more specifically at the espresso machine?

    concrete
    white ceasar stone
    timber
    acrylic

    and if there is any "stay away at all costs" I would really appreciate the feedback.
    Last edited by highlands; 18th January 2016 at 09:31 PM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member tobeanornottobean's Avatar
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    I have ceaser stone and find its really easy to keep clean. It's not pure white, more of a composite, but the material seems to withstand grinding, dosing, spillage, etc.
    highlands likes this.

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by highlands View Post
    Hello everybody,

    I too am in a position of designing a kitchen, with coffee high up on the design brief.

    My question fits into this thread, but takes a bit of a turn. It is really early in the design phase, colours an materials early.

    I've had previous coffee stations on timber painted with white enamel, and another on stainless steel. The white enamel is no longer white, which brings me to the reason for this post.

    Can anyone add any pro's and con's when it comes to maintaining their bench tops in general, and more specifically at the espresso machine?

    concrete
    white ceasar stone
    timber
    acrylic

    and if there is any "stay away at all costs" I would really appreciate the feedback.
    G'day highlands

    Some pointers that may help.

    1) Always power it and plumb it in from below. At least one "computer hole" for the plumbing (amazing how much quieter my 2 group La Pavoni was when the rotary pump was under the bench!) and another quite separate one (or two - I hate messy cords on a bench) for the power. The only working alternative I have seen is to have a gap all along the back - and then watch everything fall down there... In my case I had the extra plumbing for a second machine added at the time - and needed it far more often than I thought I would.

    2) Have a sink nearby or (ideally) integrated into the setup. That was my main mistake at that time... ouch! Ditto a bar fridge near / underneath the setup for the milk (I got that right).

    3) The best finish I used was granite with a Lamipanel backdrop (the thick version of Laminex) which you could write on with a whiteboard marker and rub off with a single wipe from a rag. Looking at JamesM setup, I reckon Caesar Stone and glass would be at least as practical if not better looking.

    4) Always allow plenty of space above the setup. It is amazing how many times I needed to fill some new bit of gear up from above and lacked adequate "top access" to do it. I am tall enough to have a high, narrow cupboard next time or perhaps a narrow "open display" setup. I will never have deep cupboards just above the setup again: a constant PITA plus the odd bruised head...

    5) I had full width, quite deep (150mm) drawers directly under the setup: They really worked well for spare baskets, tampers, cups, glasses etc. I used dividers, however that is simple to add later.

    6) Allow more width than you think you need. Even if nothing else, there is always a fellow CSr who drags in their new xxx machine for you to try.

    7) An island bench works well if you wish to converse with your guests and (perhaps, or is that hopefully) show them how to make better coffee.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

    TampIt



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