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Building a new custom house: help me design the espresso/coffee area!
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adamgoldberg
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adamgoldberg
Joined: 10 Mar 2004
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Location: Virginia
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Posted Wed Feb 8, 2012, 5:39pm
Subject: Building a new custom house: help me design the espresso/coffee area!
 

I'm in the process of designing the kitchen area of a new semi-custom house that we're building, and am looking for ideas on how to set it up.

Currently, I have two Mazzer Minis, an Expobar Office Control and a Technivorm-Moccamaster, and I'm not planning to change equipment soon ... (that could change :))

I was thinking that I'd convert a 'wetbar' area into the coffee bar; a small bar sink with a reverse-osmosis filter, this would let me plumb in the espresso machine (someday if desired) and drain into the sink.  This would also put water nearby for the coffee maker.  My current machine works fine on a 15A circuit, but was thinking that it might be good to have a 20A 120v and a 30A 240v circuit just in case (it's possible that someday I might pick up a used commercial machine??  hey! it could happen).

  • What about countertop materials?  The rest of the kitchen is going to be granite or butcherblock.
  • What about clearance to the upper cabinets?  Could probably make it bigger than normal...

Hints?  Suggestions?  Help?

Thanks.
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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Posted Wed Feb 8, 2012, 9:28pm
Subject: Re: Building a new custom house: help me design the espresso/coffee area!
 

If I were to design an area for coffee equip it would be center island located in the kitchen, no cabinets above it.  It would be the focal point of the kitchen where I could show off my Krups Superauto (ha ha, thats just for JasonsBL's benefit ...).  Seriously if you are thinking of adding some real nice espresso machines, and have the ability to put a wet bar in the middle of the kitchen it would be a neat thing.  

I said before that I would have no cabinets above the area. I say this because the machines give off alot of steam and heat, and having cabinets above such where you keep other food can cause issues.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Feb 9, 2012, 7:11am
Subject: Re: Building a new custom house: help me design the espresso/coffee area!
 

Yes, what he said!
Yes on the 220v and the larger 20 a 120v circuit.
Use whatever counter top looks great.
One thing you will run short of very quickly is counter space, make sure you have enough.

 
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!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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jkoll42
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Posted Thu Feb 9, 2012, 7:34am
Subject: Re: Building a new custom house: help me design the espresso/coffee area!
 

If you are building custom you might as well run a 220.  I personally would just run all outlets (in the house) 20A at this point.  The difference in Romex cost is not that great and it's always good to have overhead.  It would be great to have a wet sink like you said.  

I have no idea about your kitchen/living are floorplan, but I would love to have a counter height "L" shaped divider between an open kitchen/dining area floor plan.  Half the L for a eat up bar and the other half for the coffee bar.  That way guests could watch the precess and be served in the same are but also have the eat up part double use for snacks, etc.  I always thought having a frosted glass divider on the back side of the counter maybe 4 or 6" high to cover the cord mess on the back of the machines.  

I have always though it would be sweet to have a pass through knock box chute to keep the counter clean and double as a trash can.  You're going all in with that however - hole in the counter!  Counter top material is personal but I would be so into soapstone.  Semigloss and dark to contrast the shiny machines!
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xeonsamari
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xeonsamari
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Posted Thu Feb 9, 2012, 8:10am
Subject: Re: Building a new custom house: help me design the espresso/coffee area!
 

for countertops avoid seams if they are not granite or something. The granite look covered wooden ones tend to swell when water is spilled on them (voice of experience haha). Also what about running plumb-in to your set up for the espresso machine or even just roughing it in for later incase you catch the upgrade bug again. May save time and effort later. I believe you will need quite a bit of clearance above those items in your collection especially if your espresso machine has a cup warmer to keep it from ruining your cabinets, so and island would be nice or a bar type area with nothing over top :) my 2 cents good luck with this project and pictures when its finished ;)
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TonyVan
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Posted Thu Feb 9, 2012, 10:42pm
Subject: Re: Building a new custom house: help me design the espresso/coffee area!
 

If there's any chance your home will have a central vacuum system (like Vac-U-Flo) for sure install a kick-plate outlet under your work area. Grounds on the floor are inevitable, and simply brushing them into a floor-height outlet after every session really helps keep the peace.

And +1 on a seamless countertop surface.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,772
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 Fri Feb 10, 2012, 9:09am
Subject: Re: Building a new custom house: help me design the espresso/coffee area!
 

Great idea Tony!
I have never owned a home with central vac so that thought never dawned on me. An outlet at the counter would be handy too, esp with a smaller hose for work on the counter, that would be sweet!

 
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!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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jkoll42
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jan 2010
Posts: 465
Location: Pennsylvania
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: VBM DD V3, Gaggia Baby Class
Grinder: Cimbali Max Hybrid, Bunn...
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex
Roaster: Honey Badger 1K, HG/BM
Posted Sat Feb 11, 2012, 6:14am
Subject: Re: Building a new custom house: help me design the espresso/coffee area!
 

I never thought of the central vac either.  How sweet would it be to have a vac inlet level with the counter so you could just push the ground on the counter into it :)
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JPF
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Posted Sat Feb 11, 2012, 8:28am
Subject: Re: Building a new custom house: help me design the espresso/coffee area!
 

If you don't have cabinets, you could always install one of these : )

JPF: Pompei2gr.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
Living the caffeinated life.
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adamgoldberg
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adamgoldberg
Joined: 10 Mar 2004
Posts: 51
Location: Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Control
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Technivorm KBT741
Posted Sat Feb 11, 2012, 8:45am
Subject: Re: Building a new custom house: help me design the espresso/coffee area!
 

Central vac is a good idea.  

I'll have 10' ceilings, so I think I can actually have upper cabinets, but raise them up quite a bit to give plenty of clearance.

Was planning to have water/sink nearby, so I think plumbing in is entirely possible "later".

Re 220 outlet, 20A or 30A?

I really like the idea of a 'coffee bar' that's useful from both sides, but I don't really see how I could do that in the layout (the espresso station is a "fit it in" opportunity, not a "design the kitchen around it" opportunity, LOL.
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