There is not doubt that a great cup of coffee is an important part of many people’s day.

The influence of the corner coffee shop has consumers asking for this experience at home.

While most of your clients will have a standard coffee maker, you can take things to the next level and include a designated area for coffee preparation in their new kitchen.

As a Kitchen Designer you have many options on how to incorporate a coffee center into your client’s design.

Read on to see what to include and solutions for planning one.

Storage Needs

Planning a designated coffee center includes paying attention to storage requirements.

You will need to think about and plan for all the items that should be close at hand when preparing the perfect coffee beverage.

What would a Barista need?

A well-equipped coffee zone would include:

  • a specialty coffee machine (countertop model or built-in)
  • basic mugs
  • cappuccino mugs
  • expresso cups
  • coffee grinder
  • coffee beans
  • cream/milk container
  • sugar container
  • coffee thermometer
  • stainless frothing vessel
  • flavorings
  • condiments
  • teaspoons

To have a truly designated coffee prep center, these items need to be stored in this area. 

Suggest your client doubles up on things like teaspoons so they do not have to walk across the room to the cutlery drawer to get the utensil they need.

Types of Machines

The choice of coffee machine is an important consideration when designing the coffee centre.

The options include countertop models and built-in models.

There are a variety of countertop models that brew everything from a small cup of expresso to an extra-large latte.

You will want to get the measurements of the machine or machines your client wants to include to ensure that they will fit under any cabinetry ore shelving you place above it.

Become familiar with how the unit works since many of them load beans in from the top and your client will want to access this area easily.

If the machine uses a pod system you will also want to include storage for these to add to the experience.

Built-in models are offered by many high-end appliance manufactures.

These units are often plumbed in requiring a water line and occasionally a designated electrical circuit.

Built-in coffee machines are available in a few different widths, and like any built-in appliance you will need to refer to the manufactures specifications to plan for its installation.

Design Solutions

Countertop Models

The easiest way to include a coffee center in a kitchen design is to plan a specific space for a countertop expresso machine, cappuccino maker or specialty coffee maker.

Ideally plan to locate this area near a water source since most countertop models are not plumbed-in and need to be filled with water.

You could have the coffee maker on display sitting on the counter or behind doors such as in an appliance garage.

Built-in Models

More planning is needed for built-in models since they need to integrate with the millwork and require dedicated electrical and plumbing lines.

When placing the built-in coffee maker your first consideration is its height placement. It needs to be at a comfortable height for the users.

Avoid installing a built-in coffee maker too high. As with countertop models’ beans are often loaded from the top and you do not want hot coffee being dispensed above eye level.

Here are the 3 recommended installation heights:

  1. Just below the counter height
  2. At counter height
  3. Slightly above counter height

These installations can be in base cabinets, upper cabinets, or tall units.

Typically, the depth of a built-in unit will require a minimum depth of 21″ to 24”, similar to a built-in microwave.

Sometimes to incorporate a built-in coffee maker into the kitchen you may need to stack it with another appliance. The logical appliance to pair with a coffee maker is a built-in microwave oven because they are similar widths.

Another appliance that fits that bill is the dishwasher so consider stacking the coffee maker above the dishwasher. This can work well because water lines are already being run for the dishwasher.

Many appliance manufactures are also producing cup warming accessories to match up with their coffee makers, so they pair beautifully when stacked.

The Ultimate Coffee Center

The ultimate in coffee enjoyment is to design a complete commercial set up for the home.

This gives your client the experience of having a “coffee-house” in their own home.

The design of a luxury space like this would appeal to homeowners that live in remote areas or are true coffee aficionados.

By including a space to roast, grind, brew and steam, your client could enjoy their morning java, afternoon latte and evening expresso with never having to leave home!

No mater what the budget or available space, you can incorporate a coffee center in your client’s new kitchen design.

Take the step and suggest one to your client. They may not have thought about it but could agree that it would be the perfect addition to their dream kitchen!

The needs of today’s homeowners for their dream kitchens are more diverse than ever. To learn how to incorporate other specialty areas in your kitchen designs you can enroll in VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN’s ICON courses Solutions for Home Bakers and Solutions for Entertainers.

Jan Rutgers is a Professional Kitchen Designer with more than 25 years experience. During her career she has designed over 1000 kitchens learning valuable skills with each one! She is the founder of VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.

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