Home Kuel Category Expert: Lori Roach
There is a certain nip in the air (yes, even here in Southern California) that announces with certainty that winter and the Holidays are just around the corner. The cooler (or much colder, for some of you!) weather, coupled with the ever-present threat of a second COVID wave and other cold-weather ailments, means we will all probably be hunkering down in our homes quite a bit in the months to come.
“this is the perfect time to create a functional, yet attractive, coffee station at home”
The time is right to think about what we can do to make our homes work more efficiently as we spend more time in them. Our homes should be a source of comfort and support. As I get older, the more I subscribe to the William Morris quote, “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”. I want simple. I want useful. I want beautiful. And, I don’t want to just exist within these four walls – I want them to enhance my life. Do you feel the same?
It seems to me that this is the perfect time to create a functional, yet attractive, coffee station at home. Something we can use on a daily basis, as well as being an easy set-up for any houseguests we may have coming to visit soon. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if they could serve themselves a hot cup of coffee whenever they wanted it, without having to ask for your help?
A well-planned coffee bar can create efficiency, reduce your guests’ dependence on you, and enhance your décor at the same time! Let’s take a look at how to set up a home coffee station!
Choosing the Right Location for Your Coffee Station
“choose a location convenient for your coffee-drinking habits”
Wanna know a secret? I only like coffee in the very early morning, right after I roll out of bed. When we moved into our current house three years ago, there was a very outdated wet bar in our bedroom. I promptly converted into a coffee station! Until recently, we had a coffee maker with a timer, so I would actually wake up to the fragrant smell of coffee brewing! All I had to do was stumble out of bed and across the room to get my first “cup of hot”, as I often call it.
Now, I am not suggesting that everyone should set up a coffee station in their bedroom. After all, it gets awkward if you have houseguests slipping in while you are still snoozing! I do recommend you choose a location convenient for your coffee-drinking habits, whether that’s a small corner of your kitchen counter, on the sideboard in your dining room, or wherever works best for you. You don’t need a lot of space. But, you will need an electrical outlet and access to a water source. Be sure to factor those into your choice of location.
The Six Basic Supplies for Your Coffee Station
Technically, a coffee station can be as simple as a coffee maker and a few mugs. In fact, there’s a good possibility you’ve got that sitting on your kitchen counter right now. But, if we want to be a little creative with this project, and really enjoy the results, let’s expand on these basics a bit.
1. The Coffee Maker:
Of course, you must start with a coffee maker. I love my new French press. But, you may like a drip machine, pour-over press, or Espresso maker. This is all a personal preference, but your coffee maker will naturally be the centerpiece of your coffee station.
2. The Electric Kettle:
My next essential is an electric kettle. Since my kitchen is downstairs and my coffee station is upstairs in my bedroom, I needed a way to boil water right by my press. But even if you set up your station in your kitchen, I still recommend an electric kettle. Mine can heat water to the precise temperature I set, and it will hold the water at that temperature until I pour it into the French press. I know the water is hot when it beeps – no terrifying whistle! It’s also a speedy way to make tea or cocoa when the mood strikes. Just trust me on this, an electric kettle is a worthwhile addition to your coffee station. You will use it so much more than you realize!
3. The Coffee Grinder:
Add a coffee grinder. You don’t still buy ground coffee, do you? If you do, consider investing in a coffee bean grinder and switching to whole bean coffee. You will be amazed at the improvement in taste! And a grinder, whether you choose electric or hand-cranked, is another item to add to your coffee station.
4. The Coffee Mugs:
Mugs are another item where personal preference takes over. My mother always sets out matching teacups and saucers for her coffee, but that’s a bit too precious for my taste. I’ll take an oversized, chunky, ceramic mug every time. Whatever your preference, make sure you have at least some mugs on display at your coffee station. Stack them on a tray, put them on an open shelf, or get a mug rack. Just have them out in the open alongside your coffee maker. Don’t worry about whether or not they match. Just replace them when they get chipped, cracked, or worn looking.
5. The Fixings:
Your cream and sugar set don’t have to match either. Keep them on your coffee station even if you don’t use them regularly. Chances are, your future guests will want one or the other (or both), and they can always serve as décor when not in use. Don’t forget to provide some type of alternative sweetener such as stevia, Splenda, syrups, or honey.
Spoons or stirring sticks can easily be corralled in a cute container, jar, or basket. Make sure you have somewhere to put them once they’ve been used, whether it’s a “dirty spoon” dish, or small trash receptacle if you use disposables. And, don’t forget a few cocktail-sized napkins for spills.
6. The Tea Drinker:
Add a jar, basket, or tea box filled with a variety of teabags. Include black, green, herbal, and decaf in the mix. Or, fill several small jars with loose leaf tea and add a basket of infusers.
Accessorizing Your Coffee Station
Once you’ve collected the basics for your coffee station, it’s time to bring in some fun little accessories that add personality! What you choose to add is limited only to your space and imagination, but why not go for an authentic “coffee house” look?
Try these six ideas:
- Fill an attractive glass jar with whole coffee beans. These could be the ones you use to make coffee, or just use them as a decorative touch.
- Add small bottles of flavored syrups and liqueurs such as Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish Cream.
- A tiny plant, especially if planted in a coffee mug, will add a fresh, organic feel to your coffee station.
- Hang coffee-themed signs or pictures. You can easily find these at a craft store or Etsy, or design your own. Check out Pinterest for ideas.
- For both visual and olfactory interest, you’ll want a candle or two (or six…) Choose a morning-inspired scent, such as espresso, cedarwood, baking spices, or even pancake batter! Or, nestle unscented votives in shallow bowls filled with coffee beans. When lit, the warmth from the flames will release the oils in the beans, creating a decadent coffee aroma!
- Wreaths, fairy lights, and more – you’ve covered the practical needs of the coffee station, so put your imagination into the rest, and have fun.
It’s always a good choice to make your home more efficient and more beautiful, and a custom coffee station is just one idea that incorporates both. Imagine the pleasure you will feel on a cold, wet day next January, as you brew the perfect cup of coffee at your personal home coffee bar. Enjoy!
About The Author:
Lori Roach’s professional career has encompassed convention management, corporate training, education administration, and – most important to her – full-time motherhood. As she entered her mid-fifties, she found herself moving to a new city – leaving her friends and job behind just as she became an empty nester. Seeking both purpose and a new challenge, Lori started a blog, CircleSquareOval. Her goal is to help every woman “shape a modern midlife” by focusing on self-discovery, confidence, and connection to the world around them.
A bit of a gypsy at heart, Lori has relocated twenty-two times in her life, making her something of an expert on settling into a new space, unpacking and decorating quickly, and creating a feeling of “home”. She joins Kuel Life as a Home Category Expert.