Coffee and beverage stations seem to be the latest kitchen trend, and for good reason. For many people, the day starts with coffee. Why not have a dedicated space in your kitchen for this all-important morning ritual? With everything you need right at your fingertips, you can make your first cup on the day practically on autopilot.
A beverage station makes it easy for your guests to help themselves to a cold drink at parties and get-togethers. And if you live with a house full of children, a beverage station can be an easy way to limit their drink and snack access.
Brew up a Coffee or Beverage Station in Your Kitchen
The perfect spot. If you’re dying to add a coffee station to your kitchen, there are many ways to go about this project.
- Remodeling? Carve out a small niche to house your coffeemaker and mugs. In a large kitchen, replacing a cabinet with a small wine fridge or a refrigerated drawer cuts down on repeated trips across the kitchen for the creamer.
- More than enough counter space? If you have miles of countertop available, claim 2′ to 3′ feet as your coffee station. Replacing upper cabinets with open shelving can help delineate the space, and it also gives you a spot to stash bags of coffee beans and flavored syrups.
- An underused bar? If you’re not big on entertaining or consuming alcohol, repurpose an underused wet or dry bar. A small prep sink comes in handy for refilling the coffeepot, but it’s not a necessity. This set-up gives you plenty of room to collect coffee mugs instead of stemware.
- Excess wall space? If counter space is at a premium but wall space isn’t, bring in a piece of furniture to serve as the foundation for your coffee station. Dressers work great, but so do rolling carts and sofa tables. Add open shelving above for storage space. Another option is to utilize stock cabinets from a big box home improvement store.
- Built-in desk? Like bars, built-in desks are a common kitchen feature that may or may not be practical in your home. Too often they end up covered in paper clutter, which probably isn’t a look you’re going for. Give the desk a renewed sense of purpose as your coffee station. Bonus: the drawers are perfect for keeping spoons and sugar packets tucked away.
A beverage station pretty much demands its own mini-fridge or refrigerated drawer. This makes it a little bit harder to fit in if you’re not currently tackling a kitchen remodel. If you can’t add an under-counter refrigerator, get creative and find a piece of furniture that can serve the same purpose with a mini-fridge tucked underneath or next to it. Either way you’ll be sure to end up with a fun and functional space.
Decorate appropriately. If you have an amazing collection of coffee mugs or tea cups, don’t keep them hidden away. Corral them all at the coffee station and display them on open shelving or on hanging rods. They’ll be easy to grab for your next cup while adding color and personality to your kitchen. Find fun coffee-related art to showcase and hang it next to your coffee bar. A bowl full of lemons on your beverage station serves as functional art when you’re serving your guests iced tea. Painting the wall behind your coffee or beverage station with chalkboard paint is an easy way to delineate the space and announce any house specials.
Gather accessories and extras. A great cup of coffee requires more than just coffee beans. Place your coffee maker on a decorative tray to keep drips and splatters off your counters. Gather spoons for stirring in a Mason jar. Store cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa and sugar in shakers to easily sprinkle on top of your hot drinks. If hot chocolate is frequently on the menu at your house, fill a glass apothecary jar full of mini marshmallows so they’ll be right at your fingertips. Fill another apothecary jar with pods for your single-serve coffee maker.
At your beverage station, drink markers are handy if you frequently host crowds. Paper straws in festive patterns and colors are nice to have on hand as well. Consider adding a portable ice maker if your beverage bar is far away from your main refrigerator (you’ll thank yourself the next time you host a gathering and don’t need to buy bags of ice). And don’t forget the flavorings and sweeteners! Store flavored syrup, honey and agave in easy-to-dispense containers.
Add sweet treats and snacks. Nothing complements a hot cup of coffee or tea quite like a biscotti. Fill a jar on your coffee bar with your favorite coffee accompaniment (perhaps chocolate?), so it’s easy to grab when you fuel up.
For a beverage station, consider adding grab-and-go snacks, like protein bars, individual bags of pretzels, or mixed nuts. If you have young children, the beverage bars’s refrigerator is the perfect place to stash the snacks you’d prefer your children to eat, like bags of raw veggies or fresh fruit.