It's getting colder and darker outside, which means you may be less inclined to venture out of the house for a cup of coffee. This is especially true if you're still in the midst of that WFH life. But even if you only drink coffee on the weekends (or once a week, or only when you have company over), you'll likely benefit from setting up an at-home coffee bar.
If you're an avid coffee drinker and have all of your go-to coffee gadgets already, there's something about grouping everything together in a bar-like setup that classes up your kitchen and elevates your morning routine. Plus, transforming a portion of your home into a chic coffee bar is the perfect excuse to invest in a new coffee maker, mug set, and more.
Curious to know exactly what it takes to transform your space into a cute Italian cafe? Keep reading for our list of at-home coffee bar essentials!
A coffee cart or hutch
If you're not prepared to take up valuable countertop space in your kitchen and dedicate it to your at-home coffee bar, get a cart or small table you can nestle into any unused space. If you prefer a cart, look for one with multiple shelves, so you have ample storage space for all of your must-have coffee bar items. Many carts also come with lockable wheels, which is ideal if you plan to move the cart around when you have gatherings or parties at home.
A quality coffee maker
No at-home coffee bar is complete without a coffee maker. Look for a machine that makes both coffee and espresso, and strive for one that is compatible with dozens of flavored capsules, so you have a myriad of caffeinated drink options at your fingertips.
A milk frother
If you really want that barista-quality cup of coffee every morning, a milk frother is a must. This small device can make hot milk foam or cold milk froth in a matter of minutes, which easily elevates any cup of coffee. Not a fan of froth? Most frothers also have the ability to simply heat milk so you don't have to pour a cold substance directly into your piping hot coffee cup. Pro tip: You can also use the milk warming function to make a tasty cup of hot chocolate.
A set of double-walled coffee mugs
Every coffee needs a vessel, and sometimes those mismatched mugs you got on various trips or at different stages in your life just won't do, so consider investing in a new set for your at-home setup. While you can't really go wrong when picking a mug, double-walled mugs are especially practical—they're typically designed with two layers of glass or plastic so the mug won't be hot to the touch. Translation: You'll no longer need to race from the kitchen back to your couch or bed because you're worried about burning your hand.
A mug tree
A new set of mugs means you'll need a place to store them. A mug tree allows you to keep multiple mugs in one place without taking up any coveted cabinet space. In fact, most trees are designed in such a way that they won't even take up that much room on your new coffee bar. If you drink coffee frequently, consider purchasing a mug tree with multiple "branches" so you can safely store several mugs at a time.
A coffee grinder
If your coffee maker uses coffee beans (as opposed to pods), do yourself a favor and purchase a coffee grinder. While you can buy coffee grounds or grind coffee beans at the grocery store, it's best to grind the beans just before you intend to use them. This allows the beans to maintain much of their freshness, leaving you with a stronger, richer cup of coffee. If you can, keep your beans in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dark place. This will keep them fresher even longer.
A pod organizer
If coffee pods or capsules are more your speed, you're going to need some place to put those little caffeine-filled shells. While there are plenty of organizers to choose from, consider purchasing one that rotates for your coffee bar. That way, you can place it right next to your coffee maker and you can see how many pods you have left. Purchasing an organizer that rotates also allows you to easily pick the pod you want without making a mess.
A cream and sugar set
While there's nothing wrong with taking your coffee black, sometimes you're in the mood for something that's not quite as bitter. By having a cream and sugar set handy, you can customize your coffee every morning, depending on what you're craving that day. Opt for a coordinating set if you want a cohesive feel, and be sure to put your cream (or milk) back in the fridge when you're done using it.
Sure, you can stir your coffee with one of those wooden stirrers or tiny red straws, but if you're going for an elevated experience, pick up a set of durable stirrers that will blend your beverage without creating more waste. Choose a set that you can reuse and keep for many years to come. Some sets even have decorations (think pineapples or different animals) and many can double as cocktail stirrers as well.