These coffee bar essentials are all you need to style your coffee maker in the kitchen

Transform your kitchen into your own personal café

Some coffee bar essentials in a white kitchen unit with drawers and shelf with a splashback of geometric patterned white, blue and grey, blue chair and marbled worktop, and blue and white patterned light shade.
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I'm a firm believer in making space for our rituals, whether that's a breakfast bar for morning meals, a bathroom for relaxing baths, and, if you're lucky, a gym for working out. For me, coffee, arguably the most important ritual of all, should have its own space too.

You don't need to redesign your kitchen to make a coffee bar, but it's a good idea to make some space to style your coffee maker, rather than relegating it to a dusty corner. Adding a few flourishes, such as a coffee grinder, espresso cups, cappuccino cups, and coffee canisters will make all the difference too.

I'll give you all the coffee bar essentials that I, a former barista, have collected over the years. These are the practicalities. Then, our interior experts have written about how to design a coffee station in five simple steps. Armed with both of these, I have a feeling that your favorite café might be moving in-house.

The Quick List

Further down, I'll give you options and explanations of what you need in your coffee bar and why you need it. I'll even explain the psychology behind your coffee mug. However, if you just want a quick list of the coffee bar necessities, here's everything you need.

Coffee Maker

An espresso machine pulling a double shot of espresso

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You won't go far at your coffee station without a coffee maker. Thankfully, I've tested the best (and the worst) on the market, so I can recommend which ones to invest in. Whether you want a French press for acidic brews, or an espresso machine for supercharged shots, I'll tell you which ones to invest in.

If choosing between each model has you stuck, I have written a guide to the different types of coffee makers. Once you've established which machine you need, you can get started on your caffeinated journey.

These six coffee makers are my favorites. There's something for everyone. The Philips 3200 Series is an independent and competent machine; the Breville Bambino Plus is every barista's dream; and the Espro P7 French Press takes everything back to basics.

Coffee Grinder

A flat burr coffee grinder interior

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Experts are unanimous in saying that the fresher coffee is, the better it will taste. With that information in grind - sorry - you'll need some good quality coffee beans and an expert grinder.

It doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, Alex Spampinato, the barista trainer who I mentioned earlier, has been using the Breville model for 12 years. He said 'There are plenty of geeky, techy models on the market, but what you really need is a good quality burr grinder. You can pay more than $200, but you won't notice the difference.'

I've tested the best models on the market, from manual to electric, and these are the ones that I would recommend.

Coffee Beans

coffee beans

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A key ingredient for good coffee is investing in the best beans. Ashley Palmer-Watts, Michelin Star Chef and founder of Artisan Coffee Company, says 'beans are the basics of coffee. You don't need to get drawn into appetizing packaging and pictures of mountains and forests in the store, just keep it simple. Buy the beans that you like and always try to buy the best.' I've tried all of his coffee beans and would highly recommend them. His decaf coffee is especially incredible; I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. If you want good caffeinated coffee, I'd recommend his rich and chocolatey blend, The Heroine.

The best place to start is with medium roast beans. These will meet the needs of the average coffee drinker. I always look for organic beans, where possible, and try to go for blends rather than single roasts. These tend to have more well-rounded flavors because they draw on notes from a range of bean types.

Coffee Cannister

West Elm Coffee Cannisters

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There's no point buying good beans without storing coffee grounds properly. We have a roundup of the best coffee canisters on the market. These all cover the basics: air-tight, cool, and opaque, but they go above and beyond for style.

These canisters are all about luxury. Once you put a cluster of canisters in your coffee bar, they'll add organization as well as style. I'd always buy them in threes. The rule of three is one that lots of designers follow, but it's also the perfect number for coffee beans, tea, and cookies. The cookie jar is an essential purchase, so don't skip it out. It's not a proper coffee break without some sweet treats.

Milk Frother

Frothed milk being poured into a coffee cup

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Most people like their coffee with a splash of milk. However, if you want to get really barista-ey and make lattes and cappuccinos, you will need to get steaming. Adding some silky, thick foamed milk will enhance your coffee's texture and the sweetness of milk naturally balances any acidity that you might taste in an Americano or espresso.

Some machines have milk frothing functions, but not all of them will. If you want to make a range of different frothed milks, hot and cold, thick and fine, you'll want a milk frother. If that sounds like you, these tried-and-tested milk frothers, will be your next favorite appliances. Your coffees will taste velvety smooth, every time.

Electric Kettle

KitchenAid Pro Line Kettle outside on a table

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If you drink pour-over coffee or tea, you'll want an electric kettle. Tea leaves, coffee grounds, and matcha powder can be really sensitive to temperature, so you want to make sure that you can reach the perfect level of heat to extract all their delicious flavors. Every degree counts. That's why all of these kettles have variable temperature options, so that you can get serious about your coffee.

I've also included a delicate gooseneck kettle, which is a must-have for pour-over coffee. It can create a precise stream of hot water, so that you don't oversaturate your coffee beans or disgruntle your filter paper.

Mug Set

hampton coffee mug with a bowl on a mini table outside on blue and white bedding

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You'd be surprised at how much psychology and science lies behind your serveware. Coffee mugs are no exception. In studies conducted by Dr George Van Doorn, Dianne Wuillemin, and Charles Spence, white mugs enhanced the 'intensity' of the coffee flavors, but transparent coffee mugs make you perceive less 'sweetness' in your coffee.

Porcelain and double-walled glass mugs make the best containers for your coffee. At home, you might have an eclectic collection of mugs, marking various occasions and trips, but a uniform set will keep your coffee bar looking smart. When it comes to storage, we have a whole article on how to organize your coffee mugs neatly. There are plenty of options, all of which will keep your countertops looking tidy.

Spoons and stirrers

Gold teaspoon with instant coffee on it and some scattered on the countertop

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When you add milks, creams, and sweeteners to your coffee, you'll want to give them a stir. Specialist spoons will suit longer, taller cups, but you can also buy some cuter, small spoons that you can balance on your saucer.

Syrups, Spices, and Extras

coffee syrups - amazon

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If you like adding some extra flavor to your coffee, having syrups can be the key to a whole new world for your tastebuds. Lots of these bottles are ugly and messy, so make sure that you buy aesthetic-looking pumps. Simple jars and containers can make a world of difference. They'll keep your coffee bar looking uniform and smart, as well as ensuring that all your extra flavors stay fresh and delicious.

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