ApartmentGuide: 7 Tips for Creating the Perfect Home Coffee Station

We were named an expert on ApartmentGuide. Read the full article from May 8, 2024 by Jeremy Steckler below.

7 Tips for Creating the Perfect Home Coffee Station

May 8, 2024 by Jeremy Steckler

Creating a home coffee station is the perfect way to elevate your morning routine and indulge in your favorite brews without leaving the comfort of your home. Whether it be renting in Chicago or owning in the suburbs of Glenview or even living in one of the best cities for coffee lovers, designing a personalized coffee nook can turn your kitchen into a cozy and inviting space. 

With the right equipment, organization, and personal touches, you can transform your coffee station into a hub of warmth and delicious aromas, setting the tone for a great day ahead. But how do you go from dreaming about a home coffee station to actually building one?

Our experts in all things coffee have provided a treasure trove of tips to get you started on crafting your perfect home coffee station. Read on to learn more about selecting your coffee, brewing method, and more.

1. How do you like your coffee?

The first step in creating your perfect coffee nook is to decide how you want to make your coffee. Maybe you already know that you prefer a French press, or maybe you’re open to exploring a pour-over or upgrading to an espresso machine. Regardless of how you prepare your coffee, you’ll still need a few essentials. “For a high-quality routine, I recommend four things: fresh-roasted specialty coffee, a burr grinder, a gram scale, and a brewing device. Whether that brewing device is an Aeropress, Chemex, French-press, auto-drip brewer, etc. is totally up to you and how you enjoy your coffee!” shares Sara Gibson, co-founder of Sightseer Coffee.

Below are tips and recommendations for various ways of preparing your coffee. 

Pod coffee machine:

When you think of a coffee machine with pods, your mind is probably going to picture a Keurig. Though those have dominated the market, some alternatives offer different ways of brewing coffee in a pinch such as the Nespresso or Ninja Duo. “If you rush in the morning and like getting a quick caffeine fix, then we recommend getting a coffee brewer or pod coffee machine,” says Pat Guevara of Pro Coffee Gear. “However, if you have a lot of time, are passionate about coffee, and plan on learning more about it (possibly getting barista-level training), then we recommend purchasing a prosumer espresso machine.”

Espresso machine:

Speaking of espresso machines, purchasing one of these can give you the tools you need to create everything from cappuccinos to mochas. “For home espresso, invest in machines with a solid build such as the Breville Bambino Plus, or for beginners, the Breville Barista Express Impress,” recommends Cafe Euphoria, a transgender and gender-nonconforming, worker-owned restaurant and cooperative located in downtown Troy, NY.

Before rushing out to purchase, Sean Jemison of Clive Coffee has three things to keep in mind when shopping. 

“Budget – Home espresso is an upfront investment, but it pays off significantly in the long run. You’d need to budget for the espresso machine, espresso grinder, and accessories.

Footprint – How much countertop space do you have? Most home espresso machines will fit under standard American cabinets. Always measure your space, cross-reference the espresso machine’s dimensions, and account for space needed for the grinder and accessories.

Lifestyle – Do you only want to make straight espresso shots? Or do you want a mix of both shots and milk drinks like lattes and cappuccinos? If it’s the former, consider a single-boiler espresso machine. If the latter, consider a heat exchanger or a dual-boiler.”

Sean also came prepared with his recommended espresso setup for first-time purchasers, including a high-quality grinder.

LUCCA X58 Espresso Machine – This machine is compact yet powerful. Able to pull tasty espresso shots and offer café-quality milk steaming for one latte or several for a dinner party. It comes in traditional stainless steel and a matte black finish along with in-house walnut custom touch points.

Eurkea Mignon Specialita – Since most of the focus tends to be on the espresso machine, most folks will overlook the importance of a grinder. The grinder is essential in getting flavorful and well-extracted espresso. The Specialita is a grinder that is intuitive to use, has a consistent grounds distribution, and is compact and relatively quiet. It’s our most popular espresso-focused grinder.”


The Moccamaster is a renowned brand of high-quality coffee makers known for their sleek design and ability to brew excellent coffee. With a reputation for durability and consistency, Moccamaster machines are favored by coffee enthusiasts and professionals alike for their precise brewing temperatures and uniform extraction. “While we love to do a French press, pour over, or moka pot when time allows, we often find ourselves using our Moccamaster on those crazy and chaotic weekday mornings,” shares Jenna Wicks of Drum Coffee Roasting. “For a full 1.25L carafe, measure about 66g of coffee from your favorite local roaster. Use a coarser grind when brewing medium or dark roast but go a little finer (drip) when brewing light roasts. Be sure to pick up one of Moccmaster’s fun colors; it will bring a little happiness to your mornings.”

Pour over: 

Just as the name suggests, a pour over involves manually pouring water over ground coffee. Pour overs can start with just a filter and a kettle and scale up from there. “To get the best extraction from a beautifully crafted coffee, we highly recommend a cone, Chemex, or v60 pour over. You can never go wrong with a good pour over, says Donovan Albert of Anchor & Tree Coffee Roasting Co. “Always try to follow a brew ratio of 16 grams of filtered water to every 1 gram of coffee. A metal filter lasts longer, provides a great extraction, and is environmentally friendly.” 

For a step-by-step guide on how to prep pour-over coffee, Eugene Jung of Touring Coffee Roasters has you covered. 

“To give you a sneak peek into how I brew at home, I use a scale to measure coffee beans (grams) I want to grind. A good home grinder like the Baratza Encore is very important in making coffee: Fine grind for espresso, medium grind for drip/pour over and coarse grind for French press. I place the Hario V60 on a scale, pre-wet the filter, and use a gooseneck kettle to slowly control the water flow in a circular motion over the coffee grounds until I have the desired fluid ounces of brewed coffee. This setup allows for minimal counter space, repeatability, and consistency every time I make coffee – and I make a lot of coffee personally and professionally!”

2. Grinder is king

Now that you’ve discovered how you want to prepare your coffee, it’s time to dive more into the specifics of how your coffee nook will look. Regardless of how you prepare your coffee, a quality burr grinder is essential. “An excellent grinder will make an average coffee taste its best, but the converse is also true. With a low-grade grinder, even the best coffee will be suboptimal,” advises Inti Martinez-Aleman of Abogados Cafe LLC.

There’s plenty of coffee grinders out there, so why is a burr coffee grinder important? “When creating a home coffee station in an apartment, consider investing in a burr grinder to ensure uniform grounds, enhancing the extraction process for a delicious brew,” says Adriana Lopez, founder of Tostado Coffee Roasters. “For pour-over or drip coffee makers, a medium grind resembling sand works well, while a fine grind, like table salt, is ideal for espresso machines or Aeropress. Adjusting your grind size can significantly impact the flavor and extraction of your coffee, so experiment to find the perfect grind for each brewing method!”

Start your research into burr coffee grinders by taking a few recommendations from Pat Guevara of Pro Coffee Gear. “Investing in a quality, home grinder like the Mahlkönig X54 or Fiorenzato AllGround will give you more flexibility as you can grind for any brewing technique as you level up  your home coffee-making journey.” 

Cafe Euphoria recommends, “Having a solid, conical burr grinder such as Baratza Virtuoso+ or at least the Baratza Encore is as essential for flavor extraction.”

3. Quality local coffee

Obviously, figuring out what kind of coffee you like is vital to a quality coffee routine. How can you have a home coffee station without coffee? “If you don’t know where to begin, look out for a Colombian medium roast coffee to get the best of both worlds,” shares Nick Castellano of Futura Coffee Roasters.

Looking for coffee can quickly become overwhelming – how are you supposed to pick when there are so many roasters and brands? “The only key ingredient for a good coffee setup is quality coffee, which for me means high marks in regenerative farming practices, equity and thriving wages for farmers, and the care of the roaster,” says Keia & Martyn’s Coffee. “When I’m looking at buying coffee, I look for transparency and the centering of the farmers and land that the cherry came from, along with some values-alignment between me and the roasters. I can get all of this from just looking at the packaging and what the brand is choosing to highlight and share with you. Then, my pro tip is to just look at the flavor profile and get what hits all the right spots.”

If possible, prioritize local coffee roasters. “Using coffee from a local coffee roaster ensures that you’re using high-quality coffee while supporting your local economy,” shares Keri Elliott, owner and head roaster at Roasted By Mom Coffee. “Using local roasters such as Alias Coffee in Troy, NY or, for dark roast enthusiasts, Gipfel Coffee in Sand Lake, NY and their Liquid Assets Coffee Roasters label,  will ensure you have the freshest roasts. It will also introduce you to our local coffee scene,” adds Cafe Euphoria.

Speaking of freshness, there is a sweet spot when picking up your coffee beans. “Stay away from using roasts that are too recent (1-2 days) or too old (over three weeks),” advises Inti Martinez-Aleman of Abogados Cafe LLC.

4. Consider a coffee subscription to stock your home coffee station

If you’re still overwhelmed by choice, a coffee subscription service like Keia & Martyn’s Coffee can be a great way to try multiple roasts with varying flavor profiles. Anchor & Tree Coffee also offers subscriptions of two or four bags a month. Every three months, subscribers also get a secret coffee no one else has access to.

If you’re looking for a variety of different roasters and sources, Mistobox might be worth looking into. “I highly recommend sourcing from Mistobox and their roster of small-batch specialty roasters to ensure you’re getting quality coffee that tastes delicious and is tailored to your exact taste preferences,” advises Bailey Schultz of MistoBox.

5. Supplement with syrups

Now that you have your coffee, brew method, grinder, and any other necessary equipment selected, it’s time to look into accessories and flavoring. “Milks & syrups make a difference,” says Inti Martinez-Aleman of Abogados Cafe LLC. “Most people are OK with standard lattes. If you have guests who prefer flavored or sweetened lattes, make sure you use top-notch syrups. We recommend 1883 Maison Routin. The same goes for milks: You get what you pay for. You can ruin the best coffee if you use subpar milk or milk alternatives.”

6. Prioritize workflow when making home coffee

How you set up your home coffee station is just as important as the gear you purchase. “You need to have a good workflow,” says Inti Martinez-Aleman of Abogados Cafe LLC. “Even the simplest espresso bar needs a process. Work in one direction: from left to right or from right to left. Minimize or eliminate having to go back and forth, from one side to the other. You will feel annoyed more easily, and you are more likely to make mistakes that slow you down or affect the quality of your coffee beverages.”

7. Make it your own

Whether you’re living in a studio apartment in Chandler or renting in Dallas, setting aside a home coffee station for your morning coffee ritual can make mornings easier. Let’s dive into crafting a coffee nook that you feel excited to use. As Sara Gibson, co-founder of Sightseer Coffee recommends, “Create a station that’s functional and aesthetic – something that rewards you with delicious coffee and vibes.”

The most exciting next step is making your space your own, and that starts with nothing other than creating an area for your morning coffee ritual. “Organize your space stylishly with shelves or trays to display your equipment and coffee (we recommend roasted-to-order Sinister Coffee),” says Michelle Kaliher of Sinister Coffee and Creamery. “Consider incorporating decorative touches like mugs or artwork, lean into your creativity with upcycled crafts or handmade designs, and make your space inviting with vintage utensils or service wears to enhance the ambiance of your coffee oasis.”

Arne Preuss, founder of Coffeeness, adds, “If you have space, I’d recommend dedicating an area of your kitchen to coffee preparation. This way, you can display your stylish Chemex, coffee-tasting glasses, and coffee storage containers. To take it to the next level, a home espresso machine won’t just look cool; it’ll allow you to develop latte art skills that will impress friends and family. Finally, consider adding both an electric and manual coffee grinder. This way, you’ll have options, depending on how you’re brewing coffee.”

Coffee machines – especially espresso machines – can be loud, so take the advice of Tim Howard of Blind Coffee Roasters, “Try to add a layer of soundproofing to your coffee bar (countertop and closest wall) so you don’t wake anyone up when preparing your coffee.

Above all, have fun and enjoy the process of decorating and curating your home coffee station space. If your morning coffee ritual is important to you, it deserves a space in your kitchen that lights up your face every time you reach for your mug.