From grinding some grocery store-bought beans with a $28 Hario hand grinder to purchasing a $160 electric gooseneck kettle, to finally diving into the deep end of espresso with a Gaggia Classic Pro and Niche Zero - the coffee hobby has quickly spiraled out of of control and into one that is both an endless wallet-draining pit but also provides a delicious drink to kick off the start of everyday.
I’m going to share with you how I redesigned and built the ultimate home coffee bar in this little 6x4 foot corner of my apartment.
If you’ve seen any of my past coffee bar tour videos, then you’ll know that I’ve generally struggled with one big thing. Lighting!
That’s finally changed.
My current lighting setup includes using the Falconeyes RX-24TDX which is a slim, rollable, flexible, LED panel that I have mounted to the ceiling with some velcro tape.
Unfortunately this light panel does require a massive control box which I have routed out of the way and hanging on a command hook on the door.
While not a pretty solution, this allows me to control the brightness and color temperature of the light panel and this thing is bright.
The next big change to this corner is the modified Husky Workbench that I’ve placed over the top of my sideboard.
Now I changed to using a workbench because I frequently have multiple heavy machines and equipment and didn’t want to overload the sideboard.
After some careful measurement, I was lucky enough to find this Husky workbench from Home Depot that fits over top of the existing sideboard like a glove. Unfortunately it did arrive a bit damaged so I went ahead and sanded down the top, refinished it with a dark wood stain and a few layers of polyurethane, and this is the final product.
Now I never have to worry about weight capacity if I’m testing a few different machines while still retaining all the storage space my sideboard offers.
The next change here is obviously the slat wall.
I’ve removed the shelves I used to have mounted and all the decor that was in the area. I then went ahead and filled the holes with some drywall patching stuff, sanded it down, and gave it a few coats of paint.
Not a perfect job but the dark matte gray paint from Benjamin Moore blended pretty well without having to repaint the entire wall.
The slat wall themselves I ordered from a company called The Wood Veneer Hub and these are oak wood slats with black acoustic foam in between. One set comes with 2 pieces that measure about 8ft tall and 12.6” wide each for a total of just over 2ft in width.
The slats come unfinished so I treated it with some wood oil just to give it a little pop and I think it looked a lot better afterwards.
I knew I wanted bias lighting around the slats so I got some wood from Home Depot that measured an inch thick, 4” in width and about 6ft in length.
I cut these down to about 2ft long planks and mounted them 2 ft apart on the wall.
I then took the wood slats and mounted them to the wood planks.
I then got some Govee led strips that already came very nicely diffused to avoid those beady LEDs and mounted them along the sides of the wood planks.
In hindsight, I would have done this step first before mounting the slat wall.
While not perfectly straight, you don’t really notice the imperfections as long as you’re not looking directly at it.
Now I’ve got a really nice soft light on both sides of the slat wall that look nicely diffused and has a plethora of scenes from the govee app.
And that is more or less all the changes I did to this corner from my previous coffee bar tour.
So now let’s go through the actual gear and the things that I use to brew coffee at home.
Let’s start with the centerpieces of the bar: the espresso machines.
Currently I am running a 2-machine setup. On the right is the Lelit Bianca V3 from Cliff & Pebble which I have a full review on, and it is a dual boiler, PID-enabled, flow controllable espresso machine with some unique electronic modes that allow for great levels of control and consistency.
The second machine is newer and that is the Profitec Pro 800 which is a PID-enabled spring lever espresso machine that I absolutely love using.
It’s so much fun being able to really put the phrase pulling a shot of espresso to work. More thoughts can be found in my first impressions video and full review which I’ll leave a link to in the description once that’s available.
For my grinders I currently have the Turin DF64, the new espresso focused DF64-P, the Niche Zero with a portafilter holder attachment from SworksDesign, the Goat Story Arco, and the Comandante C40 Mk4.
For my other espresso brewing gear and accessories I have the Acaia Lunar scale with a custom wood piece from Urban Dosing Grounds, a wood box that holds my cleaning brush and some Kruve brew sticks, a Pesado dosing cup, RDT spray bottle, the Mocha Mondays puck screens, the LaMarzocco walnut knock box, Saint Anthony Industries Bloc tamp station, a 3D Printed WDT tool, and my custom Olive Wood and Brass Pullman Bigstep tamper.
I have a bunch of other tools and accessories in the drawers that I’ll show you guys later in this video.
Other decor on this top section of the bar include a Supreme Red Moka pot because, why not?
Okay now moving into the storage.
This is also where I keep my milk pitchers for easy access and these are all from Slow Pour Supply which I’ve been using their WPM pitchers for a few years now.
My favorite is the handleless but I like to use the 10oz the most to save some milk and have less wasted milk.
In the 2nd drawer is where I keep all my other random tools and accessories like my assortment of tampers including the Happy Tamper, Newton Tamper, Barista Hustle Tamper, and more. As well as some portafilters like the Pesado ones, the stock ones that come with the machines, and this cool carbon fiber one with a built-in WDT tool from plenum lab.
Finally in the bottom drawer is just where I house coffee beans and all the coffee bean bags I’ve finished so far in 2022. Not sure why I’m keeping 'em, maybe just interested to see what’s memorable at the end of the year!
Now on the left side of the sideboard is where I keep an assortment of random things. On the top shelf is mostly some carafes and on the bottom are things like the motorizer for the Comandante C40, my Fellow Atmos jars, third wave water packets, and general stuff.
On the right side storage I have a bunch of cups on the top shelf which I do have a video on what some of my favorite drinkware is linked up here.
Under that I have some instant coffee Kopiko bags which are the best kind hands down as well as more random storage pieces and gear I’ve received over time.
And that is my coffee bar tour. Featuring everything I use to brew espresso to pourover and everything in between.