Do you ever dream of owning one of those high quality Italian espresso and latte machines that make a variety of café quality specialty drinks? One that grounds and brews fresh espresso while you steam milk to create café lattes, Americanos and caramel macchiatos (my favourite) . Well I have this dream quite regularly.
Actually, I dream of setting up a small coffee bar stocked with all the best syrups, mini marshmallows, cute stir sticks, hot chocolate and matching mugs. But if you have ever looked into the cost of one of those fancy espresso machines you probably choked on you coffee just like I did and realized that this may just have to remain a dream. Don't give up on it just yet! There are inexpensive and fun ways to create your own personal coffee bar that you can stock with all of your favourites.
Determine a location in your home for you coffee bar. Place it in the living room or dining room if you have guests over often so that they can help themselves to a warm and tasty coffee drink. Or if the first thing you need when you wake up is a coffee consider placing it outside your bedroom so that its the first thing you see when you wake up. The kitchen is a pretty standard place to keep your coffee supplies but if you want to achieve the coffee bar atmosphere put it somewhere else.
Don't forget to get a little cart, buffet or cabinet so that you can store all of your drink making goodies.
You will need a way of brewing coffee whether it is a simple drip coffee machine, French press, Keurig bar code brewer or an espresso machine. You could even use instant coffee with an electrical kettle. While the price ranges from $10 - $4000 depending on brew method so do your options for drinks that you can make. Basically the more you spend the more you can make.
While instant coffee is quick and easy it can have an off flavour that might be hard to add flavours and syrups to. Its not bad with cream and sugar but I think you are fairly limited. Drip coffee is good with syrups and foamed milk but these machines cant be used to make an espresso or café latte. A good middle ground is a bar code brewer as these can make pretty much any type of drink but I find the flavour is not quite authentic and some times lacking. An espresso machine makes a great cup of coffee but it can be time consuming if you are only making one drink.
While I am no coffee connoisseur I do like a good cup of coffee and these comments are based solely on my personal opinion. You will have to decide what works best for you depending on time, flavour and cost.
Include some other non caffeinated hot drinks for children and people who dislike coffee. Hot chocolate and a variety of tea is a good alternative especially just before bed. You could also include mulled ciders, French vanilla mix and Baileys to set your coffee bar above the rest.
Don't forget the finishing touches like marshmallows, peppermint sticks, cinnamon and nutmeg. Place these in clear jars so that they are out on display.
Happy coffee time!