Kitchen Remodel... Prep for an Espresso Machine

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Diogenes

#1: Post by Diogenes »

Not sure where this belongs but "Buying Advice" seems most appropriate.

As the subject says... We are in the process of remodeling our kitchen and I manage to get a small space allocated for a coffee/tea/drink prep area. I like the idea of plumbing in the machine but the space is relatively tight (4' wide - 22" counter depth, 16" deep shelves 18" above the counter, drawers under the counter). I pull 2 shots a day as I am working from home these days but that will probably go to 1 shot/day and 2 on the weekends. I don't need anything high volume so the Odyssey OE-1 has my interest presently. I have a Niche Zero on the way, My wife will put a Nespresso next to this machine (don't ask). We will probably have an electric kettle and some pour over + Aeropress stuff residing in this space as well.

I would like the convenience of a plumbed in machine but wonder if the space will allow. There is a water line available nearby for the fridge and the intent is to put the water treatment system in the basement under the kitchen. The water treatment would be shared with fridge/drinking water taps.

Some questions for those who've done this...
  • We have city water and our water quality is pretty good in terms of scale/iron/etc. It's chlorinated but not fluoridated and we have a water softener installed. So what is a reasonably priced, low cost consumable water treatment system for drinking water/ice/espresso machine? Any worries about the pressure dropping with multiple loads demanding water (trying to brew at the same time the ice maker and drinking water spout is demanding water)?
  • Any suggestions for routing supply + drain in a tight space? I was thinking of putting it behind the cabinet and possibly coming in through the wall vs through the counter (drawers under the counter... tight space).
  • Leak detector/shutoff considerations?
  • If I go with a lever machine, is the drain really necessary? How often does the drip tray get emptied? Mostly for flush/clean... right?
Lots to think about.

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ira
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#2: Post by ira »

I think plumbing the drain is more useful than water as overfilling the drip tray has a much higher penalty than not filling the tank. I would run at least one dedicated 20 AMP line for the espresso machine and a second run for grinders, kettles and anything else. And I would suggest the dedicated line use 3+ ground wire so if you ever want to run 220V for some future machine, it's all ready by just changing a breaker.

Ira

Jeff
Team HB

#3: Post by Jeff »

If you're bringing in an electrician, consider a 20 A, 240 V line so that you've got the potential for a commercial or European machine in the future.

I don't have recent, personal experience with plumb-in, but I found Espresso Cart - Goodbye Plumbed In a great resource.

Leak detector with "passive" shutoff (no power, no water, works during emergencies) seems like "cheap insurance".

During brewing, the flow to an espresso machine is relatively small, on the order of 10 mL/s or less. Boiler fill and the like might have higher demands, but I don't think you need 1/2" copper to the machine.

How much you need to drain depends on your machine and practice. With an HX, I was probably dumping 500 mL a day for two shots. With a machine that just needs a flush to fill the tubes in the morning and rinse the screen, I'm down to under 200 mL a day. That volume is small enough that I just rinse into a mug and dump it into my after the session.
★ Helpful

Diogenes (original poster)

#4: Post by Diogenes (original poster) »

I think we'll wire for 240V but will be using 120V. Empty nesters. 2 shots a day going to 1. Limited space. We entertain casually so I'll never be under pressure to pull multiple espresso and milk drinks in a row.
I do hate emptying the drip tray.

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BaristaBoy E61

#5: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

Yes to direct plumb (3/8in copper line) and drain.
Yes to 110v and 220v.
Yes to 20amp dedicated circuit w/GFCI for espresso machine & grinder
Yes to water filter, water pressure regulator with gauge and flow meter w/digital readout
Yes to Leak Detector with automatic cut-off

https://www.chriscoffee.com/products/leak-controller
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

PeetsFan
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#6: Post by PeetsFan »

ira wrote:I think plumbing the drain is more useful than water as overfilling the drip tray has a much higher penalty than not filling the tank. I would run at least one dedicated 20 AMP line for the espresso machine and a second run for grinders, kettles and anything else. And I would suggest the dedicated line use 3+ ground wire so if you ever want to run 220V for some future machine, it's all ready by just changing a breaker.

Ira
And plumbing the drain is harder. The drain needs gravity. The water supply is pressurized, and can go up, down, round and round.

The 20A 240V line is a great suggestion. You can just run it as a 20A 120V and then replace the breaker and outlet if you ever want 240V.

pizzaman383
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#7: Post by pizzaman383 »

Plan for a lever so that you can get a commercial spring lever machine if you decide you want one. We made our coffee bar countertop higher (something around 40" high) and it works well for the lever but it is much better for all other coffee prep devices, too. We set the cabinets with 23" above the countertop and made sure that there was a spot where the lever wouldn't intrude the cabinet doors (basically, the lever goes where two doors' hinges meet). We also trimmed and finished the cabinets to look more like a furniture piece instead of standard kitchen cabinets.
Curtis
LMWDP #551
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Diogenes (original poster)

#8: Post by Diogenes (original poster) » replying to pizzaman383 »

I am on the OE-1 waitlist. It's a strong possibility. Pavoni compact but with modern features. I'm not sure if I'll ever need more machine. I'm at a point in life where the number and size of possessions is in decline.

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homeburrero
Team HB

#9: Post by homeburrero »

Diogenes wrote:We have city water and our water quality is pretty good in terms of scale/iron/etc. It's chlorinated but not fluoridated and we have a water softener installed. So what is a reasonably priced, low cost consumable water treatment system for drinking water/ice/espresso machine? Any worries about the pressure dropping with multiple loads demanding water (trying to brew at the same time the ice maker and drinking water spout is demanding water)?
To get a good answer there you need to tell us a lot more about your water, ideally post a question to the water forum. Do you have a charcoal or KDF filter as part of your softener? Do you have numbers for your water hardness, alkalinity, and especially chloride ion?

If you don't have high chloride likely all you will need is a carbon and particulates filter in a simple generic 10" housing. That gives you a wide choice of inexpensive, easy to change filters for removing chlorine/chloramine, off tastes and odors, and fine particulates. It would easily support flow needed by the espresso machine and icemaker.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

drH
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#10: Post by drH »

If you decide to plumb to a tank instead, this kit might be useful:
https://caffewerks.com/collections/wate ... ulator-kit