A week or two ago the wife finally hit her limit 'coffee stuff, it is everywhere. I can't even get a dish out that does not have coffee grounds on it and you have coffee stuff on every counter in the kitchen!' The Bunn commercial coffee brewer I rebuild/tuned and put on the last un-coffee cluttered little chunk of countertop pushed her over the edge.
HA! My master plan has at last come to fruition. In all honesty, I though she would have hit the limit a couple years ago when I put the two group in the kitchen.
So with her blessing, I am transforming my multipurpose espresso/storage/pot rack cart into a full-on espresso bar. Just in case there is anyone else out there contemplating such an endeavor, I will document the process and my progress. My end goal, do it on the cheap but build a quality platform to permanently house the Elektra, grinder, HotTop, greens, the plethora of coffee accessories and testing tools, the Bunn and have plenty of work room and space for any test machine and some of the other non coffee related things on the cart.
Do not sell yourself short; deciding exactly what you want the end goal to be is one of the most important parts of the process. Remember the theory of the 7 P's (proper prior preparation prevents a piss poor performance). Plan for expansion. I will be putting in an under cabinet power block (power strip hooked to a 20 amp circuit for the A3 and grinder), multiple regulated water lines, drain line and even a 30amp 220 just in case I pull the two group out of mothballs. I also need about 5 feet of countertop and plenty of storage for large items.
Now the search was on, keep in mind I am trying to do this on the cheap. I had started looking at kitchen carts but that quickly died. I will not be moving this around so there is no need for wheels and most carts are just not sturdy enough for the weight I will be putting on top. So I turned to a standard kitchen cabinet. I decided on Oak to match my existing cabinets. So off to the kitchen store to do some pricing, sticker shock! So I look online and check with another couple of vendors, not any better.
I was starting to give up hope that I could do this without dropping $800. So off to Lowe's. I found a 36" two door sink cabinet base for half the price of the other guys (for the same Oak cabinet!). I was part way there. Now I needed another side piece to finish out the set. They had an 18" single cabinet that had a damaged drawer, the back of it was completely knocked out. Not a big deal, I can cut a new drawer in a few moments. I hit up a manager for a hefty discount and get an agreeable price. Then I tell him I am making an espresso bar, so he knocks off a few more dollars. I like this guy.
So now I have my base, and spent a whole $230 for what everyone else wanted well over $500 for. So back home with my prize.
Next installment, final planning, get the countertop and start fitting the pieces together.