New Espresso Bar....for your consideration

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.
User avatar
srobinson

Postby srobinson » Jan 31, 2007, 11:55 pm

I first want to apologize to the board for being quite vacant from the board. We have been in construction hell for the past 6 months on top of my busy season at work and I have hardly had the time eat, sleep and argue with contractors. Many thanks for all the private messages and to show you that I have not fallen off the face of the earth or abandoned the espresso hobby, I thought I would unveil an early view of my new coffee bar. The one thing that has kept me going throughout this project.

As part the remodel to our old house, I got the go ahead to plan an independent space for what my wife calls my mess. It had to fit into the theme of the kitchen and hopefully simplify the process and improve on my prior corner of the kitchen which was white counter tops covered with coffee stains.

So we agreed on a concept of seeing if we could make it look like a piece of furniture. So we came up with this design:

Image

Basically storage on the sides. Still a bit of work to do there...we'll have fabric behind those screens and main work area in the middle. While I did allow for additional space for future growth, it was designed for the Oly as the primary machine. Here she is with my current grinder. Note my new lever handle that Les from Thor Tamper...this is a new design of his that is a tad longer with a new shape...I can't speak highly enough of this new design. Also I am trying the tray for the time being to see if I can further contain the coffee grinds....note espresso colored. Counter is granite called rivergold with has a high degree of movement to it and all shades of coffee coloring...thus all for camo...

Image

One of the things that bugged me with the old setup was the constant view of wires. I did all under counter outlets which resulted in several arguments with our local inspectors. All cords run through the counter and the whole bar is on it's own separate breaker and there is space behind the drawers to allow everything to be flush, and allowed me to maintain the furniture look of the piece with no exposed outlets.

Image

Next to the sink. I chose a porcelain sink with an aged copper finish. Drain is Italian oiled bronze. Nothing shows in the sink..in has a very durable finish and simple to clean...also deep enough to cool a bottle or two of wine should the wife need to commandeer my space.

Image

For water, I went with a KWC fixture which is Swiss made to keep the Oly company. I was looking for a simple unit, cold water only with a great extension that would allow me to eliminate funnels from the process of filling the machine. The snout on this one worked perfect and allows for one hand operation with only pressing the button on top. My daughter has also found that this now acts as the water fountain in the new kitchen.

Image

the other nice thing about the KWC is that it is from its filtered line, so we have commercial grade filters under counter that should have a 5-6 month life.

Image

For disposal we tried several design and ended up with a false front drawer with a divided base that would hold a stainless receptacle fitted for a knockbox. The receptacle will also use plastic grocery bags, so I can get a bit of recycling from this setup as well...

Image

Plenty of drawer space on the left for tools and cups which I am still sorting out. ( you will see a few Gaggia parts in there as I get ready to play with Dan's Achille).

Image

And finally for the overhead. I convinced the wife that if I was finally going to master latte art that I needed some training videos. So I put in a 32" LCD on a swing arm to help me study.

Image

And the final touch to complete the coffee theme, was the upholstery of the bar stools...just so you can be completely immersed in the caffeine theme when I pull you one. All coffee plants:

Image

Dan came over for a trial run with this setup and things were running pretty smoothly and the Larry's Beans were flowing quite well. So again, I apologize for my absence and hopefully will get your pardon for time well spent.

Now back to future posts on tearing old levers apart.

Thanks
Steve Robinson

LMWDP #001

User avatar
bill

Postby bill » Feb 01, 2007, 1:01 am

Steve,
Welcome back! Dan had assured me you were heavily involved with your job and home project. The coffee bar really looks great. Congratulations on a job well done.
Bill
Bill
LMWDP #43

I wasn't born in Texas, but got here as fast as I could!

happytamper

Postby happytamper » Feb 01, 2007, 11:27 am

Hello Steve,

Very sleek Coffee bar. Looks like there is plenty of room on the sides for a small espresso machine collection. I especially like the water filtration system and hope to one day put one at my studio. The retractable faucet is also pretty useful. Lots of great ideas.

Congratulations and enjoy it.
Mitchell
LMWDP #77

User avatar
mogogear

Postby mogogear » Feb 01, 2007, 10:00 pm

It was good to see your name on a new thread- your presence was missed.

Congratulations on getting through the re-do so WELL! I am envious. We ripped our kitchen out about a year before the espresso bug bit me...... ever since I have dreaded not having a dedicated espresso bar....... KUDOS
greg moore

Leverwright
LMWDP #067

User avatar
HB
Admin

Postby HB » Feb 01, 2007, 10:45 pm

Below is the inaugural espresso Steve made for me (one pull). Maybe I was under the influence of the upgraded cafe ambiance, but I thought it was one of Steve's best ever. A nice blend from local roaster Larry's Beans.

Image
Dan Kehn

User avatar
srobinson

Postby srobinson » Feb 01, 2007, 11:08 pm

Thanks everyone. Yes we did survive and still married which is quite an accomplishment through this ordeal.

FYI, Larry's is available online: http://larrysbeans.com/. Pretty cool local guy, very green producer, focuses on fair trade and has one of the two bio-diesel pumps here in Raleigh.

Now one of the two by-products of this build is that we'll have two lever converts. My contractor has a burnt out Pavoni that we'll try to get back functioning and the master carpenter is itching for a machine as well.

Thanks for all the comments.


Steve
Steve Robinson



LMWDP #001

bobcraige

Postby bobcraige » Feb 05, 2007, 12:40 pm

Great job Steve!

I really like the less is more philosophy evident in your result (compliments well the Cremina). A very elegant solution.

Enjoy it!
Bob Craige

LMWDP #7

User avatar
bill

Postby bill » Mar 14, 2007, 10:30 pm

Steve's knockbox inspired me to make my own.
Image
Image
It's made out of 1/2" PVC pipe and an under-the-counter waste receptacle I bought from Lowes. It also uses recycled grocery bags like Steves. The bags are stored in the bottom part of the receptacle. The cabinet the knockbox is in is directly under the espresso machine so there's no mess on the counter or the floor.
I really intended this to be a prototype for one made from copper pipe but it's working so good I'm keeping it as is.
Bill
LMWDP #43

I wasn't born in Texas, but got here as fast as I could!

Matthew Brinski

Postby Matthew Brinski » Mar 14, 2007, 10:59 pm

Very nice!

User avatar
bill

Postby bill » Mar 14, 2007, 11:18 pm

Thank you! :oops:
Bill
LMWDP #43

I wasn't born in Texas, but got here as fast as I could!