There are two main types of coffee makers/espresso machines, built-in or counter top models. All you need for the countertop model is a plug, and the ability to bring water to it. A built-in model requires a cabinet to be placed into (hence the term built-in), be sure you have a reliable power source (a dedicated outlet may be required), and be sure that you have a water connection available if required. The best built in models are European made, like this one from Miele:
The model shown is a built-in style that does not require a water supply to attach to, so you must fill the tank and bring the water to it. This is a great option if you are trying to minimize construction costs. This model also has easier clean up because it uses a Nespresso pod system instead of messy grounds. There is another model that is almost identical to this, but requires you to connect a water supply. However, that model has a ton more customizable features, will accept coffee beans, and will grind them to whatever consistency you tell it to. Speaking of Nespresso, they manufacture their own coffee machines as well as pods. They have a variety of different machines to suit different budgets, all of which are made to sit on the countertop and be seen. Here is their higher end model, the Delonghi Lattissima:
The pods are shown in this picture and come in a variety of flavors and boldness, which is represented by the color of the pod. For those of you who want nothing to do with all of the fancy stuff, and would much prefer a regular cup of joe, there is a coffee system made just for you. The BrewMatic residential integrated system is best installed in a remodel or new construction, but is completely worth the effort of putting in:
It requires a water supply, but that is what makes it so great. You can install it on the other side of the kitchen, or in any room under the cabinets, and never have to take water to it! You just set the dial (or electronic key pad) to how many cups of coffee you want, put in the grinds, and it does the rest for you. For a more advanced beverage center as mentioned above, special planning is needed in new construction or remodeling, but the result can be phenomenal:
Here is a close up of a beverage center with a wine center, beverage set-up, coffee maker to the left, and a microwave to the right. This design is perfect for any kitchen or game/media room set up. If you frequently have guests coming to your home and you want to add a nice touch to their room (or even glam this idea up and use it in your master bedroom), take a hint from hotels and add a little nook for coffee:
To avoid needing to install a sink in the nook, provide bottled water to fill the coffee tank. Make sure to also provide a trash can for coffee grinds, as well as cups and accoutrements for the coffee. Refrigeration is optional (and a bit unnecessary) for guest rooms, but recommended for master suites. If you want to create a neat coffee bar in your own home, and you don’t really use your breakfast nook, try doing something like this to utilize this forsaken space and make it fun again:
This is a perfect idea for empty nesters that have friends over for morning coffee or for a family with older high school or college age children at home. We are lucky that so much of modern life revolves around family and friends, and that food and drinks of all kinds are so readily available and help to bring us together. We often try not to miss a second of these good times, least of all on sleep. Here’s to love, life, and the pursuit of caffeine!