My husband is an avid coffee drinker. Like, it is probably the first thing he should list as a hobby. I think it is in his blood, literally…he is part Columbian. He has experimented with several coffee machines and makers over the years. I think he has finally settled on his favorite method…freshly ground beans brewed in an Aeropress.
His perfect cup of coffee requires quite a few things to get it right. There is a teapot that permanently lives on our stove. There is the Aeropress with its various parts. There is a coffee grinder. And, of course, we keep a few kinds of coffee on hand. Oh, and don’t forget the coffee mugs. Needless to say, our counter was getting quite cluttered.
The decorator and organizer in me needed a solution. I tried hiding it all away in a cupboard, but it is just used to frequently…meaning things got left out on the counter anyway. Instead of getting frustrated or annoyed, I decided to come up with a workable solution to keep the counter looking neat and have the coffee close at hand.
Enter the tray. Seriously, a tray can fix 99% of cluttered messes. Everything looks neater on a tray. I topped the counter with a large bamboo framed, stainless steel bottomed tray large enough to hold all the coffee-making accessories. That alone made everything better.
To take it up a notch, I added wood-lidded glass jars to store the coffee beans. They are almost the perfect size to hold a full bag of coffee beans and have a rubber seal under the wood lid to keep them airtight. We keep three types of coffee on hand, so I used three jars. Two hold kinds of whole beans. The last holds ground coffee…for when we don’t want to make noise with the grinder, like really early in the morning.
I added a rectangle of chalkboard vinyl to each, making it easy to label and relabel them when we get new coffee.
The tray is also large enough for the coffee grinder. We have had good success with this cheap Mr. Coffee grinder. I like that it is small. The rest of the tray holds all the Aeropress accessories. There would be room for sugar and cream here, too, but my hubby drinks it black.
The last thing on the list to make this a fully functioning coffee bar is a place for the coffee mugs. Again, we use them so often it just seemed ridiculous to keep them behind cupboard doors. I wanted them easily accessible, but off the counter.
We also wanted to see our coffee mugs. We have been collecting Starbucks mugs from different cities. The collection isn’t all that exciting (we did not have to go far for the Minneapolis mug), except when you notice the two on the end. Those two are not used. My hubby picked them up in Saudi Arabia and Qatar when he was deployed. They are irreplaceable.
While photographing the mugs, I noticed for the first time the Minneapolis mug is the only one with printing on the inside. The City of Lakes.
To give the coffee mugs a display spot with easy access (for those we use daily), I mounted hooks under the cabinets. I did not want to drill anything into the glass tile. I used the Grundtal rail system from Ikea. Instead of mounting it to the wall, I mounted it to the underside of the cabinets. I drilled holes right up into the cabinet bottoms and used small bolts and nuts to secure the rail. The bolts stick up just slightly inside the cabinets along the back edge.
It may not be everyone’s taste, but we love seeing these mugs out on display. Most of these cities are an important part of our life’s story from deployments, to vacations, to places we lived. I love having them on display.
The coffee bar is between the fridge and the corner of the kitchen. It’s actually a popular spot in the house for me and hubby to sneak off too when we need a moments break from the craziness of kids in the living room. I just hide out in the corner periodically. My hubby actually makes coffee while he’s hiding out. About three times a day, you can find my hubby here taking a break and making a cup of joe.
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