How to Build the Ultimate Home Espresso Bar

by Ben Coleman Updated: June 12, 2024 5 min read
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Summer is the perfect time for home projects—if you’re in need of a way to spend your evenings or weekends, why not transform your kitchen into the ultimate home espresso bar?

Regardless of what price point you’re working with or how much barista experience you have, we’ve got suggestions for the best ways to create a home espresso bar setup that has everything you need to prepare coffee-shop-quality beverages for yourself and your guests.

Premium Entry-Level

Gaggia Classic EVO Pro with Eureka Mignon Facile

For those just beginning their home barista journeys, a premium entry-level setup will allow you to make high-quality drinks at home without breaking the bank. And, if you make good purchasing decisions (i.e. follow our advice), your entry-level equipment will serve you well even after you’ve developed serious barista skills.

For our premium entry-level machine and grinder pairing, we recommend the Gaggia Classic Evo Pro and the Eureka Mignon Facile. The EVO pro is an iconic single-boiler espresso machine that’s a favorite amongst espresso enthusiasts for its commercial-grade build quality and 9-bar extraction pressure at a budget price. Shown here in Thunder Black with handcrafted Blackened Oak accents by Wiedemann Manufaktur, the Evo pro is available in a veritable rainbow of exciting colors and classic finishes.

Eureka’s Mignon Facile is an excellent grinder to pair with the Evo Pro. It’s simple, easy to use, and offers a surprising level of build quality and performance given its low price tag. Combined, the Evo Pro and Mignon Facile cost less than other entry-level espresso machines that don’t offer much more in the way of functionality.

One point against the Evo Pro is that the tamper it comes with is…not great. It’s cheap and made of plastic, so we recommend an upgrade. The Revolution 58mm aluminum tamper is a great choice for a beginner setup. It’s priced to move, has a good weight to it, and will allow you to prepare pucks that produce fantastic results.

Finally, no espresso bar would be complete without cups worthy of showing off. We’ve just stocked up on KINTO cups and mugs, and we couldn’t be happier with them. The Ripple mug is a handcrafted ceramic mug designed to celebrate natural forms, and the CAST series of cups and mugs are made of glass so thin your drinks appear to be floating in air. They really elevate the aesthetic of your espresso bar and the experience of drinking the delicious beverages you'll be preparing.

Elevated Mid-Tier

Bezzera BZ13 with Rosewood Accents

Are you ready to graduate from entry-level gear but can’t quite justify purchasing professional-grade equipment? We’ve got you covered. A mid-tier espresso setup can look every bit as elevated as a prosumer-grade one, and you won’t need to break the bank to achieve it.

Let’s start with one of our absolute favorite semi-automatic espresso machines: the Bezzera BZ13. A Whole Latte Love exclusive, this might just be the perfect mid-tier machine. It’s a powerhouse. NSF certified for light commercial work, the BZ13 will keep up with even the most caffeine addicted among us and look great doing it. And, because it’s a heat-exchanger machine, you’ll be able to brew coffee and steam milk simultaneously.

The BZ13 is available with several colored housing upgrades, as well as a series of wooden accents to elevate its aesthetic even further. Plus it’s ready to brew in under 10 minutes thanks to its electronically-heated group head, so you’ll never have to wait for your morning espresso.

Bezzera's grinder, the BB005, is a great match for the BZ13. It’s a simple, user-friendly grinder capable of the precision necessary to brew excellent espresso on a machine like the BZ13—plus it comes in color options specifically designed to match the panel upgrades available for the BZ13.

Round out your mid-tier setup with some gorgeous KINTO HIBI tumblers, and you’ll find yourself with a lot of delicious espresso and jealous friends.


ECM Synchronika with Tiger Maple

If you’re as particular about your kitchen’s aesthetics as you are about the espresso you drink, a prosumer-grade setup is the way to go. Top-tier espresso equipment goes beyond merely allowing you to brew precise shots to exacting specifications—it serves a dual function as a work of art in your home.

If you’re looking for the ultimate marriage of aesthetics and excellence in a home espresso machine, look no further than the ECM Synchronika. Widely considered to be one of the most refined prosumer-grade machines available, the Synchronika is well-capable of meeting the needs of the most meticulous brewers out there. It’s also an absolutely stunning machine, available with a wide variety of wooden accent upgrades that allow it to elevate your kitchen, regardless of its aesthetic.

As far as grinder pairings for the Synchronika go, ECM’s S-Manuale 64 Heritage Edition is a match in both form and function. The grinder’s anthracite housing matches the base of the Synchronika, and a range of hopper tops in matching wood grains are available as well. More importantly, this is a precision grinder: the worm gear allows for near-infinite micrometric, stepless grind adjustments, so you can dial your grind in to uncompromising standards, and the venting on the housing allows for improved airflow to cool the burrs and prevent scorched beans.

Complete your prosumer espresso setup with premium wooden accessories from Wiedemann Manufaktur. We’re especially fond of their 58.5mm precision tampers, which weigh in at around 430 grams (depending on the density of the handle material) and have a thick, 15.25mm base. They’re as amazing to look at as they are to use. Another worthy consideration is the Hangup—a magnetic organizational tool that stores your portafilters, tampers, barista brushes, and WDT tools attractively on the wall to save counter space and reduce clutter.

Make Your Dream Espresso Setup a Reality

Helpful blogs aside, making decisions about what espresso equipment will best complete your home coffee bar can be daunting. Lucky for you, we’ve got your back.

If you need some advice or want to see some of the gear you’re considering in action, you should absolutely schedule a Coffee Cast. It’s a totally free service we offer to our customers where you can meet in real time with one of our in-house experts virtually for product demonstrations, comparisons, and advice. It’s the best way to make sure you come home with the gear you need to suit your lifestyle and budget.

And, once you get your order delivered, schedule another one! We’ll help you set your machine up, dial in your grinder, and make sure you get things kicked off right.