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.

countertop coffee bar

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.

countertop coffee bar

I added a rectangle of chalkboard vinyl to each, making it easy to label and relabel them when we get new coffee.

chalkboard labeled jars

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.

hanging coffee mugs

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.

minneapolis starbucks mug

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.

coffee mug rail

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.

countertop coffee bar

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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17 Responses to Coffee Bar

  1. We have a Starbucks collection and coffee area in our home too. One of the first mugs that we ever bought was from Mexico City. I’m going to be really sad if that ever breaks. I really like your see through containers for the coffee beans and how the total look came together! It is motivating me to go make a cup of java right now. :-)


    • Jackie says:


      That is awesome. We have been to several places in Mexico and for whatever reason we forgot to get a mug each time. Guess we need to go back. Do they still make the mugs? It has been a couple years since we got our last one.

  2. Shelley says:

    We love our fresh ground coffee beans and aeropress too…best coffee ever!
    Now I am inspired to make an area like yours – ours is stored in a cupboard. Thanks for the inspiration : )

    • Jackie says:

      Shelley, I am not a coffee drinker, but my hubby has made me a few cups with the Aeropress and I think it is fabulous.

  3. I’d like to do something like that for tea. I am a total tea drinker and there is this cute tea chain in Canada called ‘David’s tea’ that has chic modern tea accessories that would look great in a setup like you’ve done

  4. Gwen says:

    Modern. Organized. Looks planned. Like part of your original design! What a unique idea for a collection! Road trip boys! I think we can get a mug from Wisconsin and be home by supper time ( chuckle chuckle). Seriously good idea

  5. Our husbands are one in the same! Mine looooooves his coffee. I on the other hand looooooove this little coffee station! Functional but pretty. Basically my goal in life! :D

  6. Erin Bettis says:

    Great idea Jackie! This may be silly to ask such a coffee connoisseur, (i’m a huge Beatles fan and laugh when people ask me what my favorite Beatles song is… it’s impossible to choose just one…) but what is his favorite brand/blend?

    • Jackie says:

      Erin, Tough question. He likes to switch it up a lot. But I have seen him by the Alchemy Series Peace Coffee multiple times!

  7. Cathy says:

    I like the idea of a tray with a stainless steel bottom in the kitchen – fits well (more functional, not just decorative). Where did you find such a tray?

    • Jackie says:

      Cathy, I found mine a few years ago at Target. They usually have a few trays and other serving pieces in the kitchen area.

  8. Michelle says:

    I love the coffee bar. Nice and organized. I need to tackle one of my own!

  9. I love the coffee bar! Definitely thinking about doing this to display some of our prettier mugs and clear out some cabinet space too.

  10. Emh says:

    What an awesome idea!! My sister brought home an Aeropress a couple months ago and I fell in ‘luv’….!! I’m addicted to coffee, too….well, I should say I’m addicted to Kona….it’s the only kind I drink now….and I didn’t think it could get any better, until I made it with the Aeropress!! However, all our coffee-making supplies are scattered about the kitchen….this is a great idea to bring them all together….!!

  11. Cindy says:

    Love your ideas! Thanks for posting. I found the Ikea rail system but where did you get your hooks? They look different from the ones in the Grundtal series (which look flatter).

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