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The Ultimate Home Espresso Bar Checklist

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This post is an overview of most of the equipment and accessories you’ll need for setting up an espresso or coffee bar at home. Keep reading to learn more.

As a coffee enthusiast, I find it essential to have a place set up in my kitchen where I can brew coffee. If this is also you, you’ll want to keep reading.

Throughout this guide, I’ll discuss essential devices, accessories, and other items that’ll help you optimize your coffee-making. I’ll also cover buying guides when applicable.

Let’s set up your coffee bar.

Key Takeaways

  • An espresso machine, grinder, tamper, and coffee beans are essential for a basic espresso bar.
  • An average espresso bar could cost between $300–$3,000 to set up.
  • You’ll need to pay up to $2,000 a year for coffee beans, sweeteners, and machine maintenance.
  • Setting up a high-end coffee bar could save you up to $8,653 over 5 years

Home Espresso & Coffee Bar Checklist

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need:

1. Espresso MachineTo brew espresso.
2. Coffee Bean GrinderTo grind coffee beans.
3. ESE PodsAn alternative to grinding coffee.
4. Coffee Bean ScaleTo weigh your beans.
5. TamperTo tamp your beans.
6. Knock BoxStore your tamper and knock out excess grounds.
7. Coffee BeansEssential to make coffee.
8. RDT SpritzerReduce static in coffee grinder.
9. Puck ScreenEvenly distribute water to reduce channeling.
10. CanisterStore your coffee beans.
11. Coffee Cleaning Cloths and RagsWipe down your machine and components.
12. Other ItemsOther items that’ll make brewing easier.
13. Other Coffee Machine TypesFor other brewing methods.

You’ll find each device/accessory price, what to consider when buying, and why they’re important to consider. If there’s other information you should know, I’ll explain it in different subheadings.

Otherwise, let’s dive in.

1. Espresso Machine

Entry LevelIntermediate LevelExpert Level
Avg. Price$99–$500$500–$1,000$1,000+
Best For Those starting their espresso journey.More features and automation compared to entry-level models.Serious coffee enthusiasts who demand the best in quality and control.
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You can’t have an espresso bar without an espresso machine. The machine you’ll get depends on your budget, how far you are into espresso-making, and what features you want.

I’ll talk more about these factors in the next section.

You may want some help thinking about a new espresso machine. I can help. We’ve reviewed probably around a hundred espresso machines and built recommendations in the following categories:

Under $100Under $200Under $300Under $500
Under $1,000Under $2,000For beginnersCompact machines
Semi-automaticSuper-automaticIncludes a grinderWith a milk frother
Uses a dual boilerHigh-endNespresso

Many espresso enthusiasts and armchair experts believe that Nespresso isn’t espresso. By some definitions, it actually isn’t. But many folks may not notice a difference in taste. Hence, why I recommended it.

You probably looked at the “Expert Level” pricing and wondered why these machines are so expensive.

We go into that in a separate guide. In short, they’re pricey because they target a niche market, typically use high-quality materials, and have complex moving parts (e.g., group head).

Let’s expand on some factors that’ll impact your machine’s price.

1. Factors to Consider When Buying a Home Espresso Machine

Consider these factors when shopping for an espresso machine to use at home:

Water BoilerAffects temperature stability & shot consistency.
Group HeadImpacts temperature control & shot quality.
Water PumpDetermines pressure & extraction power.
PriceAffects budget & feature availability.
FeaturesConsider desired capabilities like auto milk frothing.
Machine TypeManual, semi-automatic, or automatic for control preference.
Thermal StabilityCrucial for consistent temperature & espresso quality.
MaterialsStainless steel preferred for durability & easy cleaning.
WarrantyProvides peace of mind against unexpected issues.
Plumbed-in vs. Water TankConvenience versus refilling the water tank.

I’m summarizing each of the factors. You’ll need to visit their respective posts to find more details.

Water boilers are responsible for heating your water for espresso and the steam for frothing milk. However, different heating methods will affect the heating time, quality, and machine price:

  • Single boiler: Cheapest and has lowest-quality heating.
  • Thermoblock: Pretty cheap, heats quickly, but can’t heat the milk frother and coffee simultaneously.
  • Single boiler with heat exchanger: More expensive, but better results.
  • Dual boiler: Way more expensive, but can heat coffee and steamer at the same time.
  • Dual boiler with PID controller: Most expensive and efficient (prosumer).

Whatever water heating method you choose depends on your budget and requirements. Most entry-level machines will have a single boiler or thermoblock. Higher-end machines will include heat exchangers. And prosumer devices will use a PID controller.

Group heads are responsible for blasting espresso through your portafilter. Higher-quality group heads—E61, electrically heated, and saturated—result in a higher-cost machine. However, they offer more precision and consistency with brewing.

Water pumps cycle water through your machine. Non-prosumer machines will use vibratory pumps, they’re louder, but smaller. Which’ll allow you to fit an espresso machine in tighter spaces.

Higher-end machines will include rotary vane pumps. They’re larger and quieter.

Price is an obvious factor. The quality of parts and brand will affect it the most. For instance, machines from Simonelli Nuova will cost more because of the brand name and use of higher-quality parts than machines from Breville.

Pre-infusion is a great feature to look out for since it’ll help improve espresso extraction by applying low amounts of pressure to your coffee. PID is a nice feature, but it is only practical on machines with dual boilers.

Since you’d be micromanaging the temperatures of the steam and water simultaneously. Doing so separately (like in single boilers), will lead to temperature fluctuations.

I’ll talk about the differences in machine types in a couple of sections.

Boiler type, materials used for piping—e.g., copper over Teflon tubing—, group head insulation, and other factors will impact how your machine handles heat. Better thermal stability leads to more consistent drinks.

Cheaper machines typically have a plastic housing, but may not withstand wear as well as machines made of stainless steel.

Warranties will provide buyer protection in case the manufacturer messed up with quality control. Ensure you read the warranty stipulations before purchasing to see how much protection you have.

Plumbed-in espresso makers connect directly to your home’s plumbing. They eliminate the need to constantly refill your water reservoir and allow you to have the freshest water possible. These machines usually cost thousands, though.

Let’s explore popular brands that sell espresso machines.

2. Home Espresso Machine Brands

Here are some of the more popular brands that offer high-quality espresso machines for home use:

Breville / SageGaggiaLa Pavoni
Rocket EspressoJURAMr. Coffee
PhilipsQuick MillNuova Simonelli
SaecoNinjaVictoria Arduino

Not all these machines are high-quality. For instance, Cuisinart and Mr. Coffee offer entry-level espresso machines. Meanwhile, Nuova Simonelli provides prosumer/high-end devices.

And Ninja mostly offers combination machines. These machines brew espresso and coffee. Do they provide good-tasting drinks? Not compared to machines from brands like ECM. However, they’ll give you more flexibility with coffee.

Stick to buying from reputable brands. They’ll have the most reliable machines—in most cases. Don’t buy from brands on Amazon with weird-sounding brand names. These devices, in most cases, allegedly don’t last long due to using manufacturing practices to lower prices.

For instance, using cheap materials (e.g., thin plastic).

What if you want to access high-end machines without paying a fortune? I have a solution.

3. Used vs. New vs. Refurbished Home Espresso Makers

Who should do it:

  • Used: Folks ready to score high-end brands for less, ready to roll up their sleeves for repairs.
  • Refurbished: Top-notch performance without sticker shock, warranty safety net included.
  • New: People who are ready to brew right away; no tinkering or troubleshooting.

Folks with technical knowledge of espresso machines and the desire to save a lot of money should opt for used machines. Those who want more trustworthy machines without buyer protection (long warranties) should consider refurbished.

Otherwise, you’ll need a high budget for espresso-making to get high-quality machines with adequate buyer protection.

We have a separate guide that goes further in-depth with choosing among these buying routes.

You’ll need technical knowledge when buying a used machine due to running into buyers who did who knows what with the device in question. You must inspect it for issues (e.g., limescale) to ensure you’re not getting ripped off.

It’s much easier to buy refurbished machines since the store selling them SHOULD HAVE repaired, cleaned, and tested them. However, you must research whether the store has certified technicians and such.

You also get a warranty, unlike with used machines. But the warranty period isn’t as long as with new ones.

New machines give you the most buying options, since you’re not at the mercy of resellers regarding variety. They also give you the most buyer protection and the lowest chance of unknown issues.

What type of espresso machine should you get, though? Let’s compare.

4. Types of Espresso Machines

Here are all the types of espresso machines to consider:

Avg. PriceAutomationBest For
Manual$100–$500NoneEspresso enthusiast
Automatic$700–$10,000Volume control, water boiling, and pressureBalancing automation and control
Semi-automatic$200–$10,000Water boiling and pressureControl and consistency
Super-automatic$700–$10,000EverythingEntertaining guests

Manual espresso machines require your input at every step and are only viable for enthusiasts who have patience and want absolute control over their drink. These machines typically cost less and are more durable due to a lack of moving parts and electronics.

Many beginners and experts will use semi-automatic machines due to balancing automation and control. They’ll automate water temperature regulation and pressure, resulting in consistent drinks.

Super-automatic machines perform all the steps for you. That’s nice if you want quick, authentic espresso without having to grind your beans and tamp them. Along with all the other steps with espresso-making.

These machines cost a lot, though. If you’re not serious about espresso-making yet want espresso, consider a Nespresso machine. They’ll provide a beverage that fits under many definitions as “espresso.”

You’ll need a coffee grinder if you don’t get a fully-automatic machine or a Nespresso.

2. Coffee Bean Grinder

Entry LevelProsumer
Avg. Price$100–$300$300–$1,500
Best For Reliable grind for basic brewing methods.Precise grind control for specialty brewing.
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The Ultimate Home Espresso Bar Checklist 3

Unless you have a built-in grinder, ESE pods, or Nespresso capsules, you’ll need a way to grind your coffee beans. Or you could buy them pre-ground, or grind them at the grocery store. But you won’t have fresh coffee beans.

Because, for the freshest coffee, you should grind your beans immediately before brewing. Pre-ground coffee loses its aroma and flavor rapidly, often within minutes of grinding.

Are you still going to buy a grinder?

You’ll need to choose between an automatic and a manual grinder. The former results in more consistent grinds and doesn’t require a workout. But they’re much pricier.

The latter is better for portability, for example, if you’re camping or traveling.

Here are other things to think about when buying a grinder.

1. Factors to Consider When Buying a Home coffee Grinder

Use this criteria to help you when shopping for a coffee grinder for home use:

Burr vs. BladeBurr = consistent grind, Blade = uneven, quick & cheap
Type (Burr)Conical = even grind, Flat = precise adjustment
Material (Burr)Steel = durable, Ceramic = long-lasting, quiet
Size (Burr)Burr durability and grind speed.
RPMLower = less heat, Higher = faster grind.
Hopper vs. Single DoserHopper = convenience, Single Doser = freshness, less waste.
Grind by Weight vs. TimeWeight = precise, Time = convenient, less consistent.

Burr grinders cost more than blade ones but have much better results.


These use two abrasive surfaces (typically metal or ceramic burrs) to crush and shear coffee beans into uniform-sized particles. This precise control over the grinding process minimizes dust and inconsistency.

Blade grinders usually have limited or no grind size adjustment. Leading to one-size-fits-all results that may not be ideal for any specific brewing method.

Let’s say you want a burr grinder. You’ll need to choose between conical or flat burrs. The latter is better for flavor separation but requires more preparation due to being less forgiving of bad puck preparation.

Conical burrs don’t separate flavors as well and are more forgiving with puck preparation.

Here are some of the most common burr materials you’ll find:

SteelTitanium CoatingCeramic
ProsMore affordable and durableLess likely to overheat and breakLess likely to overheat
ConsProne to overheatingCoating may chip and mix with beansLess durable

Many brands may offer “special” or “tool” steel. These materials aren’t marketing gimmicks because they result in longer-lasting burrs than regular stainless steel. But they’ll lead to higher-cost devices.

The bigger the burr, the quicker it’ll grind, the less retention you’ll have, and the less heat it’ll generate. That’s due to the burr having a larger surface area. Home grinders will typically have burrs that are 64 mm or smaller.

The higher the revolutions per minute (RPM) your machine has, the finer the grounds it’ll produce. That’ll make machines with higher RPMs better for brewing methods like Turkish coffee and espresso.

Machines with lower RPMs often produce more coarse grinds, making them better for most other brewing methods.

Hoppers are good if you serve guests since they hold more beans. However, these aren’t airtight and result in a degradation of freshness in your beans. Leading to a loss in flavor and aroma.

That’s why single-dosers are better. They fit enough beans for a single drink, which’ll result in the freshest beans. However, most machines don’t include single dosers. You’ll need to buy them from third-party sources.

Grind-by-weight (GBW) grinders cost a lot more than timed grinders but will offer more precise grinds. Also, most of them are meant for commercial use. However, folks with fat wallets could get these to optimize their espresso-making.

Grind-by-weight directly measures the amount of coffee, ensuring consistent doses regardless of bean density or humidity. Timed grinders grind for a set duration, leading to variations in grind size and potentially impacting extraction and taste.

Now, we’ll check out some grinder brands.

2. Home Coffee Grinder Brands

Here are a bunch of home coffee grinder brands to consider:


Brands like Mahlkönig will offer prosumer (commercial-like) machines. Whereas, Baratza provides more affordable, less-precise grinders.

Not all models from these brands excel in grinding for espresso due to not having the highest revolutions per minute. For instance, the Baratza Encore isn’t great for grinding espresso due to having 550 RPM. But it’s good for alternative brewing methods (e.g., cold brew).

The Baratza Sette 270 is a better option since it has a higher RPM (650). But it doesn’t compare to the Mahlkönig X54, which offers 1050 RPM.

Perhaps, you want a higher-end grinder without ponying up the extra cost. Consider a used or refurbished grinder. I’ve seen some at Whole Latte Love. If you search for refurbished machines on other sites, ensure they have certified technicians.

And if you buy used, learn about all the parts of a coffee grinder and common issues with said parts. From there, ask the seller for a lot of pictures to ensure you’re not getting ripped off.

Let’s move onto accessories.

3. Coffee Grinder Accessories & Add-ons

Consider these accessories when building your coffee bar:

Add-onDescriptionAvg. Price
Burr CleanerRemoves coffee residue from burrs.$5–$30
Grinder BrushSweeps out loose grounds from the chamber.$5–$10
Single DoserGrinds beans for one serving at a time.$20–$50
Dosing Grind CupCatches freshly ground coffee.$5–$25

I mentioned earlier why you need a single doser. In short, it’ll give you the freshest beans possible since you’re using all the beans in the distributor.

Burr cleaning capsules are worth the investment because they’ll make grinder cleaning much easier. You throw some capsules in the machine, grind, and it’ll spit out all the stale grounds and other debris.

It’s essential to clean your grinder regularly to ensure consistency and freshness.

You’ll also need a grinder brush when opening up your machine and cleaning the burrs or blades. If you have a CLEAN paintbrush or toothbrush, those work as alternatives.

A grinding cup helps catch ground coffee if you’re not grinding for espresso. I said that because grinders typically hold portafilter forks to hold portafilters. Why not use a regular cup? Because the stainless steel can resist grinder static due to its smooth surface.

They’re a great alternative to typical grind collection bins that typically collect a lot of static.

That was a lot to cover. Here’s an alternative to consider if you don’t want to deal with a grinder.

3. ESE Pods

Avg. Price: $1.20 per pod

Easy Serving Espresso (ESE) pods are pre-portioned, single-serve coffee filters for easy, mess-free espresso brewing, offering convenience and consistency without grinding beans.

Consider ESE pods if you value effortless brewing and guaranteed extraction without investing in a grinder. They’re quick, clean, and travel-friendly, perfect for busy mornings or occasional espresso indulgences.

You’ll also have “authentic” espresso without having to resort to using Nespresso machines.


You’ll need a portafilter designed to support ESE pods. Most brands will specify on product pages whether their portafilter will support ESE pods. If you’re at a brick-and-mortar store, ask the sales representative.

Did you change your mind about grinders? Here’s something else you’ll need with a grinder.

4. Coffee Bean Scale

Avg. Price: $12 to $200

You’d use a coffee bean scale to measure the weight of water and coffee when brewing coffee and espresso. It’s more accurate than a typical kitchen scale due to its resolution of 0.1 grams.

Such a resolution means they’ll have more accuracy when dealing with smaller measurement units.

Having a scale is important due to consistency, accuracy, and it’ll reduce the waste typically caused by volumetric measurements or guesswork.

Once you grind your coffee, you’ll need to tamp it.

5. Tamper

Avg. Price: $10–$100

Espresso tampers are essential in a home espresso bar because they help evenly pack the coffee grounds into the basket of an espresso machine.

Tamping ensures that the water is forced to interact with the coffee longer and run through the entire puck, resulting in a fuller flavor for the espresso shot.

Here’s what you’ll need to think about when buying one.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Espresso Tamper

Think about these factors when shopping for an espresso tamper:

Tamper SizeMust perfectly match filter baskets for even pressure & extraction.
Manual vs. AutomaticManual offers control, automatic saves time and simplifies the process.
Convex vs. FlatConvex helps level grounds, flat ensures consistent pressure across the puck.

You’ll need a tamper that fits your portafilter’s size. Otherwise, it’s impossible to tamp your beans.

Automatic tampers are more meant for coffee shops due to their high price and use for automating tamping for hordes of customers. But they can help reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries (RSI).

Since you’re letting the machine do all the work instead of straining your wrist and shoulders.

Alternatively, you could get a palm tamper. They’re cheaper than automatic tampers, but still more pricey than regular tampers.

Palm tampers are considered to have better ergonomics than regular ones. When using a palm tamper, you’d push straight down using the palm. This movement keeps the wrist in a more natural position.

It also reduces the risk of wrist or elbow pain compared to the gripping and pushing motion required by a regular tamper.

Flat tampers often result in a better-tasting coffee due to more evenly distributing beans throughout your portafilter. Convex tampers are better for preventing espresso channeling since it’ll prevent water from seeping down the side of your portafilter basket.

Now that you have a tamper, you’ll want to consider a knockbox.

6. Knock Box

Avg. Price: $20–$50

A tamper knock box is a tool to collect the used coffee grounds (also known as the spent espresso pucks) after tamping. It’s designed to make removing the spent pucks from the portafilter basket more efficient and tidy.

A tamper knock box can help keep the workspace clean and organized, making it easier to prepare multiple espresso shots in a row.

Overall, a knock box is a useful tool for anyone who wants to streamline their espresso-making process and keep their workspace clean and organized.

7. Coffee Beans

The type of coffee bean you choose will influence your drink’s taste and how much your bank account will suffer. Your bean’s roast level, blend, origin, and type will determine how your coffee tastes.

There’s a lot that goes into picking coffee beans. That’s why we wrote separate guides helping you pick the best beans:

The beans picked will vary by preference. However, these guides should help guide you toward selecting coffee beans.

When it comes to grinding beans, you’ll need to reduce static in your grinder. Here’s a clever way to do so.

8. RDT Spritzer

Avg. Price: $5–$15

A RDT spritzer, such as a glass spray bottle, is used to apply these small droplets of water to the coffee beans prior to grinding. It’s not some magical item that’ll transform your beans.

The Ross Droplet Technique (RDT) involves spraying or adding a small amount of water to coffee beans before grinding. This technique reduces static-loaded coffee grinds and grind retention.

You should consider getting an RDT spritzer to improve the grinding process by reducing static and clumping of the coffee grounds. Doing so will lead to a more consistent coffee particle distribution and potentially enhance coffee flavor over time.

We have a separate guide that explains everything about coffee static.

For now, let’s keep moving.

9. Puck Screen

Avg. Price: $10–$30

A puck screen is a thin, perforated metal disc that sits on top of the coffee puck in the portafilter basket before extraction. It improves the flavor of your espresso by encouraging even water distribution.

Such distribution also helps prevent espresso channeling, which could ruin your drink.

The screen acts as a barrier between the coffee puck and the shower screen. It prevents the espresso from splashing into direct contact with the group head. Reducing the amount of time you’ll need to clean it.

A puck screen is a useful tool to streamline the espresso-making process and achieve a more consistent and improved espresso experience.

10. Coffee Storage Canister

Avg. PriceBest For
Displacement$10–$40Balancing freshness and affordability.

Coffee storage canisters are essential for home coffee brewing because they’ll preserve freshness by minimizing your beans’ contact with air. This’ll also extend your bean’s shelf-life.

The type of container you choose actually makes a big difference. Picking clear ones look pretty, but they aren’t as airtight as stainless steel or some ceramic containers. They also don’t block UV rays since they’re not opaque or solid.

Vacuum-sealed and displacement containers are your best options. Most containers in these categories do an excellent job at minimizing air contact with your beans.

We wrote a separate guide with recommendations. In short, we recommended the Fellow Atmos as the best because tests showed that it produces the best-tasting coffee. The COFFEEVAC is another great contender that’s also affordable.

We’re almost done, don’t worry.

11. Cleaning Cloths & Rags

Avg. Price: $5–$15

You’ll need to frequently clean spills, dry parts, and wipe down surfaces. I recommend a bar towel for wiping down countertops and spills. Then microfiber cloths for wiping down surfaces on your machine.

You should choose microfiber cloths because they won’t leave lint on your machine or part’s surfaces.

Now, we’re going into a lightning round.

12. Other Items

Here are a bunch of other items to consider using for your espresso bar:

EquipmentDescriptionEstimated Price
WDT ToolEvens coffee grinds for consistent extraction.$15–$40 
Portafilter BasketAffects extraction$20–$50
Portafilter FunnelPrevents spills and mess during portafilter filling.$5–$15
Milk Key ingredient for lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos.$2–$5/gallon
MugHolds your coffee creation.$5–$50 each
Tamping MatProtects countertops and provides a firm tamping surface.$10–$30
KettlePrecise, hot water for brewing and steaming.$20–$100
Frothing PitcherTexturizes milk for silky microfoam in lattes.$10–$50
Espresso Machine CleanerMaintains machine hygiene for optimal performance.$10–$30
DecorationsPersonalizes your coffee corner and sparks joy.$5–$100+
Pressure GaugeMonitors brewing pressure for perfect espresso shots.$20–$100
ThermometerEnsures precise water temperature for ideal extraction.$5–$20
Stirring SpoonBlends flavors and adds a final touch.$5–$15
SpicesElevate your coffee with cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla.$5–$20 per oz
Measuring ToolsEnsures accurate coffee-to-water ratios.$5–$20 for a basic set with scoop and spoons
SweetenersTailor sweetness.Sugar $2–$5/bag
$3–$10 per packet
SyrupsAdd unique flavors.$5–$15 per bottle
CreamerNon-dairy alternative for lattes and cappuccinos.Creamer $2–$5 per bottle

WDT tools are essential for espresso-making since you’d use them to break down clumps of coffee grounds in your portafilter. Doing so will help prevent espresso channeling since you’ll have more even grounds.

Don’t think too much when shopping for a WDT tool. It’s essentially a chunk of plastic with a bunch of paperclips. If you want to get a high-quality one, I recommend getting it from Sworkdesign.

Their WDT tools are a bunch of acupuncture needles attached to a chunk of metal. Instead of just breaking down chunks, it’ll shift your coffee around. Doing this will do a better job at leveling your coffee grounds.

Here are all the guides you’ll need regarding choosing a new portafilter or portafilter basket:

Milk products, sweeteners, spices, and syrups are obvious choices for anyone who wants to add different flavors to their drinks. Coffee mugs or espresso cups are another pick you shouldn’t ignore. Otherwise, how will you drink your beverage?

Then, you’ll need a stirring spoon to mix these ingredients.

Tamping mats are good for preserving your countertop.

Kettles are only necessary if you use a manual espresso maker. Since you’ll need to boil the water yourself.

Frothing pitchers are needed if you froth milk for drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos.

Espresso machine cleaners are for deep cleaning your machine and prolonging its life.

Decorations—I shouldn’t need to explain why you’d need these.

Thermometers and pressure gauges are necessary for troubleshooting if your machine doesn’t include them.

Measuring spoons are needed to scoop coffee if you don’t grind by weight (using a scale).

And that’s all for what you’d need for an espresso bar. If you like variety with your beverages, you should consider other coffee maker types.

13. Consider Other Types of Coffee Machines

You may find yourself sick of drinking espresso daily. Here are other machine types and brewing methods to help you expand your drink variety:

Avg. PriceBest For
Drip Coffee$20–$200Budget-conscious beginners, large quantities, simple brewing
Pour-over$20–$100Coffee connoisseurs, travel and portability, manual brewing control
AeroPress$30–$40Busy mornings, versatile brewing methods, budget-friendly
Cold Brew$20–$75Cold brew enthusiasts, large batches, overnight preparation
Nitro Cold Brew$100–$500Nitro coffee lovers, at-home carbonation, premium experience
Moka Pot$30–$100Stovetop espresso fans, strong coffee brew, budget alternative
Percolator$20–$100Traditionalists, large gatherings, retro aesthetics (not optimal for everyday use)
Nespresso$100–$500Convenience seekers, single-serve capsules, variety of coffee styles
Nel Drip$20–$50South African coffee ritualists, slow immersion brewing, unique flavor

All of these brewing methods and device types will require different grind settings for your coffee grinder. You’ll need to ensure you get a grinder that’s good for coarse and fine grounds in this scenario.

Otherwise, I recommend learning about each of these types of machines and seeing if they’re something you’d consider. Because you probably don’t want to drink espresso daily for the rest of your life.

How much will all the items I listed cost? Let’s see.

How Much Will It Cost to Set up a Home Espresso Bar?

The average cost of a home espresso setup is around $3,000, with an average machine cost of $2,000 and an average grinder cost of $700. Then you’d need to possibly pay more than $2,000 a year on high-quality coffee beans, sweeteners, and other added ingredients.

That’s super-high-end, though.

Here are some other general price ranges for different budget options:

  • Low Budget Option: ($100–$300) This setup may limit you in terms of quality and consistency.
  • Mid-Range Option: ($300–$800) With this setup, you can make high-quality espresso drinks and frothed milk, but you will still be limited in terms of consistency and control.
  • High-End Option: ($800–$1500) With this setup, you will have complete control over every aspect of the brewing process, from grind size to extraction time, and can make high-quality espresso drinks and frothed milk with ease.

Buying 2 drinks per day at a coffee shop will cost around $3,650 annually [1]. Opting for a high-end coffee bar could save you up to $8,653 over 5 years. And it would take you around 17 months to pay off your setup.

These numbers don’t factor in costs of getting to and from the coffee shop. Then you could factor in gas/electricity cost, car depreciation, whether you get into an accident, increased insurance premiums due to driving more, etc.

A bit ridiculous, I know. But if you’re ruthless with budgeting, they’re factors to consider.

These estimates also will vary by coffee shop and the route you take with choosing equipment. There’s also the time investment that goes into making coffee at home. That’s around 10 minutes.

You could save more time by buying from a coffee shop if you live close to one. But this section’s about financial costs, not time.

That’s all for this enormous list. Enjoy your coffee bar.


Setting up a professional at-home coffee or espresso bar could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. However, you’ll get professional-grade coffee and save money in the long run compared to what you’d get at a coffee shop.

If you’re considering starting a coffee business, you should check out our coffee shop checklist.

Photo of author


Tim Lee is, as you might have guessed the founder of He is a former barista and a professional web publisher. He has now combined his knowledge and expertise in both subjects to create
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