Coffee Machine Station Set Up - Lets Get You Started | Equipment - PART 1 of 3

Posted by Loredana Incani on

Coffee Machine Station Set Up




We all have our own way of doing things and most of us like things done a certain way.  When it comes to the coffee machine area/section of the cafe it's usually the Head Barista or the more senior staff member that sets the trend on how things are done and set up for that area which gets passed onto everyone else.  Eventually we all become 'Lemmings' because we all start doing things the same way.

For the younger crowd that are thinking what the heck is a Lemming? (haha) It's a rodent animal although in this instance I'm referring to the old school Lemmings video game, where your task was to train little guys to follow each other and conquer certain tasks.

Setting up a coffee station blog, Coffee Bean Comrades

Doing things in a uniform practice eventually sets the standard of how a task should be done in the workplace, all workers then know whats required of them and things run smoothly.




This is a standard basic setup, we can add more variables to the setup later on.

Equipment required - 

[To be coffee ready]

Coffee Machine

Coffee Grinder 

Coffee Knock Bin (preferably a long one for a workplace)

Milk Jug Rinser Sink

Milk Fridge / Freezer / Ice Machine

Tea Towel or  Medium sized  Hand Towel

Bench wiping cloths x 2 (either reusable ones or throw away type ones)

Milk Jug Pitchers - 350ml / 600ml / 800ml / 1000ml

Milk Jug Thermometer

Storage Containers/Canisters (2 - 3)

Tamper Mat

Coffee Tamper


Shot glass with measurements (preferably 2)

Large Chocolate Shaker

Coffee Grinder Cleaning Brush


For Cleaning -

Group Head Cleaning Brush

Blind Group Handle / Portafilter Insert

Coffee Machine Cleaner Powder


[To be customer ready]

Coffee Cups / Glasses / Saucers

Espresso Cups & Saucers

Teapots / Tea cups / Mini Milk Jugs


Take Away Cups / Stirring Disposables / Take Away Carriers




Before I walk you through your equipment please make sure If your Cafe/Restaurant is getting newly built that it's with somebody experienced who has setup and built Cafes before. Reason being is they will know what is required when it comes to setting up a coffee machine station properly as careful planning is necessary. 

Plumbing, electrical wiring, sewerage and allocating space for equipment/maintenance are just some of the things that need to be taken into consideration when designing a coffee station counter top.

!!! Speciality style Cafes/Outlets may need a little more counter top space for other brewing equipment they may be using !!!

*Do things properly from the beginning to avoid any future issues.


Coffee Machine set up station for Coffee Bean Comrades Blog

Coffee Machine - 

Put it in a position where you know your business work flow can run smoothly at its peak.

Coffee Machine Should be facing directly to the front or sideways. ( like an 'L' shape).  You should always put it in a position where you can interact with your customers the most, and maximise your engagement with people.  Yes these reasons sure matter as a clean work flow can make or break a place and customer interaction is very important in this industry when building your customer base.

(There will be other blogs focusing on building a customer base in more depth down the track)

Owning/Loaning:  You can buy a Coffee Machine outright which will be super expensive or go for the loan option which your coffee roaster may assist you further with.


 Commercial Coffee Machine Grinder Blog photos for Coffee Bean Comrades


Coffee Grinder -

The Coffee Grinder should always be to the left or right of your coffee machine.

In my experience it doesn't matter which side it goes on as you eventually get used to whatever side its positioned.  It should be positioned close to the Coffee Machine so its easily accessible for the Barista.

Keep in mind one side may be better than the other as the power cord switch may be in easier reach, other than this it doesn't really matter which side the Grinder goes.

Owning/Loaning: Buying a standard Commercial Coffee Grinder isn't as expensive as some people may think, although you can do the loan option which your coffee roaster may assist you further with.

We have grinders to suit your daily grind requirements - 





 coffee knocker bin blog post coffee bean comrades


Coffee Knock Bin -

Best positioned near the Coffee Grinder for better work flow.  Just imagine if you positioned it on the opposite side of the Grinder how it would affect the Barista's coffee making routine and work ability.... there would be way to much body and arm movement which can be easily avoided, this can also put strain and stress on your body.



coffee tea towel hand towel blog post coffee bean comrades


Tea Towel or Medium sized Hand Towel -

Like any good Barista or Beginner Barista you will have developed or started to learn to develop some Barista habits.  Purging, Wiping, Cleaning down, keeping on top of your work station organisation are just some of the habits you will develop. 

Practice and self discipline will help you stay focused and keep on top of these habits... these are excellent habits to obtain and any good Barista knows they are most important when making coffee.

A Tea Towel or Hand Towel is used to clean and wipe inside your Group Handle / Portafilter basket after its contents has been emptied into the coffee knocker bin.  It should be cleaned and wiped thoroughly before every new shot is made.  Once you incorporate this habit in your coffee making routine it will almost be like second nature to you

Cleaning the baskets - 

Will extract cleaner coffee

Will ensure smoother and more accurate extraction timing

Will keep the Group Gaskets cleaner

Will keep your shower screens a lot cleaner


 microfibre reusable cloth wipes coffee machine accessories

Bench wiping cloths x 2 (either reusable ones or throw away type ones)

Whether you use standard throw away cloths or reusable cloth wipes these are definitely an important everyday essential requirement when making coffee. You should be using two wipes, one for cleaning the bench top / equipment surroundings and the other for cleaning your Steaming Wand after using it.

**Having different colour cloth wipes for the two areas is a great idea as you don't want to be using the all rounder bench top wipe to clean the your Steaming Wand. 

Your Steaming Wand cloth should be immaculately cleaned after every use as you're constantly inserting the steaming wand in your customers soon to be frothed milk. You don't want any dirty residue or coffee ground to mix in with your milk, this would be a food and health hazard! Be smart and clean!

Make sure to use two wipes at all times and keep them separate, putting the wipes back in their allocated areas to minimise any cross cleaning usage of the wipes in the two areas.

**All staff members should put the cloths back at their allocated bench area and near steaming wand areas to avoid any confusion.



 Latte Pitcher Milk frothing jusgs photo for blog post Coffee Bean Comrades


Milk Jug Pitchers - 350ml / 600ml / 800ml / 1000ml


You cant make coffee without  Milk Jugs / Latte Pitchers right?

We recommend having four different sizes so you can froth just enough milk for a coffee or speed things up a little by frothing a little more milk to make several coffees... it makes things hell of alot easier!

We Recommend using Barista Space jugs, these are our go to Latte Pitchers in the workplace.  Being 100% honest with you now, my co-workers and I were using other popular brands before we got our hands on Barista Space jugs and now we use nothing but Barista Space...literally!

Why you ask? Have a read >> HERE << to get a better insight on Barista Space jugs

We stock 350ml and 600ml Barista Space jugs, see range here.

Purchase more sizes and styles here.

++++ NEED MORE IN HOUSE COFFEE TRAINING? Contact Us >> Australians Only
++++ MORE TIPS AND ADVICE.. Contact Us Via Email -



coffee probe thermometer trenton blog post coffee bean comrades

Milk Jug Thermometer

All Workplaces should have one of these bad boys hanging about.  Thermometers aren't for just beginner rookie Baristas, Baristas from all levels should be using thermometers to test their milk once in a while.  

I know for me, in winter especially when my hands are stiff and cold judging my milk jug temperature can be a little off sometimes so I have to use the thermometer at least twice just to make sure my milk jug temperature judgement is still on par.  Sometimes you may be even just be having an off day so just clip on your thermometer probe to your Milk Jug and let the probe do its job.

Ideal milk temperature range is 60 - 70 degrees.  Most Probes colour code the 60 - 70 degree mark to make it super easier for you.

We use Milk Frothing Thermometers by Trenton, see here.

**When your'e using the milk jug temperature probe, stop frothing your milk at about the 50 degree mark as the temperature continues to rise there on after.  Doing this will ensure you reach the ideal milk temperature range of 60 - 70 degrees every time.


 coffee canister container coffee bean comrades


Storage Containers/Canisters

Use storage containers and canisters for your powders, teas, end of day left over coffee, decaf coffee... basically for your coffee station organisation.

Use ones with air tight seals so everything remains fresher longer.

Most common use for containers and canisters - 

  • Decaf Coffee
  • Chocolate Powder / Other flavours
  • Chai Powder / Leaves
  • Tea Bags
  • Latte Powders i.e Matcha, Turmeric, Activated Charcoal
  • Marshmallows
  • Barista Utensils
  • End of day coffee beans

Put anything in them which is going to help with your daily coffee station organisation.

**At the end of the day empty your coffee beans out of the Coffee Grinder Hopper into an air tight container so that you can use them the following day.  Store them in a dark cool area or in the fridge.. your coffee roaster will tell you what is the better place for their beans to be stored. Throw excess ground coffee away or save for an alternative use (i.e compost) for your leftover end of day ground coffee.

**Use different colour containers to colour code your different ingredients or powders so you always know which one's which.

Shop the same air tight canisters we use >>> here 


 coffee machine tamper accessories coffee bean comrades


Coffee Tamper

In order to make good coffee a Barista requires great tools. Each and every Barista will have different preferential choices on the tools they choose to use... invest in tools that work for you!

Why do we need a Tamper?

Tamping is one of the crucial processes in making coffee. Your tamping determines your coffee extraction... getting perfect extraction is one step closer to getting that great cup of coffee.

Commercial & domestic Tampers come in different sizes depending on the size of your Group Handle / Portafilter Basket so be sure to match the correct size Tamper with your Baskets.

Tampers come in all sorts of designs, choose the right one for your workplace or personal usage

**Distribution Tampers are also out there to assist you and prepare you in getting that 'flawless' tamp your looking to achieve every time. Distribution tools / tampers are for the more serious Baristas, its essentially the step before the tamping step.

To help assist you in finding the correct Tamper view our Tamper range

Basic Tamper << view here

A Tamper with some extra flavour << view here


coffee machine tamper mat coffee bean comrades 

Tamper Mat

If you're planning to use a Tamper then you should also have a Tamper Mat

  • To rest your coffee Tamper when its not being used
  • To rest your Group Handle / Portafilter when Tamping your coffee in the Group Handle basket.


 coffee machine scales with timer coffee bean comrades


Reasons you might use scales when it comes to coffee - 

- Weighing your ground coffee before you go ahead and make the coffee shot

Why? To ensure every coffee dosed into the group handle / portafilter weighs exactly the same. 


Tools required to do this - 

Regular Kitchen / Coffee scales - flat surfaced  <<view here


**When I weigh up the coffee in the Cafe it weighs 18grams in a double basket.. you should be getting the same.  In a single basket it should be about 7grams.

Reasons you might use scales when it comes to coffee - 

- Timing your coffee extraction so you can check if the extraction timing is correct ~ Letting the coffee shot extraction pour into two measuring shot glasses on an inbuilt timer scale.

WHY? Depending on your coffee bean blend and what your coffee roasting company have told you, coffee extraction time should be around 25 - 32 seconds.  To ensure you are getting good coffee extraction use scales with an inbuilt timer.


Tools required to do this - 

Scales with inbuilt timer >>>> HERE

Coffee Shot Glasses >>>>HERE


**Using scales ensures consistency, accuracy and precision 



coffee machine shot glass coffee bean comrades


Shot glass with measurement markings (preferably 2)

Used to measure your coffee shots. Coffee shots should potentially be extracting a ml of coffee per second.  The best standard coffee shot is at 30mls with the extraction time of 30 seconds.



coffee machine chocolate shaker coffee bean comrades


Large Chocolate Shaker

To give your Cappuccinos and Hot Chocolates the final last touch.  You may even have a separate shaker with Cinnamon inside for some of your other beverages. e.g Chai 





Coffee Grinder Cleaning Brush

Group Head Cleaning Brush

Blind Group Handle / Portafilter Insert

Coffee Machine Cleaner Powder


[To be customer ready] -   READ PART 3 OF 3 - SHORTLY RELEASED

Coffee Cups / Glasses / Saucers

Espresso Cups & Saucers

Teapots / Tea cups / Mini Milk Jugs




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