How to organize a perfect espresso setup for your café

When organizing your coffee shop space in addition to creating a comfortable and welcoming environment for your patrons, it is useful to take the time to design an efficient and functional work space for those working at the counter.


A dedicated coffee station is the heart of a coffee shop and deserves special attention: it must be compact at the same time, have all the necessary tools at hand and allow the barista to move around comfortably, without wasting time and energy. Here is some useful information on how to best organize your coffee bar’s espresso setup.

What is an espresso setup

An espresso setup is how you organize the space behind the counter dedicated to prepare espresso coffee. It consists of at least 3 basic tools:

Finding the best layout to place these tools in your bar allows you to provide optimal service to your customers and ensure an efficient working environment for your staff.

How to choose the tools of your espresso setup

Coffee grinder

In a professional environment, an electric grinder-dispenser that allows you to select the desired amount and grain size is essential. The grind must be precise, homogeneous and fast to keep up the pace during peak hours. Depending on the volume of customers you are used to serving, you will choose the capacity of the hopper so that you do not need to fill it too often. Also remember that if you offer decaffeinated coffee or offer different types of blends, you will need dedicated coffee grinders.


To ensure even extraction, the coffee powder in the filter holder must be well distributed and compact. The press (or tamper) is used to apply firm, even pressure. There are both manual and automatic types; choose the one that best suits the size of your workstation and the pace you need to sustain. Remember that the tamper should always be close to the coffee grinder.

Espresso coffee machine

The espresso machine is the core of your business. First and foremost, it must be efficient and maneuverable to work quickly when the place is full. It is important that it is sized according to the amount of customers you have to handle at the same time. Each model also offers extra features you might find useful: dual steam wands, different temperature setting for each group, energy-saving features. Having lots of features is not always best. Evaluate the combination that allows you to provide good service and work at your best.

Knock drawer

A key step in the process is cleaning the portafilter. To get rid of used coffee grounds, you’ll need a container with a rubber-coated bar where you slam the portafilter to remove the grounds. There are countertop containers, but if you have a professional station, the knock drawer is probably built into a drawer or cabinet door on your station. Make sure the coffee machine is within reach of the container to easily empty the filter.

Every café has a different space to manage and optimize and needs to find the best balance between counter, tables, and flow. Have you already decided how to design yours?