APT: Washington Heights + Food + Drink

Coffee station.

coffee station

I’m a big fan of the coffee station (even though I hate words like “station” in relation to areas of the home—e.g. “gift wrapping station”). Everything all in one place: coffee maker, coffee, sugar, mugs and stirring spoons, all at the ready. I mean, if there’s any point of time in the day when you don’t want to be futzing around in drawers and opening cabinets, it’s before your morning coffee. Right?

It took us a while to settle on a coffee maker for the apartment. We considered a classic glass Chemex pot, Jasper Morrison’s beautiful machine for Rowenta, and the super-pricey Technivorm Moccamaster, but ultimately we decided on the very same machine we have at home, a Cuisinart Brew Central. We’ve always been very happy with ours (my mother and Bernie have one, too, and they also love it), it looks pretty good, and the price is reasonable. It looks okay, too. It’s not gorgeous, but it’s acceptable. And I like that it comes in flat black.

Both of us love coffee, perhaps a little more than we should. I only drink one or two cups a day now, though, which is a significant improvement over the constant imbibing of caffeine I partook in during the early ’00s. Those were crazy days! (Hah. More like those were the days when I’d stay up to watch Conan every night, and then get involved in a craft project at 2:00 AM.)


Yeah, we bought more of those porcelain spoons that we have at the house. I love them. (CB2 still has them, I just checked!) The tray is from IKEA, long, long ago.

We’ve long been devotees of Illy coffee, but lately we’ve been drinking a much cheaper alternative from Whole Foods. I don’t know. The jury’s still out on this one. It’s okay, but it’s not Illy.

yellow mugs

Aren’t these mugs just the cutest?!? They came from CB2, too, and the price is, like, practically free. The yellow makes me super happy, and I LOVE how spacious the handle area is. I’m walk & slurp-er with my morning coffee, and I need all the help I can get with my grip.

(Don’t worry, I still love my Keep Cup and use it all the time…or at least when I’m running late, which is often!)

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  • Reply Bethany Joy November 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    I love this idea! We hang our mugs but I never thought about certralizing everything. Even though my coffee is ready when I wake up, your set-up makes morning prep work non-existent. Thanks for the insiration!

    I have a similar coffee maker from Cuisinart, I just wish it was Matte Black! Much sexier hah. I hate appliances on the counter.

  • Reply Jason November 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    We just got a Tassimo.
    Which is like coffee sacrilege, but it’s also like a trip to the circus every morning. We giggle like school girls as it does its thing.

    I still prefer a good old French press and a kettle.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 November 15, 2010 at 7:16 pm

      I’ve never warmed up to the French press. Just a huge mess and a lot of hassle? We have one, but we never use it.

  • Reply tracy November 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I love the coffee setup! I have three of those trays from IKEA…all over my house.

    Have you seen the coffee cups at Crate & Barrel?? I use these for my cappuccinos in the AM. I LOVE them.


  • Reply Erin November 15, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I bought a Cuisinart after having too many Mr. Coffee coffee pots die on me. Coffee is very important in my house also! I do love it even though its not really that fancy. Now I’m thinking I need a coffee station too! lol Love the yellow mugs! Erin

  • Reply Lindsay November 15, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I love the yellow cups… so cheerful! Our little coffee “spot” has a fun tray to sit our spoon, the beloved coffee pot and some aqua cups! I too am a coffee sipper and walker… I bring it with me during my morning travels around the house… I love a round cup with a big handle…

    Lindsay @ A Design Story

  • Reply blulily November 15, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I have had my eye on those yellow CB2 cups for a while now – they are cheerful indeed! Ever since brewing my Illy espresso in my bialetti – I’m forever hooked. The coffee is perfect each time and I feel like a little gourmand with each cup!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 November 15, 2010 at 7:15 pm

      I’ve always wanted a Bailetti, but I worry about being a klutz with it in the mornings!

  • Reply Brismod November 15, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Love how coffee is a priority at your place. And as it should be too. x

  • Reply Martha November 15, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Good thing you didn’t get the Jasper Morrison! I considered asking for his toaster as a gift until I read the crazy “Reports received on malfunctioning products. Buyers beware!” on his very own web site. Instead, I took a leap and asked for a Dualit toaster and it is a *dream* (possibly justifying its price tag) and also shares a place in the breakfast area in my apartment… along with my grandma’s sugar bowl and creamer, which contains all of the tiny spoons for stirring.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 November 15, 2010 at 7:14 pm

      Yes! I have a Dualit at my house and I love it. At the apartment we have a Bodum toaster, which I am also extremely happy with.

      Apparently the JM coffee maker is prone to staining from, uh, the coffee…making it considerably less beautiful with use.

  • Reply read me... November 15, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I have several coffee making methods and my absolute favourite is Chemex by a mile. I lost my Dualit toaster this week after 20 years faithful service. So sad as it’s the original shape. I’m still hoping that Santa will leave a new one for me under the tree this year though ; )

    • Reply kat November 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm

      Agreed on the Chemex. An astoundingly simple way to make flavourful coffee without the trouble of a french press. Plus, no bulky items to wash…just toss the filter into your green bin (if you live in Toronto). And it’s beautiful. Too bad I’m the clumsiest person on the planet and watched mine go slo-mo smashy-crashy to the floor.

      • Reply Anna @ D16 November 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm

        I think the reason I decided against the Chemex is that I read WAY too many heated debates on message boards about filter types and cleansing methods and so on that it all started to seem like a huge, overwhelming hassle.

  • Reply Deleilan November 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    I love the idea of having everything you need in one spot, and your coffee station perfectly demonstrates that it can be both practical and pleasing to the eye!

    Not being a regular coffee drinker (it’s more of a weekend treat), I devote space in my tiny kitchen to a “tea station”. It consists of two corner shelves above the countertop, with the electric kettle tucked underneath; my gorgeous aqua ceramic teapot, my favourite mug, an old creamer that holds teaballs and a teaspoon, and pretty caddies filled with my favourite teas are all displayed on the shelves. It’s the most often used spot in my kitchen!

  • Reply jennie November 15, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    funny, we use that very same tray for our coffee station! which i never called a station before, but perhaps now i will!

    i find french press to be the easiest and least messy way to make coffee, and it takes up so little space.

  • Reply Kelly November 15, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    i like your coffee station! those yellow cups are sunny! we are very serious about our coffee over here too. we use a chemex and brew organic costa rican from porto rico coffee co. (a nyc institution!). now that we have moved to chicago, i ordered a bunch and put in the freezer…which apparently you are not supposed to do since it can change the flavor, but i love it so much, it’s hard to give it up. i suppose i should switch to intelligentsia (chicago’s fave local roaster) but i don’t love their coffee (or their prices) as much.

  • Reply nancy November 15, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    another one for the french press camp, though sadly our tea kettle melted on our last camping trip, so we’ve been boiling water in a pot while we decide what kind of tea kettle to get.

    also, living in western ma, we have quite a few local coffee roasters to choose from, so we are very lucky but our regular go-to coffee is actually the 365 Whole Foods Breakfast Blend (I think that’s what it’s called). It’s a nice, strong enough, smooth coffee which I appreciate more now since I just gave up dairy, and am drinking my coffee black.

    if you go through tarrytown, our favorite coffee when we lived in the city was from coffeelab. they actually sell it at some whole foods in the city!

  • Reply Barb F (Australia) November 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    We have a Nespresso Citiz, which is not only a super gorgeous looking machine (let’s not even begin discussing the ads featuring George Clooney!), but makes sensational coffee sensationally easily. Coffee Pods! Auto milk warmer and frother! We are very happy campers.

  • Reply Kerri November 15, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    I LOVE those coffee mugs! In fact, I just ran my virtual butt over to CB2.com and ordered a pair. And some tiny spoons. And Christmas ornaments. :)

  • Reply erin lang norris November 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Cute! I just recently made one as well, but haven’t found a coffee canister that I like yet. For now we just keep the beans in the bag they come in.

    Funny thing- I don’t use a coffee machine because to me they are too messy!

  • Reply nancy November 15, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    btw, when i win the lottery, i will renovate my kitchen around the miele CVA4000 built-in coffee station.


  • Reply April in CT November 15, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Our Cuisinart 14 cup pot has been getting a daily workout for over a year now (sometimes twice a day when we have company!) and I love it so much I’d seriously consider stabbing anyone who tried to mess with it.

    I love having everything in one area because my brain is so fuzzy first thing in the AM I’d likely injure myself looking for stuff! My favorite coffee accessory is my Franciscan Starburst sugar dish, it’s so cute it always brightens my day. I love those yellow cups and the whole area is so organized and calming!

  • Reply Dan November 15, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    1. This is hilarious because my next post was probably going to be (partially) about the exact same thing.
    2. But also not hilarious because yours looks way better. Foiled again!

    Also, you in the early 2000s pretty accurately describes me in 2010. Almost anything on MN occurs between the hours of midnight and 5 am.

  • Reply Rose November 15, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    The coffee inside may be so-so, but that tin is absolutely great! Reminds me of the Fujian Ti Kuan Yin tea tins (which I adore the design of).

  • Reply bridget November 15, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    So funny! This is just what I did over the weekend. I picked up a French press at Ikea on a whim and feel like I’m tasting coffee for the first time. I love it! Still looking for the perfect tray…

  • Reply Sophie November 16, 2010 at 12:16 am

    I consider myself a cheap person, but I never go cheap on coffee! It is too important!

    We brew Peets Coffee & Tea beans, which I pick up from the coffee shop every week. We grind them fresh every morning and we use a Starbucks espresso machine.

    Go back to Illy!!! Coffee is not the place to pinch pennies!

  • Reply Cat's Meow November 16, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Looks nice! When our big espresso machine broke (the coffee pot part had broken a long time ago) we looked at espresso makers and in the end went back to basics – a stove top percolator pot. I’m loving it (again) and will never go back to big clumsy machines that break. For coffee, it’s got to be fair trade, preferably organic. I refuse to buy anything other than fair trade coffee.

  • Reply Marianne November 16, 2010 at 4:47 am

    Mmm, coffee! :) I always enjoy reading about others who appreciate coffee as much as we do. Beautiful and seemingly hazzle-free set-up, just what one needs in the morning :)

  • Reply Sue November 16, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I love your little coffee station and I don’t even drink coffee!

  • Reply Jordana @ White Cabana November 16, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I love reading about people’s coffee routines. Your station (I hate that word too) is so well-designed and the mugs say “good morning sunshine”!
    I wrote about my love of coffee last week: http://whitecabana.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/the-friday-five-coffee/


  • Reply laura trevey November 16, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Love that bright sunshiny yellow color to WAKE you up in the morning!

  • Reply Kim November 16, 2010 at 10:54 am

    This is completely unrelated to this post except that it’s about NYC… I was just wondering, do you think that you and Evan will ever move back full-time? What are the things you miss the most about living in the city? What were you all too happy to leave behind?

  • Reply Jessica @ {Black.White.Yellow.} November 16, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Love those yellow mugs!

  • Reply elisabeth November 16, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Re: Keep Cup. So, can you put it in your bag and not worry that it is going to leak or open up? And, OMG, have you tried Stumptown Coffee? Espresso is SOOOOO good.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 November 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm

      No, the Keep Cup is a substitute for a disposable paper cup. Read the comments on the post — I answered a LOT of questions about it! :)

  • Reply heather November 16, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    We have the same coffee maker – both in the city and upstate – my only complaint is that it’s not as hot as I’d like it to be. But I may just be using too much milk. We go between Gorilla coffee and Barrington Coffee Roasting Company. And when we’re in a jam…Dunkin’ Donuts.

    I love the spoons – may have to steal that idea.

  • Reply Monica November 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    We call it coffee altar. Ours is not as well thought out though. Just happen to have a drawer right underneath our machine to store espresso cups, spoons and sugar. We have lived in our house almost two years and still have nothing on the kitchen walls besides the cabinets.

  • Reply Leah November 16, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    I love your little coffee station!!! I have been wanting to do this and this is the inspiration I needed!


  • Reply Lisa November 17, 2010 at 12:01 am

    You live on the Upper West Side and you don’t drink Zabar’s coffee?? I thought that was a municipal regulation. :-)

    • Reply Anna @ D16 November 17, 2010 at 12:08 am

      I’m more than 100 blocks north of Zabar’s!

      (I actually don’t like Zabar’s coffee, to be honest…)

  • Reply jja November 17, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I love your cute corner. What I don’t like is filter coffee, it ruined my stomach, nothing better for me then good espresso in the morning.
    I use nespresso what means super easy use in the morning, nothing to clean and really good coffee.
    At work we have this oldfashioned mashine at it makes great coffee:


  • Reply Matt November 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    You might want to look into the Sowdon SoftBrew: http://www.sowden.co/

    It has a wonderful and modern aesthetic and makes great coffee without the need to “violently” plunge the oils out of the coffee. The NY Times recently did a piece about the designer George Sowdon: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/garden/30qna.html

    Only bad thing is that it’s on backorder with most U.S. distributors until January, 2011.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 November 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm

      I’m not looking to replace my coffee maker. I’m very happy with it!

  • Reply Sarah November 18, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Your coffee setup looks a lot like ours – we’ve got the big yellow CB2 mugs (love!) and an Ikea tray to corrall all the acoutrements. Our coffee maker is some weird thing I don’t know how to use, though.

    Seriously, those mugs are the best. I have the whole color wheel of these Anthropologie mugs, but my husband hates the tiny handles, so he uses the big yellow mugs.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 November 18, 2010 at 1:37 pm

      I’ve had mugs like that one before, and I agree with your husband—they may be cute, but those handles suck! At least for people like me with monkey-fingers.

  • Reply Grumble Girl November 19, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    WE have the same coffee maker, only ours is in the black-chrome finish. Looks okay. Makes pretty good coffee too… I’m happy with it. I love Illy, but it’s pricey, fo sho… weve been drinking Melita medium roast filter coffee – I make it a bit stronger – everyone says, “Oh. That’s good coffee.” So, yay.

    Just gotta gets me some in da mornings, right away. Don’t ask me for anything before I gets me some, please, children.

    I have an Hermes mug that is the perfect size. Red & white. Love.

  • Reply Kaffee July 7, 2011 at 5:43 am

    Coffee is great! But I hate the stuff which comes out of a filter ;) A fresh brewn espresso is much better than those “coffee”…

  • Reply Michelle March 10, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I want the mug “hanging-rack” thing….where did you get that????

    • Reply Anna @ D16 March 10, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Hi Michelle, that’s the GRUNDTAL rail from IKEA!

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