UPDATED May 15, 2020: If you’re from a big family, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a fresh cup of coffee in the morning (or the breakfast of your choice). Creating a household breakfast bar will bring the ease and beauty of a breakfast made just the way each of your family members or roommates like it. With a little prep work and planning, everyone can make breakfast just how they like it, and you might even be able to grab a shower before all the hot water is gone.
A coffee and breakfast bar might be just the thing your crew needs to get their morning fuel without waking up the entire house and dirtying every dish in your cupboard. Here are a few tips on creating the ultimate breakfast bar at home:
Set Up Your Breakfast Bar
The kitchen might be the logical place to put the bar, but if space there is limited, try another spot in your house where you can clear off a tabletop to place dishes, food, the coffee maker, and other accouterments. A buffet, credenza, sideboard, or side table in the dining room is a great place for your breakfast buffet. Decide on your menu first, then stock the necessary small appliances to prepare it, whether that’s a toaster, waffle maker, blender, egg bites maker and/or breakfast sandwich maker. If there’s room, add a little décor or chalkboard sign describing what’s available.
Put the Coffee On
A lot of people love a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Put your coffee maker out on your new breakfast bar and if its programmable, set it up the night before to brew first thing in the morning. That way early risers will have a fresh cup as soon as they wake up. And to make things even easier, have the sugar and creamer ready to go so no one has to rifle through your cupboards.
If you have a FlexBrew® Coffee Maker or another single-brew machine, leave out the coffee pods and ground coffee to help others quickly start a morning cup. Learn about other coffee options for barista-worthy coffee at home.
Make It Customizable
Sure, you could just put out cold cereal and pastries, but offering a warm, satisfying breakfast doesn’t take much more effort. You can accomplish this in a number of ways, depending on your household’s preferences. Here are a few ways you could provide everyone with the means to make fancy toast, gourmet waffles, blended smoothies, breakfast sandwiches, or egg bites:
Fancy Toast: Of course, you could do a standard toast bar with simple butter and jam, but why not try Blackberry Toast with Brie and Basil or Peach Toast with Ricotta and Mint? Move your toaster oven to the breakfast bar, put your ingredients nearby on cutting boards (think cheese board but with fruit), and include a chalkboard recipe so guests know what to do with the ingredients.
Gourmet Waffles: Waffle bars feel luxurious but are actually pretty simple to make. Start with your basic batter and put it on ice so that it can sit out. Let your crew add their ingredients into the batter or put them on top, like with Peanut Butter and Banana Waffles. Make sure to provide a variety of toppings, such as fruit and whipped cream, and some syrups, ranging from basic maple to a Turmeric Maple Spice Syrup.
Build-Your-Own-Smoothie Station: Is someone in your household particularly health conscious? Provide them with a breakfast that fits their lifestyle: a build-your-own-smoothie station. Place your blender out on the bar, then provide several selections of milk or yogurt and their favorite fruits and veggies. Some crowd-pleasing favorites include our Choose Your Own Fruit and Pineapple, Kale & Kiwi Smoothie smoothies.
Breakfast Sandwiches: Put your Breakfast Sandwich Maker out on your breakfast bar and set up the buffet with a basket of eggs, pre-cooked bacon or sausage, cheese, veggies and English muffins. Try putting out ingredients for a classic breakfast sandwich like a Thomas’® Ham, Egg and Cheese Muffin Melt or something a little fancier like a Pesto with Sun-dried Tomato, Mozzarella and Egg Breakfast Sandwich. Sandwiches are ready in under five minutes, so everyone can get a hot breakfast quickly.
Coffee Shop Egg Bites: Let your family create the perfect combination of ingredients and flavors for customized egg bites at home. Set the breakfast bar with an egg bites maker, eggs, cheese, veggies, and meat(s) of choice. Include whatever you have on hand and allow each family member to create their own variation.
Keep It Open through the Year
While a breakfast buffet is a great solution for family breakfast variation and special occasions, it’s a fun and easy way to serve up a morning course any time of year. Wrap up a kid’s sleepover with a waffle bar and all the toppings, or keep the bar open year-round for busy weekday mornings.