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How Much Does it Cost to Add a Brew Bar to Your Coffee Shop?

September 20, 2016

How much does a coffee shop brew bar cost?Brew bars have become essential features to attract coffee enthusiasts to your coffee house. A brew bar provides a dedicated space for preparing hand-pour coffees. This allows coffee shops to showcase the quality of their coffee using pour-over brewing methods that bring out the nuanced flavors of each bean. We explored the benefits of brew bars in Coffee Trends: Adding a Brew Bar to Your Coffee Shop.

Many coffee-house owners see the benefits but want to gather information on costs before rolling out a brew bar experience to customers. If you’re thinking about opening a coffee shop, you’ll want to include brew bar costs in your start-up cost calculations.

Essential hand-pour coffee equipment is relatively inexpensive. At minimum, you’ll need a goose-necked kettle, a pour-over brewer such as the Hario v60, Chemex or Clever coffee dripper, and filters. Precise control is the hallmark of hand-pour brewing, so you’ll also need a scale to weigh ground coffee in grams. Equipment for a single hand-pour station costs as little as $125.

However, hand-pour coffees at our Crimson Cup Coffee Houses have become so popular that we’ve set up dedicated brew bars that allow preparation of several pour-over coffees at a time. Brew bar costs include:

  • About $5,000 to $15,000 for a bump-out with two additional feet of counter space (costs vary widely depending upon your cabinetry choices).
  • About $500 to $1,000 for brew bar equipment and a system for holding several coffee brewers, depending on the type of equipment and how many stations you want to support.
  • About $1,200 for a multi-temperature water dispenser (optional).

(Costs are based on proprietary research of independent coffee shops and are current as of January 2019.)

Many of the coffee houses we work with like the ease and convenience of the Modbar pour-over brewing station, which brings precision-temperature water to the counter and eliminates the need for kettles. Modbar also provides a holder for many Chemex and Hario systems as well as optional spray or stream nozzle tip. A Modbar pour-over station costs about $3,000.

The latest brew bars also feature a refrigerated tap supporting nitrogen-infused cold brew coffee. It costs about $1,000 to install a Crimson Cup’s Nitro keg.

If your staff isn’t expert on preparing hand-pour coffee, you may also want to invest in barista training. A basic hand-pour course for one barista can cost about x.

All things considered, expect to pay about $5,500 to $20,000 to add a well-functioning brew bar to your coffee house. We explore other coffee shop start-up costs in How Much Does it Cost to Open a Coffee Shop?