A friend of mine at the MakerSpace has a spare espresso machine he's planning to give to me. So that will help with that aspect. It sounds like my coworkers care far more about espresso drinks than coffee, and I am planning to install this at my office. I was kind of getting the impression that they didn't care either way, but then I mentioned in passing that maybe I would just put it at my house and they flipped out. I guess you don't hear how much people want something till it might be taken away. The upshot is that I finally got some feedback, since I was trying to explain why I might not put it at the office and they were trying to argue that I should. For example I said "It would be harder to run water to it, and I don't think they want a big water bucket here" and my manager said it would be fine, I suspect if I'd asked permission to do that he would have said no.
For now I'm doing what I do at work, starting with the parts that seem to be the biggest obstacle, so I've been working on getting an espresso machine. On the technical side I've been working on interfacing optical encoders to the PsoC 4 board, which should not be too difficult, but I will need them for some of the automated components of this design. Before I can really get into the details of automation I'll need that machine in hand.