You should know a few things before buying the Best Commercial Espresso Machine for Small Coffee Shop. The number of coffee shops in the US is 24000. Still, the industry has a great prospect to flourish. The annual growth rate of this coffee industry is 7%. These stats should inspire you if you are about to start your small coffee shop.
We have studied the current trends in the coffee industry. You get every single detail here for the best commercial espresso machines for small coffee shop.
A number of 65% of American adults take coffee in the morning. Do you want to create that cozy, warm feeling for the coffee lovers in the morning? That hustle and bustle of people and the murmuring. The whirring of machines surrounded by that heady, delicious smell. An atmosphere that is characteristic of an espresso shop only.
After reading this article, you will know:
- How to start your small coffee shop?
- Home espresso machine vs Commercial espresso machines
- What are the different types of espresso machines?
- How to select the right espresso machine for your shop?
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What Makes a Perfect Cup of Espresso?
If you want to know more about Espresso and espresso machines then Please read our article History of Espresso Machine: The Ultimate Legacy of 150 Years.
Espresso shortens the brew time and dissolves more solids. A high pressure emulsifies oils and a golden-brown layer of crema forms on the top. Crema forms about 10% of the total espresso cup volume.
To sum it up, espresso is a rich, dark coffee that you brew under approximately 9 bar pressure. This produces 1-1.5ounces of the drink.
Few Terms You should Check Before Buying The Best Commercial Espresso Machine for Small Coffee Shop
- Dose of Coffee Espresso
While reading about espresso machines, you would have heard of the term “dose”. It is the brewing ratio that means the ratio of coffee to water. In an espresso machine, you cannot measure the amount of water that goes in. So, to measure the dose we usually compare the input and the output. That means the amount of coffee that goes in and the yield.
To make a perfect double shot (2 ounces/30 grams) we recommend using 18-21 grams of ground coffee.
- Perfect Tamping
Are you wondering what “tamping” is when your friends talk about their tamping errors? You compress the ground coffee to make an even surface in a portafilter. You call this process tamping. Afterward, you force the water and coffee together under high pressure. This completes brewing.
Usually, we keep the temperature between 195-205° F.
- Pre-infusion Process
Some espresso machines also offer a passive pre-infusion. This process removes errors by temping and improves the final taste of espresso.
First, we add water at a lower pressure than required, to the ground coffee. This helps to stabilize it and set it before applying the full brew pressure. The water and coffee mixture provide greater resistance against the coming high pressure. This results in effective and uniform brewing.
This pre-infusion occurs in three different ways:
- You can either add water to the coffee before starting the brew pump
- Or you can start the pump at a lower pressure then pause it. After you mix some water with ground coffee, restart the pump at full pressure
- You can add a jet of 1mm or less in the path of brew water. This deters the water flow and increases the pressure gradually.
Commercial vs Home Espresso Machines
The most frequent question that comes to your mind while selecting a commercial espresso machine is:
“What is a commercial espresso machine and how does it differ from my home espresso machine?”
Before buying you should be this clear about this ambiguity. You should know that your home espresso machine can never be the coffee machine in your shop.
You would be thinking that if my espresso machine can make a perfect high-quality cup of my favorite drink, then why can’t it perform similarly in my shop?
To answer your question, keep in mind that whatever the high-quality drink of your home espresso machine is, it can never meet the needs of a small shop.
If it makes only 20 high-quality cups in an hour, then you need another one. If it cannot serve your customers on time then this machine is not a commercial espresso machine.
A commercial espresso machine is designed for the mass production of coffee drinks at high speed. It should have these characteristics to meet your business requirements:
- High speed
- Large capacity
- High-quality beverages
- Easy maintenance
- Durable and reliable
For more information read our article: Best Espresso Machine under 500 with Grinder.
Types of Espresso Machines
Before diving into the sea of espresso machines available in the market, you must know about their different types. Are you a control freak or do you like to delegate your task? Do you run a high-end coffee shop with a rush of customers? Are you running a cozy coffee shop for serving a small group of people?
Different types of espresso machines are as following:
- Super-automatic/ Volumetric/One-touch espresso machines
- Semi-automatic espresso machines
- Automatic with manual dosing (hybrid) espresso machines
- Manual paddle machines
1. Super-automatic/ Volumetric/One-touch Espresso Machines
These automatic volumetric espresso machines are best for high-end busy establishments. The kind where your coffee quality is always perfect, despite the change in the people behind the counter.
If you worry about employee turnover then this machine solves your problem. Your neighborhood kid can operate these machines and provide you with a high-quality drink.
Here, the espresso machine is your barista. These are also called a one-touch machine because you can get the drink of your liking with a press of a button.
The machine doses the water in your espresso shot itself. It will start the brewing and stop it on its own. It also comes with a built-in coffee grinder for coffee beans. No one wants the espresso of pre-ground coffee as it lowers the drink quality.
Do you know who performs the barista functions? Brew group extracts coffee and does so without your instructions. Put your coffee beans inside it and expect a delicious espresso in your hands in a few minutes.
Pretty impressive huh? You would be wondering now how these machines differ from one another if they all perform all the functions? That will be upon how they work with milk.
Some have an auto frothing steam wand for milk texturing. This requires some manual work. Another option uses a pickup tube that delivers froth milk.
The most advanced machines use attachable milk crafts and spout integrated frothing devices. You can feed milk from thermal containers or even from the refrigerator.
You can program and control the temperature and the density of your milk foam. These machines allow you to control these two variables. Sometimes you can set the volume of the output while the amount of water is specific.
If you are not good at learning new machine-related technologies and that hinders you from using a variety of their features. Then, automatic machines are the solution. With a press of a button, you can select a single or double shot. Their user-friendliness makes them a darling of the industry.
These machines are ideal for you if you’re running a café:
- where you don’t have enough time to train your staff.
- Or it’s a small shop and you’re managing it alone, and have to multitask.
- You have a busy shop where your staff can’t worry about your drink quality in rush hours.
- Consistent drink quality
- You need no user skills
- Your baristas can multitask
- Faster than other machines
- Automatic dosing
- Limited customization
2. Semi-automatic Espresso Machines
If your shop has a unique artisan-style or it has a boutique aesthetic then these semi-automatic machines will go well with your design. They provide you more control over your drinks and need little effort then lever machines.
Here, you are the barista. You have complete control over when to start the brewing and when to end it. You can make customized drinks on the fly. Although they require more barista training, they give you leeway for making a range of drinks.
They usually come with timers. Unlike the automatic machine that stops the brewing based on the volume of the output here time is the determining factor. You can stop the brewing after a specified time.
Most of the time they need a separate burr grinder for your coffee beans. A burr grinder consists of two disks or burrs instead of blades. One disk is fixed while the other rotates. The gap between the disks determines the precise size of the ground coffee particles. This grinder is specific for espresso making.
Entry-level semi-automatic machines have undersized pressurized portafilters. They are smaller and lighter than 58 mm portafilter and are much more forgivable for grind size. Use non-pressurized baskets for your freshly ground coffee.
If you want to practice your espresso-making, then these machines are your answer. You can train your baristas to perfect their coffee’s taste and quality.
Auto frothing wands are not made to practice your latte art skills. Beware of it before buying a machine with such steam wands.
- Complete control of coffee extraction
- Better espresso with high-quality milk froth
- You can pull longer and shorter shots without programming
- Entry-level baristas can learn ins and outs of coffee making
- Competitive baristas have more opportunity to grow and shine
- They require more time and effort to learn
- The quality of the drink produced depends on the barista
- Much difficult for beginners
3. Automatic with Manual Dosing (Hybrid)
Do you want less barista training but still need some control over your drinks? If you want the best of both worlds then you should select these automatic espresso machines with semi-automatic controls.
They provide programmable uniformity of drinks that is the specialty of automatic machines. While they offer on-demand customization like semi-automatic machines.
Do you want cool levers or buttons for operation? They usually operate by pushing buttons. No levers are present. They use a pressure of 130 psi to force water through the ground coffee.
- Electronically controlled dosing
- On-demand customization
- You need no user skills
- The only disadvantage is its hefty price
4. Manual Paddle Machines
These manual machines are more for home use than commercial use. They usually operate by levers.
Here you have full control over your drink. You can polish your skills and hone your craft by using these machines.
They come with:
- A boiler
- Steam pressure gauge
- A portafilter and
- A manual filter.
These provide complete control of the espresso extraction.
- Levers look very cool
- Full control over the extraction
- Require a lot of effort to work
- Your baristas will tire out quickly
Best Commercial Espresso Machine for small Coffee shop
Bezzera Magica E61
Do you know the first brand that patented the espresso machine in 1900? It was this particular Bezzera brand that started making espresso commercially and kept enticing us.
Of course, the brand that has lived for so long knows how to make a good espresso machine. They combine both the classic hand-crafted quality of espresso with a design that fits in a modern sleek cafe.
This Bezzera Magica machine gives you a high-quality espresso with its semi-automatic system. In the hands of a well-trained barista, the quality of your drink improves drastically.
It is relatively smaller than other commercial espresso machines. You can fill 4 liters of water while the boiler has 2 liters capacity.
It’s durable with its stainless-steel body with its glossy finish. It has a pressure pump of 15 bars. It consumes 1450 W of power.
Do you have a small counter space for your espresso machine? It measures only 30 cm×42.5 cm×41.5 cm. You can lift it easily due to its lightweight of 22.7 kg.
It features an E61 group head which is considered as the gold standard of the industry. This group head uses a passive pre-infusion system.
When you turn the pump on, water moves from jet to a small cavity above the basket. As the cavity fills with water its pressure increases. Then, the valve opens to allow water to move into the pre-infusion special chamber. As the water fills it up, the brewing pressure reaches its limit.
This whole system enhances the taste of coffee, forgives tamping errors, and provides a thorough coffee extraction.
Do you know the machines that you see on Instagram that look so cool? This Bezzera Magica employs joy-stick style levers to give its cool and classic appearance.
You can brew the coffee and steam your milk at the same time by its dual boiler system. Some models have a heat exchange boiler instead of dual ones. It employs a thermosiphon heat system.
Some of its unique accessories are:
- Adjustable steam wand and hot water wand
- One portafilter
- Single and double spout portafilter
- One cup and two cup filter basket
- Blind filter basket
- Scoop tamper
- Group head cleaning brush
La Pavoni Bar T3 Group
La Pavoni Bar is an Italian manufacturer that has made its name in the industry. They provide reliable and durable espresso machines, which are excellent for commercial use.
This is another semi-automatic espresso machine. You have to train your staff to produce high-quality espresso. Buy this machine for your artisan or hand-crafted coffee shop that is famous for its quality.
Its levers give its unique style. It comes with 3 levers. You require manual effort that may tire your baristas in rush hours. However, you can control your coffee extraction just like you want, and you will look cool doing it too.
One of its worth mentioning aspects is that it has around 22.5 liters of boilers capacity. This capacity is sufficient to fulfill your shop’s needs during your busiest hours.
The machine has the potential to grow old with you. You can make 800 cups a day with it, which is more than enough for a small business. Rush hours will be a breeze with it.
Large capacity means the larger size and heavyweight. It measures 97cm× 54cm×54cm and has a hefty weight of 81kg.
Buy it if you have sufficient space on and behind your counter. 3 baristas can work on it with its 3 group heads. It uses 3x double portafilters.
The chrome-plated brass is one of its adorable features. It gives it a shiny look and makes it last longer.
The Anti-vacuum valve in these machines prevents the clogging of the steam wand. This provides easy maintenance. The radiator hydraulic system is present for each of the group heads.
It has a detachable front copper boiler. In case of any damage or malfunction during the working, you can easily remove it for any repairs or replacement.
La Pavoni Bar T2 Group
Do you have an average budget for an espresso machine that is automatic enough to save your time, but gives you control when you need it?
La Pavoni offers this Bar T2 for this specific purpose. It is an automatic machine with manual dosing. You can pull a longer or shorter shot on the go.
This electronic programmable dosing by a digital touchpad makes it convenient to use. You know how happy you feel when you go to the counter and the barista remembers your special order?
You can make long-term customers by accommodating specific customization of your old clients. You can make cups of 4 different sizes using it.
You can make 600 cups a day with its 14L boiler capacity. This copper boiler has both anti-microbial and anti-rust properties. Use hygienic water for a very long time using this boiler.
Do you want to know the best part? It has an internal water softener to minimize scaling. It’s also directly connected to your water supply. This means no manual refilling, long working life, and easy maintenance.
The press-forged brass and chrome-plated body give it an antique, hand-crafted look. You want at least 2 baristas to work on a machine during rush hours. You can achieve that by its 2 group heads.
Its heat exchange boiler allows you to brew coffee and steam milk simultaneously. There are pressure gauges for both the boiler and the group head.
2 steam wands are built-in. They have an anti-vacuum valve to prevent milk from getting into it. This helps in easy cleaning and no clogging problems.
Imagine this: You have heated the system. The boiler is working fine. You have made several delicious espresso cups. Then, without any obvious issue, an espresso cup comes out tasting horrible. It’s a nightmare, right?
The machine prevents this terrible case of uneven heat distribution, and cold water mixing with the coffee. It achieves this by the radiator hydraulic system. It stabilizes the heat and gets rid of any cold pockets.
Some key features of La Pavoni that make it a favorite of small coffee businesses are:
- 2x double portafilters
- Dimensions of 78×56×53cm. Only 31 inches width
- Weighs 59kg (149 pounds)
- Electric internal pump
- Built-in cup rack on the top that uses heat from the boiler to keep them warm
- Pre-infusion of coffee grounds
- Separate tap for hot water and two flexible steam jets
- Buttons for continuous brewing and instant stop
- Easy portability by telescopic handles
This machine has got the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certification. This gives you peace of mind while using it. It is environmentally friendly. It offers an energy-saving power switch that consumes 33% less energy. You can use it during slow hours.
Do you want a durable water connection for your machine? You can have that by its stainless-steel waterline installed for your convenience.
Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Digital 4 Group Machine
If you are just starting your coffee business then we know you want to have the safety of a well-known brand for your equipment. Nuova Simonelli is a well-known prestigious Italian brand that has been in the industry for more than 80 years.
This espresso machine has everything you need for commercial espresso making. If you focus more on third party certifications to trust a machine, then you should know:
- The World Barista Championship certified it as an official commercial espresso machine.
- It won this championship from 2009-2011, and then again from 2012-2014 for its improved version
- It is the only machine that European Institute of Psychology and Ergonomics certifies as an ergonomic machine
It has a capacity of 22L. Do you have a fast-paced shop where you don’t have time to refill the water reservoir again and again? Select this machine for its direct connect convenience.
It provides the best of both super-automatic and semi-automatic machines. It is volumetric with manual dosing. You can have some control when you need it, while still trusting your machine for effortless, prime beverage supply.
It comes with the proportional-integral-derivative controller (PID). This helps in uniform heat distribution and thermal stability. No unexpected cold pockets ruin your espresso.
Do you prefer an LCD for easy programmability that simplifies the machine operation for you? This digital display makes the whole process extremely convenient. You can easily read your options, and choose the right one without hassle.
It allows you to select the right:
- Boiler pressure
- Intensity of espresso
- Pre-infusion, and
- Energy-saving settings.
Do you have Americanos and teas on your shop’s menu? If yes, then you’ll love its hot water spigot. You don’t need to run back and forth from your hot water containers to your machine. We all know how dangerous those runs (walks?) are.
Its pre-infusion has a slight twist to convert it into a soft infusion. This enhances your coffee quality and forgives your tamping errors.
Arrange for a large behind the counter space if you choose to buy this Aurelia II. It comes with 4 group heads and you can easily work 4 baristas on it, provided you have ample space.
Do you want to work on your espresso and lattes and cappuccinos at the same time? Of course, you want it. The machine’s heat exchange boiler allows you to steam milk for your lattes and cappuccinos at the same time when you are brewing espresso.
Some of its specifications are:
- 124 × 63 × 53 cm dimensions
- 119 kg
- 5x double port filters
Does your business offer multiple cup sizes? Aurelia II offers raised group heads for tall cups. Its steam wands have a cool touch system to avoid burns.
Do you care for baristas’ well-being? The machine also gives your wrist some relaxation with its push-pull steam wands. Your baristas can go home earlier at night. They can start its automatic cleaning by just a push of a button
Rocket Espresso Boxer 1 Group
Are you running a coffee shop with a fusion of classic design showcasing some contemporary flairs? Or are you single-handedly managing your small cute coffee shop in an artistic setting?
The Rocket espresso matches what your brand represents. It has a unique style that may not be compatible with every coffee shop. This volumetric machine lets you concentrate on other tasks while your espresso is brewing.
It comes in three different models that gradually increase its boiler capacity. We recommend an 8.3L boiler for a small coffee shop.
It has these specifications:
- 65 Kg weight
- It measures 48×49×47cm
- 1x double portafilter
- It consumes 2300 W of energy
- It accommodates two cup sizes of 86 mm and 120 mm
It is a relatively small espresso machine then many others on the list it comes with a shiny stainless-steel body. The copper boiler maintains an anti-rust feature.
If you have chosen a super-automatic machine. Then obviously you don’t have time to manually fill the water reservoir. You can focus on other tasks while the machine is directly plumbed to your water line.
Don’t forget to use a water softener to increase machines’ working life. Scaling in the water line is the main reason for the breaking of a lot of machines.
Although it is an automatic machine you have the control for manual extraction of coffee. You can use a programmed version too.
It employs a thermosiphon system for uniform heat distribution. You can vary the temperature of your drinks. Steam wands are heat protected and cool to touch. You don’t have to bother about the barista burning their fingers.
It comes with a dual boiler that helps you to save time. You can brew espresso and steam milk simultaneously. For easy maintenance, it boasts a self-cleaning system. You can run this back-flush system overnight when the machine is not in use.
Elektra Sixties Deliziosa
Are you looking for a super-automatic espresso machine that is best for your small coffee shop with high business? You will be in love with this Elektra Sixties Deliziosa. This is ideal for small café bars and ice cream shops that can accommodate the high volume.
Elektra lovingly refers to this espresso machine as its “monster”. The machine has acquired this label not due to its size. Its capability is high enough to name it a monster of its type.
It has a capacity of 5.5 L. It comes with a heat exchange boiler that employs an inter connecting tube between the hot water and steam.
The tube helps deliver hot water suitable for brewing to group heads while it keeps the steam inside. You didn’t have to wait between the brewing and frothing milk. Some of its specifications are:
- Weight of 37.5 Kg
- It measures 35.5×50.5×47cm
- Two portafilters (one double and one single)
- One cup and two filter baskets
- It accommodates a water lime of 35-40 pound of pressure
- Five automatic dispensing buttons for different types of coffee
As it is an automatic machine it offers easy programmability. You can select from the five different automatic doses that come with the machine.
It has a steel body frame that is shiny enough to act as a reverse mirror. Your baristas can easily keep an eye on drinks while performing other tasks.
One of its environment-friendly features is how it conserves energy. You can turn the feature on in your slow hour of business. It boasts an electronic control for temperature. You can change the brewing temperature just like you wanted.
You want your espresso machine to exhibit thermal stability this helps in the provision of consistent high-quality beverages. Elektra Deliziosa achieves this by its high wattage heating elements. This ensures quick brewing and steaming at the same time
You can rest assured of the delivery of hygienic and pure drinks. It has a filter on its group head to deliver clean water. Although it is automatic it tempers down your control freak tendency by displaying dual gauges. Both the pump and boiler come with high-pressure gauges.
La Spaziale S1 Vivaldi II
Do you have a small coffee shop with a low volume where you want to depend more on the machine instead of the staff? Do you need a volumetric espresso machine for your office or a small restaurant?
Check this La Spaziale espresso machine. The brand has been making espresso machines for more than half a century. Their machines are simple and highly elegant.
La Spaziale S1 Vivaldi is a volumetric machine that has 2.5 L capacity of steam boiler and 0.45L of brew boiler. They come within an industrial dual boiler that saves your time. It can allow you to brew espresso while steaming the milk at the same time.
The automatic machine offers a programmable timed brewing. The four-hole steam wand is perfect for frothing milk. You can make excellent microfoam using this steam wand.
If you have trouble trusting a new brand while buying its espresso machine then here is the fact to pacify you. The product has certification by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). This certification will also help with your shop’s health and sanitation inspection.
It offers only one group head. It cannot grow old as your coffee business rises. Do you want to get rid of the hassle of the manually refilling of your water reservoir? This product remedies it by its direct connection to your water line. The S1 mini Vivaldi II comes with a pour-over version.
Do you also find it hard to perfect tamping? The machine’s programmable passive pre-infusion feature makes your worry venation. You can select the time (1-8 sec) to wet the coffee pout before applying the full brew pressure.
The best feature offered by this product is its temperature control and adjustment. You can increase the temperature of the group head gradually in 1 °C increments. The temperature range is from 91-97°C.
It heats the group head by taking dry steam from the highest point of the boiler. It comes with an optional 7-day programmable timer. You can select when the machine turns on and when it turns off.
Its rotary pump builds up the pressure that you need for the coffee extraction quietly. Some of its unique features are:
- Steam knobs instead of levers
- Boiler pressure gauge to control when to brew and steam
- Group pressure gauge to control the optimal brew ratio
- Built-in safety thermostat to prevent overheating
- 53 mm portafilter
- The self-diagnostic system alerts you when an error occurs
Nuova Simonelli Musica Lux
Are you worried about which coffee machine will fit on your small counter space? This Nuova Simonelli Musica is the best espresso machine that has a small width.
It is the best among all the vertical espresso machines available in the market. You have the best of automatic and semi-automatic machines with it. It provides you some control over manual dosing, while still helping you to trust it with your major espresso-making functions.
It comes with a heat exchange boiler. This fastens your drink-making procedure. You can work simultaneously on your brewing and frothing. This comes with only 1 group head. This means that you can produce only 2 cups of espresso at a time.
Are you tired of refilling water in your boiler again and again? Do you find it cumbersome to leave other tasks of your café and to keep a check on the water level? This Lux version comes with a direct connect system to solve all these troubles.
How many cups do you make every day? You can make only 60 cups a day with this small machine. It also comes with NSF certification like all other Nuova Simonelli machines listed here.
You never have to worry about improper tamping again. Use the programmable passive pre-infusion of Musica Lux to forgive all such errors. Pre-infusion makes your coffee taste exceptional with thorough extraction.
Do you buy machines with a lot of special features that you never get to use due to their technical difficulty? You’ll never have this problem with this product. Its user-friendliness makes it a darling to use.
I think you’ll agree with me when I say that:
Cold pockets are a hell to deal with. You want your machine to keep all the water hot without sparing any part. Musica Lux achieves this due to its thermal compensated group.
Baristas are usually multitasking in any café. They can’t wait on hand and foot for the drinks to prepare. By the machine’s reverse mirror, they detect any errors with the drinks while still concentrating on their other tasks.
Nuova Simonelli Musica Lux comes with LED lights or Barista lights. These lights provide a better vision for detecting any errors. The machine also brightens up and shows glowing visuals.
Some key features that are characteristic of Nuova Simonelli are:
- Articulating steam wand to froth milk at better angles
- Push-pull steam wand for frothing milk. It is easy on wrists too.
- Programmable hot water spigot for Americanos and teas. It helps you avoid the precarious walk from hot water containers to espresso machines.
Nuova Simonelli Appia II Compact Volumetric
Are you still confused about the espresso machine you want to buy? Well, don’t worry even if you have not made your selection you may find the right on the next couple of machines.
You have already seen three Nuova Simonelli machines. By now you will be familiar with their brand style. You will never find an espresso machine that displays the hand-crafted design like Nuova Simonelli
This Appia II product comes as an automatic machine. It offers two group heads so that you can make four espresso cups at a time. Some models have 1 or 3 group heads too. You have an 11L boiler capacity that pulls approximately 30-100 espresso shots per hour.
Shinny coffee machines look gorgeous while sitting on a counter and attract more customers. The product has a stainless-steel body with a glossy finish. This acts as a reverse mirror so that the baristas can see the drinks from any angle.
Appia II has these specifications:
- It weighs 160 pounds
- It has dimensions of 21×22×22 inches
- NSF certified
It comes with a heat exchange boiler. You have faster brewing turnaround time using this boiler.
Like all other Nuova Simonelli products, it accommodates multiple cup sizes. It achieves it by its raised group heads. You can save your time as well as the delicious crema at the top by directly pouring larger shots in taller cups.
You don’t need any manual refilling of the water tank. It has direct plumping into your water line. Use water softeners for anti-scaling and you are good to go.
Save your barista’s time by its auto cleaning mode. It also provides separate hot water spout for Americano and teas. This saves your time and effort
You don’t have to worry about perfect tamping by your baristas. Its soft fusion feature smooths away poor tamping jobs and maintains the high quality. Soft infusion helps to achieve a balanced and even coffee extraction.
Its push-pull steam switch gives an ergonomic touch and saves your wrist from tiring out. The bar pump is also provided with a gauge when the pressure turns off you should check the brew ratio.
Cool touch wands save your baristas’ hands. They also help in easy cleaning by preventing any milk from sticking.
Breville the Barista Express
The Breville has been in the market since 1932. It is well renowned for its innovative design.
This particular machine is semi-automatic, needing skilled baristas for a quality drink. As you know that espresso-making is a game of controlling variables. The quality of your drink can vary depending on the grind size, coffee dose, and brewing temperature. Set these variables to the optimal level and you can get a prime espresso.
The machine comes with a 15 bar Italian pump. It uses a Thermo coil heating system of 1600 W. it has these specifications:
- 2L water reservoirs
- Its dimensions are 13×12.5×15.8 inches
It comes with a Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controller. This helps in achieving uniform thermal stability at a steady pace. The machines come with volumetric control instead of a timer.
Although it is a semi-automatic machine it has an in-built coffee grinder as well. It’s an integrated coffee burr grinder that is perfect for coffee making. You can use knobs to adjust the precise size.
You can also implement the pre-infusion for a balanced coffee extraction. It makes one or two shots of espresso at a time.
The shiny smooth stainless-steel body is beautiful to look at. It requires easy cleaning. Some of its accessories include:
- Removable drip tray
- Dose trimming tool
- Water filter holder and filter
- Stainless-steel milk jug
- Cleaning kit
- Single and dual wall filter basket
An interesting feature of this tech is its precision dosing. You can control the amount of coffee that goes in and the espresso that comes out. To froth milk, you can use its steam wand.
It does not come with the direct connect technology. Better to use this machine for small volume coffee shops or portable food trucks. You have to manually refill its water reservoir.
Although it provides a lot of excellent features, its durability is questionable. After going through many customary reviews, it looks like that it is perfect as long as it keeps running. However, this makes it a gamble in the long run.
How to select the right commercial espresso machine for your business?
Now that you’ve read about the best commercial espresso machines, have you chosen one? If so, that’s great.
However, if you are still oscillating between some of your favorites, then we’re here to help you. Before you finalize your decision, better to read the correct method to select a commercial espresso machine.
After reading these 10 tips, your espresso machine buying will change forever.
1. Staff training vs consistent high-quality drinks
Know your requirements. Do you have time to train your staff to make the finest espresso, lattes, and cappuccinos? Does your brand want to capture a cozy, personal, welcoming, and homey feeling? Do you like to add a personal touch to every customer beverage? Do you cater to a limited number of people where your staff have time for customization?
If the answers to these questions are yes, then semi-automatic espresso machines are your choice.
However, if you have high volume space, where you don’t have time to train your staff, go for super-automatic machines.
Automatic machines with manual dosing are only for limited control of drinks. Select them if you run a medium volume shop where you need some customization for special customers.
2. Pour-over or Direct-connect machines?
Do you want a portable espresso machine for your food cart or espresso truck? Does the volume of your customers allow you some time to manually fill the water reservoir?
If you have time and effort to spare and need easy portability, then pour-over machines fit your needs. They are inexpensive than direct connect machines.
However, if this is not the case, choose direct connect machines. We recommend them for commercial use. They save your time and effort and need low maintenance. They cost more and don’t have the option of moving around.
3. Drink Volume and Capacity
This requires serious consideration while selecting a coffee machine. You have to think about:
· How many cups do you make?
Count your number of cups produced for every day, week, month, and year. See the bigger picture to determine trends.
Maybe your average coffee production per day doesn’t change much but you may find it rising. You need to accommodate future demands while selecting your espresso machine.
· Peak hours at your shop?
Usually, the maximum coffee business is between 8-9 a.m. Measure the maximum coffee production during rush hours. Your machine should be able to produce at least that many drinks in an hour.
You have to consider these bottlenecks. You can’t make new customers by “no coffee” signs.
· How much space do you have?
Does your counter have space for a large multi-head horizontal machine? Do you want a vertical, sleek, compact, one-head machine?
Is there space behind the counter for more than one barista?
· How many baristas do you have?
There is no point in buying a multi-head espresso machine if you have only 1 barista. Similarly, if you need multiple baristas then you’ve to buy a machine with more group heads.
After answering these questions, look at the capacity of your espresso machine. For that, you have to focus on:
· Group heads:
These are the taps for coffee. Their number represents the number of effective nozzles or espresso faucets that produce coffee.
1 group head can make 2 cups of espresso at a time, while 2 group heads brew 4 cups simultaneously.
In our opinion, 2 group heads are more than enough in a commercial setting. 1 group head can’t accommodate growing customers’ needs. While more than 2 baristas are usually unable to operate 4 or 8 heads machines. This is due to space issues.
Read the book by Colin Harmon “What I know about running coffee shops” for further details.
· Type of boilers:
The type of boilers influences the rate of espresso-making per hour. Boilers can be:
o Single Boiler Dual Use (SBDU)
You have to wait between brewing and frothing. They are for home use mainly, due to their slow speed.
o Heat Exchange Boiler (HX)
They brew and froth milk at the same time. They are energy efficient using shorter warm-up periods.
o Dual Boiler (DB)
2 boilers, separate for brewing and frothing. They offer the most temperature stability, providing back to back drinks with no wait.
Selecting either HX or DB is difficult. Focus on their capacity. The larger boiler has more power and is better in the long run.
4. Low or High Maintenance
Espresso machines are going to be with you for a long time. Better to know how much maintenance they require.
- Generally, do regular cleaning and repair.
- opt for descaling every few months. Do it more if your water has high minerals and salts.
- Look for machines with a self-cleaning option, if you find it difficult.
- Some machines come with detachable group heads also. Look for those.
- Train your staff for dismantling and assembly of machine for cleaning
- Look for machines that are easy to repair and offer a longer warranty.
5. A good coffee grinder
It is a saying that a coffee grinder is more important than the espresso machine itself. If you don’t buy a better coffee grinder then at least look for a similar level grinder.
Match its capacity with your espresso machine. The grind size drastically affects your espresso taste. Find the one with precise size selection with consistent output.
Journal of the science of food and agriculture published a study in 2015 about this. They found that changing grind size had the most effect on the quality of espresso produced.
6. Fancy or not
Whenever we buy anything, the more features it has, the more satisfied we are. However, that should not be the case in buying espresso machines.
When you buy a smartphone with hundreds of advanced features, but still you never use them. It’s probably because you didn’t need them in the first place.
The same is the case with commercial espresso machines. Measure the realistic usage of advanced features. Do you need them?
If yes, then buy a fancier model. Otherwise, stop wasting your money on things that have zero practical application.
These features include programmable and auto pre-infusion, and a built-in timer, etc.
Measure the voltage that your machine requires. Can you provide that much voltage in your setting? Usually, commercial machines operate on 208-240V.
8. In or out of your budget
Buying anything needs special attention to your price range. Of course, you can buy the espresso machine that’s in your budget only.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to focus solely on it. Commercial espresso machines have a wide range of prices. They can cost from $1,250 to $10,000.
You can accommodate a good one in your price range. But if you have a sufficient budget, don’t go for a cheaper machine.
They usually last long, so buy the one that can fulfill your needs for the longest time.
Focus on other criteria first and put the budget low on your priority list.
9. Design and aesthetics
A coffee shop isn’t just for selling coffee. People come here for the whole experience. That’s why different coffee shops employ a certain ambiance.
In a study in South Korea, in 2010, they found a similar trend. Coffee shops started emotional marketing to attract more customers.
To provide a uniform interior, select the machine that goes well with your brand image.
10. Third-party assurance
A commercial espresso machine is a huge investment. Before trusting any machine to help your business, look for any third-party certifications.
Different areas have specific certifications. However, some nationally recognized certifications include:
- National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)
- Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
Starting a new business and selecting the perfect commercial espresso machine is an ordeal. You have to take the whole process as a math equation.
Find the variables and answer them for your specific requirements. Research is the key. Read a lot about every machine and find every tiny detail.
Customer reviews help a lot. Ask questions and devise a plan. Follow all the steps and make an informed decision.
Hopefully, this article will help you with your search. Good luck with your coffee business! The world needs more of this coffee love.
Do you want others to enjoy their drink surrounded by that noise of whirring machines? Research shows how a moderate level of ambient noise helps improve your creative performance.
If your answer to all these questions is yes, then you have made the right decision of opening a coffee shop. The world needs more of these havens.
You want to select the espresso machine before you think about other requirements. Don’t worry about it. We are here to guide you through all your steps.