Whether you own a small cafe, restaurant or simply work in a communal office space, you may be looking for a commercial coffee machine.
No matter what sort of business you own, our guide will help you find the perfect machine to meet all your needs.
Are there different types of commercial coffee machines?
Yes, there are different types of commercial coffee machines, all of which are suited to different environments and spaces.
Bean to cup commercial coffee machines are usually found in self-serve locations, such as offices and communal spaces.
This machine is easy to maintain which is what makes them so easy for everyone to use. Many bean to cup coffee machines can make hot chocolate and hot milk, as well as brewed coffee.
Espresso machines are one of the most popular options for establishments such as cafes and restaurants, and they are more often than not, the centre of attention. They are manual machines, manned by trained baristas.
Features of a commercial coffee machine
While there are some features which are optional add-ons, there are basic features that commercial coffee machines have.
Bean to cup machines
If you decide a bean to cup coffee machine is the best option for your space, like offices or cafeterias, the features you may wish to consider for you coffee machine may include:
- Control panel: All bean to cup coffee machines will have a control panel that allows users to adjust settings and start/stop the production of coffee with an easy touchscreen menu. You can have one-touch espresso in the office and adjust the temperature, timings and coffee strength within seconds.
- Milk frothing systems: Most bean to cup machines come with their own built-in milk frothers, ideal for those who enjoy lattes or cappuccinos. This is perfect for those who want a delicious coffee in the comfort of their office, rather than going out for a coffee.
- LED screen: Most modern bean to cup machines come with integrated touch screens for self-service use. They are easy to navigate, meaning anyone can customise their coffee themselves.
If you’re looking for an espresso machine, you should consider the basic features of the machines before you decide on purchasing one.
- Automation level: Many commercial espresso machines are semi-automatic, which has a flowmeter to stop the water after a correct amount of water has passed through. This is ideal for cafe and restaurant environments, where you may experience an annual turnover of staff who will all need to be trained from scratch.
- Steam wands: Espresso machines will have a steam wand attached to them for frothing milk. Good steam wands will leave the milk smooth, creamy and at the right temperature.
- Water level indicator: Knowing the water level during the brewing process will save you a lot of time as you can determine the amount of water you want during the preparation process.
Choosing the right commercial coffee machine
Knowing how to choose a commercial coffee machine can be tricky, especially with the range of features that come with the different makes and models.
If you are looking to compare coffee machines, you should consider the following the following factors:
- Brew temperature consistency
- User friendliness
Espresso machines come with 1-4 group heads, and which one you choose will depend on the volume of coffee you can expect to be making.
If you know through the day you will have a steady stream of customers, with certain busy periods, it’s a good idea to get a coffee machine with 2 or more group heads so you can keep up with the demand.
However, if space is a limitation for you, a two group head machine may be the best option.
Brew temperature consistency
Brew temperatures should be something you seriously consider when you’re choosing a machine.
Having a machine that can deliver consistency at high temperatures and volumes is a huge asset. Many customers value consistency, so having a machine that is consistent is vital for securing regular business.
When reviewing your options, check whether the machine has a dual or multi boiler.
You need to ensure that your baristas are comfortable using the features of the machine so that it both compliments and improves their workflow.
Some commercial machines are very high-tech, which may overwhelm learner baristas. If you are going to choose a more complex model, make sure you have familiarised yourself with the equipment before training your staff.
Budget is probably one of the biggest factors to consider when purchasing, renting or leasing a commercial coffee machine. Whilst having a budget is always a smart idea, cutting costs for cheaper models may prove to be incredibly costly, not just in maintenance, but in sales too.
Think of your coffee machine as an investment that you will eventually make a return on. You should keep customers and your business goals at the front of your mind when considering your budget.
While looks aren’t everything, they definitely play a role when selling your coffee. Having a customised or visually pleasing machine will no doubt catch the attention of your customers, as well as making a statement to your competitors.
The best commercial coffee machine brands
If you search for commercial coffee machines without determining your budget, you will be inundated with hundreds of options.
We’ve shortlisted some of the top commercial coffee brands below:
De’Longhi are well known for creating high quality, reliable machines and the De’Longhi Magnifica Evo ECAM290.61.B is no exception.
This machine features an integrated coffee grinder with 13 settings, allowing every user to choose the desired grind option for their favourite coffee. You can also personalise your drinks, choosing between a strong, medium or mild aroma.
Rocket Espresso create a variety of unique looking machines, perfect for cafes and restaurants that are looking for the wow factor.
The Sotto Banco 3 groups coffee machine is a sleek and stylish countertop machine which features raised groups from the counter, with the boiler and additional equipment located underneath the counter.
It features multi-boiler technology, with fully saturated groups and independent steam wands for each group.
The KRUPS Arabica Digital EA817040 Automatic Coffee Machine is a great option for those who want barista-quality coffee in their own office space.
It has three temperature settings and three grinding settings, as well adjustable coffee strength, which makes it ideal for communal use.
KRUPS is trusted by many thanks to its high quality results and reliable machines.
La Marzocco produces a wide variety of different commercial coffee machines, perfect for any size business.
The La Marzocco GS3 (MP) coffee machine is a semi-automatic coffee machine, ideal for businesses such as restaurants and small bars.
This machine only features one group head, one manual frother and a water tank of 3.5 litres, making it a great choice for businesses that aren’t solely coffee focused.
Known for being used in household and work environments, Siemens makes some of the most loved bean to cup machines.
The Siemens TI351209GB EQ.300 Bean to Cup Fully Automatic Freestanding Coffee Machine is perfect for spaces like offices, hairdressers and salons.
It has a simple touch operation, allowing even novice coffee makers to prepare their coffee at the touch of a button. The machine also uses the SensoFlow system, meaning the optimal drinking temperature is always achieved.
Lelit makes exceptional machines to meet the needs of every professional user.
The LELIT GiuliettaX coffee machine is versatile, efficient and highly reliable to use. It features a thermal stability system to prevent overheating, and the standard brewing temperatures can be chosen based on the kind of coffee being extracted.
It features two group heads and steaming wands, making it ideal for small start up cafes and restaurants.