Kindling your entrepreneurial spirit and taking the professional route is a great way to make some money as you follow your passion. Coffee lovers often consider starting their own coffee shop that makes coffee just right. An important part of that little dream is finding the best commercial espresso machine that will be the backbone of your business.
Our Top Picks For Best Professional Espresso Machines
- La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Espresso Machine
- Nuova Simonelli Appia II Volumetric 2 Group Espresso Machine MAPPIA5VOL02ND001
- Jura 15145 Automatic Coffee Machine WE8
- Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Digital 4 Group Espresso Machine Maureiivdg04Nd0001
- La Pavoni PUB 1EM-R – 1 Group Commercial Espresso Cappuccino Machine
- Jura Giga X7 Professional
- La Pavoni Commercial Lever Espresso Machine
What To Look For In The Best Espresso Machine For Small Business
Expected Customer Volume
Picking a commercial coffee machine requires more effort than picking one for your home. You can’t just pick a Breville or Gaggia, and be assured of quality and expectations!
Any commercial machine is as good as the number of customers it can serve. So when you look at this buying guide, see espresso machine reviews for machines that match your requirements. Use the rush hour as the basis of your calculations so you essentially have a machine that can comfortably handle the maximum number of customers. Expecting customers to wait for ungodly times isn’t going to bode well for business. Your machine must keep up!
A Coffee Grinder That Matches
The same rules as above apply to the grinder as well. Having the best grinder won’t do you any favors if it can’t deal with the footfall. Use the same calculations as the machine for the grinder, and pick one that works best. Even one that goes double the speed of your machine is a better pick than one slightly slower. Interestingly, picking a compatible grinder is something most people gloss over while obsessing over choosing the best espresso machine for a small business.
Plumbing And Coffee Machine Connectivity
Several commercial espresso machines rely on the conventional reservoir water system to keep them moving. Many, however, require plumbing and hook directly to water pipes so there’s a steady supply of water for the machine. The latter is a great option when you have a steady stream of customers demanding their cuppa. A water reservoir, on the other hand, can be economical and slightly easier to maintain.
Budget And Maintenance
A commercial grade coffee machine should be easy to maintain and long-lasting. This could be the deciding criterion for your top pick. Higher the volume of customers you have, the more you will appreciate the ease of cleaning the coffee maker at the end of the day. Commercial equipment is built to last years, which is one of the reasons you could even find them in the homes of some enthusiasts.
Of course, with all the high-grade construction comes the high-grade cost. A high quality espresso machine can easily run into several thousand dollars. It may be worthwhile to look for used commercial machine models that suit your budget. There’s a good chance you could get a high-end machine at an acceptable price, or at least have better options for a budget under 2000 bucks.
You can be flexible with the manufacturing date of the machine provided it is in good condition. Commercial espresso machines don’t change that often, so an espresso machine 2017 model will likely be just as useful as the 2019 machine variant.
Machine Operation – Semi-Automatic And Automatic
Commercial espresso machines are available in several variants, the most favored amongst them being semi-automatic and automatic. The fully automatic variant is where you just press a button and wait for the coffee to flow into the cup. You don’t have to double your work with other things, and let the machine handle it for you. There isn’t much control, but it is the simplest of options and can be utilized if you don’t have particularly well-trained baristas.
A semi-automatic puts more control in your hands, and you can control the volume, and even the strength of the shot. It puts more control in the hands of the barista, and with a skilled barista at the helm, the coffee will be impressive. Many enthusiasts swear that the best espresso comes from semi-automatics.
There is a third variant, the manual option, where the barista pulls levers on the machine to manually control the shot. It’s rarely used, and most of such machines been replaced by semi-automatic machines. We won’t put one mode of operation over the other for this buying guide, and will instead keep the focus on espresso machine reviews.
Taste And Quality Of The Coffee
An obvious, but perhaps the most important point. The machine you use will greatly influence the taste of the coffee. The ideal coffee brewing temperature is 190-195 degrees Fahrenheit. Since a commercial machine is expected to brew shots at a quick pace, maintaining the temperature can be a challenge. The same goes for pressure. Many espresso machines are equipped with a pump to generate 15bars of pressure, but maintaining it can get tough.
High quality commercial espresso machines are equipped to handle these issues. However, you should still keep an eye out to ensure your customers at your café don’t end up complaining about sour or bitter taste of their coffee.
The 7 Best Commercial Espresso Machines
1. La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Espresso Machine
This Italian commercial espresso machine packs quite a punch when it comes to brewing skills. Its appearance might be rather stoic, but its skill sure is impressive. It is a relatively small setup for a commercial grade espresso machine and is more suited for a setting where a high volume of orders is not expected. La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Espresso Machine can work very well as a small restaurant espresso machine, though it may not be particularly suitable for coffee shops.
The espresso machine has a 1250 watt heating element and dual boilers so you always get your coffee brewed at the right temperature. However, the maximum it can do is about 20 cups an hour, go beyond that at your own peril!
Newer models of the La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II also have a WiFi timer compatibility built-in, so you can remotely order the machine to heat up well before you open shop. You can also use programmable features on the machine to have it automatically start brewing at a fixed time every day. It’s a perfect process to save you some starting time.
|Easy to use and maintain||Very limited serving capacity|
|Fairly well priced for a feature-rich commercial machine||Uninspiring looks and a very dull design|
|Dual boiler system makes it easy to brew coffee at the right temperature|
2. Nuova Simonelli Appia II Volumetric 2 Group Espresso Machine MAPPIA5VOL02ND001
Nuova Simonelli Appia II is the espresso maker that most coffee machines look at with envy. The machine has an ergonomic and minimalist design that is generally pleasing to modern sensibility and aesthetics. Stainless steel plays a big role in the construction, making this machine big on quality, as well as highlighting its design.
Coffee shops will find it easy and convenient to work with this machine, and its ability to serve anywhere between 30-100 cups an hour will certainly be appreciated in a commercial environment. It connects directly to the mains, so you won’t have to constantly worry about filling up the reservoir. The Appia is practically as good as “set and forget.”
Being a semi-automatic machine, it keeps much of the control in the hands of the barista. This paves the way for better made and better presented coffee. The hefty price tag might be a bummer, but that’s to be expected from a high-quality machine like this.
|Easy to use and maintain||Fairly expensive|
|Fast delivery of shots is great for coffee shops||Weighs quite a bit (160 lbs)|
|Good looks and ergonomic design|
3. Jura 15145 Automatic Coffee Machine WE8
Jura WE8 coffee maker has an impressive range of automatic functions. It will take care of just about every step of your coffee brewing, right from grinding the beans to produce a fine cup of coffee. Jura WE8’s automatic setup is more suited for an office space or a small restaurant where a barista may not be necessary. It’s periodic auto cleaning feature is great for this purpose.
On a full reservoir, the Jura can create 101 oz. of coffee. The company uses pulse extraction process (P.E.P.) for better coffee extraction. In this process, hot water is forced through coffee at short intervals to ensure better extraction for your espresso or ristretto.
Should you be in the mood for it, just press a button and the super automatic machine will open up its menu to pour you an espresso, cappuccino, or several other coffee types. The machine has 12 brewing specialties, and will use them to brew perfect beverages at the press of a button.
|Easy, single button operated super automatic machine||Requires manual refilling of the water reservoir|
|A variety of coffee options available to brew|
|Convenient movement from grinding beans to prepared coffee|
4. Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Digital 4 Espresso Machine Maureiivdg04Nd0001
Quite like its sibling that we saw earlier, the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II has its heart set on ergonomic design and great coffee. The minimalist stainless steel material and color give it an excellent look. It has four nozzles, beautiful looks, a clean design, and digital pads to make controls easier. The barista can control and manage the water temperature directly from the display.
A volumetric control unit ensures that the Aurelia II brews coffee at the right temperature. Aurelia II has a larger storage tank with a volume of 39 liters, but can also be connected directly to water pipes. This unit is obviously built for coffee shops that have a high traffic, and it does deliver on that. If you’re expecting 100 customers demanding espresso in an hour, the Aurelia II is what you want.
|Easy to use and maintain||Very expensive|
|Quick brewing of coffee makes it necessary for coffee shops||Heavy and space consuming|
|Good looks, minimalist design highlighted with skillful use of stainless steel|
5. La Pavoni PUB 1EM-R – 1 Group Commercial Espresso Cappuccino machine
La Pavoni is a well known commercial espresso machine brand. Pavoni Bar machines are often considered hallmarks of commercial espresso quality. This old-school Italian coffee machine company has quite a few interesting models to offer. La Pavoni PUB 1EM-R – 1 machine is a compact variant with stainless steel front and rear panels and red side panels. It designed to handle small demands in terms of espresso volume needed.
The PUB 1EM-R machine is built for a small restaurant or coffee shop. But, it is also relatively lightweight and has a small enough footprint to make it portable and viable for catering. It has a rather austere appearance, but it does its job pretty well. An included hot water tap is pretty useful as well.
Commanding a power of 1500 Watts, La Pavoni ensures coffee is always brewed at the right temperature. It has 150 drinks/day capacity, so yes, expect it to be slow. The speed shouldn’t be a problem unless you get an unexpected amount of foot traffic into your establishment.
|Lightweight and portable||Limited capabilities and speed in serving coffee|
|Powerful, and brews coffee at the right temperature||Small water tank needs continuous attention|
|Trusted, workhorse design|
6. Jura Giga X7 Professional
Designed as a commercial setup, Jura Giga X7 is meant to move coffee quickly with a press of a button. It has two ceramic burr grinders placed at the top so the coffee grounds you use are always fresh. Controls are handled through a fully programmable system that allows quick customization. You can easily manage not only the preferred type of beverage to brew, but also the amount of water, milk, temperature, and the strength of coffee.
The conveniently placed, but unorthodox shape of the steam wand is quite an interesting feature for design and function.
A TFT display at the front is used to enter beverage choice. You can quickly select the desired drink type, and this super automatic machine will do rest of the work. Jura Giga X7 includes a 169 oz water tank so your commercial operations can proceed without the need for regular water refilling.
|Convenient operation at the press of a button||Requires manual refilling of water reservoir|
|Programmable to accommodate specific choices||In its push to go automatic, the Jura unwittingly prioritises automation over taste|
|Fully automatic machine handles everything from grinding coffee beans to preparing espresso|
7. La Pavoni Commercial Lever Espresso Machine
Commercial Lever Espresso Machine by La Pavoni will remind you of the good ol’ days of espresso. La Pavoni Bar 3L-B Lever Espresso Coffee Machine looks amazing in a cafe setting. But, the biggest draw here is that the levers aren’t just for show, they allow you better control over the extraction.
It may lack the convenience of a super automatic, but the greater control is a blessing. A skilled barista can move mountains with a setup and controls like that. Chrome brass group with mechanical movement does have its charms.
There are three levers and two steam wands, so there’s plenty to work with in a regular coffee shop. An included hot water tap with flexible jet keeps things more convenient, especially when you have someone that wants to drink tea. It has a 22-Liter boiler to ensure you’ve always got the water and pressure to make amazing espresso. And, it connects to the water line so you don’t have to worry about refilling the water reservoir. All you’ve got to do here, is make delicious espresso.
|This Pavoni Bar machine offers greater control over extraction to make amazing espresso||The machine is massive, heavy, and takes a fair bit of space|
|Is built with quality materials to be durable and sturdy||Lever system can have the effect of slowing things down a bit|
|Direct water feed so you don’t have to worry about refills|
Bottom Line — Best Commercial Espresso Machines
Getting a professional coffee machine is an obvious choice for your business needs. The offerings in the niche are wide, so it is best to understand your specific requirements before you commit to a purchase. It is immaterial to declare a winner when the requirements can vary massively. Our list here is wide enough to cover most common use cases of commercial espresso coffee makers, and you’ll find one fit for your preferences.