In this modern-day and age, small coffee shops have become increasingly popular all thanks to the contribution made by a certain shiny coffee maker – the espresso machine. All the fan-favorite beverages ranging from an espresso shot to a latte would be near impossible without the brewing help of this machine.
The espresso machine has no doubt become an ‘it’ appliance among big and small coffee shop establishments. Every business owner now knows its value and understands how hardware investment is crucial for increasing revenues. So it’s no surprise if you are looking for the best one to up your café game.
Best Commercial Espresso Machine for a Small Coffee Shop Reviews
To ease up your search, we have made a list of 5 of the top group espresso machines for a small coffee shop. Check it out!
1. Rancilio Iron Frame Espresso Machine – Best Overall Commercial Espresso Machine
This Silvia espresso machine from Rancilio is semi-automatic and comes with an appealing design to meet all types of café décor. It has a strong linear housing made from a durable iron frame along with stainless steel side panels.
Whether you are serving 10 or 100 espresso drinks a day, this machine can handle it well due to its heat stability and extraction – no manual lever needed! Backing this up is the patented 58mm porta-filter that provides excellent coffee extraction. The machine features a single boiler with a volume capacity that can carry as much as 0.3 liters.
To ensure its durability, the boiler is plated with brass. It has excellent steaming power and recovery time, making in-between shots much faster and easier. The machine also sports a removable 2-quart water reservoir that can be filled via the top during operation.
Its articulating steam wand (stainless steel) delivers up with an efficient range and the result is delicious frothy drinks. Overall, it is controlled by a powerful steam knob. Additionally, the set is completed with a coffee scoop (7 gram), two single as well as double filter baskets, and a plastic tamper.
- Well-built and modular design
- Consistent brewing result
- Small drip tray
- High water requirement
2. Breville Automatic Espresso Machine – The Runner Up
This automated machine simply requires a swipe-and-select to create delicious beverages ranging from espressos, cappuccinos, to lattes. Housed with an integrated burr grinder, it automatically doses, grinds, and tamps up to 22 grams of coffee without breaking a sweat out of you.
To take things next level, it features the oracle touch – a technology that utilizes digital temperature control or PID. This helps ensure the optimum temperature range. After all, a balanced espresso depends a lot on temperature change and efficiency. Further, it includes the OPV (over pressure valve).
The OPV limits maximum pressure during extraction to prevent the bitter flavors in coffee shots. It also provides a low-pressure soft infusion system that gently increases pressure for expanding the grinds to get a balanced extraction. Topping off this process is the steam wand feature that is powered through the dedicated steam boiler.
It automatically arranges milk texture and temperature according to your preference. This delivers quality coffee and further enhances its flavor. Plus it provides thermal stability, precise water temperature, and cleans itself. Additionally, it supports up to 8 coffee setting (customizable) and adjustable grind control.
- Automated oracle touch
- Easy usage and cleaning
- Sturdy and long-lasting
- Superior group head for great heat stability
- Inconsistent milk frothing
3. BUNN Commercial Coffee Brewer – Best Budget Group Espresso Machine for Coffee Shop
Quick performance from appliances is a much-needed feature in every workplace. And this one just about proves it with its fast brewing result of 14 liters of perfect aromatic coffee in an hour. This fast-paced performance is met with durable internal components constructed with stainless steel.
As far as décor compatibility goes, the exterior black finish of the machine will help set up an aesthetic appeal around the shop. The portability of the machine is yet another convenient feature that makes it easy to assemble and use the appliance. This in turn makes it easy to clean the machine more frequently.
This fast machine comes with a pour-over brewer that can be freely used anywhere and does not require any plumbing. To get instant coffee, simply pour water via the top area and it will brew directly into the 12-cup glass decanter.
The glass decanter comes with an extra set to assist the machine during busy workdays. Speaking of assisting, it is not only convenient and attractive but also comes equipped with hand protection. This is a measure provided by BUNN’s very own SplashGard funnel feature that deflects hot liquid from scorching your hands.
- Portable and easy to clean
- Fast-paced brewing
- Durable life-span
- Quick deposit build-up
- High minimum temperature setting
4. Breville Barista Express Machine
If you want good lattes, you have got to have this one! It is a barista express machine from Breville that comes with just the right amount of 15 bar pressure pump. Combined with a steam wand performance that swivels 360 degrees, it allows you to make latte art with micro-foam milk texture and enhanced aromatic flavor.
A purge function feature allows automated water temperature adjustment after steam to enable optimal espresso extraction. Further, the stainless steel in-built conical burr grinder offers direct grinding into the portafilter. It comes with a sealed bean hopper and can adjust in grind dose and size for customized taste.
To support clean taste and quick heating, the machine is prepped with 1600 watt of thermo-coiled heating system. It is essentially an aluminum block round a stainless steel tubing. Rest assured, you will have delicious drinks in your hand within a matter of minutes and with the clean-me light feature, it’ll remain squeaky clean.
To add a smart twist, the espresso machine is programmable with pre-set single and double shot settings to aid in shot volume customization. A low-pressured pre-infusion manages gradual pressure increase to ensure even extraction. Finally, it features a removable 2-liter water tank to meet your various beverage needs.
- Auto purge function
- Automated cleaning cycle
- Consistent grind
- Plastic top and sides
- A little loud
5. Brim Bar Espresso Maker
If you are looking for the combined aesthetic and durability of a stainless steel espresso machine then this will not disappoint. The Brim espresso maker provides impressive records when it comes to serving delicious espresso shots, thanks to its high-pressured Italian pump.
The machine features a gauge indicator along with low pressured pre-infusion. This is extremely helpful in materializing the right pressure and providing balanced coffee extraction. Speaking of balance, it houses the 1250 watt of thermal coil system. And what this does is provide a consistent hot espresso output.
For getting the perfect microfoam milk texture, you can use the dry-action steam wand that supports a 360-degree swing. For added convenience, it comes with a hot water dispenser and a heated top plate for keeping cups warm.
It grinds to perfection, measures with precision, and with its stainless steel pitcher offers efficient milk frothing. Also, it has a 1 and 2 cup portafilter holder for both pressurized and non-pressurized result. To wrap it up, additional features include a filter cleaning tool, measuring scoop, and metal tamper.
- Easy cleaning and set-up
- Smooth and quick operation
- Hot water feature
- Average steamer
- Flimsy plastic scooper
Coffee Shop Espresso Machine Buying Guide
If you want the best out of a product, you need to understand what you’re getting into. To guide you through the process, here are some factors to consider before making a purchase.
As a coffee business, plenty of customers will run in and out of your shop, so you’ll need a machine that delivers upon this customer demand. Plus you’ll want to get the value of your investment through maximum usage without actually overworking or underutilizing the machine. This means you’ll have to find an efficient machine.
As such, professional-grade machines are better suited for regular work operations since they can be used all day without faltering as compared to smaller ones. You’ll also want to check the bean storage and water capacity on the machine. This will help map out whether the machine is able enough to meet the customer ratio of your shop.
Like a coffee machine, grinding capabilities rank up as one of the most critical factors to weigh in during purchase. What you need to understand first is, there are two kinds of espresso machines. The first one has an in-built system that grounds the coffee beans from the inside within a canister. You simply have to select the amount of coffee to make the espresso.
The second one grounds the coffee beans from the outside through the use of another machine. Now, if you’re looking for a faster result, the in-built system is highly recommended between the two. And the reason is that it brews the coffee way faster and easier despite having a bit of a complicated system.
Sure these machines can prepare espressos easily, however, finding it difficult to clean will cut a loss early in your business. Since espresso machines are prone to moisture exposure, this can develop internal faults if left without frequent cleaning. This means you’ll need to look for a machine that’s not just easy to use but is easy to clean as well.
Keeping this in mind, make sure you are aware of the different designs espresso machines come in as it is crucial in determining how easy or difficult it will be to clean. It’ll be better to avoid machines with complicated parts as this can make frequent dissembling and cleaning difficult.
Commercial Espresso Machine FAQs
Queries and questions are common in products. As such, here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding commercial espresso machines.
How Do You Descale a Commercial Espresso Machine?
First things first, you need to decide on a cleaning solution and then mix it. If it is a commercial product, follow the instructions as directed. If it is citric acid, mix it with water. As for vinegar, water dilution will do. Next, fill the water reservoir with the cleaning solution – see that it runs inside the dual boilers and out via the machine.
Run it through its steam wand as well to get rid of mineral deposits. You can repeat this rinsing process back-to-back twice. Lastly, pour water (either cold or hot water) alone inside the reservoir and rinse it again to ensure no descaling products and smell are left in the machine.
Do Commercial Espresso Machines Connect to Water?
Yes, commercial espresso machines connect to water. Installation processes usually require a cold water supply line placed right under or within 4 ft. near the machine. If you are to install one, a separate shut-off valve is highly recommended for the waterline. This will be helpful in times of emergencies and future servicing.
How Long Should One of These Machines Last?
The longevity of the machine largely depends on the quality as well as its maintenance. An espresso machine that’s poorly managed may last only up to a year even if you spend a hefty amount of money. Since commercial machines are used daily, it’ll be impossible to have it last long if you fail on maintenance.
One thing you can do is take good care of it by descaling and cleaning it regularly. This will certainly extend the lifespan by anywhere between 5 to 15 years. While putting in good money on a machine is important, regular cleaning is equally required if you want to have a durable and long-lasting machine.
Find the Best Espresso Machine that’s Right for You and Your Coffee Shop!
Finding a commercial espresso machine that suits your shop may be easier when you understand and plan out your needs before you go ahead with any purchase. With that said, one thing to keep in mind is investing in good quality machines. Spending good money means you’ll get a good machine that can help you boost sales immensely.
Whether you have a big or small establishment, you will likely serve a couple of customers regularly. This means you’ll need a machine that can provide convenient features and quick performance output. If you’re new to it, make sure you read up on the basic features and functions required to get the best commercial espresso machine for a small coffee shop.
Coffee coffee coffee! Nothing quite like a nice hot cup of joe in the morning 🙂 my name’s Nicole but on here I like to go by Java Jane. I am an avid coffee drinker and writer about all things Java related (and I’m not talking about programming for the millionth time!). Thanks for checking out my blog and always remember to stay grounded!