The espresso machine is always a key player for any coffee shop, regardless of size. The perfect espresso machine will ensure that your customers are satisfied every time they order from you, no matter how many times it takes them! There’s a lot to take in when you’re deciding on the best commercial espresso machines for small coffee shops.
When a customer walks into your café, they are immediately greeted by the delicious aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Your commercial espresso machine ensures that you consistently deliver on all levels when serving customers with their morning fixes and will leave them coming back again for more!
But with this article, all that knowledge is at your fingertips! We’ll provide insights into what kind of features are important and which ones aren’t so much, as well as tips about buying machines too–so don’t wait for another second before diving right into it…
- Types of Espresso Machines
- List Of The Best Commercial Espresso Machines For Small Coffee Shops
- Recommended Super Automatic Espresso Machines As Commercial Espresso Machines
- Heavy Commercial Espresso Machine For A Booming Coffee Shop
- Things To Consider For Your Small Coffee Shop Business
- How To Choose Best Commercial Espresso Machine
Types of Espresso Machines
Before you go all out in your decision-making process for purchasing one of the best commercial espresso machines, it is a logical idea to get acquainted yourself with the types of espresso machines. Having a general idea of the differences between the types offered will help you make a decision that’s best suited for your shop.
You will see the following Espresso machine types most commonly:
- Volumetric or Automatic Espresso Machines: For all experience levels they are very user-friendly. They possess unwavering quality. While shots are pulled, employees will be able to attend to other matters. Considered faster than other machine types. Offers limited customization for specialty orders. Typically pricier than semi-automatic espresso machines
- Semiautomatic Espresso Machines: More barista commands require over each shot. Good for beginners to grow and learn a new skill set. Will make any competent baristas really excel. It can be slower than an automatic machine. Drinks’ quality can differ on the skill level of the user. Viewed as more difficult to learn for beginners
- Automatic Espresso Machines with Manual Dosing: Options to use consistent dosing. Suitable for all levels of skill. Can customize espresso shots very swiftly. Can be very expensive though
- Direct-Connect and Pour-over Machines: This doesn’t need to be connected to a water line and can be placed anywhere. But it’s time-consuming to refill the reservoir
List Of The Best Commercial Espresso Machines For Small Coffee Shops
Nuova Simonelli Musica (Pour Over Tank Version)
- A feature-packed powerhouse that combines both beauty and functionality
- Built upon the design of the critically acclaimed Oscar, which has been tried and tested in small coffee shops all over the world
- The machine will automatically stop brewing when the desired volume has been dispensed – minimizing employee training
- Adds digital automatic espresso dosing with true electronic pre-infusion
- The hot water wand also allows you to make Americanos and brew tea with 100% fresh hot water
- The Musica’s boiler temperature is controlled by Sirai Pressurestat as Simonelli’s 2, 3, and 4-Group commercial espresso machines
- The steam pressure is displayed on the front-mounted pressure gauge, allowing you to precisely adjust the brewing temperature by raising or lowering the pressure
Nuova Simonelli Musica Pour Over Tank Version is a model that offers reliability and quality that’s been doing its service for a long time. And without a huge price. But the output is not nearly as peak as the Aurelia. It’s semi-automatic. It does have programmable sizes, like ristretto and espresso though.
This commercial espresso machine is compact. Able to make about 60 cups per day. It’s best for offices or small locations primarily.
This model has a soundproof pump. Comes with an insulated boiler with an exchanger. The product weighs 90 pounds. Capacity is 0.53 gallons. Power Usage – 110V, 1200 Watt. Dimension (L x W x H) – 13 x 16 x 17 inches.
- Affordable price for the machine
- Cup sizes are programmable
- Reliable brand name
- Pressure gauge front-mounted
- Digital LCD menu
- Insulated boiler
- Caps will be out at 60 cups
- Needs skill for making mixed coffee drinks
La Pavoni PUB 1EM-R-1 Group Commercial Espresso Machine
- The Push-button power indicator light lets you know when the machine is on and brewing
- The electro-valve system ensures consistent pressure for rich, crema-topped espressos
- Commercial-grade construction for durability
- Fully portable for catering events or taking your coffee shop on the road
- Hot water tap for making tea, hot chocolate, and more
This is a cute-sized professional espresso machine. It is capable and compact. As well as totally portable as long as you can lift around 80 pounds. It requires no direct plumbing. It’s practical for well-trained staff.
A semi-automatic with a 1.8-liter pour-in reservoir. It has a 6.5-liter boiler. It can make up to 150 shots of cappuccinos or espresso a day. An excellent choice for restaurants. Power Usage – 120V, 1500 Watt. Dimension (L x W x H) – 22 x 15 x 22 inches.
- Totally portable and compact
- Large boiler size
- Cup rack built-in
- Made of Stainless steel
- 1.8-liter reservoir
- Ranged at an affordable price
- It requires seasoned staff to mix drinks
- Pour-in reservoir
- Only two types of caffeine, cappuccino, and espresso, were dispensed
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine (V6)
- Make perfect espressos with the touch of a button
- Get high-quality design and performance in one machine
- Enjoy an easy-to-use and easy-to-clean machine
- With this product, you can expect professional performance and reliability
- Choose from 3 colors to fit your décor
Fitting porta filter handle same as the proven style of Rancilio commercial machines. Commercial grade group head offers extraction quality and excellent heat stability. Articulating steam wand gives the complete range of motion.
The steaming pressure is accurately controlled by the professional steaming knob. Its classic linear design fits most decors. Optional capsule and pod adaptor kit are available.
The single boiler has the largest volume capacity of 0.3 liters (12oz). The chrome-plated brass boiler generates outstanding steaming power. Between shots remarkable recovery time. Weighs 30.4 Pounds. Power Usage – Consumes lower than 0.5 Wh (Watt-hour). Dimension (L x W x H) – 9.20 X 11.40 X 13.30 inches.
- Easy to clean and fun to operate and experiment
- Doesn’t take up much counter space
- Very good for lattes and espresso
- Requires regular high maintenance
Recommended Super Automatic Espresso Machines As Commercial Espresso Machines
The commercial-grade super-automatic machines are much stronger than home models. They can output as much caffeine in one day as some people drink every week!
You can start your new small-scale cafe with one of those. We recommend that you buy a sophisticated coffee maker to avoid headaches that can tackle the high rate of daily drinking volume.
Unic, La Cimbali, Faema, Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, Cecilware, Franke, Schaerer, Jura, and Eversys are commercial-grade super automatic models. These are the best brands in the world in terms of super automatics. There are also other brands. Some of the Jura models are very popular for offices, including the W3, Giga 5, and Giga 6.
Nuova Simonelli Oscar II Espresso Machine
- New ergonomic steam lever, timed dosage, and improved steam wand for ultimate convenience
- Standard pod kit adapter with a left-to-right installation (optional head specified)
- Manual Dosing + Time, Push Pull Steam, Soft Infusion System for safety and ease of use
A semi-automatic espresso machine. Steam and brew at the Same Time. Group head 58mm. Features timed dosing. Has water shortage indicator.
To brew quality espresso it’s available with a 2.3 liter reservoir. Water source style: Pour-over. Used Steel as the build material. Weighs 13 pounds. Power Usage – Voltage: 110V. 1200Watt. Dimension (L x W x H) – 16 x 12 x 16 inches.
- Nuova’s signature steam pressure system with the lever
- The boiler is a heat exchange boiler
- Automatic shot timer controls
- Cupholder that can entertain up to 12 cups
- Oscar is able to work in both an office setting and at home
- It does not have a hot water spout
- Highly recommended using a good coffee grinder for this machine
Jura 15145 Automatic Coffee Machine WE8
- Perfect for coffee connoisseurs, Master Brewer allows you to craft your own specialty coffees with ease
- Intuitive TFT display and two grinders allow you to quickly brew your favorite drinks
- 19 individually programmable specialty coffees make creating complex beverages easy
- The bundle includes everything you need to make the perfect cup of espresso
Can make 12 barista-quality specialties. Including coffee, cappuccino, Jura’s Pulse Extraction Process, flat white, and latte macchiato at the press of one button. Precise and fast AromaG3 grinder. Grinds whole beans to the maximum fineness. Jura is not capsuled but always freshly ground, with a fresh taste with very minimal waste – the single-serve coffee machine. The perfect machine for any workplace. Ideal for self-service coffee bars and small offices.
101-ounce water tank. 17.6 ounces of bean container. Weighs 22 pounds. Fine milk/foam frother. Plastic-made body. Power Usage – 220 – 240V. Dimension (L x W x H) – 17.5 x 11.6 x 16.5 inches.
- Automatic machine with an affordable price
- 12 different programmable options
- 8 levels of different coffee strengths
- 3 hot water temperatures
- 2 brewing temperatures
- Pulse extraction system
- Reaches a maximum of 30 cups of specialty coffee per day
Jura 13623 Giga 5 Automatic Coffee Machine
Two high-performance grinders made for coffee grinding. From a practically wear-free technical ceramic guarantee precise, quick, consistent, and even grinding. The two spout dispenses the liquid into the cup. They can be smoothly height-adjusted and width-adjusted.
With the rotary switch, the recipes for 12 imaginative coffee creations are selected. The GIGA 5 model uses texts and images to clearly help you through all the preparation steps.
Quiet and fast as a whisper, thanks to two ceramic grinders. Water capacity 91.5 oz. Bean container capacity (x2) – 9.88 oz. Weighs 40 pounds. Power Usage – Voltage: 120V, 60 Hz. Dimension (L x W x H) – 20 x 17 x 13 inches.
- Easy to use and clean
- Brews coffee efficiently
- TFT color display
- Dedicated A.I. system
- High price tag
Heavy Commercial Espresso Machine For A Booming Coffee Shop
La Pavoni Bar T3
This model has 22.5 liters of boiler capacity and is able of making up to 800 cups of coffee every day, satisfying the cravings of the heaviest of users. We recommended it for busy restaurants, shops, and hotels.
Basically where it is necessary to supply high-quality coffee in mass quantities. Excellent engineering is done on this machine. Durable and well thought-out. Accessible for repairs. Requires a significant investment. No dual boiler though.
La Pavoni Bar T2
The one and only major difference between the two is that it has two group heads with a bit smaller capacity. However, the Bar T 2-Group is not a small machine at all. It has the capacity to serve up to 600 cups of espresso per day.
The boiler size is 14 liters. Like its big brother, the La Pavoni Bar T 2-Group is a faithful companion to baristas who need to provide their customers with frequently high-quality coffee.
T2 and T3 are perfect machines for small coffee shops, restaurants, and most similar establishments. It’s large enough and provides a good balance of features. Again another machine worth significant investment. Also, no dual boiler.
Things To Consider For Your Small Coffee Shop Business
It’s vital that you make a decision that will benefit you the most. In order to do that, we believe you consider these issues beforehand:
Before you go to purchase, consider your affordability for an espresso machine. The good news for you is that there are machines that can fit into any range of budget.
In fact, you will be surprised to find that there are so many espresso machines that are with great features and are also budget-friendly. If you have a bigger budget, more options will come with your machine. But don’t overlook your other necessities. The right machine, regardless of the price, will save you money in the long run. If your budget lets you then consider machines with the traits you need before thinking about the price.
Employees & Experience
If you have a high-end shop with veteran employees, use a semi-automatic espresso machine. If you often hire new artisans or if you are worried about consistency then pick an automatic espresso machine. If your employees are inexpert then using a pour-over machine will be beneficial.
At the same time, if espresso sales aren’t a large chunk of your business, then you may realize that a pour-over machine isn’t too troublesome on a day-to-day basis, especially on the whole how they are reasonably inexpensive compared to direct-connect models.
Additional features can add a fancier high-end quality to your coffee drinks. Such features can be built-in timers or programmable pre-infusion. They are important if you own a boutique coffee shop.
An impressive-looking machine will awe your customers and stimulate the mood of your shop. Try to imagine from a customer’s perspective regardless of having machines for small coffee shops or big.
Actually, many manufacturers like VictoriArduinoa and Nuova Simonelli, factor style into their designs too.
How Many Espresso Drinks Do You Make
The number of espresso sales you make is a factor also to think about.
Generally, an espresso machine is more powerful if the boiler is bigger. It means you can create more coffee drinks. The number of groups is another part to think about as more groups mean more shots can be made at once. For a lot of small coffee-sized shops, a single group machine is sufficient. But if you have a high level of sales, you may go for two groups.
You do not need all of the certifications. But having some guarantees on your machines’ standards will pass examinations for safety and sanitation officially.
How To Choose Best Commercial Espresso Machine
Commercial espresso machines live for one reason only. That is to keep up with the needs of a café business. They are way different from any home espresso machine for this reason only. They are designed to make frequently high-quality coffee throughout the day. No matter how crowded the coffee shop.
Yet, not all espresso machines are made equal. So which one do you conclude buying can have a major impact on your business? Just like giving the right name for your shop. That’s why you don’t have to race this decision.
To guide you make an educated decision, we recommend the four important factors listed underneath and find which commercial machine will do best for your business.
Semi-Automatic Vs Automatic?
From the days of steam-powered coffee machines, seasoned coffee makers have come a long way. What used to be a meticulous process of manually handling heavy levers, has become easy with today’s semi-automatic and super-automatic (a.k.a., automatic) machines.
Automation is indeed a blessing when you or your barista is drawing shot after shot from day to night. No matter which coffee machine you end up buying from the list above, you just can’t go wrong. But as a business owner, you still need to choose between semi-automatic vs automatic espresso machines. And not just because of only the primary upfront cost.
An automatic machine is the smarter preference for most businesses. Because it gives greater ease of operation and efficiency. You don’t require to grind the beans, tamp them. Even not worry about achieving harmonious levels of extraction.
It will also negate the need for long-winded staff coaching. Super-automatic espresso machines’ learning curve is gentle enough. Even for those who do not have preceding barista training or experience.
However, if you don’t anticipate serving hundreds of cups of coffee daily and you appreciate manual tweaking of the extraction process, a semi-automatic machine will evince to be the ideal addition to your appliance list.
Espresso Machine Capacity
Are you a local establishment providing specialty brews to a small number of refined customers? Will your café be serving every day hundreds of ‘to-go’ cups? How much space do you need to put the machine? How many baristas do you require to be able to utilize the machine simultaneously? These are all vital questions to ask before picking one from an array of commercial espresso machines.
A machine’s capacity is decided by the number of boiler and group heads. Most pro coffee machines have 2 to 4 group heads. The number of group heads determines how many baristas can use the machine at a time. Each head can produce two drinks at once. Do remember that a higher number option isn’t always better. You might get limited by the available space behind your counter.
Boiler capacity is also a key factor in opting for the right coffee machine. It should be big enough to give you enough hot water during busy hours. Normally, the more unit of heads a machine has, the bigger capacity the boiler has.
You should also consider the size of the machine in your mind. While a large machine will be costlier and need more space. The right size could improve your service time and the mobility of your staff.
Maintenance & Ease Of Use
Maintenance is a key issue for high-performance equipment for all professionals. This refers to both the everyday cleaning of the machine, as well as the simplicity of getting it serviced in case of technical issues. In the market today, almost all automatic espresso machines are designed to free your staff and yourself from the menial tasks of daily maintenance.
However, it is worth practically studying the individual models. Most automatic espresso models are self-cleaning. But they still require to be descaled frequently. They usually do not have separable group heads. That means you’ll have to rely on the machine’s self-cleaning capability.
You could go for an automatic commercial espresso machine that offers removable parts. It will allow you to do a manual deep cleaning every now and then. But you must have to train your staff first to perform the self-cleaning duties.
Semi-automatic machines generally feature detachable parts and have to be descaled manually. They’re also easier to maintain compared to their automatic counterparts. Because they don’t possess built-in coffee grinders or other sophisticated bits of machinery.
But whichever commercial-grade espresso machine you buy, make sure that it is stout. Also easy to repair in case of any technical problems. That is why it’s crucial to ensure that an espresso machine has generous warranty coverage.
The Espresso Shot
That’s all your customer’s going to bother about after all. Read user reviews on the quality, taste, and consistency of the espresso shot for each of them.
Since you’ll be coughing up some serious money on your espresso machine, you might want to observe your menu to realize what coffee drinks will be on offer.
We are hilariously hoping that our article will put your hours of “best commercial espresso machine small coffee shop”-type of internet surfing to an end. Whether you have opened or trying to expand your small business, the article covered espresso machine reviews, maintenance, and some overall business tips for you.
Even if you have already done your research about what your requirements are, made allocation for the overheads and equipment, and just want an overview of the best commercial espresso machines available in the market, our article covers those points of view too!
Now, it’s all up to your decision, and make sure to always check up on the specific machine reviews from the buyers.