Decades ago, customers are served with only one type of coffee when they go into a cafe or a restaurant. With big coffee chains like Starbucks entering the scene, people’s perception of coffee has changed. Specialty coffee beverages are on the rise and people can’t get enough of them. The good news is that you can easily whip up these drinks with the help of a commercial espresso machine.

If you’re planning to open a small cafe and you want to appeal to the wider audience, you need to invest in a commercial espresso machine. But with the increasing number of machines available in the market, finding the right one for your business can be challenging.

To help you make an informed decision and cut down your research time considerably, we have put together a guide in purchasing the perfect espresso machine for your business. There are a number of things to consider when shopping for a commercial espresso machine. Here are some of them.

How much espresso you need to make

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The first and most important thing you need to do when shopping for a commercial espresso machine is to determine how much espresso you need to make on a daily basis. Let’s say you’re planning to put up coffee shop or you’re currently running a busy restaurant. Estimate how many cups of espresso you’ll be serving your customers every day. This will be the determining factor when choosing the right machine for your business.

If you expect serve about 100 customers a day, then a medium volume machine will do. But if you intend to serve more than 200 cups of java a day, we highly recommend that you invest on a large capacity machine. A super-automatic is also recommended in this case. With this machine, you’ll be presented with completed drink with just a push of a button. The machine looks after every step for you so you can fire out delicious drinks all in quick successions.

To avoid disappointment, match the right machine to the job expected of it. Your goal is to choose a machine that delivers excellent value and a suitable ROI.

Quality and consistency

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When people line up in your coffee shop, they expect you to give them a cup of great-tasting coffee. To ensure that you provide your customers that perfect cup of delight, it is important that you invest in a good quality machine. Quality is an important factor that should never be overlooked when shopping for an espresso machine.

There are 3 types of commercial espresso machines to consider for your cafe or restaurant: semi-automatic, automatic and super automatic.

Among the 3, the semi-automatic is the cheapest. This machine is the right one for you if you have a master barista on your team. It is not as precise as compared to the 2 other options, so baristas need to be very well trained in order to get the shot right. An automatic espresso machine, on the other hand, comes with a computer board that delivers pre-set amounts of espresso. It guarantees a more consistent product, even if you need to produce a wide range of drink configurations. Because of this the majority of coffee shops use an automatic espresso machine. But if you want something that is nearly operator fool-proof, invest in a super-automatic espresso machine. It produces near identical product quality every time. It grinds coffee, packs it, brews the espresso and even ejects the grounds into a built-in dump box. These machines are expensive. But if you have the budget, they would be a great investment for your business.

Budget

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The price is always a big factor when shopping for a commercial espresso machine. Some business owners might be tempted to settle for a cheaper machine, thinking it would help them save money. But that’s not always the case. Although, there is no guarantee that the more expensive machines will perform better and will last longer; you shouldn’t just settle for an ordinary espresso machine. If it’s for your business, then you want to get the best espresso machine you can afford.

A basic espresso machine may cost about $1,000. Top of the line models are approximately sold for $40,000. The price difference is a bit too much. If you are going to use it for your business, then you want something that will last for a very long time. You may be able to save a few thousand bucks on a more affordable machine, but if it’s of low quality, then you’ll be forced to buy a new one in a matter of year or two. Invest in a good quality machine that you can use for a very long period of time. You should never cut corners when buying equipments for your business.

Cleaning and maintaining commercial espresso machine

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When it comes to espresso machines, regular cleaning and maintenance is of great importance. This will help improve your machine’s performance and prevent residue from clogging your filters. It also helps extend the life of your machine. Most importantly, a clean and well maintained machine produces the finest quality espresso.

Coffee beans contain essential oils. With each cup, a small amount of oil clings to the water screen of the machine. Over time, it builds up and affects the flavor of your coffee. It doesn’t matter if you choose the most expensive or best coffee bean. You’ll end up with foul tasting coffee if you fail to clean your espresso machine.

Every piece of equipment will have a slightly different cleaning process. Some machines have automatic cleaning and descaling cycles. For other machines, cleaning can be a little time-intensive. Some machines will only take you 15 minutes to clean; while others may take longer. For busy cafes and restaurants, choose machines that are easy to clean and maintain so it won’t disrupt your operations. Also, instruct your staff members to wipe the machine after every use and clean it by the end of the day. Descaling should also be done 3 to 4 times a year to keep it in tip top shape.