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Commercial Coffee Machines for Businesses

Commercial Coffee Machines

Commercial coffee machines are very different from coffee machines typically used in the home. Usually larger and more expensive, they are robust pieces of equipment designed to function all day long rather than to produce the odd cup of coffee.

In a commercial environment serving customers such as a café, restaurant or coffee shop, the main type of machines used is an espresso machine. For hotel breakfasting areas where self-service is in operation, bean-to-cup machines are the preferred option for fresh coffee.

Here is a guide to what you need to know when you are thinking about investing in a coffee machine for your own business.

Espresso Machines

Espressos are used as the base for many types of coffee drinks. Consisting of a strong shot of coffee or decaf, espressos can be served on their own or made into other drinks including Lattes, Cappuccino, Americano, Macchiato and other speciality varieties.

A high-quality espresso machine will produce an excellent cup of coffee and ideally the machine should be operated by a trained barista as the choice of coffee bean makes all the difference.

The process for making a coffee is typically more involved than with other types of coffee machines, consisting of grinding the beans, compressing them into the handle, steaming or frothing the milk and creating the desired drink using flavours if needed.

Many espresso machines can also be used with ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) pods which makes the process more convenient and less messy.

Espresso machines from leading brands like Gaggia and Wega always look impressive, and they can enhance and complement the aesthetics of the establishment.

They are often the best option where served espresso coffee is a large part of your service, particularly if you wish to prepare drinks for your customers in the traditional way.

Espresso machines can make multiple shots at the same time, usually in groups of two. The size of the machine and the number of steam wands will determine the number of operators that can use the machine and the number of cups that can be made simultaneously.

They are usually fairly easy to clean, and they can be completely cleaned at the end of the day. However, the steam arms require more regular cleaning during the day.

Options for Espresso Machines

Espresso machines come in all shapes and
sizes, and they can have various features
depending on your needs. Some of the features
you may want consider are:

  • Integrated bean grinder
  • Built-in water filter (necessary for continued
    warranty cover)
  • Compatibility with ESE pods
  • Mains water supply or high capacity tank
  • Cup warming and storage
  • Range of sizes and multiple cup options
  • Single or multiple pressure gauges
  • Colour matched accessories such as grinders

Is a commercial espresso machine right for me?

With its traditional looks and hands-on
preparation method, an espresso machine is the
perfect choice if you want to provide customers
with an authentic, aromatic coffee experience –
like the smell of freshly baked bread, the smell of
fresh coffee is quite unique and appealing.

Bean-to-Cup Machines

Bean-to-cup machines are perhaps the most convenient option for making coffee in commercial settings. They simply involve filling the beans into the machine, ensuring there is an adequate milk supply and pressing a button, allowing the operator to focus on other tasks while the coffee is being made.

These machines will produce coffee in a similar way to espresso machines however they are compact equivalents that are pre-set to grind the beans, deliver the coffee base and add the pre-frothed milk in measured doses. Ideal for self-service, they require less maintenance but can still deliver a large number of cups per hour which helps cater quickly at busy periods without the need for supervision.

The quality of coffee produced is very high as long as the machine is also of a high quality, is well maintained and is filled with good quality beans. The coffee produced is very consistent, so you know exactly what you are getting each time.

Bean to cup coffee machines are capable of being programmed to make a wide selection of coffee based drinks, all at the press of a button. Whether you want an espresso, cappuccino, latte or something more adventurous, the machine will take care of everything.

Cleaning a bean-to-cup machine is very simple, and is usually carried out once a day (depending on the volume of drinks dispensed) but either way, the machine will advise you when it needs cleaned. These machines do not have the same traditional aesthetic appeal and level of barista interaction as espresso machines, but this may not be important for your establishment.

Options for Bean-to-Cup Machines

A wide variety of bean-to-cup machines are
available on the market, some of which have a
large range of features. These can include:

  • High number of customisation options for strength,
    drink varieties, temperature and grind
  • LED or TFT display and touch controls
  • Separate compartment for decaffeinated beans or
    chocolate powder
  • Memory function for favourite or popular drinks
  • Mains water or high capacity tank
  • Integrated milk supply

Is a bean-to-cup machine right for me?

Consistently good coffee whatever the style;
bean to cup machines are simple, convenient
and easy to operate, and can even be used by
customers themselves.

Which Coffee Machine to Choose?

The machine that you choose will depend largely on the type of establishment that you run. An espresso machine can add style and a sense of tradition to your restaurant, café or hotel, and as long as the barista is well trained, the coffee will always be of a high quality. If you need to produce numerous drinks at a time during busy periods, large espresso machines are also ideal for this purpose.

Bean-to-cup machines could be more suitable if you don't want to train staff up regularly. For example, if you experience a high staff turnover, it may not be in your interests to invest time in training up baristas to use the machine. They could also be a more suitable option if coffee is not the main focus of your business and you just want to be confident your customers can enjoy a consistently good cup.

Another advantage of some of the higher volume bean to cup machines is that they can be set to charge for the drink of choice – or be set to free vend if that is more suitable.

For more information

To find out more about the different types of coffee machines available and the one that would work best for your business, get in touch with our team. We'll answer any questions you may have and be able to talk through the options.

If you're ready to buy a machine, we're confident our prices are the best available and include delivery, filters, installation and training as standard.

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