As any seasoned barista will know, that even with years of skill and experience you have in the trade, you can easily be let down by outdated, poor performing or unsuited pieces of equipment. This is particularly accurate when it comes to coffee and espresso machines, in a full industry you need every edge for your café to stand out and keep your customers coming back for more, that’s why it’s essential to select the right espresso machine to get the results you want. The equipment you choose must also be budgeted for and be able to provide a cost-effective commercial solution and a return on investment, here are some things you need to consider before you buy.
What you need to consider before buying a commercial espresso machine
The volume of your business: The level of activity your establishment receives is one of the most important deciding factors, taking the size of your business with how busy it is at your peak times will help determine the capacity you need from your espresso machine, Commercial coffee and espresso machines generally are made in either two, 3 or 4 group heads which are capable of producing 4, 6 and 8 drinks respectively.
Budget: As commercial espresso machines can be more massive duty pieces of equipment they can come with a heftier price, the price of machines with a specific number of group will fluctuate due to other factors, including brand, the mechanics and extra features. It’s important to note that the cost of an individual coffee machine can vary dependant on if additional features or warranty are bought
For example, the Francino Bambino automatic 2 group coffee machine Ranges from £1,485 to £2285 dependant on whether you buy the new coffee grinder and knock out drawer.
Choosing the right espresso machine
Group heads: This term refers to the component on an espresso machine that allows the connection to a portafilter when espresso is extracted, hot water is forced through the group head under pressure. The group head evenly distributes the water over the espresso grinds in the portafilter basket which is then released as hot ready to drink espresso.
Each group can make two shots of espresso at a time. A compact commercial espresso machine will feature typically only 1 group head where ‘as a standard model will feature group 2 or 3, and a higher capacity machine will incorporate 4 group heads./p>
Having more group heads will increase the amount of coffee you can produce at any given time, however, although they offer the potential of more drinks at once, some limitations may affect this benefit, for example:
- The number of baristas working at the same time
- The skill and experience of the baristas
- The size of the machine's boiler
- The speed of the coffee grinder
Automatic vs Semi-Automatic
Semi-Automatic Machines: These machines typically feature an automatic pump and temperature controls for the boiler but are named semi-automatic as an activation switch is required to engage and disengage.
Automatic Machines: what separates these machine’s form semi-automatic espresso machine is that they feature automatic and frequently programmable settings as well as present options that can be selected.