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If you’re looking to add espresso to your establishment’s menu, you’ll need a commercial espresso machine that can produce a high volume of delicious espressos consistently for an extended period of time. These durable machines are typically large, easy to maintain, and simplify the brewing process, thanks to features like touchscreens, programmable dosing, and PID controls.
Commercial espresso machines are costly, but they’ll make it easy to serve up a great cup of coffee to your eager customers. Combine that with stylish designs, and you’ll fall in love with what is easily one of the best coffee makers you can find.
Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about choosing the best commercial espresso machine for your business.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This extremely durable option is made with rugged stainless steel. This makes it an excellent choice for those who want longevity in their appliance. It also uses a three-way solenoid valve and a commercial steaming wand.
Rugged stainless steel is used in the construction of this espresso machine’s housing. That means it’s a tough system that should last a long time. This durable material is also highly hygienic, making is a great way to ensure your system can be thoroughly cleaned. Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of plastic used in the interior of this design. This isn’t a huge deal, but there are reports of some parts wearing out quicker than people would like.
It also features a chrome-plated brass that’s fully fit for commercial usage. It’s 58 millimeters thick. A commercial steam wand allows you to steam or froth your milk to make the perfect drink, like a latte, cappuccino, or mocha. You’ll enjoy the easy-to-use rocker switch controls that this unit comes installed with. It includes an espresso machine, water reservoir and lid, drip tray and cover, decompression duct tube, commercial double shot basket, and more.
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Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is a great option if you’re looking for a high-pressure system. It uses a this high pressure to extract flavor for the perfect cup. There is a pressure gauge built right in. It also features a high-capacity water tank.
You’ll enjoy the 15 bar pressure that ensures every cup tastes like a barista made it fresh. This system is kept in check by built-in pressure gauges that relay the exact pressure in the machine. These are both features that help this espresso machine create even, rich espresso. Keep in mind that some consumers have reported that their model started leaking water not too long after purchase. This may not be a good fit for you if that’s a dealbreaker.
There is also a built-in milk frother that will allow you to create drinks like lattes and cappuccinos with ease. After all, no espresso shot is complete without the other half of the ingredients necessary to make your beverage. You’ll receive a portafilter, stainless steel filter, and two manuals with this espresso machine. The 37 ounce water tank is the least impressive part of this design. It’s both transparent and detachable, so it’s super easy to fill.
Award: BEST FOR CONSISTENT TEMPERATURE
WHY WE LIKE IT: The double-pot design will help you make more drinks than competing models. Beyond this, they use a copper-zinc material, which is highly sought after for espresso machines. This machine also uses an electric heating system.
This semi-automatic option has a lot to offer, such as a built-in suction cycle. There is also a water capacity measurement system. Both of these features help regulate the water pressure, which is necessary to pull even, tasty shots of espresso. It’s why this espresso machine is able to brew perfectly for you every time. This is a rather large espresso machine that weighs 68 kilograms. Because of this, you might have difficulty finding space for it on your counter.
The powerful motor runs on 3750 watts of power. This makes it a potent choice for anybody who wants an espresso machine that will work hard and produce espresso that much quicker. It also has a copper zimu double pot design, an automatic air supply system, and a safe electric heating constant temperature system. These are all fantastic for making sure your espresso is created correctly and has an even distribution of flavor.
Award: BEST FOR PATENTED DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: This model offers automatic backwashing, making your life a lot easier when it comes to clean-up. It also has a patented portafilter design so you can ensure every sip of your beverage is just as good as the first.
The genuine Italian brew heads on this espresso machine are sure to please. They keep water distribution even over your espresso grounds so that there’s always even extraction of flavor. Italian brew heads are a fantastic choice for their quality and durability. However, this machine is not known for producing espresso as strong as some competitor models. If you’re looking for a genuinely bold cup, this won’t be an excellent fit for you.
There is also a simple keyboard control panel that keeps things efficient and simple. You can easily select whichever button you need to create the perfect cup for your purposes. This design is made out of durable, hygienic stainless steel. This material ensures that your machine won’t break down or begin growing mold if you clean it correctly and regularly. An automatic backwashing system rounds out the list of prominent features on this option.
Award: BEST FOR RETRO DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: An included water softener makes this espresso machine one sweet deal. This will help with calcification in your machine. It also uses dual-pressure gauge monitors to ensure the system extracts flavor correctly.
If you’re looking for something programmable, this is an awesome choice for you. It has an automatic coffee dosing system that will ensure the correct amounts of water and grounds are combined. There are two brewing heads so that you can make two coffee beverages at a time if you need to. The design is a double-edged sword, however. It might be a little too retro for some people for their modern tastes.
There are four positions offered in this espresso machine. You’ll be able to choose between off, sleep, 3/4, and full capacity settings because of the power saver switch. This will help you save a great deal when it comes to the electricity bill. The microprocessor and digital control pad are what control the dosing settings. You’ll also enjoy the thermal stability that this machine offers because the groups maintain a consistent temperature at all times.
Award: BEST FOR COMPACT DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: Only the golden standard for group heads is used in this design. It features a specialized group head specific to this brand. You’ll also enjoy the use of professional gauges, removing the worry of miscalculations.
There is a famous design hidden under the hood of this espresso machine. The famous E61 group head is the golden standard, and it’s exactly what is used in this model. This group head provides a perfect extraction of flavor. It keeps the distribution of hot water even and uniform. Some reports indicate that this model might have a habit of turning off while brewing. This problem shouldn’t persist as you continue to use it, however.
The thermosyphon system keeps circulating water through the group head, keeping it at an optimal temperature for brewing espresso. A group solenoid valve delivers a great cup of espresso for making drinks like lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, americanos, and more. This espresso machine uses a 2-liter copper boiler with a heat exchanger system. Because of this, you’re able to brew espresso and steam milk simultaneously.
Commercial espresso machines can make large volumes of espresso for espresso shots, cappuccinos, lattes, and other drinks that include espresso as an ingredient. While the majority of them are very large, you can find compact models as well. In fact, if you’re looking for a commercial espresso machine for a small coffee shop or for home use, we have a list for that, too.
Regarding cost, they are generally quite expensive, ranging in price from $5,000 to $30,000. But because they’re meant to handle large volume use, they’re made with excellent quality parts and materials. Of course, if espresso isn’t your thing, you may want to check out the best commercial coffee maker.
Professional coffee machines are built for a lot of traffic because they’re made for businesses that sell espresso or make espresso-based beverages. Since they’re built to handle heavy use daily, the size is one of the most apparent differences between commercial models and consumer versions. Commercial machines are much larger, although you can find some more compact models with a minimalist design.
Commercial espresso machines also use a dedicated water line. While there is some overlap in consumer and commercial espresso machines, it’s rare to find a home machine that needs to be hooked into the water supply. It only exists in very high-end models. Commercial machines also provide a greater level of control over brewing temperature and other factors than domestic espresso machines.
Another primary difference between a commercial espresso maker and a consumer model is that a commercial machine features a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certification. This certification ensures that the restaurant, coffee house, or business serving your drink uses an espresso machine meant for that purpose. Consumer units don’t have to qualify for this certification.
Cost is also another area in which they vary. As mentioned above, commercial espresso machines run anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000, while a consumer model may cost between $100 to $6,000. They can also make a lot more espresso in a shorter amount of time, making it possible to serve more drinks per hour.
Commercial espresso machines require a direct water feed. They hook directly into the water supply and run this water through a built-in filter. Commercial machines also have pumps that increase the pressure at which the water is forced through the puck.
The machine must create at least 9 bars of pressure, and commercial espresso machines use either a rotary pump or a vibratory pump to supply this pressure. Then, the water is heated at 200-212 degrees Fahrenheit.
In some cases, commercial espresso machines have proportional-integral-derivative controllers, or PID controllers, that help the barista control the temperature more accurately. They manage the level of heat to prevent inconsistency, so the final brew tastes how it should.
Consistency in water source, pressure, and temperature is critical for making the best tasting espresso. Commercial espresso machines can achieve this consistency much better than smaller consumer models. After the water is heated, it passes through the group head on the way to the cup. Water makes contact with the compacted grounds in the puck to create espresso.
Most commercial espresso machines also have a steam wand attached to the side of the machine that can be used to steam milk and add the texture needed to create lattes and cappuccinos. De’Longhi makes some of the best commercial machines, so check out the best De’Longhi espresso machine.
Commercial espresso machines are a must if you operate a business that sells espresso and other related beverages. Whether you are thinking about opening a coffee shop or your existing espresso machine is starting to wear out, a commercial espresso machine is a must.
Is a Commercial Espresso Machine Worth Buying?
Commercial espresso machines are meant to be heavy-duty and durable. They can handle huge volumes of espresso every day and still last several years. Even if you make 200-300 shots of espresso daily, you’ll still enjoy at least 7-10 years of quality espresso before you need to replace the machine.
Of course, with this much volume, you’ll also need to make sure you wipe and rinse the components of the espresso maker after every use. You should also deep clean the machine at the end of every day. Without proper maintenance, it won’t last as long.
If you’re looking for the best commercial espresso machine for you, there are plenty of factors to consider first. You’ll want to determine what type of pump to choose, your skill level, and whether or not you want a steam wand, among others.
Many experienced baristas will tell you that the pump is the heart of the espresso machine. It’s one of the most critical factors to determine before choosing the best commercial espresso machine for you. The pump is what gives the water the pressure it needs to push through the compacted coffee puck.
Both a rotary pump and a vibration pump are electric, so you don’t have to worry about creating pressure on your own using a lever and a piston. A rotary pump uses a motor to rotate a disc inside a chamber. As the disc spins, it creates pressure as water enters the chamber.
A vibration pump uses a piston attached to a magnet inside a metal coil. As electricity moves through the coil, it causes the magnet to move the piston back and forth, which pushes water through the machine.
Both pumps have advantages. Vibration pumps are cheaper, smaller, and easier to replace. Rotary pumps are quieter, can offer more consistent pressure, and will last a lot longer. It’s important to understand how each pump works before deciding which to choose.
There’s quite a bit of variation, even among commercial espresso machines. Which model you choose will depend on your skill level. Some are more complicated than others, and may be better suited for skilled baristas. The more complex the machine, the harder it may be to use and even harder to clean.
If you’re selling a variety of drinks that include espresso and steamed milk, you’ll want to make sure you have a steaming wand. It’s much easier to have a steaming wand built into your espresso machine because it can draw steam from inside the machine at just the right temperature to produce the texture you need.
The size of your commercial espresso machine will be directly related to how much volume you produce. If you’re a high-volume coffee shop, it makes sense to invest in a large machine that allows you to brew several shots of espresso at once. Slower shops or businesses that focus on things other than coffee may be able to get by with something smaller.
There are several different types of automation when it comes to commercial espresso machines. A semi-automatic machine is what most commercial machines are based on. The primary difference between a semi-automatic and an automatic machine is that the barista decides when to stop the shot rather than the machine stopping automatically. These machines also require you to grind and tamp the grounds yourself.
With a fully automatic espresso machine, you don’t have to control the brew time. They stop the flow automatically and can help you control the brewing process somewhat, but they still don’t do everything. A super automatic machine does nearly everything for you, including grinding and tamping.