A guide to buying espresso machines when starting a new café business.
August 27, 2019
It can be overwhelming to choose the right equipment for your new cafe business. Do you need a semi-automatic espresso machine or one with variable pressure settings? There’s a lot to take into consideration when buying one.
Learn how to choose the right espresso machine for your startup cafe by reading this guide.
Know the Types of Espresso Machines
Choose the right equipment for a successful cafe business. Start by knowing the different types of espresso machines. When making espresso, heated water is pushed under pressure via a “puck” of packed finely-ground coffee. Because there are three different ways to create this pressure, espresso makers come in three types, including stovetop, pump-driven, and lever-operated espresso machines.
Stovetop espresso pot uses steam to produce pressure to make espresso while pump-driven espresso machines use a pump. Lever-operated espresso machines or lever espresso machines force the heated water from the pressure created behind the piston. The pressure comes from the effort of the person pulling the lever manually.
Know the Types of Pump-driven Espresso Machines
When someone mentions “espresso machine,” most people think of a pump-driven espresso machine that uses an electrical pump. For the best quality espresso extraction, at least nine bars are required to produce the right pressure.
Here are the different types of espresso machines:
- Semi-automatic Espresso Machines: This type of pump-driven espresso machine has a small lever or switch on the front panel. It’s used to start and stop the process of espresso extraction.
- Fully Automatic Espresso Machines: A fully automatic espresso machine contains a programmable microprocessor to extract specific volumes for specific espresso drinks. There are multiple buttons, one button for the most favorite coffee espresso, another button for doppios, a third button for Americanos, and a fourth button for ristrettos.
- Super-Automatic Espresso Machines: These pump-driven espresso machines are also called espresso centers that contains all the best features of a fully automatic espresso machine. In addition, super-automatic espresso machines have a built-in coffee grinder. You can put roasted coffee beans into the hopper, and push the button that corresponds to the coffee drink you desire. You don’t have to grind the coffee beans on your own, making this type of pump-driven espresso maker very convenient to use.
- Ultra Automatic Espresso Machines: It’s equipped with the features of a super-automatic espresso machine. Also, it froths and steams milk automatically, which is a relatively new feature for new commercial espresso machines.
Factors to Consider When Buying An Espresso Machine for Your Cafe
For you to have the most control in making the best espresso, you need to choose the right equipment. The flavor and aroma of espresso are influenced by the pressure, temperature, grind size, and extraction time. That’s why you have to consider the following when buying an espresso machine for your startup business:
- Space or installation site: Espresso machines come in different size requirements.
- Espresso quality: Take into account the time to prepare espresso and available labor or workforce for fast preparation of espresso for your customers.
- Target consumers: paying customers, family, friends, colleagues
- Personal preferences: manufacturer, design, country of production
- Features: For instance, some machines have a fine adjustment to highlight flavors, accentuate acidity, or mask defects.
Features to Consider When Buying a New Espresso Machine
Making espresso requires the right amount of pressure. That’s why you have to know the number of boilers that your prospective espresso machine has for stable pressure. Go for at least two boilers for consistent pressure, especially in peak periods when the influx of customers is high.
Here are the other features you need to look for in a good-quality espresso machine:
- The number of Group Heads: Prevent backorders by investing in an espresso machine with more than two group heads. You’ll need a large space for it and more time to clean, but it’s all worth it if it would mean happy and satisfied customers.
- Energy-saving Options: Large espresso machines need more power. However, you’ll find some models with energy-saving options.
- Water Management Features: Water may have excessive chloride content or low pH that can cause corrosion of stainless boilers. That’s why you might need to install a carbon block or reverse-osmosis system. Check with your seller if the espresso machine possesses water management features.
- Power: Every espresso machine differs in input voltage. The warranty terms usually require an electrician to ensure that your voltage matches with the espresso machine. You might need a boost transformer. It’s used to bring the voltage as close as possible to the machine’s specification sheet. Add a surge suppressor to protect your breaker panel against lightning strikes.
When it comes to choosing the right espresso machine for your business, you have to decipher the type, features, and quality of espresso you prefer. The best espresso machines don’t come cheap. If you want high-quality espresso for your customers, invest in a high-quality espresso machine. Attract more customers by serving the finest quality espresso and other types of coffee in your new cafe.
After graduating from the University of Technology (Sydney) with a Business Degree he studied and practiced in the building industry as a carpenter – followed by a long period of world travel. Versatility and life experience is the name of the game.
After becoming a Barista in 2014, his love for coffee pushed him to create homegrounds.co and blog about coffee.