If you love coffee, it means that you either brew it at home or visit your favorite vendor. More often than not is when you get better coffee from the shops than what you make but at an extra cost. At some point, you may ask yourself, is it hard to start a café? Well, you will need the best commercial espresso machine as a start plus a whole lot of other factors to consider.
- Commercial Espresso Machines Comparison Table
- Commercial Espresso Machine Reviews
- Commercial Espresso Machines Buying Guide
Since the machine is something that can make or break your business, you need to make a better choice of what you are going to use to lure potential customers. Here, I have collected five machines that fit commercial use. Read on to see what you can choose and the considerations to make before concluding on the buying decision.
Commercial Espresso Machines Comparison Table
If you are in a hurry, here is a table for you to see how the products fair from the top choice to the last one.
|Model Name||Machine Type||Unique Features|
|Breville BES980XL Oracle||Semiautomatic||Integrated grinder and espresso brewer.
Can make a variety of espresso related drinks.
|Rancilio Silvia||Automatic||Stainless steel housing.
Small machine with a commercial-grade portafilter.
Comes with accessories.
|Breville BES990BSSUSC||Automatic||Grinder and espresso brewer combined.
Triple heat system.
|Jura Impressa XS90 One Touch||Automatic||Touchscreen control.
Grinder and brewer combined.
Included cleaning schedule.
|Microcasa Semiautomatica||Manual||Vintage style.
Sight glass and pressure gauge included.
Commercial Espresso Machine Reviews
Breville BES980XL Oracle
The first item on the list is the Breville Oracle Espresso Machinethat will grind, dose and tamp for you before you make an espresso shot. As it makes lives more comfortable, this semi-automatic machine also comes with useful features that will make your shop the next stopover.
It is not cheap, but that is the general expectation in commercial brewers. On the other hand, once you acquire it, it will make all those coffee drinks you would like to sell – from espresso shots to Americanos. You have an option to program what you need out of it, but some processes such as purging are automated.
Since it’s semi-automatic, it gives you a chance to test your manual abilities. You, however, need to learn the art before proper use. At the top, there is a hopper for the beans and an integrated conical burr grinder. You can choose to grind the same amounts with the help of a button. The built-in tamper makes sure that the pressure is the same, as opposed to manual tampering.
The presence of a dual boiler in the BES980XL makes it possible to brew and steam. A 15-bar pressure system accompanies it. The added automation helps in creating a great cup of espresso and associated drinks even with less knowledge.
Accessing the water tank is eased by pressing down the lid on top, and you can fill the tank from there. You can also choose to remove the drip tray that swivels at the bottom to let you access it.
If you want to froth, there is a steam wand for the job. All you have to do is set it to auto (you can also use it manually), adjust the temperature, and that’s it. It has a sensor to show you when it reaches the desired temperature. After steaming, it will clean itself by forcing the steam out of the tip.
As for the temperature, it’s accompanied with PID technology. The Breville BES980XL brews a good shot between 190 and 205 degrees and the unit displays in F or Degree C.
- Automated grinding, tampering and steaming
- Built-in tamper
- Dual boiler system
- Automatic steam wand
- You can choose to automate or brew manually
- It’s quite expensive
- It is challenging when it breaks down
If you select the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine, you will get a machine that will serve a small restaurant for the next five years or so. It comes with a durable linear housing and a stylish design that has all the buttons and labels in the right place. The materials composing the espresso maker consist of iron and stainless steel, which is suitable for the upcoming barista.
To ensure optimal extraction and stable heat levels, the manufacturer includes a commercial group head making it a restaurant fit. Below the switches, you get a handy portafilter that renders extractions just like the heaviest industrial espresso machine you have witnessed. It is the same portafilter that Rancilio uses in their more substantial units.
It has a large tank to host 67 ounces of water. Since it’s a small machine that contains a single chrome-plated boiler, the designers had to make the most out of it to make sure it stands out as commercial grade. It holds 12 ounces giving enough steam power to brew quality shots.
To ensure that you have consistent heat, the Rancilio Silvia has three thermostats for the boiler, steam and espresso brewing. The water pump brings in 15 bars of pressure, which is the right amount to bring out the right flavor out of the coffee grounds.
While some users wish for a larger water reservoir, there is always enough water to make espressos and the related drinks. You can refill it as your progress. That way, nothing stops as you serve the customers. On the right side of the porta is an articulating steam wand, made of stainless steel. Controlling it is via the steam knob above it on the control panel.
Apart from the unit, the package also includes two filter baskets and a plastic tamper. Lastly, at the top of this machine is a warming surface that preheats the cups before you pour espresso shots.
- Extremely durable stainless steel construction
- Removable heating element for cleaning
- Small machine with high performance
- Comes with accessories for brewing convenience
- Does not have PID temperature control
- Not fit for busy restaurants
Breville BES990BSSUSC Fully Automatic
If you want a fully automatic espresso machine for your café, the Breville BES990BSSUSC model does everything for you once you input the necessary parameters.
It has a grinder that pulls the beans from the hopper at the top. The control panel has a touch screen that allows you to select what you want to brew by swiping and touching your preferred drink. You can also save up to 8 customized coffee settings depending on the orders you get from customers. Other operations include adjusting the grind, adjusting the temperature and whether you need one or two shots.
Since it comes with a grinder, you only need to set the course, and after the conical burrs are done, the machine damps 22 grams of tampered coffee in the portafilter. That is one of the qualities that make it a commercial fit. The temperature control system uses PID technology to make sure that it’s consistent as you use the unit. This machine even hits the portafilter before damping the coffee grounds!
How it works
It takes about 3-5 minutes for it to heat. As you brew, the water pressure is maintained at 15 bars using the OPV (Optimal Pressure Valve). That will prevent you from receiving bitter coffee after the pour. It also gently pressures the grinds for a slight expansion during extraction to maximize the taste.
The steam wand has a dedicated boiler for it and can automatically texture your milk as desired. You can choose to do it manually if you switch it up since the auto mode does not do it like a manual. The best part about the wand is that it will clean itself after use.
To make the temperature consistent, it has a triple-heat system. First is the steam boiler with an integrated heat exchanger for thermal stability. Second is the espresso boiler that has the PID controls to deliver the right water temperature, and third is a heated group head which is also PID controlled.
After buying the Breville BES990BSSUSC, you get a 2-year warranty for the repairs. If the device cannot be repaired, they always give back a new one.
- Fully automated which is great for beginners
- No need to measure the grounds
- An auto steam wand that has a manual option
- Touch screen control makes it easy to use and customize the drinks
- The steam wand is better when used manually
- At more than $2000, it’s a pricey unit
- Some say it is not suitable for lattes
Jura Impressa XS90 One Touch Automatic Coffee Center
Jura has been around since the early 1930s, and since then, it has been delivering quality machines for baristas to utilize. Now here is what they call the Jura Impressa XS90 One Touch Automatic Coffee Center that also includes a grinder. If you would like to grind and brew for your customers, quality beans are all you need after buying this unit.
The brewing chamber in this machine holds up to 16 grams of grounds, but it needs a minimum of 5 grams to get started. For you to get the right water and grounds mixture, the pump system has the 15-bar rating that commercial espresso makers require.
Durability and ease of use
When it comes to controls, you have buttons that allow you to change the amount of coffee to pour, brewing strength and the water temperature. You can also choose to fill in a single cup or two.
There is a multi-function button that allows you to change the settings based on the coffee drink you want to make. If you want a cappuccino, you can select the amount of milk you want to be dispensed.
The front and rear spouts are at the front part of the machine. One of them is responsible for pouring the rich espresso while the other adds some milk into it. What you will like about this machine is that it lets you know when it’s time to clean and maintain. The alerts appear on the digital screen above the four buttons.
Cleaning progress is also included in the tablets that come with the package. All you have to do is follow the simple instructions. After cleaning, go ahead and select up to 10 different coffee settings for the customers available.
Now, do you have requests to make decaf coffee? Jura has a bypass door on the side that allows you to use grounds from the store. Other features here for the Jura Impressa XS90 include sensors for the water reservoir and bean hopper and the temperature controls.
- Stylish design that suits modern café structuring
- Easy to use since its automatic
- One-touch settings
- Comes with cleaning instructions
- It will take time to figure out how to use it
- Since everything is automated, you may want a manual froth for the milk
The last one in the review list goes to an older model that will give your restaurant a vintage look. While it’s an excellent tool for making espresso shots, you need some manual skills and patience when operating the Microcasa Semiautomatica Commercial Espresso Machine.
It comes with a brass eagle at the top, and the wings design make it elegant. At the bottom, the 10-inch base holds three buttons for powering up the unit, brewing coffee and refilling the boiler. A vacuum breaker guides the brewing mechanism by turning it on or off using the appliance timer, or you can choose to keep it running.
You have to wait for it to heat up since it takes 15-30 minutes. For quality espresso extraction, the puck needs a maximum of 16 grams for the double and 10 grams for a single draw. There are other baskets you can use but make sure the dosage does not exceed 20 grams of ground coffee.
You need brewing skills
It’s all manual here, so you need a grinder and a tamper for the portafilter. You need to hold the unit when fitting the porta as you pay attention to the clearance below. It, however, fits in tightly once done the right way. If the Microcasa has stayed for a more extended period before starting, it’s advisable to run the pump first which takes a maximum of 5 seconds.
For cappuccino lovers, you can steam the milk as the extraction goes on and be sure to finish before it’s over. After heating, always make sure to purge and wipe it clean. You also need to clean it often for maintenance and to reduce corrosion.
The water tank holds enough water for the next 9-10 shots before refilling. You should, however, watch the sight glass level and make a point of refilling when it’s past ½ full. For longer service time, refill the boiler with distilled water to avoid scaling issues.
One of the areas that may need improvement is the lack of a warming tray for the cups.
- Old model design with a brass logo at the top makes it look stylish
- Great for those who want manually brewed espressos
- You can use it to steam as it extracts
- Not an excellent choice for beginners
- Takes a longer time to warm up
- Lack of a warming tray
Commercial Espresso Machines Buying Guide
After going through the various espresso machines that qualify to start your coffee canteen, are there other things worth considering? Here is a guide for you to help you sort out the factors.
Check The Customer Capacity
One of my readers once asked if a specific espresso machine is fit for commercial use. I gave him an answer that did not fully answer the question. Why? Because it depends on how many people you serve and when you do it.
You see, operating a coffee machine as you attend to customers needs a realistic evaluation. When are they flocking to my place and when are there no customers at all? After that, calculate how many cups you can brew in one hour.
If you look at the coffee drinking habit, most of the customers arrive in the morning hours. Since making customers wait is bad for business, look for a machine that can sustain the flow of customers in the busiest hour.
Consider The Flow Limitations
One thing that should be on your mind is the flow during the busiest hour and not the flow during the whole day. There is a reason why starters need simple machines while professionals want something sophisticated. Check the number of shots you can pull in an hour with your choice to know whether it suits the traffic or not.
Commercial Espresso Machine Features
If you look at espresso brewers that fit home use, some remarkable features make it easy to brew. In commercial types, they come with all sorts of specifications, but they can be grouped as follows:
- Manual lever: Such machines require you to pull a lever for the water to go through during brewing.
- Semiautomatic: This one has manual and auto aspects combined. You are the one who decides when it’s time to discontinue the shot.
- Automatic: Everything is via control of buttons and knobs and the machine under this category automatically shuts off.
Choosing a machine in one of the categories above depends on what you want and the level of coffee making experience. Some of us will like to pull a lever while others will want a mixture of both. For beginners, it’s always better when operating with a fully automatic then learn the manual processes later.
Remember The Grinder
What we have reviewed above includes espresso machines with mills at the top like the Breville and Jura models. That means when you choose one that grinds and brews the coffee, the problem is somehow solved.
At times, you need a separate espresso machine and a dedicated grinder. One of the primary reasons for that is to keep up with the flow of customers by not overloading tasks in one whole unit.
Some people say that the grinder is more important than the brewing unit. While it is a point open to discussion and criticism, consider the following situation:
- Your espresso can make up to 30 cups per hour, but your grinder can handle half the number.
That means that your grinder will be dragging your workflow. Therefore, consider a grinder that can match the espresso machine rate.
Lastly, you will always find grinders that are advertised to work like horses. You should always check how they perform to verify how to handle your customers. Some machines will fit a busy restaurant while others can only serve in a small joint. What are you setting up? The answer to that question should be a guideline to the espresso machine for your business.