Setting up your own coffee-making business is no small feat. There is so much detail that goes into the process of building and running a coffee business, but one of the most important elements to consider is the coffee machine that will be in charge of making your caffeine creations.
As critical as every other step in the process is- from the initial concept to the menu to the bricks and mortar building- the machines themselves are arguably the element that could make or break a coffee business before it has a chance to get off the ground.
The machines are going to be creating your coffee and if they don't work well with your recipes, it could end in disaster.
We’re here to help you when it comes to deciding on a coffee machine that will best suit your coffee shop.
There are various kinds of commercial coffee machines available- including traditional pour-over makers and technologically advanced machines- and we are going to be taking a look at the best of all of them to help you on your way to picking out the coffee machine that is right for you and your business.
In terms of what a commercial coffee machine is, they are machines made up of construction and commercial components so that they can last longer in environments where they will be used frequently, such as lounges, cafés, offices, and of course, coffee shops.
Now that we have a grasp on what a commercial coffee machine is, let's take a look at some of the best ones that could easily slot neatly into your coffee shop!
Automatic Coffee Machines
An automatic, commercial coffee machine can be defined rather broadly as a machine that can prepare coffee according to certain specifications input by the users, such as the intensity of the flavor.
It can stop its process by itself, so whilst it is necessary for a barista to start the process, there is no hassle with having to worry as to when you need to stop it. Basically, it makes coffee automatically (if the name wasn't a dead giveaway!).
These types of coffee machines are essential in coffee shops due to the fast-paced nature of a shop environment.
With customers coming in and out frequently, you're going to need a machine that can not only withstand the pressure of constant use, but also be quick enough to keep up with the hectic demands of caffeine-hungry consumers.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some particularly excellent choices when it comes to automatic coffee machines.
OUR TOP PICK
This coffee machine is designed for use in an office, but it could easily be adapted to become part of a setup in a coffee shop. The Keurig K155 has a contemporary style that could easily fit into a wide range of coffee shop themes and decor styles.
As well as having a modern design, it utilizes modern technology to create coffee. A touch screen interface allows the user to adjust a variety of settings, such as brewing temperatures and the choice of automatic on and off settings.
Having a choice of the level of automated control is incredibly useful for a coffee shop, as you can change the settings around for different situations, such as making the automation more precise on busier days and lowering it for quieter shifts.
You can also change settings such as the time and the language, which is another helpful feature for a commercial coffee maker.
This machine also offers over 500 different varieties of coffee, tea, specialty beverages, and iced beverages from well-known and loved brands.
This could give your customers a huge selection if utilized in a coffee shop, which is always going to be a positive point.
There are four brew sizes available with the K155: 4 ounces, 6 ounces, 8 ounces, and 10 ounces.
These sizes can be customized in terms of brew strength too, from strong to mild, which is another essential factor for a coffee shop where you are going to be taking orders from a wide spectrum of people, all of whom have different tastes when it comes to their coffee fix.
A 90-ounce water reservoir allows for a lot of coffee to come out of just one boil- with quiet brew technology and a boil time of less than a minute- and the easy use drainage system lets you drain and remove hot water from the internal hot water tank simply and efficiently in order to safely transport and store the machine elsewhere.
This is certainly a versatile automatic coffee machine that would be a fantastic choice for a coffee shop due to the sheer amount of choice that it offers combined with the efficient inner workings of the machine.
- Offers a huge variety of coffees and other warm and iced drinks.
- Quick and quiet boiling.
- Safe and easy drainage system for transport and storage.
- LCD touchscreen that integrates a wide range of programmable features.
- Spacious, 90-ounce water reservoir.
- Very versatile.
- Designed for office spaces, but could easily be adapted to a coffee shop.
- Not just a coffee machine, which might not be helpful if you have a business that is solely focused on coffee as a beverage.
Also available on KeurigCoffeeMachines.com
The Grindmaster P400E is a beast of a coffee machine, holding up to 1.5 gallons and featuring two air gap insulate shuttles that allow coffee quality, taste, and freshness to be maintained.
It offers safe transportation of coffee too, without the risk of any nasty burns, thanks to the shuttle lid locks and the insulated handles.
The P400E has both full and half-batch capabilities of coffee brewing, making for a machine that provides less waste when your business hours are at low volume.
As well as that, this machine offers a built-in hot water faucet that provides flexibility and ease, allowing you to create piping hot tea during the coffee brewing process with no interruptions.
Speaking technically, the Grindmaster P400E has to be hardwired, as it does not come with a plug or a cord.
A handy specification sheet that comes with the machine gives you all the details that you need for installation, as well as any additional information needed in terms of electronics.
The whole package includes one twin brewer- which has stainless brew baskets- two stainless steel CS-LL shuttles and a pack of stainless steel legs for the brewer to be mounted on.
This option is a more professional level of automatic coffee machine that is best suited for businesses such as coffee shops.
- Half batch and full batch brewing capabilities.
- Air gap insulate, stainless steel shuttles/
- Insulated handles.
- Shuttle lid locks.
- Built-in hot water faucet.
- No power supply is provided.
- One of the more expensive options.
BUNN is a name you are going to be seeing a few times on this list! Known for its high-quality coffee machines, BUNN has a coffee maker for every occasion, whether it's for home use or commercial use.
The Axiom 15-3 is a brilliant choice for commercial use thanks to a large, 200-ounce tank- which is excellent for the sort of back-to-back brewing that is necessary for a coffee shop.
On top of that, this machine also offers a SplashGard funnel specifically designed to deflect any wayward hot liquids away from your hands should you spill anything. An energy saver mode also lets the tank temperature be reduced whilst not being used.
One of the great things about this machine is that it adjusts automatically to different variations in water pressure, which is particularly useful in a coffee shop where there are a million other things that you need to be thinking about at the same time.
The 15-3 has various automatic features that allow you to focus on running your coffee shop rather than running back and forwards to the machine constantly, such as an automatic warmer timer (as well as a cold brew lock-out), that aforementioned energy saver mode and the use of BrewLOGIC technology, which automatically calculates the flow rate and adjusts the brewing time so that consistency can be maintained when it comes to the coffee pot levels.
The strength of the coffee is also controlled with a variable by-pass, which is a handy feature.
Even the parts of the 15-3 that aren't automatic are simple and easy to use, such as the controllers for the coffee extraction and the digital temperature control. The machine is easy to install as well due to the front of machine programming.
With useful automatic features and a simple installation process, this particular coffee machine is another that is fantastic to be used commercially.
- Large water tank.
- Energy saver mode.
- Automatic functions.
- Quick and easy installation.
- SplashGard funnel to avoid accidental burns.
- Coffee freshness is maintained due to an automatic warmer time-out and cold brew lock-out.
- Built-in hot water faucet.
- Decanters are not included.
Also available on BUNN.com.
Pour-Over Coffee Makers
Pour-over coffee is made from a slightly different method than your run-of-the-mill coffee. As the name suggests, pour-over coffee is created with a “pouring” method, as hot water is poured over the coffee grounds through a filter.
It is a simple brewing process that is well known, with various machines integrating the pour-over method. Let's take a look at some of the best options of pour-over coffee makers for commercial coffee shops.
Back to the BUNN brand first with one of their takes on the pour-over coffee machine.
The VPR-2GD can brew around 3.8 gallons of coffee per hour, which would be perfect for a coffee shop where a constant flow of joe is necessary to keep your business running smoothly!
It is also durable, made from stainless steel internal components, to ensure a strong and sturdy machine that isn't going to leave you in a mess by suddenly breaking down. It also has a modern black finish, making it perfect for coffee shops with a contemporary vibe.
A SplashGard funnel keeps you well protected from particularly hot splashes if you need to move the machine (it is completely portable, so you can do this whenever you need to).
One of the most useful features of this pour-over coffee machine is that the brewer doesn't need any plumbing to function, making it a versatile machine that can be used in a wide variety of shop styles.
The VPR-2GD also comes with two glass decanters that are ready for use straight away.
With such an easy method of brewing coffee- all you have to do with this machine is pour cold water into the top, and it will begin the brewing process- and no plumbing required, this choice of pour-over coffee machine would be perfect should you choose to utilize it in your coffee shop.
- Uses the simple yet effective pour-over coffee method.
- Durable thanks to the strong internal components.
- SplashGard funnel for safety against burns.
- Can produce 3.8 gallons of coffee per hour.
- Modern black finish.
- No plumbing is required.
- Comes with two decanters.
- Not much variety in terms of what it can make.
Also available on BUNN.com.
SYBO also offers a pour-over coffee machine that would be a great choice for shops as it can brew around 12 servings of coffee in less than ten minutes!
The SF-CB-1AA has a 74-ounce capacity and uses vacuum insulation technology to maintain hot temperatures for 12 hours and cold temperatures (for iced drinks) for 24 hours.
This is also thanks to the insulated stainless steel. This stainless steel makes up most of the main build of the coffee machine, allowing for both rust and stain resistance.
An indicator light can be found on the top of the machine to keep you aware of when it is working and when the coffee is ready.
This can be very handy when working in a busy shop environment, as it can be easy to get caught up in various tasks and forget about where you are up to with your coffee brewing!
As with the BUNN pour-over coffee maker, the SYBO choice is also incredibly easy to work with and is user-friendly. A pour spout can open up with a simple button press, whilst the drip-free design keeps messes at a minimum.
A largemouth opening makes general maintenance and cleaning of the machine easier than ever before, whilst the multi steam spray head evenly sprays hot water over the coffee grounds for that perfect poured-over taste.
A well-sized flat-bottomed funnel and filter system creates superior flavor thanks to the flawless interaction between the coffee grounds and the hot water.
The removable filter lid also makes it easy to clean and easy to refill, whilst the hinged water tank lid keeps the contents of the machine free from any external contamination.
This is another great choice as a commercial coffee maker should you want to utilize the pour-over method of coffee brewing.
- Can make up to 12 servings in ten minutes.
- Filter grid with removable light.
- Indicator light.
- Vacuum insulation technology allows for temperature retention.
- Manages up to 74 ounces.
- Stainless steel components.
- Not as automated as the other options we have discussed here.
Also available on SYBO.US
Best Commercial Coffee Machines For Coffee Shops Buying Guide
When looking for a commercial coffee maker, there are several factors that you need to consider so that you can choose the machine that suits you and the needs of your business as perfectly as possible.
Let's take a look at a few of these factors to help you on your way to making that decision on a commercial coffee maker.
As with most things in life, you have to set yourself a budget so that you don't end up massively overspending for a product that you don't need.
This is even more important when you are buying a product for commercial use, especially something like a coffee machine, thanks to the adoration that the human race has for their caffeine fix!
Maintaining a sensible budget is easier said than done, but you'll need to be able to do so to find the coffee machine that suits you, your business and your commercial brand as best it can.
We have only looked at two different kinds of coffee makers here- automatic and pour-over- but there are so many to choose from, and they can vary from the simplistic to the surprisingly complex.
To be basic about it, every coffee machine will fit into either the category of manual or automatic, but there can also be tons of other factors within those two vast categories that make for a range of different machine types, such as percolators, espresso machines, and French Press machines to name a few.
With this in mind, it is crucial to nail down exactly what kind of coffee you are going to be serving before you make a purchase.
Durability and Manufacturing Guarantees
Nothing is worse than a product breaking down a few months, weeks, or even days after you purchased it!
This is all the more important when it comes to using a product in a commercial business, as a malfunction or breakdown can lead to loss of business days and therefore a loss of profit.
With the popularity of coffee shops all over the world, this is certainly an essential factor that needs to be considered before making a purchase. Make sure that the machine you are looking at is made of durable materials.
You can always check reviews online to see what other consumers have said about a certain coffee machine that catches your eye. Look out specifically for any review that mentions sturdiness to get a bit of insight into the machine, be it a positive or a negative review!
It's best to keep an eye out for brands that offer certain warranty periods or money-back guarantees, too, just to give yourself some extra protection should things go wrong.
Speed of Brewing
This is another important factor that can be crucial for a coffee shop, especially one for shops that tend to have particularly busy periods, such as a morning or lunchtime rush.
You need to be able to serve your customers in a timely manner, and whilst waiting a few minutes or so isn't going to be a hassle for most people, any longer than that, and you face the risk of disappointing clientele and painting your business in a negative light.
Always check the speeds of brewing when purchasing a commercial coffee machine, and invest in a speedy brewer that doesn't sacrifice quality.
Adjustable temperatures are a must if you want to cater to the varying tastes of your customers. Some prefer boiling hot coffee, whilst others prefer it mild or even lukewarm.
Being able to regulate temperature with your coffee machine will save you a lot of hassle in the future as well as keep customers happy.
A user-friendly coffee machine can cut down on the time it takes to prepare drinks for customers. Not only that, but it can also make the staff members that work to make the coffee much happier and more content in their jobs.
There is nothing worse than a needlessly complex product that is more of a hindrance than a help to your business, nor is there anything worse than upset employees and angry customers! Make this one a priority to avoid any difficulties in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Commercial Coffee Machines Work?
Commercial coffee machines utilize the same basic process that every other coffee machine does in that water and coffee grounds or coffee beans go into the machine, the water is boiled and filtered through the coffee, and it then ends up in a cup ready for human consumption!
There are a lot of different methods and ingredients that can go into making coffee, but the absolute base method is the same for all coffee machines, including commercial ones.
Why Is It Important To Clean A Commercial Coffee Machine?
This might seem like an odd question, as it is obvious that a commercial coffee machine is something that needs regular cleaning and maintenance.
However, it is essential to note that not only will a build-up of coffee reside lead to bacteria and bitterness, but it could also potentially damage your machine (and your reputation!).
How Often Should A Commercial Coffee Machine Be Cleaned?
Depending on the different tasks that your coffee machine undertakes, it needs to be cleaned regularly (as in not just daily, but also weekly and monthly too).
Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding how you should go about cleaning your coffee machine, as each brand is likely to utilize a different method, and you don't want to end up accidentally breaking something by using the wrong cleaning products!
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