Buyer’s Guide for Commercial Espresso Machines
Finding just the right commercial espresso machine can initially be intimidating, but singling out the perfect machine that fits your needs doesn’t have to overly stress you out.
Check out the following guide which will take you through some of the major elements that need to be considered before you finalize your decision.
One of the biggest things you need to decide is the number of group heads you want your machine to have, and this decision will be based mostly on the kind of output you expect your machine to be performing.
The vast majority of the time, middle-sized machines with two or three group heads will suit your business needs, as only extremely high-output establishments will require four group heads, and one group head machines are only suited to establishments with a very low output (like a restaurant where coffee orders are somewhat rare). In some cases, however, you may want to get a four group machine even if you don’t need it simply for style (more below).
Another major consideration is the size of your boiler, which will determine the amount of hot water and steam that your machine is capable of producing without overheating or conking out. Espressos alone won’t require much hot water, but once you get into americanos or teas then you are going to require a machine with a larger volume for hot water.
Most single group machines will have boilers between 2-5 liters, double group machine boilers will be between 5-12 liters, triple group machines 11-18 liters, and four group machines will have boilers up to 22 liters.
Once you choose your number of group heads, you need to think about how much hot water you expect to be putting out; if it’s relatively high, you want to find a machine with a larger boiler.
Your electrical element is important for how much stress your machine can take without interruptions or even break downs.
If you expect your establishment to have a morning rush hour where you are producing a lot of hot water for teas or americanos, then you will want to find a machine with more wattage that can handle the stress.
Generally speaking a double group machine will have an element of 2700 to 4000 watts, and the heavier-duty three to four group machines will have elements of more like 4500-6500 watts. As a rule of thumb, the more watts you can get the better, so that you never have to worry about your machine burning out.
Group Head Temperature and Flavour
You also need to make sure you get a sufficient boiler and element for the sake of maintaining your water temperature. The brewing temperature of your espresso shots is extremely important, and mediocre tasting coffee is much more often the result of brewing at the wrong temperature than of bad beans or bad grinding.
So by all means, you do not want a machine that cannot handle your output requirements and can’t keep things hot enough for you. Some machines have a dual boiler system so that you can be sure you always have a steady supply of correctly heated water.
Another thing you might want to consider, if you want to get fancy, is getting a machine that has adjustable temperature settings. The ideal brewing temperature can actually very from roast to roast, and lighter roasts tend to work better with higher temperatures, while darker roasts tend to benefit from relatively lower brewing temperatures.
Selecting the Size of Your Espresso Machine
Ultimately what this decision depends on will be the number of coffees you expect your machine will be producing every day. If you think that you’ll be pouring fewer than 75 espressos each day, then a good single group commercial machine may be enough to meet your needs.
The middle-sized machines of two to three groups which most establishments opt for are typically suite to pouring between 75 and 500 espressos every day (so you can see why these machines will be suitable for just about any venue). Most people do not even need a third group head, and will only get one so that they have space to grow in case their business gets bigger.
On the other hand, even though most establishments don’t need four or even three group heads, some will opt for the long, impressive looking four group machines simply because they appear more serious and professional to their customers.
It may sound silly to buy an excessively large machine just for looks, but in some cases an impressive, professional looking machine will draw in enough clientele that an establishment’s customers will actually grow into its machine over time.
Hopefully the information above has been helpful for your commercial espresso machine quest, and feel free to contact us by telephone or email if you have any further questions at all.
Pierro commercial coffee machines are an Australian owned company manufacturing commercial coffee machines specifically designed for the Australian coffee industry.
If you are looking to buy or rent a coffee machine for your work environment which is simple to use and produces 100% pure espresso then our Pierro corporate coffee machine range is perfect for you.
For more information on The Pierro coffee machine range, for purchase or rental, please contact us direct or feel free to visit our Sydney head office and showroom at 8 – 12 Robert Street, Rozelle NSW 2039.