Understanding your commercial coffee machine options
and how to get the best value for your budget
Choosing the right Commercial Coffee Machine
In the quest for the perfect commercial coffee machine, you’ll find that the number of groups, boiler size, and electrical rating play a pivotal role in determining your hourly beverage output. This educational guide will shed light on these critical factors while emphasising the correct path to follow.
Understanding the best commercial coffee machines components
TO kick things off, lets highlight the key features to focus on when considering the best commercial coffee machines:
- Number of Group Heads: The backbone of your coffee machines productivity lies in its group heads. For most coffee outlets , the two-group configuration is the crowd favourite.
- Tailoring to demand: Tailor your choice based on demand. Busy spots like airports , serving over 400 cups daily, may require more group heads. Exceptional bustling establishments, producing 600+ cups daily, often opt for four groups, typically comprised of two 2-group machines.
We anticipate the day when four two-group machines become commonplace at coffee bars.
Boiler size plays a role in the ability to deliver steam and hot water. In the best commercial coffee machines, boiler size for one group machines can range from 1.8 to 5 litres. For two group machines from 5 to 12 litres. Three group machines from 11 to 18 litres. Four group machines 20 to 22 litres. Therefore, it is important to consider whether you are making a lot of doubles as opposed to singles, as well as the size of drinks, either 16 oz grande and 20 oz vente sizes. You’ll need much more performance from your machine, than in a restaurant situation, where the drinks will be 6 and 8 oz single cappuccinos.
The electrical draw of the best commercial coffee machines greatly affects the recovery power. Businesses that have a big morning or lunch rush, or use the machines for Americanos, Crema Coffee and tea will need a higher capacity.
The bigger the machine, generally the more power it draws. Most importantly the quicker it can recover from a workout. However, machines can vary widely in their power with different manufacturers. For example, smaller two group machines often have 2700-3900 Watt elements. Many manufacturers use elements around 4000 watts on their 2 group machines. Full-size 2 group machines are all equipped with 4000 Watt elements. Giving them more power. Needless to say that with larger boilers you consume more electricity.
Ensuring that the correct number of group heads, boiler size and power are sized for the intended job is extremely important. However, no other factor affects the quality of espresso as much as the temperature of the water. More poor-quality espresso’s are caused by brewing at the incorrect temperature. Than by poor grinding and poor quality beans. A variation of as little as one degree. From the optimum temperature of 95 C (203 F) measurably affects the quality and taste. We have seen machines that vary wildly – up to 12 degrees. Back and forth in the course of a few minutes. Whereas poor grinding and poor beans can be corrected. Poor machine design cannot.
The 3 factors for the best commercial coffee machines
Three factors that affect the Best Commercial coffee machines temperature. Firstly water flowing through the espresso grounds. This can be easily controlled by the service technician or a knowledgeable barista. Secondly boiler pressure and boiler temperature are directly related. Adjusting the pressure stat (or possibly a thermocouple), a technician can adjust the boiler pressure/water temperature.
Like the popular Bezzera, Rancilio, Expobar, Astoria , Wega, La Marzocco machines. They all use an advanced boiler management system. Which incorporates a highly accurate Dual boiler probe system. That provides superior safety & greater thermal stability.
Stable group head temperature is a desired feature. However, the ability to vary group head temperature during a brew (called temperature profiling) is gaining traction. Just like searing a steak to lock in the juices, then turning down the heat to finish cooking. Coffee is a food brewed at different temperatures. It will affect the finished taste. Darker roasts can benefit from a lower brew temperature. Lighter roasts can benefit from a higher brew temperature. The new EllisseDE PID has the ability to set each group to a unique temperature. In addition, each group has a adjustable pre-infusion and a exact digital boiler temperature setting. With this system, each coffee roast can be experimented with to achieve its perfect flavour profile!
New Commercial Espresso Machine
Choosing The Right Sized
A lower powered one-group machines will deliver a good number of espressos, 70 per hour. It will steam enough milk for four restaurant sized cappuccinos at one time. The one group is also ideal for a lower volume restaurants or office location. It will provide excellent service where 10 – 20 drinks per day are averaged. This does not have to be spread out during the day, but accomplished during a brief morning rush.
One-group machines, plumbed in should be considered the minimum for smaller restaurant application. Where the number of drinks in a day may range up to 50 drinks per day.
The best commercial coffee machine that’s 2 group
The two group machine is the size that will be considered by most operators. Both for its power to brew up to four single drinks at once. The flexibility and speed that comes with having up-to two steam wands is benificial.
A powerful two group machine will satisfy all but the very busiest specialty coffee bars. Chose a 2 group when 75 to 300 drinks per day are made. The powerful two groups will handle much more volume than that. But sometimes two 2 group machines are a wiser choice – not just for power – but for the flexibility. Our price competitive 4 group option do have the advantage of more reserve power. There are 2 large boilers, bumping up to 22 litres.
A smaller machine that is operated at ‘near capacity’ will have more temperature variation than two machines operating on ‘cruise control’.
Space to work
Another advantage of 2 machines is that there is more room for a second barista to step in and help. On two & three group machines it is can become difficult for a secondary barista to help out, on two 2 group machines two people can work together provided that dual grinders are used. Another factor in this equation is that the Bezzera Ellisse auto-steam auto frothing system is like having a second barista helping since one barista can now froth two pitchers of milk at the same time – a huge time-saving economy.
One last point about size – size can matter.
It has been our experience as owners of specialty coffee bars and servicing countless others. That the size of machine can actually affect your sales and espresso drink program success. You are likely to be busier with a two group machine than a one group machine. Because customers perceive your business to be “professional” than the one down the street with the smaller machine. This is called ” counter presence”. It worked for Starbucks, where four group machines were installed as a matter of course.
The best commercial coffee machine that a 4 group
Our 4 group options are basically a case of buying two, 2 groups. Putting them side by side or at each end of the counter. Our price reflects a genuine option with business advantages of a multi machine layout.