Got dreams for your own cafe or looking to expand your current business? Getting hold of the best commercial espresso machine is the way to move forward. The choice of espresso machine shouldn’t come as an afterthought. It is a key part of the business and needs to be considered as rationally as any important element.
The espresso you serve should certainly be better than what any random home brewer can whip up. Besides, an espresso is the foundation for several important beverages. Drinks like Americano, latte, mocha, cappuccino, and several others need an espresso to start.
And you need the best espresso machine to get there.
Top Professional Espresso Machines For 2020
- Nuova Simonelli Appia II Volumetric 2 Group Espresso Machine MAPPIA5VOL02ND001
- Jura 15145 Automatic Coffee Machine WE8
- La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Espresso Machine
- Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Volumetric 2 Group Espresso Machine MAUREIIVOL02ND0001
- La Pavoni Bar 3L-B Lever Espresso Coffee Machine
- La Pavoni PUB 1M-R 1 Group Commercial Espresso Machine
- Elektra Sixties Deliziosa Commercial Espresso Machine
Editor’s Choice: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Espresso Machine
Price point and quality both work in favor of this machine. La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Espresso Machine is pretty much the best commercial espresso machine for small coffee shops.
This is a small machine with a rather simple appearance. However, it is fully capable of pumping an excellent shot of espresso. And that’s exactly what a commercial establishment wants the most!
Reviewed: The Best Commercial Espresso Machines To Buy
1. Nuova Simonelli Appia II Volumetric 2 Group Espresso Machine MAPPIA5VOL02ND001 — Best Professional Espresso Machine
Looks, design, and performance of this machine all present evidence of it being the best professional espresso machine. Its appearance takes on a somewhat minimalist touch. However, its performance is completely stunning. It shows off a clean design covered in stainless steel, which also lends credence to its construction quality.
Nuova Simonelli Appia II Volumetric is a 2 group espresso machine. This makes it very useful for small coffee shops that have a fairly good footfall. It can deliver 30-100 cups per hour, depending on the settings used. Given the impressive speed of the machine, customers won’t have to wait much to get their orders.
Brewing Espresso With Simonelli Appia II
It is a semi-automatic machine, so there is a fair amount of power in the hands of the barista. Indeed, a skilled barista can work miracles with this espresso machine. Appia II uses soft pre-infusion technology and includes a built-in rotary pump to ensure better quality espresso. A volumetric monitoring system ensures that the right amount of espresso is poured per shot.
It has an 11-liter boiler so it can deliver several shots of espresso. Where necessary, the espresso maker can be plumbed directly to a water supply. It’s a very convenient and useful option, just don’t forget to add a filter!
- Can be plumbed directly to the water line
- Good looks and design
- Excellent construction quality with stainless steel and ABS
- Fast delivery of shots is useful for small to midsize coffee shops
- 2 brew groups with raised group heads
- Weighs about 160 lbs
2. Jura 15145 Automatic Coffee Machine WE8 — Best For Office Use
Jura 15145 Automatic Coffee Machine WE8 is an excellent option for the office or any self-serve coffee place/cafe. On offer here is a range of automatic functions that handle all of the work. The machine handles everything from grinding espresso coffee beans fresh for the brew to delivering a piping hot espresso. It comes with grinder (conical burr) built-in.
A TFT color display is flanked by buttons on either side. Users can choose their beverage by pressing these buttons. At the touch of a button, the machine gets into action and brews the beverage of choice.
There are 12 specialties available for the machine, though it has eight pre-programmed beverage options. This includes a hot water option, allowing this espresso maker to work as a hot water dispenser.
Specifications And Details On Operation
Jura WE8 uses the company’s Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.) system to optimize the brewing temperature and extraction time. Programmable options can be availed to customize coffee strength and volume.
On the maintenance front, the machine includes an integrated maintenance cycle of easy cleaning. Care has also been taken to handle milk system cleaning. A massive 101 oz water tank means refills can wait.
Though it has a lot of positives, the Jura WE8 isn’t really a machine to handle large volumes. If you intend a machine to cater to fast-moving crowds, take a look at the Jura Giga W3.
On the plus side, the WE8 is priced just right to be a home espresso maker as well. It is expensive for home use, of course, but it straddles the line for quality home espresso makers and professional machines quite well.
- Fully automatic espresso maker
- Easy to use and maintain
- Can brew several beverages
- Includes grinder for coffee beans
- Requires manual filling of water reservoir
3. La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Espresso Machine — Editor’s Choice
La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Espresso Machine is the perfect match for a small cafe or restaurant. True to the brand’s reputation, this is a workhorse at a great price. It is fairly modern, yet sticks to its classic looks. Vivaldi II isn’t something that will turn heads, but it wins on being a very practical machine.
A dual boiler system enables this Italian espresso maker to be more convenient to use. Just a note, the 20 amp mode has both boilers in function simultaneously. At the 15 amp mode, the boilers alternate. If you aren’t in a hurry, 15 amps should be good enough. However, the 20 amp mode wins in raw usability.
Operation And Use
Once switched on, the machine needs about 25 minutes to reach optimum temperature. There is a programmable timer available. Use it so the machine automatically switches on and is ready for action when you need it. Once it is done, you can pull shots with relative ease as the dual boilers will keep it going.
The ideal maximum capacity for this Mini Vivaldi II is 20 shots an hour. It won’t work for a coffee shop juggling dozens of customers, but a smaller setup will do wonderfully. The way it is configured, the Vivaldi II is great for home use as well. However, it is better suited for a low-traffic commercial setup.
The biggest drawback is that this espresso maker works off a water reservoir. So keep an eye on the water level when using this machine!
- Excellent price point
- Good quality construction
- Convenient use for a low foot-traffic establishment
- Excellent espresso quality
- Requires manual refilling of the reservoir
- Can only handle 20 shots of espresso per hour
4. Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Volumetric 2 Group Espresso Machine MAUREIIVOL02ND0001 — Top Industrial Espresso Machine
Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II is an impressive top grade espresso machine that covers the best of machine construction and espresso quality. Now this is the machine for business in a busy coffee shop.
Its ergonomic design and looks are quite similar to its sibling, Appia II which is also listed here. I guess it’s an espresso maker family that loves to perform!
An LCD display and surface LEDs add to the exotic look of this machine. It is a truly fast moving industrial espresso machine that will gladly pump out scores of shots every hour. And it does that without skimping on quality one bit. A volumetric control unit ensures that the espresso shots are pulled at the right temperature and amount of water.
Speaking of water, the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II comes with a 14-liter water tank. But if you’re pulling scores of shots an hour, it’s better to plumb it directly to the water supply.
Other notable features include pre-infusion, boiler pressure management, programmable dosages, and energy-saving settings.
- Excellent quality espresso machine
- Top of the range features and options
- Good looks, design, and construction quality
- Delivers espresso shots pretty fast
- A larger water boiler would be more desirable for an espresso maker in this range
5. La Pavoni Bar 3L-B Lever Espresso Coffee Machine — Italian Espresso Workhorse
The semi-automatic La Pavoni Bar 3L-B Lever Espresso Coffee Machine has quite the looks and design. This three lever machine comes with mechanical movement and chromed brass group. Being semi-automatic, it allows greater control to the barista for managing the extraction and espresso shot.
As looks go, this is the machine that would be stereotypically attached to a coffee shop. It also makes a stunning espresso, which can be further enhanced by the skill of the barista.
A 22.5-liter boiler ensures there’s always espresso at the tap. Additionally, there are manual controls to finetune the process. Steam jet and wand are available, as is a hot water tap. It has an impressively sturdy construction, even for a commercial espresso machine.
- Very sturdy construction
- Semi-automatic espresso machine that leverages the skill of the barista
- Good quality espresso
- Heavy – 172 lbs dry weight
6. La Pavoni PUB 1M-R 1 Group Commercial Espresso Machine — Best For Commercial Catering
La Pavoni PUB 1M-R is an excellent and compact commercial espresso machine. This is one of those quality machines that you could set up at home to enjoy high-quality espresso. The price and features of this 1500-Watt machine are right on point. That said, it is still best suited for commercial duties.
Its small size makes this espresso machine especially handy for catering and similar ventures. It’s (relatively) easy to move and capable enough to brew amazing shots of espresso. The portafilter is flanked by a steam wand and hot water tap on either side.
There’s a single coffee group that’s made from brass and plated in chrome. A 6.5 liter boiler keeps the machine chugging for several shots. The water reservoir capacity here is just 1.8-liters and it has to be manually refilled. Should you be keen on a plumbed coffee maker, La Pavoni PUB 1V-R is the espresso machine to pick.
- Compact and portable commercial espresso maker
- Has hot water tap and steam wand
- Capable of high-quality espresso shots
- Has a rather small water reservoir and capacity
- Cannot be plumbed to the water line
7. Elektra Sixties Deliziosa Commercial Espresso Machine — Good Choice For Small Coffee Shop
Elektra Sixties Deliziosa Commercial Espresso Machine is an excellent pick for small coffee shops. The compact dimensions make themselves useful and the stainless steel body looks good. Some brew size and type options are available and are accessed through buttons placed near the bottom of the machine.
It draws power of 2200 watts and has a boiler capacity of 1.45 gallons. Sixties Deliziosa is a heavyweight and weighs 83 pounds. Though I call it a heavyweight, a weight like this is pretty much to be expected from a commercial espresso machine.
It makes fairly good shots of espresso, but it won’t keep up with large crowds. A small coffee shop will get by with this one, as long as the foot traffic isn’t off the charts.
- Good looks and design
- Sturdy construction
- Easy to manage brew type and size options
- Expensive for a single coffee group, especially when compared to other options on this list
Qualities That Define The Commercial Espresso Machine That’s Best For You
Foot Traffic And Expected Customer Volume
An espresso machine for a business is only as good as the number of customers it serves. Even if the machine offers the greatest espresso shot you ever tasted, its commercial value is lost if it takes forever to brew it! Customers aren’t going to stand around forever.
The smart idea is to use the rush hour as your guide for picking the coffee machine. Even at the busiest hour of your business, customers shouldn’t have to stand around waiting for their espresso.
Quality Coffee And Coffee Grinder
Getting a top quality espresso machine is a battle half won. Match it with the best quality coffee and coffee grinder you can find. That makes a complete shot of amazing espresso. The choice of coffee grinder has to match the footfall too.
Coffee grinders can be fast, but they should be able to match the fast pace of the commercial espresso machine. Espresso needs a fine grind, it will take longer than the coarse grind drip coffee makers use. It might be useful to consider machines with integrated burr grinder(s).
Also take a look at how well the coffee machine interacts with the coffee. Espresso requires a very fine grind, pressure of at least 9 bars, and a brewing temperature of 190-195 degrees Fahrenheit. Check that no settings go overboard and the coffee flavor is not compromised. High temperature leads to bitter coffee – can’t have that in a good establishment.
Plumbing And Maintenance Of Your Espresso Machine
An espresso machine that feeds directly off the water line is convenient. You don’t have to constantly worry about filling the water reservoir. Worse, you could find the reservoir empty when customers are waiting for their espresso.
Plumbed machines are a godsend for coffee shops that see high foot traffic. There’s no good way for these places to keep filling up the reservoir. Plumbing the machine involves additional costs and it’s also a good idea to add a water filter. Also, machines with plumbing options are likely to be more expensive.
Another point of consideration is the maintenance cost. The first order of business for a commercial machine is that it should be long-lasting.
Even so, like any other coffee machine, your expensive commercial espresso maker will need regular maintenance. This isn’t likely to be expensive, but is an important and unavoidable aspect of commercial coffee machines.
It’s a good idea to look at the cost and availability of repair, general maintenance, and availability of parts. Any machine that requires frequent repairs isn’t worth purchasing.
Choosing Between Automatic And Semi-Automatic Espresso Makers
Semi-automatic and automatic are the most favored variants of the commercial espresso maker. There’s also the manual option, but let’s face it, that one has little use beyond being a gimmick. It looks amazing and brews a great shot, but its commercial value is questionable.
As the name implies, automatic espresso machines do the work. Most automatic machines have programmable options to cover the nitty-gritty, so all you need to do is push a button to pick your choice of brew.
Semi-automatic machines put more control in the hands of a barista. Things like volume and strength are now in the hands of the barista. A skilled barista can work wonders with that and make espresso that won’t fail to impress customers.
The Commercial Espresso Machine That Works For Your Business
Getting an espresso machine for your cafe or business is an important decision. This decision involves the expense as a big part and can be a major factor in how the customers view your business. The best commercial espresso machine should be capable of delivering amazing espresso shots at a fairly good pace. If you get a specialized machine, make sure the barista knows how to use it!
My top choice for this category is the La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II Espresso Machine. If you need an automatic espresso maker, take a look at Jura 15145 Automatic Coffee Machine WE8. For more nuanced coffee establishment needs, consider the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II. Other machines listed here also handle their specific features impressively well.