Best Commercial Espresso Machine For Your Coffee Shop

You need a commercial espresso machine for your coffee shop.

To perform under the pressure of a working environment, an espresso machine needs to fulfill speed and capacity requirements that are significantly higher than what you would expect of even the highest end Breville or Gaggia home espresso machine. When it comes to your business it isn’t worth compromising on essential features. But first, you have to know what those essential features are.

I’ve compiled this guide to make it easier for you to find the right espresso machine for your cafe. This is an important (costly) decision, so you'll have insights from other successful cafe owners to help guide you.

TOP PICK: The La-Pavoni Bar T 2 Group

Brandnew La Pavoni Bar T 2

Large enough for most coffee establishments (producing up to 600 cups of espresso per day) with a 14L boiler capacity.

If you want to produce high-quality coffees at a reasonable price, this is worth checking out; it will help you make better coffee, and more money.

The Best Commercial Espresso Machines In 2019

So now you know what to look out for - let’s go through the best commercial grade models available on the market in 2019. For this article, I’ve only selected professional espresso machines that are excellent at what they do.

The final choice depends on your personal preferences and the requirements of your business.

Keep reading to discover the top choices available today.

IMAGEPRODUCTFEATURES
hg-table__imageBezzera Magica Commercial Espresso Machine E61
  • Comes with “joystick” levers that help make consistently excellent brew
  • Has dual boilers for heating water and steaming milk
  • Extremely efficient
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hg-table__imageLa Pavoni Bar T 3
  • Excellent design and engineering
  • Large capacity for heavy use
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hg-table__imageLa Pavoni Bar T 2
  • Made from durable materials
  • Large enough for big coffee shops
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hg-table__imageNuova Simonelli Aurelia II Digital 4
  • Stylish
  • Versatile
  • Has an ergonomic design
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hg-table__imageRocket Espresso BOXER One
  • Compact
  • Comes with heat-protected steam wands for increased safety
  • Efficient thermosiphon heating system
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hg-table__imageElektra Sixties Deliziosa
  • Has a beautiful stainless steel finish
  • Filter ensures clean water supply
  • Dual gauge shows pump pressure and boiler pressure
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hg-table__imageJura Giga 5
  • Dual built-in grinders
  • Integrated rinsing and descaling features
  • Rotary switch selects 18 drinks from TFT visual display
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The Bezzera Magica E61

"Best For Small Cafes"

Bezzera Magica Commercial Espresso Machine

The Bezzera Magica is manufactured by the company which initially patented espresso machines in the early 1900s. While espresso has remained popular in the following century and more, the machines have undergone massive development.

This model combines the best of both worlds: classic, time-tested elements as well as modern time-saving features. The Bezzera Magica features the E61 group head, which is regarded as the industry gold standard. It creates hot water by circulating it through a complex and efficient thermo-siphon system.

The levers are “joystick-style”, providing an ergonomic touch as well as ease of consistent brewing.

It has dual boilers/heat exchangers allowing the barista to simultaneously brew espresso as well as steam the milk.

The biggest downside to the Bezzera Magica is that it is rather small. The water reservoir holds only 4 litres of water, while the boiler holds 2 litres. The busiest coffee joints will have to keep a close eye on water levels, but for smaller-scale businesses it provides excellent coffee and a touch of classic Bezzera glamour.

PROS

  • “Joystick” levers provide a consistently excellent brew
  • Dual boilers for creating hot water and steaming milk
  • E61 group head is extremely efficient

CONS

  • Too small for larger businesses

Specifications:

  • Type: Semi Automatic
  • Capacity: 4L
  • Portafilters: 1
  • Dimensions: (WxDxH) 30cm x 42.5cm x 41.5cm
  • Weight: 22.7 kg

La Pavoni Bar T 3 Group Commercial

"Best For Busy Coffee Shops"

Silver and red La Pavoni Bar T 3

La Pavoni is another trusted Italian manufacturer with a long history. The Bar T series of professional espresso machines delivers a consistent cup of high quality coffee.

There are options for both smaller and larger businesses: this Bar T 3 group machine is a higher-capacity option, perfect for busier establishments. La Pavoni Bar T 3 features, as the name suggests, three group-heads.

Made from brass and plated with chrome, they are durable and high quality. Each of the group-heads also features a radiator hydraulic system, maintaining a consistent level of water circulation.

The machine is built from very durable materials, but the front copper boiler can be removed for repairs.

La Pavoni Bar T 3 has a boiler capacity of 22.5 liters, satisfying the heaviest of users. It is capable of producing up to 800 cups of coffee per day. It is recommended for busy shops, restaurants and hotels, where it is necessary to provide high quality in large quantities.

PROS

  • Excellent engineering - durable but well thought-out access for repairs
  • Large capacity for heavy users

CONS

  • A significant investment
  • No dual boiler

Specifications:

  • Type: Semi Automatic
  • Capacity: 23L
  • Portafilters: 3x double
  • Dimension (WxDxH): 104cm x 56cm x53 cm
  • Weight: 102 kg

La Pavoni Bar T 2 Group Commercial

"Best For Average Sized Shops"

Brandnew La Pavoni Bar T 2

La Pavoni Bar T 2 Group is the little sibling of the 3 Group machine reviewed above. It has many of the same features, along with being built in Milan, Italy, to the highest standards of engineering. features radiator hydraulic systems for both group heads; built-in steam wands; boiler pressure gauges and other useful features which can also be found on the Bar T 3 Group machine.

The only major difference between the two is that it only has 2 group heads and a slightly smaller capacity.

However, the La Pavoni Bar T 2 Group is by no means a particularly small machine. It has the capacity to produce up to 600 cups of espresso a day, and a boiler size of 14 liters.

Similar to its larger sibling, the La Pavoni Bar T 2 Group is a trustworthy companion to baristas who want to provide their customers with consistently high quality of coffee. It’s large enough for most establishments, and offers a good balance of features.

PROS

  • Durable materials and good features
  • Large enough for most businesses

CONS

  • A significant investment
  • No dual boiler

Specifications:

  • Type: Semi Automatic
  • Capacity: 14L
  • Portafilters: 2x double
  • Dimension (WxDxG): 78x56x53 cm
  • Weight: 77 kg

Nuova Simonelli Aurelia Ii Digital 4 Group Machine

"A serious commercial espresso machine for serious establishments"

Nuova Simonelli Aurelia Ii Digital 4 Group Espresso Machine

The Nuova Simonelli Aurelia is a beautiful, durable machine from a prestigious yet less well known Italian manufacturer. The Aurelia Ii Digital 4 Group espresso machine is a luxurious tool, with a silvery sheen and a sleek design. It’s also a very precise and ergonomic companion for professional espresso-making.

Although the Nuova Simonelli machines are not as well known as, say, La Pavoni machines, they have a solid following: for instance, they were selected as the official machines of the World Barista Championship between 2012 and 2014. There are good reasons for this.

With the Aurelia, the details of extraction can be tweaked to perfection. The barista has control over the temperature, the volume and intensity of the coffee being produced.

The “Soft infusion system” (a tweak on the regular pre infusion system) designed by Nuova Simonelli, allows for consistent tamping and helps maintain a high quality of coffee. This machine is a dream come true for most baristas.

The downside? Its price. Although a high-quality professional coffee machine is definitely a worthy investment for any self-respecting barista, the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia comes with a much higher price tag than most commercial machines.

Unfortunately, this places it out of reach for many smaller establishments.

PROS

  • Beautiful to look at
  • Ergonomic design
  • Well thought-out and versatile features

CONS

  • Hefty price tag - brace yourself.

Specifications:

  • Type: Semi Automatic
  • Capacity: 39L
  • Portafilters: 5x double
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 124x63x53 cm
  • Weight: 119 kg
Side view of Rocket Espresso

The Rocket Espresso Boxer is smaller than most machines reviewed in this article, but it definitely packs a punch. With a capacity of 8.3-liters, a stainless steel body, and a thermosiphon heating system, it’s up to professional standards, without needing a ton of desk space.

The Rocket Espresso Boxer is a self-contained unit, with heat-protected steam wands and a backflush self-cleaning system which runs overnight. It’s the perfect choice for a pop-up café or a restaurant that wants to up its coffee game.

While it might not satisfy more heavy-duty users, this compact machine is an excellent choice for those who are operating on a limited scale but want to provide top-notch coffee.

In love with the Rocket espresso machine and would like to get one for your home? Then you should check the out the R58 model.

PROS

  • Compact in size so fits more limited environments
  • Heat-protected steam wands for increased safety
  • Efficient thermosiphon heating system

CONS

  • Too small for busier establishments

Specifications:

  • Type: Automatic
  • Capacity: 8.3L
  • Portafilters: 1x double
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 48x49x47 cm
  • Weight: 65 kg

Elektra Sixties Deliziosa Espresso Machine

"A machine for small spaces with high volumes" 

Elektra Commercial Espresso Machine

With a 5.5-liter boiler in a compact footprint, the Elektra Sixties Deliziosa is a workhorse for a cafe without a lot of counter space. If you're thinking about an espresso truck or food cart, the Elektra is one to consider, as long as you can hook up to a water line that delivers 35 to 40 pounds of pressure.

Its extensive programmability includes Night Cycle Programming, in which the Elektra can operate in reduced energy usage mode outside of working hours, then wake up to prepare for the onslaught of caffeine-deprived customers in the morning.

Its electronic monitoring system makes sure the heating element is always submerged in water. This prevents damage to the heating element if it runs out of water.

And the high-wattage heating element not only boils water quickly, it also ensures there's enough pressure to brew espresso and steam milk at the same time.

PROS

  • Beautiful ultra-polished stainless steel finish
  • Filter on the group commercial espresso head ensures clean water supply
  • Dual gauge shows pump pressure and boiler pressure

CONS

  • Single espresso head/steam wand means one drink at a time

Specifications:

  • Type: Automatic
  • Capacity: 5.5 liter boiler
  • Portafilters: 2 (one single, one double), with 1- and 2-cup filter baskets
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 34 x 50 x 44 cm
  • Weight: 35 kg

Jura Giga 5 Automatic Coffee Machine

"A machine that does practically everything for you."

2 glasses of espresso coffee brewed by jura giga machine

The Jura Giga 5 has so many features, it's almost its own barista. With two ceramic disk grinders feeding two independent drink spouts, and a rotary switch to select 18 pre-programmed specialty drinks from a TFT display, this super-automatic makes coffee preparation incredibly simple.

Jura's Pre-Brew Aroma System (PBAS) delivers freshly ground coffee to either or both of the drink spouts in seconds, preserving the freshness of your grounds. The high-powered thermoblock heating means the coffee comes out fast, and you can brew two drinks at once in a busy shop.

The Giga 5 automatically dispenses hot milk, with or without foam, without needing a separate steam wand or a milk frother. Practically all you have to do is keep the milk and water reservoirs filled, put beans in the hopper, and serve hot fresh drinks.

PROS

  • Rotary switch selects 18 drinks from TFT visual display
  • Dual built-in grinders mean fresh coffee grinds on both spouts
  • Integrated rinsing and descaling features simplify maintenance

CONS

  • No built-in water line requires refilling the water reservoir 

Specifications:

  • Type: Super Automatic
  • Capacity: 87-oz. water reservoir; 20-oz. thermal milk container
  • Portafilters: none (dual built-in drink spouts for coffee and milk)
  • Dimensions: 16.3" high X 12.6" wide X 19.6" deep
  • Weight: 39.3 pounds

How To Choose The Right Commercial Espresso Machine

The main feature that separates an espresso maker meant for commercial use, versus one meant for home use, is its larger capacity. Commercial grade espresso makers have specifically been created to produce large quantities of coffee drinks while maintaining a high standard of quality.

Here are a few key factors to look out for when you’re choosing between the various options available today. Remember, not all espresso machines are created equal.

Whether you're looking to buy your first professional espresso machine or to upgrade some old equipment, keep these things in mind.

Semi-Automatic Vs Automatic?

Professional espresso machines have been developed by leaps and bounds during recent decades. While espresso-making used to be a painstaking process of manually operating heavy levers, semi-automatic and automatic machines have made the process a breeze. (note: some people refer to automatic as 'super-automatic')

Being so much more barista-friendly, they now dominate the market.

Since you might be working this machine from morning till night, serving dozens of cups of coffee, it’s important that operating the machine is smooth. Automation has eliminated many of the tasks that used to make espresso-making such a chore. When you’re looking for the best espresso machine for your business, you still need to make the choice between automatic and semi-automatic (nobody would seriously recommend going for a manual machine).

An automatic machine is the smarter choice for most businesses, because it provides greater efficiency. You won’t need to grind the beans, tamp them, or worry about achieving consistent levels of extraction.

There’s also no need for long-winded staff trainingthe learning curve of super automatic espresso machines is gentle enough for even those who have no previous barista experience.

However, for certain small businesses, a semi-automatic machine might be a more fitting choice. Grinding beans and having more control over the extraction process adds a touch of craft that will delight discerning customers.

If you don’t need to produce hundreds of cups of coffee every day, and you appreciate tweaking the extraction process manually, a semi-automatic machine might prove to be your perfect companion.

Capacity

The perfect capacity of your espresso machine depends on the scale of your business. This is an important question in setting up your cafe.

Are you operating a café that serves hundreds of coffees every day? Or a restaurant that serves a more modest amount of after-dinner espressos each night? How much space do you have to store the machine?

Capacity is dictated by the number of group-heads and the size of the boiler. Most professional coffee machines have 2, 3 or 4 group-heads and can produce up to 8 drinks at once.

A high-capacity espresso machine also requires a boiler that is large enough to provide you enough hot water during peak hours. While a large machine will cost more and require more space, it will save your staff precious time and improve service.

Ease Of Use, Cleaning And Repairing

In heavy professional use, ease of maintenance is a key issue. This refers to both everyday routines, such as cleaning the machine, as well as the ease of getting it repaired in case of technical issues.

Automatic espresso machines have been specifically designed to free you and your staff from menial tasks of everyday maintenance.

However, it is worth checking what this practically means in case of each individual model. Most automatic machines are self-cleaning, but they still need to be descaled regularly. They usually don’t have detachable group-heads, which means you’ll have to rely on the machine’s self-cleaning ability.

Some machines do feature removable parts, so you can give them a manual deep clean every now and then. Such machines also require some staff training, so that everyone knows how to take the kit apart for cleaning and put it back together.

You want a machine that is durable, and even in case of problems, easy enough to get repaired. Before purchasing an espresso machine for your business, make sure it has a decent warranty and that you can send it back for repairs if needed.

Quality Of Espresso Shot

This factor should be obvious, but be sure not to overlook it! Once you’ve found a professional machine that seems to fit all your other requirements perfectly, do your homework and read some reviews on the quality of the espresso shot possible. You are not spending all this money just to be able to make a regular Americano coffee!

A fast and large-capacity machine is no good if the espresso it produces is not worth paying for.

The extraction should be consistently perfect.


THE VERDICT

As this article demonstrates, there isn’t really one specific model that is the best for every situation. You need to read through the reviews.

The best choice depends on the specific requirements of your business, so that should always be your starting point. Nonetheless; the espresso machine reviews in this article is capable of producing delicious espresso with minimum fuss.

Just consider what you really need. But for us, our Top Pick is the La Pavoni Bar T 2 Group.

Brandnew La Pavoni Bar T 2

Are you producing 50 or 500 cups of coffee a day? Is coffee your main focus or just something you dabble in? How much space is there in your kitchen for an espresso machine?

Ask yourself these questions to find the best match for your business.

Alex
 

Alex is the Founder and Editor of Homegrounds.co. He is passionate about brewing amazing coffee at home, and teaching others to do the same.