If you’re looking to craft high-quality espresso drinks – whether for your customers or yourself – then you’ve probably done some research on the best commercial espresso machines. At first glance, the options are truly endless, and the decision can be overwhelming. It would be easy to get lost in the technical jargon alone, and potentially make the wrong investment for your business. A good place to start would be to review the options available in espresso equipment and understand what they mean, consider what kinds of products fit your specific needs, and break down which commercial espresso machine would be the best fit.
To begin with, you will typically find that commercial espresso machines fall into the categories of manual/lever espresso machines, semi-automatic espresso machines, automatic espresso machines and super-automatic espresso machines. Let’s look.
The manual/lever espresso machines are without a doubt the most difficult to master, operating via a lever mechanism that the barista pulls down, using their own strength to control the extraction. Every shot of espresso is uniquely impacted by the level of pressure applied by the barista. Clearly, the success of this process is completely dependent on the skill of the professional who is using the machine – since the result is hand-crafted, it’s essentially a work of art. Obviously, this time-honoured way of brewing a shot requires a talented, highly trained barista to operate the appliance. Unless you’re supremely confident in the abilities of your team, a manual machine might not be the best choice, although its ability to provide an artistic or vintage aesthetic is perfect for those niche or specialty establishments.
Our next contender, the semi-automatic espresso machine, strikes a happy medium between manual and fully automatic. Instead of pulling a lever to extract the espresso, baristas use automatic pump mechanisms controlled by buttons. The ability for baristas to choose when the pump stops leads these machines to be categorized as “manual” – especially since authentically manual machines are not as common anymore. So with this option, baristas have some control over the extraction process while still being able to provide more consistency in the results. Here again, however, there is some significant training required to master the operation of these machines – but the results produced by an experienced barista can be impressive.
If your establishment experiences frequent rushes of customers and your mandate as a business owner is to match quality with service, an automatic commercial espresso machine might be the best option for you. As the name implies, this appliance is fully automated and programmable to varying degrees, depending on the model. These machines are relatively user-friendly, deliver consistent quality in their beverages and tend to be some of the fastest on the market – a great feature for busy establishments. The initial price tag tends to be a bit higher than their semi-automatic counterparts, but they can churn out the drinks.
Finally, the super-automatic espresso machines simply go the extra mile, compared to automatic appliances – in fact, they’re often called the “bean to cup” machines. This is because every single component of the drink creation – from grinding to milk frothing, is handled by the machine as opposed to automating only the espresso extraction. These machines can prepare drinks at lightning speed with one touch, leaving staff free to focus on customer service. The programmable options are vast and although price can be a concern at the outset, they tend to pay for themselves quickly if you run a high-volume business.
Quality Coffee Systems, located in Burnaby, has been supplying the best commercial espresso machines to Vancouver establishments for decades. We specialize in high-quality Swiss, French and German brands and our trained coffee specialists can walk you through every step of this important investment. Our goal is to ensure that you leave with the commercial espresso machine that is right for you, and to support that purchase with customer-centric after care.
Stop by our showroom on Boundary Road or reach out to QCS for more information.
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