It is one of the biggest doubts of the most enterprising readers. Some people are thinking of setting up a small business (not a usual bar or café), such as a cake shop or a leisure centre with similar conditions. When thinking about offering coffee to their customers, they cannot afford the investment of thousands of pounds that a coffee maker for the hotel and catering industry or any of the professional coffee makers on the market represents.
So, what is the solution if we want to buy a coffee machine for a small business?
Well, for example, we must get to know the coffee industry thoroughly to study which machines can give us a suitable service for the needs of our establishment, within a reasonable budget. We will try to help you by giving you some clues:
Characteristics of coffee machines for small businesses
- They must have a large water tank or water intake. You don’t want to be filling it up two by three.
- Ability to withstand dozens of services a day without breaking down in the long run. Not because of the cost of repairs, but because of the lack of service to your customers.
- They must offer quality coffee: it’s not worth anything. Keep in mind that customers who drink a coffee away from home for a fee expect to get something decent in return.
Small business coffee makers can have certain similarities (in some requirements) with the buffet coffee machines or the best office coffee makers, topics that we have already discussed on our website. Therefore we urge you to review them in the links we have just provided.
Which is the best coffee maker for small businesses? Top 5
After reviewing some general notions, it is time to meet specific models with names and surnames. We will group them into sets with a similar concept. Do you want to know which is the best coffee machine to set up a small business? Here are five ideas to start considering:
The main advantage of coffee percolators is that they allow you to brew a large amount of coffee (tens of litres) and then keep it hot for several hours. You serve yourself directly from them, through a kind of tap. Of course, they are not suitable for espresso. Still, if you plan to offer a filter coffee (this type of machine is very popular in America), the coffee percolator is more than a practical solution.
They are massive machines, of course, but their price is quite low if we compare them with the big hotel and catering coffee machines of all times:
Professional capsule coffee makers
We are not going to be the ones who recommend using a domestic single-dose coffee maker for a business. But some brands of capsule coffee makers have a “professional” or business line specifically designed for these cases. It is the case with the professional Nespresso machines (with their Nespresso Pro capsules) or the Lavazza Blue machines. They use individual capsules for these cases, and their characteristics are adapted to the needs of businesses and workplaces.
It’s worth giving these business capsule coffee makers a try, although we recommend that you first make sure of how you are going to manage your capsule supply.
A semi-professional espresso machine
When we talk about coffee machines for small businesses, this means a more significant investment, but in exchange for quality beyond doubt. They will always be cheaper than the big hotel and catering coffee machines, with two or three groups of coffee, but they offer you the closest experience to the classic bar espresso.
These are espresso machines that even die-hard espresso aficionados can install in their homes (yes, some have no qualms about spending this money on an excellent coffee machine for their home).
A semi-professional coffee maker for your small business also has the advantage that it will be more compact and smaller, so it will be easier for you to find space for them in your establishment.
- Lelit PL41LEM Espresso and Cappucino Machine, 2.7 Litre/ 1050 Watt
- Sage Appliances Barista Pro Espresso Machine and Coffee Machine with Milk Frother
An espresso machine with a large water tank
As we said at the beginning, a small business coffee maker should have a larger water tank than those we use in a home. At least 2 litres or more. And these are some of the models that offer this feature:
- Gaggia 886948011010 Espresso Filter Holder Stainless Steel
- GRAEF ESM 802 Countertop Espresso machine 2.5 L Semi-auto
All these machines are high-end home coffee makers, but they can be used to provide timely service to your business if you use excellent raw material (quality coffee beans) and make sure that the tank is generously sized.
Coffee machines with integrated grinder
You don’t want to deprive your customers of the unique aroma of freshly ground coffee, do you? When choosing a coffee maker for a small business, we recommend that you seriously consider a machine with a grinder, or at least buy a separate coffee grinder. Offering your customers pre-packaged ground coffee from the supermarket is not precisely a rich detail. Buy the best coffee beans you can, and use them in one of these machines: