While coffee consumption has been with us for ages, it is only recently that coffee shops became popular. Usually, people were comfortable with filter coffee or instant coffee. Today however, you can open a restaurant and have coffee as your main selling item. But that may only happen if you have a good coffee maker at your restaurant. For this reason, read below to learn how to select a commercial coffee machine.
Size of the Machine
A commercial coffee machine should make coffee at a pace that fits the demand on coffee at your restaurant. If your business is busy, you will probably need a big machine. However, your budget will probably also play role in the type of machine you buy. Something else that may affect your coffee machine decision is the size of your coffee stand or shop. With that in mind, select a coffee maker that can increase output at your restaurant as you would want it to be. For coffee shop owners, buy a machine that produces more coffee than you sell in a day. It may be cost you more, but then you won’t need to buy an extra machine later when your customers increase. Don’t feel pressured to buy a big machine if coffee is not your main selling item however.
Water Dispensing System
Most of the coffee machines in the market today either dispense water automatically or through a pour over system. The automatic models are usually connected directly to a water source. Their biggest advantages is the fact that they allow water to flow into the right coffee machine compartments, as such minimizing your need to monitor water flow. When connected to a good machine, you also get to configure how much water should be dispensed at any given time. The pour over coffee makers on the other hand are like most home use machines. You have to personally pour water into the appropriate compartment. For busy commercial restaurants, an automatic dispensing coffee machine might be the better choice. It allows you to concentrate on serving customers instead of get distracted while you monitor water.
Any good quality commercial coffee maker should have convenience features. It should come with such features as a digital panel, warming options and hot water faucets. For a coffee shop especially, having a machine with a hot water faucet saves you hassle of investing in an extra water heater. And in restaurants, such a machine will come in handy when you want to prepare meals that require hot water. A digital panel on the other hand is important for various reasons. For instance, you get to preset when the machine should start making coffee. And with the presence of warmers, you get to prepare latte, cappuccino, espresso and other coffee variants faster and in a more convenient way.
Types of Coffee Machines to Consider
- Thermal Coffee Machines – A thermal coffee machine is designed to brew coffee directly into your serving device. They also come with racks to help hold several servicing devices. For small coffee shops, a commercial thermal coffee machine might serve your needs better than other makers.
- Decanter Coffee Maker – A commercial decanter brews coffee the traditional way but has the capability to make coffee fast in order to suit the needs of a commercial setting. With the machine, you get to decide how much coffee you brew. As such, the machines are mainly designed in a pour over water dispensing system even though they may have modern looks and other specialty features in them.
- Pod Coffee Maker – They work like traditional coffee machines, with the limitation of making one cup of coffee at a time. Again, you have to insert a brewing specialty in the machine before it brews coffee for you. With its slow brewing system therefore, you can hardly find the pod commercial machine in a real coffee shop. Instead, it is bought by companies for employees to brew coffee at will.
How much money do you want to spend on your coffee machine? Technically, you could get a commercial coffee maker for less than $1000, or spend triple the money for a better machine. In some cases, restaurant owners spend up to $40,000 in the hopes of finding an exceptional coffee maker. With that in mind, your budget and your needs are probably the best determiners of what coffee maker you end up with. However, make sure that you look for a machine with the best value. Look for the presence of advanced specialty features to determine this value. In most cases however, such machines will cost more.
Finally, consider the after sale service a company offers before you buy from them. Consider if they offer repair services, because in many places you almost can’t find a mechanic for a commercial coffee machine.