Want to Know the Best Commercial Espresso Machine?

Written by The Kitchen Hand on . Posted in Coffee Machines

Have you ever thought why commercial espresso machines are more expensive than the regular one? Well, you will be amazed at how great these machines perform, and how well they whip up the most amazing espresso you ever had.

Imagine having espresso that tastes like it came from the nicest cafe in Italy…well, now imagine having it right in your place of business. It’s not crazy talk-you can actually get the taste you desire, and the best pulls you could imagine.

Let’s not forget the froth, either-and all your latte artists can draw with joy in the foam. Yes, this is truly an article you don’t want to miss. The question is, what creations will you come up with when you get your hands on the best commercial espresso machine?

Why Buy a Commercial Espresso Maker?

Well, why not? After all, espresso makes up some of the most popular drinks that coffee drinkers love, such as lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos, and more. Plus, people love to add espresso to all their drinks.

If you buy this for your restaurant or business, you may see an increase in sales! People will know that your cafe or eatery is a nice place to get some lunch and an espresso shot or latte-they won’t go to a coffee shop knowing they can get everything in once place.

And if you are an office, think of it this way: you don’t have to send the interns or assistants out for coffees. They can be freed up for other tasks while you just walk to the breakroom or cafeteria, get what you need, and get back to work.

It is, after all convenient and efficient to own your own machine.

Without further ado, let’s get into these great Italian commercial espresso machine!

* Nuova Simonelli Aurelia Ii Digital 4 Group Espresso Machine

This is the sort of machine that you maybe never heard of when it comes to commercial espresso machines, but you should not sleep on it. They really make some good quality stuff. This line has been designed with all the most important parts of the coffee process in mind-the barista, the client, and the owner.

Everybody will have a good experience when using this espresso machine. These are known for their ability to rise to the daily challenges faced with heavy use. They are known for being precise in nature, and for having plenty of great features, that we will show you in just a few moments.

To some, an espresso machine is nothing more than a contraption that makes hot water come out under pressure. But the people at Nuova Simonelli see it differently. Their machines focus on the customer and the idea that the customer and owner deserve a great coffee experience every time.

This might not come right out at first, but when you start using the machine it becomes obvious. It looks really lovely, although it is a really big machine.

It is ergonomically designed, so your employees (or yourself) will be inspired to do their best work every time. You will get a great tasting espresso every time, and in turn, great lattes and cappuccinos, too. It is no secret that this one was a big deal at the World Barista Championships in the years 2012-2014!

Now, let us tell you about the great features involved.

First off, you can enjoy the temp control by the display. The display will show you the current temperature, allowing you to have the greatest accuracy in terms of temperature control, regardless of where you’re working or the environmental conditions you are facing. You can control each group individually and in real time.

The versatility means you can make any drink the temp you want it to be. Groups have adjustable heights too, so no matter the size of cup you are using, you can make it work. It goes from 80 mm all the way to 125 mm.

The machines are safe and comfortable for baristas to use, and the work surface is lit evenly. The back is angled so that the barista can see the espresso as it pours out of the portafilter, and the LED lighting (that is an optional feature) at the steam wand illuminates the milk inside the pitcher.

Another thing we liked was the soft infusion system.

It was developed by the Nuova Simonelli research center and it controls the pre-infusion at a low pressure, offering compensation for tamping inconsistencies. This also makes it easy to pull better shots on a more consistent basis. This is something you get on all Aurelia II models, so even if you don’t get this one, it still gives you something to look forward to.

Some other great features you get in this is the automatic group flushing system, the extraction mirror (which turns out is a great barista tool, said one girl I talked to).

You can get some good options on this one too-cool touch steam wands, for example, Spotlight LED for the milk pitcher, and even an optional multicolor LCD display. The sky’s the limit with this thing!

Pros:

  • Lots of options to choose from
  • Auto steam wand lets you make great foam
  • Adjustable groups

Cons:

  • It is a major investment
  • No color choices
  • Large and heavy machine

* La Pavoni PUB 1V-R Group Commercial Espresso

The La Pavoni Pub EM espresso machine are commercial grade, tough machines, and are equipped with the latest in technology critical to running a good business or making great espresso. It is one of the best espresso machines for coffee shops.

This tech will ensure that you have great temperature stability, and of course, the greatest ability around to make the shots of espresso that will have baristas falling to their knees in worship to your greatness. (Perhaps the last part is a little embellished, but we are impressed with this machine).

Time after time, you will find that this is going to be the machine you need to get the best drinks for yourself, your clients, and your coworkers.

This company has a real talent for making espresso machines – heck we reviewed two of these great machines to give you some context!

This coffee machine comes equipped with the latest in technology like thermal stability to the groups of coffee that will ensure a constant temperature, and also pre-infusion of the coffee grounds that will ensure you get balanced and consistent coffee shots.

A good quality machine such as a La Pavoni means you get brand name components, that are relatively easy to replace when you’re talking espresso machine repair.

We mean Parker solenoids, Procon motors that are NSF certified, and Sirai pressurestat. There is also manual dosing of espresso coffee. You can also look forward to press-forged nickel brass groups that have a vertical infusion chamber and pressurization systems. It comes with just one steam wand.

This one weighs in at 65 LBS. You will need two people to help lift it, unless you’re very strong. This works well when you’re in a catering situation and cannot hook it up to direct plumbing, or if your office is set up in such a way that would not allow for the plumbing to be hooked in directly.

It makes a nice fail-safe machine too – suppose your plumbing failed at your busy coffee shop, but you still wanted espresso for your clients. Here’s your answer!

You absolutely can-do manual dosing of espresso coffee.

You can also choose between red or black for your color of machine, the red adds a nice pop of color for those of you that like a quirkier and fun look, but if you want a sleek business-like and uniform look, the black will suit you just fine. Both really look great and make no difference when it comes to quality.

You can also enjoy a standard 120V power use on this one, so no need to buy a transformer or anything like that. It is made for most North American applications, giving us all one less thing to worry about.

The dimensions on the machine are 21x15x21, so use these when deciding what you need as far as space is concerned. It fits really well just about anywhere. You could even take it to a family gathering and be the star of the show serving everybody espressos!

The portafilter is a low profile one, and so you can brew right into a 16 oz cup if need be If you lack an espresso cup, you can always use your old coffee cup with no worry. The boiler water capacity holds 2.5 liters, so you will be making lots of espressos without having to refill.

There is also a 12-month warranty on the parts, but we don’t think you are going to need it. This is a great blend of looking good and also performing really well.

Using this machine in one of our satellite offices was great.

Our organization focuses on car rental and sales, so we had this machine set up in the client lounge where people wait for their cars to be pulled around after they are cleaned and shined, ready for delivery. This was nice to put in that office as our employees and clients got a kick out of it.

The reservoir is pour-in, eliminating the need for a French Press You can enjoy the fresh taste of the coffee-these types of machines bring you more flavor. Just make sure to have a jug of purified water nearby.

It is also relatively easy to move around. It is still heavy at 65 lbs., but a good strong person at your office or even a cart can help you move it with ease.

And, did we mention it makes 150 cups per day?!

One of my friends in sales at the car lot said there was a woman who said she was coming back for next car based upon the fact that she could have as much espresso as she liked. So, the ability to make many cups will definitely help out your business.

Indeed, the boiler system is one to envy. There will never be a moment where the boiler does not have a consistent flow of water, this is thanks to the independent radiator hydraulic system.

The anti-vacuum valve feature we discussed earlier removes the possibility of liquids ever coming back from the steam wand. Also, the anti-vacuum valve will also relieve you of any unwanted stress and vacuum-like conditions in the tank. There will be no damaging conditions or collapse with this machine.

Pros:

  • 12-month part warranty
  • Uses top quality parts
  • Makes 150 cups a day

Cons:

  • Very heavy machine
  • Smaller than other products
  • No grinder built in

* La Pavoni Commercial Lever Espresso Machine

Do you love the taste of old-world espresso? If so, this machine might just be what you seek. This is a powerful machine operated by two levers, and it has all the advantages you want in a modern small commercial espresso machine.

Getting this lever machine will make a wonderful addition to your business or office and will make sure clients are delighted and your employees are productive and happy.

It pulls shot after shot with no concerns or questions at all.

And believe me, we run a busy operation that has locations around the country working 24 hours. This thing sees a lotta love!

The lever is so much fun to pull every morning or afternoon, but the level of control that we get to exert over our espresso is what keeps everybody coming back for more. We just love pulling that lever every day and pretending we are baristas for a few seconds before settling down to work.

The features on this thing are really something to admire. We love the fact that it is two groups and has 2 steam wands. You can get twice as much done in this regard. There is one hot water tap, and one 14-liter boiler. You can also enjoy a direct water feed as well. There is also a 4-position power switch to make things much easier and efficient.

Product dimensions mean this thing can fit just about anywhere there’s a lot of space. If you put this in your breakroom, consider making some space! It measures 31x21x21. You definitely need some area to get this machine in there comfortably. Also consider a place that does not have kitchen cupboards above it for easier operation and cleaning. The shots this machine pulls are just so beautifully balanced.

All you have to do is pull down that lever and bam! Great espresso is yours. The chrome brass groups make it look really classy and nice. They even feature mechanical movement. Thanks to a special mechanism which lets only hot water into the group, this keeps the brewing pressure at a uniform level for a better extraction of the coffee. The boiler has a single pressure gauge.

You can also buy this in 2, 3 or 4 group configs. So, go crazy and go big if you have to-great for really busy places!

Let’s now discuss some of these great product specs.

We liked the four-position power switch, this lets the machine operate at only three quarters power during off peak times. And the anti-vacuum valve will restrict the milk flowing back into the steam wand during the process of frothing.

You can also look forward to the thermal stability of the groups, too. For example, the hot water from the boiler flows around the groups, which helps them stay at a consistent and uniform temperature.

There are two steam wands, too. Groups are made with brass that is press forged and is plated with chrome, so it’s super strong and holds up to all your toughest tests.

There is also a pressure gauge that helps you monitor the boiler pressure.

And the handles are nice – the are telescopic for easy machine transport. And the electronic automatic water level control has a visible sight glass, so you always can keep an eye on it. Lastly, there is a reset safety thermostat, so everybody has a safe and comfortable operating experience.

The secret to what makes this machine so great is that it is true low-pressure pre-infusion that gets you the softer, full bodied shots that are so sweet and lovely in flavor-and smooth too! Just pull the lever to fill the group and apply only 1 to 1.5 bar from the boiler, lightly soaking the coffee.

Then carefully lift the lever.

A piston is released and gradually builds pressure, then declines as the lever is drawn back. You achieve a sort of pressure profile that works oh so well to unlock the different flavors in your specialty coffees. We tried out Starbucks Christmas Blend on this, and wow-what a great way to get those holiday spices to pop out.

We love the control we get in this machine, but what I think we love most about it is how it looks. The cool black and chrome design is definitely commercial but looks great anywhere. Your office is no exception, and your small coffee shop will benefit from this great machine.

Pros:

  • Can choose group count
  • 2 steam wands
  • Flavors really popped

Cons:

  • Looks very commercialized
  • Very large machine
  • Stainless steel gets lots of fingerprints on it

* Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Volumetric 2 Group Espresso Machin

Here is an automatic commercial espresso machine that you can really get behind! This machine really ups the ante and it is also a certified World Barista Championship Official Espresso Machine.

This Aurelia II Volumetric 2 Group is super awesome for making the best quality espresso that you need in the high traffic settings found in offices and businesses.

To keep up with the rigorous demands of your office and restaurant, business or cafe, the Aurelia II Volumetric features back-flushing that is automatic, a soft infusion for shots that are consistent and delicious, and ergonomic certification.

The ergonomic certification was done by the European Institute of Ergonomics and Psychology as a way to safe guard the wellness and health of its users.

We really liked the heat exchanger on this.

The copper boiler works so the heat exchanger will let you brew and steam at the same time, and at a faster pace than non-heat exchanges. The temp stays nice and consistent through and through from the boiler to the brew head, which gives you the greatest espresso shots each and every time.

The soft infusion system is something else too. Testing this out was fun because the espresso we got out of it was soft and creamy. Everybody at the office just wanted to keep on drinking it… And we all thought this was going to make our productivity go UP!

Another great feature is the optional smart wand. This means anybody can make thick, velvety milk-based beverages, like lattes, and they are always at the same temperature with the right amount of foam. You can choose two regular steam arms, or just one regular and one auto steam arm.

There are also raised group heads as well on this machine-they’re tall enough to put your cup right under there. So, if you don’t have an espresso cup handy, you can always just put your own mug under there. It’s kind of takes away from the aesthetic, but still-it’s better to have espresso than to not have it!

A young woman in our office approached me about the machine and asked where it came from. We told her we had just got it at a popular online retail site, but she wondered because she had been a barista while in college.

She loved using it because she said it reminded her a lot of the one used at the coffee shop during her days as a college kid. This made me happy in many ways-first, it attested to the quality of the product, and second, a real live barista actually said she enjoyed it!

From there, you can just tell that this is a product to love and enjoy.

She was able to point out to me some great features about the machine that I may not have noticed. It really does take a person who has been inside the industry to know and understand what is so special about these unique machines and what they can bring to your table.

The reverse mirror, she stated, was a nice feature, because this allows the barista to see the shot come pouring out without having to bend down and see under the group head.

She also noted the cool touch steam wants which was nice, as it meant that there wouldn’t be any burnt arms or hands, or feelings for that matter! (We all want to look cool pouring our espresso shots, no?) And thanks to the lack of heat, you can say buh-bye to that crusty milk that appears on other machines. Yuck!

There is also a milk light which points down into the froth container. And, you can also look forward to LED lights, these soft, beautiful lights illuminate the whole front of the machine and looks super cool!

The machine itself looks really neat.

I loved setting it up in the office cafeteria. Training the staff to use it was very easy, and soon everybody was showing everybody else how to operate it. We all felt like real baristas using it. And so far, so good-everybody has been using it for a while now and there’s no worries about it breaking down. Basic maintenance on the machine is a cinch. The warranty isn’t so bad either.

It is best that you follow the manual when you get it, but here are some basic cleaning instructions we follow:

  • Backflush the group heads each day
  • Clean out the brew basket with a cleaning brush each day
  • Clean the filter basket one time per week
  • Keep the steam wand nice and clean and wipe it down after every use
  • Soap out the drip tray every couple of days

Our cafeteria staff does this for us, so be sure to train your staff or whomever will be operating the machine about the correct cleaning protocol.

Our machine was installed by the maintenance staff and will be operated by our cafeteria staff, but we enjoyed testing it out and pretending to be baristas for a couple of days before our great kitchen workers took over and were pouring up great lattes and cappuccinos in no time flat.

Pros:

  • LED lights make it easy to see
  • Reverse Mirror to see the shot
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Need to do daily cleaning
  • No choice of color
  • Very large machine

What Makes the Best Commercial Coffee Machine?

Well, if we are talking coffee, you want a machine that can make a big amount in a short period of time. You need a machine that is heavy duty, and of course makes your beans of choice taste really good!

Here are some traits to look for when you select your professional espresso machine.

How Much Do You Consume? How big is your business? It is important that you take count of the number of coffees you make every day. If you have a small office, with a few people working, an espresso machine that can make about 50 or so cups is ideal. Larger offices and big businesses will need a machine that can make hundreds a day.

Boilers, boilers, boilers: You can choose a single or twin boiler. For the office, we recommend a twin boiler, as this will not only make the coffee faster, but it can steam up the milk at the same time.

There will be 2 separate boilers in this type of contraption, and they will be kept at different water temps. A single boiler machine can only do one task, which is inefficient for a busy office.

Semi-Automatic/Automatic: A semi-automatic machine can be turned off and on manually, and also grant you easy control of the amount of water that is required to withdraw the coffee. If this is too much to deal with, then you should get an automatic machine that can help you make some coffee with just one button touch.

Cost, and Brand: If you opt for a low quality or cheap espresso machine, this is going to make everybody disappointed ­because they will likely be drinking low quality espresso.

Because of this, it is just worth it to spring for the more expensive espresso machine. Besides, the espresso will taste better, clients will be happier, workers will be more productive, and the machine will break down less.

Drinkables: Be sure that you choose a coffee supplier that will be a one stop for any sorts of drinkables/consumables you need-stir sticks, espresso paper cups, beans, and any sweeteners/creamers/syrups you desire.

Conclusion

There is no better time for you to get your hands on one of the best commercial espresso machines you ever saw. After all, it is a great addition to your business, office, or even home if you happen to be somebody that owns a really large kitchen.

These commercial espresso makers hold up to wear and tear, so if you do own a restaurant or business, you don’t need to worry about overusing them too much. Really, the biggest thing to do is make sure you clean them properly after the place closes at the end of each day, and you will do just fine with these great machines.

Indeed, it makes a nice and welcoming fixture to any place where people gather. They are an investment, but the rewards that you get and the hospitality you can bring to your guests will mean a lot. Enjoy making the greatest lattes, cappuccinos and coffees ever with the best commercial espresso machines.

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The Kitchen Hand

The Kitchen Hand

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