Alex has never been professionally involved into the world of coffee, however he knows much more than any average barista. Being an avid coffee lover, Alex is constantly searching for new tips, tools, and techniques to make his morning cup of java even more perfect.
Mary has been dealing with coffee almost all her life long: in her teenage years, she worked as a barista in a number of well-known coffeehouses, later developing her knowledge and skills while studying at the university as well. Several years after graduation, she managed to open her own small coffee bar.
Last updated: December 31, 2021
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Finding the best commercial espresso machine is much different from finding one for your home. You have to think about ease of use, how many customers or employees the machine can serve in a day without putting too much pressure on it, and the amount of ongoing cleaning and maintenance. There are a lot of options out there and we’re here to help you choose.
We reviewed 23 different products to figure out which were the best of the best. Our Editor’s Choice is the Victoria Arduino VA388 Black Eagle. It has three group heads and a plumbed-in design for continuous brewing even on a busy day. It also has a top-notch controller, T3 system that allows you to control three temperature settings, and a low-profile design for easier communication with customers. This is a great choice for professional, industrial, or food service settings.
We kept some important features in mind when putting together this review. The group is where the water comes into contact with the beans. Multiple groups mean you can make more than one drink at a time. The water tank and bean hopper capacity are worth considering, too. If you’re worried about space, pay attention to the dimensions and, if you’re worried about the electric bill, pay attention to the power consumption. The first thing you’ll see is a table where you can compare all of our products side-by-side. Next, you’ll come to detailed reviews of each followed by a buying guide to help you find the best commercial espresso machine for you.
There are plenty of reasons for the Arduino VA388’s selection as our editor’s choice. First is the 608 oz water tank capacity and the plumbed-in design, which means continuous brewing even on a busy day.
Additionally, there’s the consistency of the coffee output. You want to rely on the machine for results, and the Arduino VA388 doesn’t disappoint. It’s fitted with a T3 system that ensures baristas have control over three different temperature settings, including the water infusion, steam, and brew group temperature.
The controller in this machine is also top-notch. It consists of three different PIDs and given their reputation for accuracy, you needn’t worry about the controller letting you down.
The included TFT is another highlight. It provides real-time data on temperatures in different areas, including the brew group, steam boilers, and even the temperature of the resulting beverage. Furthermore, you can see the expected delivery time and how much coffee is already in the cup. Considering there are three brew groups included, this is quite impressive.
Speaking of the brew groups, the coffee machine is definitely designed with efficiency in mind, and the three groups will ensure customers don’t have to wait too long in line. Another customer-centric feature is the low profile, so your baristas have an easier time communicating with each customer.
What makes it special?
3 PIDs in the controller for accuracy
TFT with real-time information on the brewing processes
Programmable temperatures in various stages of the coffee-making process
Low-profile design for easier communication with customers
The Synesso MVP Hydra is another impressive but pricey commercial espresso machine. It’s a dual-brew group machine with six program positions in each. This means you can try manual recipes, and as soon as you hit a sweet spot with the beverage, you save the settings to the positions available. After that, you’ll only need to press a button and wait for the coffee.
As for the brew heads, they have no wear parts, which makes sense given the machine’s expected workload. You’ll also notice digital shot timers above the group heads. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing both on the front and back, they’re pretty detailed as well.
Another inclusion that might slip your attention is the wired controller. It comes with a temperature overview screen so you can keep your eye on the temperatures in each group. Additionally, you can select individual groups and see information like saved programs where you tweak the settings as you see fit.
Not only can you control the temperatures but also the pressure at different stages of the brewing process. There are 4 programmable stages of pressure profiles: pre-infusion, full pressure, ramp down, and ramp up. These are useful in determining whether you bring out the acidity, textures, or sugars in any beans you use.
What do we love it for?
Six program positions in each brew head
Total control over the pressure
Aesthetically pleasing design
No wear brew heads
What were we disappointed with?
The wired display seems a bit rudimentary compared to modern screen designs
The La Pavoni BAR T 3 is another 3-group espresso maker to make it onto the list. It has a 777.7 oz water tank to keep up with the needs of a busy coffee shop or office space. In fact, the BAR T 3 is rated to produce up to 600 beverages a day.
Additionally, the thought that goes into the group design is impressive. The three groups consist of press-forged brass and are then finished with chrome plating for aesthetics. This is in addition to vertical infusion systems and pressurization systems for all three groups. Consequently, you’ll never have to worry about dripping even when you use the instant stop feature.
The instant stop works best with the continuous brewing feature, which is just one of four cup size selections allowed by the machine. Other design decisions concerning the groups include independent radiator hydraulic systems and front injectors. The radiator hydraulic system is worth noting since it’s essential for maintaining temperature stability while pulling shots and making your beverages.
We mentioned the 777 oz water tank and boiler above. A gauge is mounted onto the device so you can keep an eye on boiler pressure. Also, the machine is meant to be plumbed into your establishment. As such, everything you need for the installation, including hoses and fittings, is included.
What are its best features?
The design eliminates group dripping
Independent components for every group ensure consistency
The Jura 15089 GIGA W3 is the best professional espresso machine due to its intuitive, durable design. The elegant, streamlined look adds a modern feel that customers, employees, and visitors love.
The 169-ounce water tank and a 35.3-ounce bean container mean you don’t have to keep refilling during a busy day. It’s the perfect size for a small cafe or office and is designed to make up to 120 cups a day. Plus, there are programmable specialty coffee drinks and recipes accessible at the touch of a button, including a latte macchiato, cappuccino, ristretto, and flat white.
A notable feature is the adjustable air intake that helps heat and froth milk just right. Press the button for your drink of choice and the machine automatically adds the ingredients, grinding fresh beans with every drink. The high-performance, wear-resistant ceramic bean grinder is designed to give you fast, consistent results for years to come.
One of the great things about this espresso machine is the integrated cleaning system. It lets you know when it’s time to clean and rinses and descales at the push of a button. All you have to do is clean the filter and perform basic maintenance. That said, some people felt that the machine needed cleaning more frequently than the machine indicated.
The Breville BES990BSSUSC is a good choice for the best commercial espresso machine for coffee shop or cafe. The LCD screen makes creating a delicious drink as easy as using a smartphone. Choose a latte, espresso, Americano, cappuccino, or flat white by simply swiping the screen. You can also adjust the strength, milk texture, and temperature and save up to eight personalized recipes.
The conical burr grinder also doses and tamps the perfect amount for a strong and robust drink. Because a one or two-degree fluctuation in water temperature can result in flavor is burned or bitter, there’s also a digital temperature control that ensures the proper temperature with every shot.
This super-automatic espresso machine also has an overpressure valve. It limits the amount of pressure to prevent a bitter flavor. Instead, this machine uses low pressure that slowly increases to extract the most flavor. The steam wand has its own boiler and creates silky, texture foam to your preferred taste and temperature.
Users did not have many complaints about this machine but one thing that came up a few times is the filter. Some people just did not like the taste when they used the factory filter while others were unhappy with the cost of replacements.
What makes it special?
Sleek, stainless steel design
LCD touch screen menu with 5 drinks to choose from
8 programmable buttons
Adjust brew strength, milk texture, and temperature
Grinder doses and tamps
What cons did we find?
Some people did not like the taste given by the factory filter
If you’re looking for the best industrial espresso machine designed to serve a higher volume of people, check out the Nuova Simonelli Appia II. We love that it was designed with baristas in mind – the ergonomic features make day to day operation a breeze, even on exceptionally busy days. That’s not all, there are also two steam wands, a hot water wand, and raised group heads for fast and efficient service.
One feature that makes this machine stand out is the soft infusion system. It was made to produce soft and creamy espresso along with velvety steamed milk to deliver smooth, delicious, creamy drinks. Volumetric dosing ensures that each serving is the same size, giving you the control and consistency you need when running a restaurant.
There are some other great features, too, like the simple touch control panel, automatic cleaning option, safety valve, backwash prevention, double stainless steel pipes, and electronic dosing. The durable steel body was built to last and has a water capacity of about 390 ounces. Also included is a free espresso starter kit with all the utensils and accessories you need to start serving warm, delicious drinks right away.
Although this espresso machine is a bit on the expensive side, users had little to no complaints.
For an espresso machine the office will love, take a look at the Saeco Xelsis SM7684. This machine has 15 different presets to choose from as well as six user profiles to create your own recipes, adjusting for the foam, strength, volume, taste, and amount of milk. Touch screen controls are really easy to use so you can have a latte, cafe au lait, flat white, cappuccino, coffee, or even hot water at the touch of a button.
One of the things about this machine that’s really convenient is the AquaClean water filtration system. It helps keep mineral deposits under control so you can go up to 5,000 cups without descaling. The HygieSteam is also ideal for a busy office because it cleans the entire milk circuit and after each milk drink which means less hands-on maintenance. A durable ceramic grinder lasts up to 20,000 cups and consumer care experts are on hand if you ever have any problems.
There were a few complaints about this machine, one criticism being that machine almost tried to do too much which made the drink quality kind of average. But this is also what makes it such a great choice for an office where it’s necessary to have something for everyone.
What are its best features?
15 preset drinks
6 programmable profiles
Easy-to-use touchscreen controls
AquaClean water filtration for less frequent descaling
HygieSteam system cleans milk circuit after each drink
Grinder lasts up to 20,000 cups
What could be improved?
Some people felt the machine focused too much on the number of options and not enough on the quality of the espresso
This easy-to-use, one-touch machine is a great choice if you’re looking for a commercial espresso machine that fits into a tight budget. This Gaggia espresso machine features a one-touch brewing and frothing feature, automatically frothing your milk for cappuccinos. There are eight different brews to choose from in all, including espresso, regular coffee, lattes, macchiatos, and flat whites.
The easy-access water reservoir holds 50.7 ounces of water and 10.6 ounces of beans. It uses both a detachable, self-cleaning milk carafe as well as a steam wand so you can make drink manually if you wish, adjusting the flow knob to control the strength. Plus, if you want to fill a travel mug or large coffee cup, the brew spouts are removable to give you six inches of extra space.
You get some useful accessories with this espresso machine, too, like a bottle of descaler, water filter, water hardness test strip, lubricant, brush, and coffee scoop. This machine also gives you the option to use your favorite pre-ground coffee using the bypass doser.
Users had a few small complaints about this machine. Because of the automatic cleaning feature with every cup, the water reservoir empties pretty quickly. Some people also felt that the drinks were too weak, despite adjusting the flow knob to increase the strength.
The Jura Impressa XS90 is our choice for the best commercial espresso machine small coffee shop, designed to brew up to 50 cups a day. This high-performance machine has a 1.5-gallon water tank, holds 10 ounces of whole beans, and has a grounds container for up to 40 espresso drinks. The grinder has six different settings, creating an optimal blend of small and large grains or allowing you to choose to suit your own tastes. It actively monitors the level of the beans, too, so you’re not caught off guard.
This machine gives you a lot of variety, too, so you can serve your customers just what they want, including espresso, latte macchiato, cappuccino, pre-ground coffee, and hot milk and foam. There are 12 different types to choose from, all accessible at the touch of a button.
This machine has an easy-to-read display screen that not only displays the drink being made but also lets you know when it’s time to perform maintenance. There are integrated cleaning and rinsing functions and the machine has an energy-saving mode.
Users didn’t have a lot of complaints about how well this machine works or the taste of the drinks but the instruction manual leaves a lot to be desired. While it’s easy enough to figure out how to make drinks, the notification messages concerning cleaning and maintenance are a little more tricky.
Why is it special?
Brews up to 50 cups a day
Grinder with 6 settings
Can use with pre-ground coffee
12 different drinks to choose from
Integrated cleaning and rinsing
What are the flaws?
Poor instruction manual
Things to Consider
There are a lot of things to think about when choosing a commercial espresso machine. This is a pretty big investment and we want to make sure you get it right!
What to expect of a commercial espresso maker
Generally, commercial espresso makers are fast, convenient, easy to clean, and able to create a variety of different drinks at the touch of a button. Each one is a little different, though, so to find the one that’s right for you, the first thing you should consider is what you need for your business. An office, a small coffee shop, and a large restaurant all have different needs.
How to operate a commercial espresso machine
If you’re never operated an espresso machine before, here’s a great video that walks you through the process step-by-step. Keep in mind that this is a general guide and the machine you choose might be a little different.
These espresso machines have a wide price range. They cost anywhere from around $1900 to $7150. It’s important to keep in mind that these machines are designed to be used in a commercial setting. They take a lot more abuse than one that you might have in your kitchen and you have a lot of people relying on them to work, whether it’s an office full of employees or a cafe full of customers.
While some of these may seem a bit pricey, they’re worth the investment if you can work them into your budget. In the long run, higher-quality machines last longer and are more reliable. Plus, if you’re running a business that sells coffee, the machine will end up paying for itself.
The best commercial espresso machine can be found by the following features
Here’s what you should look for to find the right commercial espresso machine for your needs.
Choose the size you need
As we mentioned, these machines are an investment and can be quite expensive so it’s beneficial to assess your needs and pick the machine that fits your business. For example, if you own a small coffee shop or cafe, the Jura Impressa XS90 is a good choice because it’s designed to make about 50 cups a day. The Jura 15089 GIGA W3 is made to handle about 120 cups a day which is probably more than what you need.
On the other hand, if you have a busy coffee shop or large restaurant, something that makes 50 cups a day might not be enough and you’ll end up overusing the machine and it will break long before it should. Not to mention, overuse could nullify the warranty. In this case, you want to make sure you get something powerful enough to keep up like our Editor’s Choice.
Groupheads – how many?
Groupheads are important. They’re where the magic happens, where the water comes into contact with the beans and the pressure is applied to actually make the espresso. All of the products we chose have two groupheads, which means you can make at least two drinks at one time. That means you can service more customers faster, which is an important part of keeping them happy and coming back.
There are a lot of factors that go into making a good espresso – the quality of the beans, the filter, the cleanliness of the machine, the crema. But one of the most important is the amount of pressure. The ideal pressure for espresso nine 9 bars, which basically means you’re exerting nine times the weight of the air at sea level. The Breville BES990BSSUSC is a good example of this. It uses a lower pre-extraction pressure that increases to nine bars to produce a sweet, creamy shot of espresso.
Some of these machines allow you to adjust the temperature of the drink which is a nice option to have, particularly if you’re serving people who take their coffee to go.
The boiler capacity is something to consider if you’re using the machine in a cafe or coffee shop where coffee is your main product. The larger the capacity, the less frequently you have to stop to refill it, and the more customers you can serve without interruption.
It might surprise you to learn how user-friendly most of these machines are. For the most part, you just choose the drink you want from a menu, push a button, and the machine takes care of the rest. If you want to be a little more hands-on, look for something like the Nuova Simonelli Appia II which has steam and hot water wands that give you a little more control.
Brewing speed varies from one machine to the next and depends on a lot of factors, including the type of drink you’re making. For the most part, these machines can have a hot coffee drink ready pretty quickly, sometime between 30 seconds and 2.5 minutes.
Espresso machines aren’t known for being quiet, which you probably already know. While you don’t want the machine to be too intrusive, people going to a cafe or coffee shop expect to hear some noise. If you’re planning to use your espresso machine in the office, you might be a little more concerned with noise which is why we recommend the Saeco Xelsis SM7684.
Warranties are really important when shopping for a commercial espresso machine. First of all, this is a big investment and you want to know you’re covered if anything goes wrong. Secondly, there’s a good chance your business profits depend on the ability of this machine to function properly. A good warranty provides you some protection so, at the very least, you won’t have to foot the bill for repairs if something goes wrong.
A lot of these machines have automatic cleaning settings, which is great because it takes a little bit of the pressure off. You should still perform regular cleaning and maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer, but automatic cleaning and descaling can help you save a lot of time.
We recommend the Jura Impressa XS90 for a small coffee shop. It’s made to handle up to 50 cups a day and makes 12 different drinks. Because it has a 1.5-gallon water reservoir, holds 10 ounces of whole beans and a container that holds grounds for up to 40 espressos, you don’t have to worry about holding up customers to refill anything. Plus, it’s self-cleaning and rinsing which cuts down on maintenance time. You can also consider the Breville Oracle BES990BSSUSC as the one with the more programming and adjustments, if you need them.
Descaling is important because buildup can make the espresso taste bad and even clog the machine if not dealt with properly. The descaling process varies from one machine to the next and some do it for you at the push of a button. That said, generally, the process goes something like this. First, you need to get a descaling solution. There are homemade varieties that use white vinegar or citric acid but some brands specify a specific commercial descaler so make sure you follow the recommendation of the manufacturer. After you have your solution, remove the portafilter and run the machine to clear it out. Then, let it cool completely. Once cool, add the descaling solution to the reservoir cycle the machine. You can do this more than once if necessary. When you’re done descaling, fill the reservoir with plain water and run a cycle or two to rinse the machine. If you live in an area with hard water, you’ll need to descale more frequently.
You can’t be a coffee enthusiast and not be impressed by the Victoria Arduino VA388 Black Eagle, which is our editor’s choice. Virtually every aspect of the machine is impressive, from the durability, design, screen design, PIDs, automated cleanings, brew groups, and more. It’s expensive, but it makes a lot of sense to buy it if you have the money.
As for the Synesso MVP Hydra, the manufacturer pulls no punches, especially in terms of programmability. You have 12 program positions divided evenly among the groups that even allow control over pressure at different stages of the brewing process.
In addition to the design and aspects like the mounted pressure gauge and the independent components for each of the three provided groups, the La Pavoni BAR T 3 is a productivity monster. As such, it’s quite suited to high-traffic coffee shops where you’re serving up to 600 customers a day, making it our final selection for our top three.
Nonetheless, people’s needs aren’t generic, so you all can’t choose the same options. However, these three in our books are some of the best options to own in almost any commercial setting.