Knowledge Base:  
Which Coffee Machine
Last Updated: 09/12/2019

There are several criteria to consider when choosing which coffee machine to choose so we will investigate the various types.

1. Traditional coffee machines.

By far most popular and the choices are manual, semi automatic or fully automatic.

Semi automatic are fine except you will need to measure each shot which is a little more time consuming, however a great coffee can be made and you do have a little more control over the shot.

Fully automatic

The same and a semi automatic except the shot is automatically measured for you, so once set and your preferred time, in theory every coffee will be the same, BUT it can still vary due to different operators tamping the coffee, this variation is very easy to avoid by using an automatic tamper making every coffee the same. This applies to the semi automatic and lever machine as well.

Lever coffee machines

The third type of coffee machine is perhaps the first type which is lever operated and is the first type of coffee machine produced, today it is really used where you wish to create a truly traditional coffee bar or in mobile unit when a gas heating system is employed to avoid the need for a major power supply.

2. Bean to Cup machines.

Bean to cup machines have their place but won’t be taken seriously by a true Barista. Modern bean to cup machines will make consistent drinks and are ideal for bars, offices and pubs etc, they are used to avoid training issues where staff turnover is high, although they are not our favourite machine we recognise that there is a need and they can be successful in the right environment.

3. Types of coffee production

The above machines use beans which are self explanatory; however other options are pod and capsule.

Pods are like tea bags but are compressed to the same tamping pressure of ground coffee, these are again used where staff training is an issue as there is no control over the coffee produced other than the time to pull a shot

We recommend pods for decaffeinated drinks where few are sold as this guarantees freshness, pods can be used in all traditional coffee machines without modification, although pods can be used in a standard group handle we recommend a separate group handle with a specific pod filter plate. Pods are a standard size and can be supplied by most coffee companies although the number of blends may be limited.

Capsules are made of a thin plastic are generally liquid coffee and are specific to the machine, the downfall is you may not be able to buy the capsules only from the one supplier and then only over the Internet.

Were as coffee beans cost between 7p and 10p per cup both capsules and pods can be as much as 37p per cup.

4. Machine criteria

It has to be said that 99.99% of commercial coffee machines will produce good espresso based drinks so which machine to choose.

Most people will choose a machine on looks/style and how it will add to the aesthetics of the premises.

Things to consider are the cost of parts which vary greatly between different manufactures, just the same as cars. A ford costs x amount to service and repair yet an Aston Martin would cost 10 times more to service and repair yet both basically do the same job and this applies to coffee machines as well.

Also a point to consider is the parts availability as some manufactures are very difficult to obtain parts for, especially in these times where manufactures are either limiting production or are closing down.

5.What size of machine

Single group machines are fine in pubs and outlets that only supply a few drinks per day but a 2 group machine will be more than capable of producing enough drinks for a normal cafe.

If you need a 3 group of even a 4 group consider 2 x 2 group machines if possible, this will take up a little more space and will cost a little more, however should anything go wrong with one machine you still have the second one working where with a 3 and 4 group machine some faults will stop coffee production all together.

This is just a quick guide, however we hope it helps you in choosing your machine but if you wish to discuss any points please call on 07516 102947 or email

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