10 Best Commercial Espresso Machines for Café and Restaurant
Whether you are trying to improve the quality of coffee that you sell in your small café, starting a new restaurant or are even a coffee-lover that wants to have some barista-quality brews at home, a commercial espresso machine will be an excellent buy for you.
With the best commercial espresso machine, you not only get a higher brewing speed and capacity but also richer and more flavorful brews.
Commercial espresso machines are also designed to be more versatile which means they can make everything from typical espressos and lattes to other fancier brews. And these are also more durable machines designed to provide many years of great service.
This piece aims to make choosing one of these fantastic machines a lot easier for you as we review 10 top-rated commercial espresso machines and also explain in detail what to consider when choosing one.
10 Best Commercial Espresso Machines – Reviews
1. Nuova Simonelli Aurelia Ii (High-capacity, Multifunctional and Ergonomic Espresso Machine)
2. Nuova Simonelli MTALE08CAP (Compact and Efficient Super-Automatic Coffee Maker)
3. La Pavoni PUB 1EM-R (The Best Catering Solution)
4. Nuova Simonelli Appia II (An Amazing Mid to Heavy Volume Espresso Machine)
5. Nuova Simonelli Musica MMUSICALUX01 (For Both Coffee Lovers and Professional Users)
6. Elektra ART-SX (More Affordable and Top Quality Espresso Machine)
7. La Pavoni Bar-Star 2V-R (The Best 2-Group Espresso Machine)
8. Saeco HD8927/47 (The Cheapest Commercial Espresso Machine)
9. La Pavoni Bar-Star 4V-B (Well-Built, Large Volume Espresso Machine)
10. La Pavoni BAR-T 2V-B (A Perfect Choice for Medium Size Coffee Shops)
1. Nuova Simonelli Aurelia Ii
(High-capacity, Multifunctional and Ergonomic Espresso Machine)
2. Nuova Simonelli MTALE08CAP
(Compact and Efficient Super-Automatic Coffee Maker)
3. La Pavoni PUB 1EM-R
(The Best Catering Solution)
4. Nuova Simonelli Appia II
(An Amazing Mid to Heavy Volume Espresso Machine)
5. Nuova Simonelli Musica MMUSICALUX01
(For Both Coffee Lovers and Professional Users)
6. Elektra ART-SX
(More Affordable and Top Quality Espresso Machine)
7. La Pavoni Bar-Star 2V-R
(The Best 2-Group Espresso Machine)
8. Saeco HD8927/47
(The Cheapest Commercial Espresso Machine)
9. La Pavoni Bar-Star 4V-B
(Well-Built, Large Volume Espresso Machine)
10. La Pavoni BAR-T 2V-B
(A Perfect Choice for Medium Size Coffee Shops)
1. Nuova Simonelli Aurelia Ii – High-capacity, Multifunctional and Ergonomic Espresso Machine
- Boiler: 22 liters
- Group Heads: 4 group
- Dimensions: 51" x 23" x 23"
- Weight: 264 pounds
If you are a professional barista or a café owner with a larger establishment that sells a lot of coffee every other day, you will be happy to have this Nuova Simonelli espresso machine around as it will make life much easier for you.
It is a high-capacity 4-group coffee maker with a 22-liter boiler capacity that is designed to not only make a lot of coffee but also do it faster than most others out there.
The digital coffee maker also has some special features like USB connection to a computer interface, programmable milk temperature, programmable on/off controls, preset maintenance that also includes self-diagnosis and a beverage counter.
With the self-infusion system, you can always be sure of consistently perfect extraction, and the work surface is designed to accommodate both tall and low cups.
Although this is one of the priciest espresso machines not only in our list but also in the market, the many years of great service and coffee quality that you get makes it worth it.
2. Nuova Simonelli MTALE08CAP – Compact and Efficient Super-Automatic Coffee Maker
- Boiler: 5 liters
- Group Heads: 1 group
- Dimensions: 24" x 16" x 34"
- Weight: 190 pounds
For those on the market for a high-performing and efficient 1-group espresso machine, Nuova Simonelli has you covered with this top of the line model designed to provide great tasting coffee in seconds.
The 5-liter boiler capacity espresso machine uses a dual boiler design to allow for simultaneous brewing and steaming, and it also has dual grinders to ensure it can accommodate both decaffeinated and regular coffee beans.
With its soft infusion system that is characteristic of most high-end Nuova Simonelli coffee makers, you can be confident of always getting excellent extraction.
It will also come equipped with an external steam wand, and with the option to attach it to an external milk cooler. And you can program it to make up to eight different brews including milk-based ones.
You can make a double shot of espresso in just 3.5 seconds, and with a relatively larger menu display it is also easy to see the beverage you chose.
This espresso machine is also relatively pricier, but this is typical of such a high-quality machine and top performer. Although the 5-liter total boiler capacity might not be as large as what you get from others in our list, for a 1-group model it is as good as it can get.
3. La Pavoni PUB 1EM-R – The Best Catering Solution
- Boiler: 6.5 liters
- Group Heads: 1 group
- Dimensions: 21" x 15" x 22"
- Weight: 80 pounds
With a compact and lightweight espresso machine like La Pavoni's model PUB1EM-R, you will have the best solution for catering or when looking for a commercial coffee maker for use from different locations.
Besides the compact size, the other key things that make this 1-group machine one of the best commercial espresso machines is its speed as it will make cup after cup with no waiting.
The machine also includes a hot water tap which is always very handy, and you will never have to serve your customers with cold cups as it has a built-in warmer for the cups.
Because this is a pour-in espresso machine, it will not require any direct plumbing, and so you will not need to incur any extra cost for setting it up.
The size and capacity mean that it might not be able to handle larger and busy establishments, but this is still one of the best commercial espresso machines for small coffee shops out there.
4. Nuova Simonelli Appia II – An Amazing Mid to Heavy Volume Espresso Machine
- Boiler: 11 liters
- Group Heads: 2 group
- Dimensions: 31" x 22" x 21"
- Weight: 160 pounds
An easy to program and use commercial espresso machine like the Appia II is always great to have in your coffee shop as it means your staff will not waste a lot of time on it.
Besides the ease of use, this 2-group coffee machine also features a highly durable stainless steel and ABS construction to ensure that you get value for money as it will serve your business for many years.
This commercial coffee maker also features raised groups heads, and it has a work surface that is designed to easily accommodate both tall and low cups.
And because it uses a soft infusion system that is thermally compensated, you can always be sure of getting perfect extraction every time. When you buy it, you will also get a free espresso starter kit, and it also comes with a 3M water filter system.
Clean up could be a little faster and easier, but it is still simpler to clean than many other models, and so this should not be an issue.
5. Nuova Simonelli Musica MMUSICALUX01 – For Both Coffee Lovers and Professional Users
- Boiler: 2 liters
- Group Heads: 1 group
- Dimensions: 12.75" x 16" x 16.75"
- Weight: 44 pounds
With the easy to use interface on the Musica commercial espresso machine which features some backlit and programmable buttons, almost anyone can use it.
It is designed for use by both coffee lovers and professionals, and so it will work well in small coffee shops, homes, and offices.
This 1-group machine is designed to be lightweight, compact and portable to make it ideal for use from almost anywhere. And it is also a rugged and durable espresso machine with a stainless steel body.
With its pre-programmed pre-infusion system, this espresso machine will always deliver full extraction from the coffee grounds and ensure consistent brewing.
There is also a spacious cup warmer that will fit several standard size cups, and this is one of the cheapest models among our commercial espresso machine reviews.
2-liter boiler capacity seems relatively smaller but it is more than enough for a 1-group machine. The 60 cups per day might be fewer than what others in our list deliver, but given the intended uses of the machine, it is still enough.
6. Elektra ART-SX – More Affordable and Top Quality Espresso Machine
- Boiler: 2 liters
- Group Heads: 1 group
- Dimensions: 25" x 10" x 10"
- Weight: 25 pounds
When you have a small establishment or just want something high-performing for use at home and do not have a lot of cash to spend, Elektra makes this more affordable semi-automatic espresso machine for you.
The affordable espresso machine comes in a sleek and trendy look that will ensure it looks fantastic anywhere you place it, and it is one of the lightest and most portable models in our list.
Using the coffee maker should also be a quick and easy process as it only has three red buttons that are easy to locate for power, brewing and refilling the boiler.
Besides attaching the steam wand, there is no other assembly required, and so you will not need to spend more on professional installation. But, the best element about this machine is the heat exchanger system as it ensures you get the most flavorful brews.
The smaller capacity and output and the fact that this does not seem like a typical commercial espresso machine are not deal breakers as it still works well and produces great-tasting coffee.
7. La Pavoni Bar-Star 2V-R – The Best 2-Group Espresso Machine
- Boiler: 14 liters
- Group Heads: 2 group
- Dimensions: 22" x 31" x 22"
- Weight: 200 pounds
2-group espresso machines are some of the most popular as they do not cost as much as the 4-group but can still handle medium volume brewing quite well. And this one by La Pavoni is as good as it can get.
It is a compact machine that takes up little space, and because it is NSF/CFA-certified, you can be confident that it is top notch quality even before you buy it.
The 14-liter boiler capacity is quite good for a 2-groups model, and you can be confident that this machine has what it takes to make hundreds of cups every other day.
There is also a convenient digital control pad and with few buttons to make this an easy machine to use.
Thermal stability will ensure that you always get consistent temperatures for each of the groups, and there is also a visible gauge for monitoring both the groups and boiler pressure.
The 12-liter water softener will ensure you always take great tasting coffee while the dual position power switch helps to save energy, and the built-in cup warming ensures you never use cold cups.
Although 200 pounds sounds quite heavy, this is still an easy machine to handle, and you will probably never have to move it as it will be professionally installed.
8. Saeco HD8927/47 – The Cheapest Commercial Espresso Machine
- Boiler: N/A
- Group Heads: 1 group
- Dimensions: 16.9" x 8.7" x 13.4"
- Weight: 20.6 pounds
Saeco HD8927/47 is the cheapest commercial espresso machine in our list, but despite the relatively smaller price tag, this super automatic machine is still a high-performer.
What many users seem to like most about it, is that it allows them to make custom brews as you can adjust and save your preferred brew strength, length, and temperature. There are 5 different brew strengths and 10 grinder settings.
The adjustable 100% ceramic grinder will allow you to extract maximum flavor from the coffee, and you can have your cup ready super fast at the touch of a button.
Controlling the machine is also made easy by the lovely and easy to read display while the compact and lightweight design makes this an easy machine to handle and ensures it takes little space.
With the AquaClean filter, you can brew up to an impressive 5,000 cups before you need to descale. Because both the beans and water are top loaded, topping up this machine is quick and easy.
This coffee maker can be a bit noisy, but this only takes some getting used to and you will not even notice it.
9. La Pavoni Bar-Star 4V-B – Well-Built, Large Volume Espresso Machine
- Boiler: 27 liters
- Group Heads: 4 group
- Dimensions: 48" x 21" x 21"
- Weight: 253 lbs
While our 10 commercial espresso machine reviews showcase some top notch quality models, this 4-group one by La Pavoni takes the day when it comes to the capacity thanks to its amazing 27-liter boiler.
If you make large volumes of coffee in your super busy café or coffee shop, this espresso machine will be a great resource for you. And when compared to other top performing 4-group models, it is also relatively more affordable.
The commercial espresso machine features a digital control pad designed to make it easy to operate and with a 4-position power switch for great energy savings.
Each unit will also have direct water feed, 2 steam jets, a telescoping handle to make transportation easy, and it will allow for easy front access for repairs.
Other things like the thermal stability of the coffee groups will ensure that you always get consistent and balanced shots while the anti-vacuum valve ensures liquids do not flush back into the steam wand.
This is a large and quite heavy espresso machine, but these are non-issues as it will be a permanent fixture for use from one spot in your business.
10. La Pavoni BAR-T 2V-B – A Perfect Choice for Medium Size Coffee Shops
- Boiler: 14 liters
- Group Heads: 2 group
- Dimensions: 27.6" x 20.1" x 20.6"
- Weight: 149 pounds
While 2-group espresso machines with 14-liter boilers like the BAR-T 2V-B can still work fairly well for a larger establishment, they are often the best choice for medium size coffee shops.
This well-built coffee maker features some durable press-forged brass groups and an equally durable overall construction for a long service life.
There are also separate solenoids on this coffee maker which is a handy feature as it will allow for multiple users to operate it simultaneously. The digital control pad makes the operation easy while the double scale gauge makes it easy to monitor pump and boiler pressure
Other things that make this one of the best commercial espresso machines out there include the electronic automatic water level control, hot water tap with flexible jet, electric internal pump, and anti-vacuum valve.
The cost will not include the installation, but it should not cost a lot of cash to have this espresso machine setup in your coffee shop and ready to use.
How to Buy the Best Commercial Espresso Machines
As a professional barista or a café/restaurant owner, your choice of espresso machine will have a huge impact on your business.
To make sure that you get a machine that will keep customers coming back every other day, you need to watch out for the following factors when shopping.
1. Your Needs
Understanding your needs should always be the first thing when shopping for a commercial espresso machine as they are made with different features and capabilities to suit different situations and users.
If you are buying one for your café or restaurant, you need to estimate the amount of coffee you will need to make per hour or per day, and make sure you choose a machine that can meet the required capacity.
Also, make sure that you choose a machine with the appropriate speed to ensure that your customers will not need to wait in line for long.
For those that want a commercial style espresso machine for home use, you also need to decide on the amount of coffee you need to make or the number of coffee drinkers in the house to ensure that whatever you choose suits your needs.
2. Semi-Automatic or Automatic
Once you understand your needs, the next important decision to make will be on the type to buy. For commercial espresso machines, this will in most instances mean choosing between semi-automatic and the automatic types.
Semi-automatic: With a semi-automatic machine, you get to enjoy a hands-free experience and faster brewing while also retaining some level of control over the process.
These machines will give you more control over the temperature and pressure, but their greatest shortcoming is that you need to stop the espresso pour manually which means they require more attention.
Automatic: Automatic or fully automatic espresso machines are the smarter choice of the two as they are designed to do most of the job for you. However, this also means that as a barista or regular user you will have little control over the brewing process.
These are good when you do not want to keep your eyes on the machine at all times when it is brewing, and also for those with busy establishments with a lot of customers and needs something that makes coffee faster.
As you shop for the best commercial espresso machine for coffee shops, you will need to acquaint yourself with the boiler system as it is one of the most crucial components of these systems.
When it comes to the boiler, the size is often the most important factor to consider as it will play a vital role in the machine’s capability of delivering steam and dispensing hot water.
The ideal boiler size will depend on the category of the espresso machine. For example, 1 group head machines will typically have 1.8 to 5-liter boiler sizes.
Also, note that your espresso production or the size and type of brews you sell will have an effect on the ideal boiler size for you.
If you only serve a few espressos and 6 oz single shot cappuccinos, you might not need to focus a lot on the boiler. But, if your restaurant sells high volume takeouts, you will need to make sure that you have the right boiler for the job.
4. Group Heads
Group heads will determine the number of coffee cups you can make at once, and hence the number of people you can serve at a go.
Commercial espresso machines will have between 1 and 4 group heads. The scale of your business or the amount of coffee you make for home users will determine the right group head for you.
If you have a smaller restaurant that typically serves the coffee to customers while seated after their meals, 1 or 2 group head machines can be ideal for the job.
However, for those busy takeaway coffee shops and large establishments with heavy customer inflows throughout, 3 or 4 group head espresso machines are the best bet.
Although the commercial espresso machines will cost much more than regular coffee makers for home use, they will also come in different price ranges.
The price of these machines will vary based on the type, size, brand, features, and many other factors, and so before you start shopping for one, you need to come up with a budget.
While it is true you can find a small capacity model for as little as $1,000, the larger 4 group head machines that are perfect for making large volumes of coffee and with amazing speeds can cost up to $10,000 or even more.
Like with any other coffee maker type there are certain brands that are certain brands that are know to make top quality commercial espresso machines.
And while buying from these brands is not a guarantee you will get something top notch, it increases the likelihood of getting a good machine greatly.
Some of the brands you can trust to have a good commercial espresso machine for your cafe or restaurant include Nuova Simonelli, La Pavoni and Saeco.
6. Ease of Use and Cleaning
You do not want to end up with a commercial espresso machine that takes ages to master or is not easy for you to teach your staff how to use it as this is bad for business.
A good commercial espresso machine should be intuitive and simple to operate by anyone and with some easy to locate and see controls.
Some simple to operate hot water and steam valves and a large cup warming area are some of the things that can make the machine easy and convenient to use.
Also, make sure that cleaning the machine does not take a lot of time and effort, and that there are some indicator lights to let you know when it is time to clean, and some detailed directions on what to do.
If you have a café or restaurant, you need the best commercial espresso machine as it will ensure your customers get top-quality coffee that will keep them coming back.
Finding one that suits your needs should not be a problem as there are many models from different brands to choose from.
All, you need to do is consider factors like boiler size, group heads, the ease of use and cleaning, type, and of course, your budget to pick one from the numerous options.
And if you do not have the time to compare the many models out there, our top 10 commercial espresso machine reviews will make the job easier for you.