The process of starting up a coffee shop has lots of milestones: working out the business plan, getting the location, sourcing the beans and putting the menu together. But perhaps the most defining milestone of the whole process is actually getting the coffee machine itself. The trusty workhorse that will make the whole operation run, the coffee machine represents the final piece of equipment which can turn a coffee shop from concept into functional business.
Naturally, when it comes time to select any machine of such importance, it is vital to take due diligence and make sure every option has been exhausted as a possibility. You want to select the machine (or machines, depending on how big of an operation you are planning to start) which can offer you the best cost versus value assessment. Something capable of keeping up with the demands of your customers, something that is easy to operate and maintain for your staff, something reliable enough to base your business on, and on top of all of that, something with the features and extras you desire.
Ultimately no one can make the right decision as to the perfect coffee machine for your business, but we have assembled this list of 5 suggestions as we explore some of our favourite commercial grade coffee machines ideal for coffee shops.
1. Bunn 37600.0002 ICB-TWIN Dual Infusion Series Stainless Steel Coffee Brewer
This Bunn ICB-TWIN is a serious beast of a coffee machine. Capable of pumping out a staggering 17 and a half gallons per hour of coffee, the Bunn ICB-TWIN would not be out of place in even the busiest of coffee shops. As the name implies, the ICB-TWIN is a dual brewer capable of making two complete separate brews simultaneously. This allows you to keep all your customers happy no matter which type of coffee they order off your menu. In addition to being able to brew two separate blends simultaneously, the ICB-TWIN’s brewing stations are each equipped with three programmable brewing profiles, letting you exert precise control over the way the coffee is brewed.
Compatible with airpots or ThermosFresh servers, the Bunn ICB-TWIN is the perfect machine for whipping up all the different brews you serve and setting them aside in insulated containers to be dispensed throughout the day. The Bunn ICB-TWIN is equipped with a 5.6 gallon hot water tank which can be accessed separately via a hot water tap at any time. Built in energy saver technology helps to intelligently monitor the tank temperature to reduce electricity usage but also ensure there is always hot water when you need it.
Overall a brilliant machine, the ICB-TWIN is ready to play a pivotal role in any coffee shop.
2. Grindmaster PB-430 1.5 Gallon Twin Shuttle Coffee Brewer
Popular as the work horse of some of the world’s largest coffee shops, the PB-430 is a seriously in depth coffee machine, rich with different options and features giving you exacting control over the brew produced. Connecting directly to the water supply via existing plumbing, the PB-430 can brew anywhere from ½ gallon up to 1 ½ gallon brews to be stored in its included insulated holding tanks. Able to brew and store two separate blends simultaneously, the Grindmaster PB-430 can pump out a lot of java, enough to keep up with the fastest paced coffee shops, and even includes a hot water tap.
Pulse brewing, pre-infusion, and other options over the brewing process are easily accessed from the unit, giving a huge degree of control over how your brew comes out.
3. Bunn 20835.0004
Taking a different approach than the high volume coffee dispensers we’ve so far highlighted on this list, the Bunn 20835.0004 takes something of a different approach. Equipped with a total of 5 warming plates and 64 ounce carafes, this Bunn is capable of keeping all 5 carafes hot with adjustable temperatures for each warming tray. But more importantly, it can pump out up to 7.5 gallons per hour of coffee.
While this might not rival the outputs of some of the bigger monsters on this list, there is a place for the Bunn 20835.0004’s of the world. Highly useful in diner type operations where it is common to serve the customer coffee at the table via pouring it straight from the carafe, this style of coffee maker with multiple warming plates is perhaps more at home in restaurants than modern grab it and go coffee shops, yet nonetheless these types of coffee maker can have a respectable role in any coffee serving establishment.
4. Curtis GEM-12D-10 Gemini
Another bulk dispenser, this offering from Curtis has a brewing capacity of 3 gallons held within its highly insulated internal storage. Twin brewing chambers let you make two simultaneous brews, while hot water tap provides instant access to steamy water perfect for teas and soups.
Designed for ease of use, the Gemini doesn’t have a lot of features to bog you down with, but does offer some options such as programmable brew volume, temperature control, and a digital brew counter which tracks brew cycles, all to give you a bit of precision over your product.
5. Bloomfield 8780TF Gourmet 1000 Automatic Thermal Coffee Brewer
From time to time, you will need to make that one special cup. That item on your coffee shop’s menu which is so gourmet it must be tended to on an individual basis – not something that can be mixed in with the other brews. For this, you need a high quality, single serve coffee brewer, and the Bloomfield 8780TF is a great candidate for the job.
Easy to use, the Bloomfield incorporates a unique brewing design which uses a spray head to agitate coffee grounds during the brewing process, helping to get extract every ounce of flavour from your beans. Perfect for the gourmet cup for which there can be no compromise.
Conclusion – Best Coffee Machines For Coffee Shops
Remember, as a coffee shop, there is hardly anything more vital than your coffee makers (besides a good service of course)! You may well want to invest in multiple machines in order to ensure you have some redundancy in case something goes wrong. Good luck!