How to choose a professional coffee machine?

There are contexts that determine whether or not your coffee business will thrive. The main thing is to serve a premium product, so perfect coffee. And with that comes a quality professional coffee machine. So how do you choose the best one? Let's discuss.

How to choose a professional coffee machine

There are actually three options on how to get a professional coffee machine. Either buying a new coffee machine, a used coffee machine, or getting a coffee machine on contract.

The last option is quite tricky. It depends on the specific terms of the contract you (usually) enter into with the roaster. You can have fair terms, but more often than not you will be "trapped".

It happens that the amount of coffee regardless of your real need, you are tied to the price and quality level of the coffee supplier. The calculation of benefits then usually decreases even with the particular technology borrowed, and in general how many times you would do better by buying your own coffee machine for example on hire purchase.

Here I would like to point out with permission that we can ease your financial costs for a coffee machine for example with a discount on coffee and services. Or arrange just "coffee machine leasing" and with individual attention.

Will you be buying a new coffee machine?

So, we have the option of buying a used or new coffee machine. We have already discussed this topic in our article about the pros and cons of second-hand coffee machines. In a nutshell, the biggest problem with these "second-hand" coffee makers is that you may not discover internal defects.

For example, limescale inside the boiler.You can't see thatfrom looking at the coffee maker and the seller probably won't admit that he had the coffee maker hooked up to water for 5 years without filtration. The situation is a bit like buying a used car, isn't it?

A new coffee maker like that costs as much as a car. Just as with a new car you look at the parameters that define its capabilities, features and purpose, you compare similar things when choosing a pro coffee maker.

Professional coffee machines we trust

Will it be a Ford or a Skoda, a sedan or an SUV? Similarly, I might ask about your dream coffee maker, if you prefer La Marzocco or Victoria Arduino, do you need a two or three lever machine?

For us, we mainly focus on coffee makers from the brands Nuova Simonelli and Victoria Arduino. Why? Well, because we know their quality for our own coffee! You know what I mean, these are the coffee makers we trust, the ones we know through and through, and the ones we know you'll be most satisfied with. As will the hundreds of coffee drinkers and baristas who work with them every day.

Victoria Arduino showroom. Image source:

What is the deal when choosing a pro coffee machine?

Now let's get to the specific things you'll be most concerned with when choosing a professional coffee machine, regardless of the order of the items. These are:

  • Performance,
  • design,
  • features
  • and price.

A powerful coffee machine for the café

What should your future coffee machine be prepared for? This is where the average operating intensity per number of coffees per day will help.

1 lever pro coffee machine up to 50 coffees/day (coffee stand, small operation)
2 lever pro coffee machine 50 - 100 coffees / day (small coffee stand, medium traffic)
3 lever pro coffee machine over 100 coffees / day (large coffee shop, high traffic)
Two lever professional coffee machine for coffee shop by Nuova Simonelli.

The capacity of theboiler is usually related to the performance of the coffee machine. That is, how much water it can hold preheated for making coffee, but also tea and other hot drinks.

1 lever pro coffee machine ▶ approx. 7 litres of water

2 lever pro coffee machine ▶ approx. up to 17 litres of water

3 lever pro coffee machine ▶ approx. up to 22 litres of water

Boiler inside the Nuova Simonelli professional coffee machine.

You know that...

The development of coffee technology goes hand in hand with the eco-friendliness of coffee machines at Victoria Arduino. Their T3 technology can reduce the energy to reheat a large volume boiler. Instead, it uses the operating heat of the coffee maker to preheat the water and then a system of three smaller capacity heating systems. It is both ECOlogicaland ECOnomical!

Functions of professional lever coffee machines

This one can do this and that one can do that, and all together they can make too much great coffee. Just what are the specific capabilities you need, use, or simply wantin a coffee maker?

The current trends in espresso and coffee technology are features that can regulate the pressure in the coffee maker. It is not a "historical" solution of loosening or tightening the appropriate screw, but a variable adjustment in real time. That is, adjusting the presteam or the complete pressure curve for extraction.

In addition to pressure adjustment, the sought after functions are water temperature control (which in old model coffee makers is linked to pressure). Both overall water temperature adjustments and sophisticated temperature solutions for each individual head of the coffee machine.

The icing on the cake is the latest piece from Victoria Arduino. Their brand new Maverick is a coffee maker on which pressure, temperature, but also the method of pouring can be regulated so that you can also prepare drip coffee or perfect tea on this espresso machine.

The new Maverick and its Pure Brew technology for making drip coffee and tea. Image source:

3, 2, 1 lever coffee maker?

First of all, the number of levers. Or rather, the heads of the coffee maker where the portafilter is based. You choose between a single, two or three lever coffee maker. You may come across terms like "single group" or the abbreviation "2 Gr" or "3 group". By "group" we mean the brew group or head group. Which is the same thing.

  • single lever coffee machine
    • for bistros, bakeries, coffee to go shops
    • for cheaper single-lever coffee machines, it is assumed that coffee is not the main product
    • you'll either be making coffee one at a time, or you'll have a steady double espresso
    • more expensive single-lever coffee machines priced from £50,000 can usually handle a bigger load than takeaway coffee, but the key is the wattage and size of the boiler
  • two-lever coffee machine
    • for cafes, hotel restaurants, more busy operations
    • most gastro establishments have a two-pot coffee machine
    • is the largest offer among them, prices range from 60 thousand to 450 thousand for design and technological top
    • with two lever coffee machines it is a good idea to look at the power consumption of the machine to see if you need to replace the sockets/fuses
  • three-lever coffee machine
    • a large coffee machine that will only really use a lot of traffic
    • designed for multiple people to work on one machine
    • the width tends to be from 1 metre
    • long heating times and high power consumption must be taken into account
    • you will also need a separate socket for it, usually 380 V

Semi-automatic, volumetric, gravimetric coffee machine

  • semi-automatic, these are coffee machines where you stop the coffee dosing only manually by pressing a button
  • volumetric means the automatic dosing function, where the water flow rate, the volume of which you pre-set, is used
  • gravimetric is when the coffee maker has an integrated scale or sensor for the weight of the cup, so that there is an accurate coffee extraction time based on its weight
On the modern display you can clearly see all the data for your espresso as well as the weight of the drink thanks to the gravimetric of this coffee machine MAverick by Victoria Arduino. Image source:

Professional coffee machines and milk frothing

Since cappuccinos and lattes are among the most popular coffee drinks, milk whipping technology demands your attention as well. Instead of traditional nozzles, nozzles known as "cool touch" are now required. These are the so-called worthy nozzles that do not burn.

Another tip for whipping milk that might suit you in terms of efficiency and simplicity is "easy cream" technology. Such a steam nozzle contains a thermometer and is specially designed to whip the milk almost independently. The result is nice creamy milk at the ideal temperature.

Theway the steam nozzle is triggered can also play a role in whipping the milk. The steam valve is traditionally like a knob or lever. A very nice modern way to control the steam nozzle is with a paddleswitch. This has a dual function. Either letting steam in until the switch turns it off again, or opening the steam valve as long as you hold the switch.

Why would you want a UX coffee machine in a coffee shop?

Now let's take a look at the UX. Actually, how much the coffee maker is tailored for comfortable use by baristas. The "barista friendly" coffee maker features clear controls that are right at your fingertips.

Very convenient, in terms of operation, are coffee makers with a display. On it, it is easy to check and adjust specific functions without having to know the right combination of buttons to set, for example, the volumetrics. Even clearer is the communication via the mobile app.

Ergonomic portafilters are standard on Nuova Simonelli coffee machines, for example, as is a tilted reflective surface for monitoring the smooth extraction of coffee. And for example, the Aurelia model series coffee machine is produced directly in the UX version as AureliaWave UX.

Aurelia Wave Ux touchscreen coffee machine. Image source:

The importance of design in a coffee shop coffee machine

What should your coffee machine look like and is it important? Personally, I would argue that even the look of a coffee machine has an impact on the overall popularity of a coffee shop. I don't mean that design is the alpha and omega when choosing a coffee machine. But certainly can support the overall concept of a coffee shop.

In these times when coffee shops are thriving, those coffee shops that offer a quality product and a unique atmosphere thrive in the market. They attract unique concepts, stylish interiors, modern equipment, which unconditionally includes a coffee machine.

Victoria Arduino White Eagle coffee machine inspired by the work of Vincent Van Gogh. Image source:

Think of the appeal, but don't forget the dimensions of the coffee maker! Sometimes one of the defining factors in choosing a coffee machine is their size. Especially a small coffee shop or espresso bar are usually limited by the small space where the coffee machine has to fit.

For the height of the coffee machine, add the space for the cups, and above all think about the height of the coffee grinder which, from a practical point of view, is always placed close to the coffee machine. So don't drill low shelves in the coffee machine area.

The Athena Leva is a beautiful retro coffee machine. Also a tall coffee maker whose levers for manually starting the extraction reach well above the coffee machine. But this piece really needs more space around it, because it's super attractive and all the coffee drinkers in the area will come to admire it. Image source:

Sustainability and how to save on a pro coffee maker

Now, let me tell you how to save on a professional coffee maker. In addition to that, you will save nature too. Like it? I know you do. First of all, our favorite pro coffee makers Nuova Simonelli and Victoria Arduino know it.

In their coffee makers, you'll find technologies and gadgets that effectively reduce the coffee maker's impact on the environment and your operating costs. Specifically, for example

  • the use of eco-friendly materials in the manufacture of the coffee machine,
  • the use of insulated boiler casings to minimise heat loss,
  • preheating the water in the boiler with the operating heat of the pump,
  • automatic switching off and on of the coffee machine or sleep mode,
  • a programme for cleaning the coffee machine and rinsing the head after removing the lever.
Victoria Arduino's Black Eagle green coffee maker and other Simonelli Group companies' coffee makers are made with sustainability in mind. Image source:

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