Best Commercial Espresso Machine for Small Coffee Shop in 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide

by lisa | Last Updated: December 28th, 2020 at 8:37 am

Overwhelmed by the variety of best commercial espresso machines for small coffee shops that are available on the market? Don’t know which one will fit well into the ambiance of your cozy cafe? Have doubts about the features, whether it will perfectly meet your demands and criteria?

Well, look no further because this is where we will put all your doubts and fears to rest. Turning this vision of yours to own a small cozy coffee shop is no small task. The amount of hard work that comes with actually bringing anything into existence is something that cannot be explained as it is best understood when it is practically done by someone.

Many factors play a crucial role. Budget, the size of the cafe, skills of the staff, all these factors heavily influence the decision regarding the types of equipment that are to be used. With current globalization and entrepreneurial boom, the market has been saturated by all kinds of appliances, with varying features directed towards different customers.

Being overwhelmed is pretty natural in such a scenario. With companies trying their level best by using different forms of marketing to make you buy their product, it is pretty common to buy a machine that does not meet your needs.

But to make this task easy for you, the following is the review of the top ten espresso machines that we think you should consider investing in, to provide that perfectly blended, aromatic, thick dose of caffeine that your customers are carving for.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall
 
La Pavoni 1 Group

  • Budget Friendly
  • Portable
  • Skilled staff needed
Premium Choice
 
Nuova Simonelli

  • Economical
  • Goodwill
  • Digital Menu
Great Value
 
Jura 15145

  • No skilled staff needed
  • Affordable
  • Offer variety

 

Best Commercial Espresso Machine For Small Coffee Shops

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS  
La Pavoni 1 Group
  • Price: Budget Friendly
  • Material: Portable
  • Yield: Limited to making espresso and cappuccino
  • Easiness: Skilled staff needed
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Nuova Simonelli MMUSICALUX01
  • Price:Economical
  • Material: Goodwill
  • Yield: A small amount of production
  • Menu: Digital Menu
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Jura 15145 Automatic Coffee Machine WE8
  • Easiness: No skilled staff needed
  • Price: Affordable
  • Diversity: Offer variety
  • Yield: Limited to 30 cups
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La Pavoni BAR-T 2V-B
  • Users: Can be used by multiple users
  • Customization: Allow customization
  • Easiness: skilled staff needed
  • Price: Expensive
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Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II 
  • Size: Compact
  • Volume: No limit on the volume
  • Price: Expensive
  • Type: Flexible
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Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL
  • Control: Allows control
  • Foam: Foam wand
  • Price: Expensive
  • Easiness: skilled staff required
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De’Longhi La Specialista EC9335M
  • Size: compact
  • Yield: Quick production
  • control: poor display of control
  • Type: Semi-automatic machine
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EspressoWorks 7
  • Warm: Minimum Warm uptime
  • Size: Portable
  • Price: Affordable
  • Temp: No control over temperature
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Saeco Xelsis SM7684/04
  • Type: Durable
  • Clean: Clean control system
  • Control: Maximum control
  • Price: Expensive
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Bunn VPR-2EP
  • Type: Portable
  • Price: Inexpensive
  • Interior: Keep beverages hot
  • Clean: Hard to clean
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1. La Pavoni 1 Group – Best Espresso Machine for small Cafe

La Pavoni 1 Group - Best Espresso Machine for small Cafe

This semi-automatic portable espresso machine is the dream machine of every first time coffee shop owner. If you are looking for something that has a large boiler but is still more on the compact side, then this is the one to invest in.

Made of stainless steel with a 1.8-liter reservoir capable of producing over 150 shots of espresso in a day well, then look no further and press that buy now button. Apart from espresso, the machine is also able to make cappuccino providing you with the best of both worlds.

It has a built-in up rack providing you with extra area to store your utensil. This feature is quite useful for coffee owners that do not have enough storage space. The machine is extremely budget-friendly. You do not have to break the bank in order to have a state of the art coffee machine. It provides features that closely mimic the features of machines that are owned by the big coffee shop.

Pros
  • Budget-friendly
  • Portable
Cons
  • Limited to making espresso and cappuccino
  • Skilled staff needed
Conclusion
The best choice for anyone who wants their coffee shop to be espresso heaven. This budget-friendly compact device is suitable for small coffee shops with trained baristas available at all times.

 

2. Nuova Simonelli MMUSICALUX01 – Best Espresso Machine for Small Business

Nuova Simonelli MMUSICALUX01 - Best Espresso Machine for Small Business

If you, as the owner of your coffee shop does not plan on making espresso a huge part of your menu but still want to incorporate it in your menu and provide it to that small amount of customers that actually are there just to get that extra dose of espresso, well we have found you what you have looking for this entire time.

This portable espresso machine from one of the reputable brands out there is something out of the ordinary on a budget. With a digital menu, front-mounted pressure gauge, and an insulated boiler, this is perfect for your cozy coffee shop where the demand for espresso is limited.

This machine is designed for small coffee shop owners that are tight on budget but still want to serve espresso. The coffee that is produced by this machine is second to none. It is worth considering if you want all the benefits on a budget.

Pros
  • Economical
  • Goodwill
Cons
  • A small amount of production
Conclusion
Perfect for coffee shops that specialize in other drinks and has very limited demand for espresso. It is worth every penny if you still want to cater to the limited demand and do not want to miss out on an opportunity and, as a result, losing a customer.

 

3. Jura 15145 WE8 – Best Commercial Espresso Machine for Small Coffee Shops

Jura 15145 WE8 - Best Commercial Espresso Machine for Small Coffee Shops

No skilled staff available at your coffee shop? Fear not because this automatic machine is all you need. The number of features that come in such a budget-friendly amount is something to not miss out on. This machine comes with not one, not two, but over 12 pre-programmable options to choose from.

The variety provided by it is amusing. It has 101 ounces of reservoir, 17.6-ounce beans container, with two brewing temperatures and three hot water temperatures. With eight levels of coffee strength, this machine is designed to give you that perfectly made aromatic beverage you were so very much craving for.

The operation of this machine is easier than you can imagine. This easy to operate machine will speed up the coffee production process of your cafe; as a result, helping you create a reputation for quick service. Way too many customers during rush hour? No problem if you invest in this machine.

Pros
  • No skilled staff needed
  • Affordable
  • Offer variety
Cons
  • Limited to 30 cups
Conclusion
An automatic machine at such a manageable amount is an offer to not miss out on. With 12 options, this machine offers quite a lot while still being affordable than most of the machines out there. This is what you should be getting if variety is what you aim to gain at such an affordable price from this investment.

 

4. La Pavoni BAR-T 2V-B – Espresso Machine for Coffee Shop

La Pavoni BAR-T 2V-B - Espresso Machine for Coffee Shop

So you are pretty serious about the coffee you are offering, and neither are your customers down to compromise when it comes to the quality of the beverages you are offering. If that’s your situation, then look no further because this product is for you.

This semi-automatic brass and chrome-plated machine is something to not miss out on. Perfect for coffee shops with a high demand for caffeinated beverages as this machine comes with features that allow it to be operated by multiple users at the same time.

With two flexible steam jets, mountain pressure gauges, and a boiler auto-fill system, this machine really is a one of a kind piece to invest in. The machine has a water softener in addition to the stop button and continuous brewing button. The machine is more on the costly side but considering its features; it is worth every penny. If coffee is what you are planning to master, this is what you should be getting.

Pros
  • Can be used by multiple users
  • Allows customization
Cons
  • Skilled staff required
  • Expensive
Conclusion
Perfect for cafes near bustling areas with a high demand for caffeinated beverages.

 

5. Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II – Commercial Espresso Machine

Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II - Commercial Espresso Machine

Another automatic dream machine with the freedom to control the temperature. This easy to fit anywhere machine comes with an auto steam wand and automatic flushing system in addition to an extraction mirror. This is the one you should be investing in if no skilled baristas are available.

With the ability to meet any level of volume and quality with no limitation, this all in one package is worth every penny. This machine does not require any level of skill set in order to operate it. It is extremely beginner-friendly. It is designed with keeping everyone who may operate this machine in mind.

Flexibility is the key feature of this machine. With keeping a wide variety of customers in mind, it is designed to meet the needs of every single customer. The customization this machine allows makes it a great investment in not just the short run but as well as in the long run.

Pros
  • Compact
  • No limit on the volume
Cons
  • Expensive
Conclusion
Not sure about the demand for coffee in your area, but still fear losing customers due to the lack of not having an espresso machine well time to invest in this one.

 

6. Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine, BES870XL

Breville the Barista Express Espresso Machine, BES870XL

This semi-automatic machine is the one for you if you like being involved in the brewing process. With features embedded into its stainless steel body, every single function offered by it is at the tip of your fingers. With a grinder, the perfect amount of coffee is provided into the portafilter.

The machine comes with a want to create foam as well as with the freedom to control the temperature. The control of the coffee machine may seem to be intimidating at first, but as you get used to it, this feature will become the most attractive part of the espresso machine for you.

The machine comes with a knob, which also allows you to control the level of grinding and set it according to your preference. The machine also has a wand to create foam and give rise to the creative side of you by providing the right tools for creating latte art. The machine can be easily cleaned, as it requires just a thorough washing of the removable parts.

Pros
  • Allows control
  • Foam wand
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Skilled staff required
Conclusion
A perfect device for you if you like everything to be under your control.

 

7. De’Longhi La Specialista EC9335M – Coffee Machine Commercial

De'Longhi La Specialista EC9335M - Coffee Machine Commercial

Another semi-automatic machine that allows you to control the process according to your preference. The machine comes with a sensor that will provide you with the right amount needed for your espresso. The machine comes with a thermal block that heats up faster than the ordinary boiler.

It is a compact device with different size options to choose from. The machine has a grinder with a sensor that provides you with the perfect amount of espresso that you need. The machine allows you to manually control both the coffee grinder and the coffee maker, allowing you full control and the ability to customize your drink according to your preference.

Apart from that, an Advance latte system is embedded into the machine, which allows you to produce the milk with the perfect texture and viscosity for the coffee of your choice. The operation of the machine can be quite daunting at first, but with time, the maintenance becomes easier than it seems.

Pros
  • Compact
  • Quick production
Cons
  • Poor display of control
Conclusion
This is the one to invest in if you are looking for something with an advanced system but a compact size machine.

 

8. EspressoWorks 7 – Best Espresso Machine for Small Business

EspressoWorks 7 - Best Espresso Machine for Small Business

Another machine with the phenomenal thermoblock system resulting in the shortest warm-up time. Made of stainless steel with removable parts, it is quite durable and easy to clean. It is easy to use the machine and can be used to brew two cups at once.

Due to its thermoblock technology, the machine is provided with the right water temperature. The machine also comes with a grinder, which is a must-have in any coffee shop regardless of the size of the coffee shop. It will allow you to grind the right amount and will provide you with the right texture that you are trying to achieve.

In addition to that, it also has a wand that will help you create the perfect foamy effect for your coffee. The machine also has a water tank that is designed to be visible. It allows you to have more control over the level of water. The maintenance of the machine is easy, as it just needs the rinsing of the removable parts of the machine. It is a durable machine made up of stainless steel and plastic.

Pros
  • Minimum warm uptime
  • Portable
  • Affordable
Cons
  • No control over temperature
Conclusion
An affordable, easy to use device perfect for coffee shops with a small number of daily customers.

 

9. Saeco Xelsis SM7684/04

Saeco Xelsis SM7684

If budget is not an issue for you, then this is all you need. This machine offers functions that make it worth every penny. With over fifteen beverages to choose from, it also offers a function that allows it to remember eight of your favorites. It also comes with an automatic cleaning function called HygieSystem, which keeps it clean.

The smart touch control feature of this machine is what makes it so special and more on the costly side. It allows you to control the volume, temperature, texture, and even the order of the coffee and milk. The control may seem quite overwhelming to operate at first due to the amount of control and customization it offers but can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

In order to protect that special part of the coffee, which is, without a doubt, its aroma. The machine has an Aroma seal that keeps the aroma of the beans intact. It makes sure that the beans are as fresh when the beverage is made as they are on the first day of opening the packet.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Clean control system
  • Maximum control
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Immovable bean container
Conclusion
This is a perfect fit for small cafes offering a variety of drinks to their customers.

 

10. BUNN VPR-2EP – Espresso Machine for Small Coffee Shop

BUNN VPR-2EP - Espresso Machine for Small Coffee Shop

Last but not least, on the list is this compact and controllable machine. This is the dream machine for you if complicated machines are not what you like to dabble in. With its limited output, it is perfect for cafes with limited demand for espresso.

Made of stainless steel, this is what you should consider buying for that cute little coffee shop of yours. The machine comes with two heaters, which can be controlled by you and set at the temperature preferred by you. One of the heaters is on the top of the machine, while the other is where the coffee is brewed.

The machine comes with a heated decanter, which keeps the coffee warm for a very long time. The usage of this machine is quite simple. It has no fancy system to operate and also does not require any training. It also has a SplashGard feature that protects the surroundings from stains due to any spillage.

Pros
  • Portable
  • Inexpensive
  • Keep beverages hot
Cons
  • Outer body made of plastic
  • Hard to clean
Conclusion
This budget-friendly device is the right fit for your small coffee shop with few orders for that extra caffeinated dose.

 

Buying Guide for Best Commercial Espresso Machine for Small Coffee Shops

Budget is most important factor

Budget being a crucial part of any entrepreneurial venture, it is something that the entire game plan is dependent upon and can’t be ignored. With that being said, focusing on the types of machines that can fit into your budget is the smartest way to go about it.

Considering investing in a machine that is way off your budget or a machine that is possible to fit in your budget but which will be of no use in your coffee shop, both can be pretty poor decision making on your part. To get the best out of your financial situation, it is highly important to focus on the appliances that not just meet the criteria of your budget but as well as the quality of the product that you are planning to serve.

Skill level of your barista

Investing in an espresso machine is highly constricted by the skill level of the one who is going to operate it—having a barista with a high level of skills when it comes to making espresso will affect your decision regarding the investment in an espresso machine differently than that with a lower level of skills. Different machines are developed with different functionalities to work according to the skills of the operator of the machines.

Volume/ Number of expected customer

The number of customers that you expect can highly influence this decision of yours to invest in an espresso machine. Investing in a machine that is designed to meet a high level of demand may not be a smart decision on your part if the demand for espresso in your area Is quite low.

The effect it will have on your budget will also be quite negative as expected. On the other hand, if the demand for espresso in your area is high, customers actually prefer this highly concentrated beverage with a high level of caffeine compared to other drinks on the menu then, investing in an espresso machine that can not keep up with a high level of demand will result in a high level of unsatisfied customers causing it to ruin the reputation of your coffee shop.

Depending on the expected amount of customers, you can either choose an espresso machine with a double boiler or a single boiler. An espresso machine with double boilers will allow you to prepare an espresso shot while simultaneously steaming the milk to accelerate the process resulting in quick production, satisfied customers, and meeting a high level of demand all at the same time.

A single group espresso machine is preferred by coffee owners that do not expect high demand from customers. You can also choose from two or three groups of machines that can make four to six cups at the same time resulting in even faster services to the customer.

Types of Machine

The types of espresso machines available are mostly the leading cause of confusion among the first time investors. With products ranging from automatic to semi-automatic and automatic with options for customization, investing in a wrong machine due to the confusion caused by the different features is entirely justifiable.

The first one to consider investing in is the automatic espresso machine. Also known as the volumetric machine is a beginner-friendly machine that is the superstar among small cafes owners looking for the best commercial espresso machines for small coffee shops. With a set water measurement feature, this machine is there to take that extra pressure off your shoulder.

The machine stops when the set volume is reached without any additional skills required. All you have to do is push a button. This type of espresso machine is perfect for you if you want to lower your overhead costs as staff with special skills are not a requirement to operate it.

Even though this machine might feel like the ideal fit for your little cafe, but it might be quite expensive, which can negatively impact your budget. In addition to that, it does not allow you to customize the volume of your drink, which can be quite a bummer if your customer wants to order a volume different than that offered by the machine.

The second type of machine that is available on the market is the semi-automatic one. This is the perfect fit for you if budget is an issue, but you are willing to compromise regarding the quality of the beverages you are offering. This machine will allow you to customize the volume of your drink according to the preference of your customer as well as giving the barista control over the process.

The issue with this type of espresso machine is that it requires a certain level of skills to operate it as not everyone can use this machine to make that perfect shot of espresso. Secondly, the quality of the drink will vary according to the barista who is operating the machine, resulting in a different quality of drink every time.

The last type of machine to consider is the automatic machine with an option for customization. This espresso machine not only gives you the freedom to customize the volume of drink ordered by the customer but also provides you with the security and standard quality offered by the automatic machine.

 Frequently asked questions 

What is the best espresso machine for a coffee shop?

La Pavoni 1 Group Commercial Espresso/Cappuccino Machine, 22″ H x 15″W x 21″D, Stainless/Black

What is the right bar for espresso machine bars?

9 bars is the right bar for espresso machine bars.

Wrapping up

The selection of an espresso machine that perfectly fits the criteria you have set and meets all your wants and needs may seem overwhelming at first. But focusing on the right features that will be beneficial in the long run can tone down the difficulty of this task.

Be it the price of the machine or the level of personalization you are trying to obtain, every single demand of yours can be met easily due to the variety of options available on the market. The products reviewed above are the best of the best, and choosing one of them according to your preferences is what we recommend.

Making such a crucial decision without thoroughly exploring all the best options available is something that can have a very vital impact on your business. To make it even more straightforward for you, the following are our recommendation that we think might be worth investing in