Cafe Equipment

Espresso Machines 101

La Cimbali M100 White with Elective Grinder

Espresso Machines 101: 7 questions to ask yourself before buying an espresso machine

Yes, it’s a necessary investment.

It is really important to use heavy-duty equipment that is suitable for the coffee shop business that you are going to open, as this ensures consistency and quality in every cup served.

After all, your baristas’ coffee lover concoctions are the reason why customers go back again and again.

While we believe that it’s a smart choice to invest on heavy-duty equipment for this purpose, it’s smarter to spend your hard-earned money on an informed decision. So, we have compiled 8 important questions to consider before investing in an espresso machine.


1. Why an espresso machine?

When in business, we can’t compromise the quality of what we serve! Our cafe customers always want to get the best of what they pay for, both in quality of ingredients and the method of preparation.  

“Espresso” is the brewing method wherein 8-10 bars of pressure pushes hot water through a finely ground coffee bed. This results in a perfectly extracted essence of complex aromatic oil compounds, or the “shot” coffee lovers adore. These shots can be produced between 20-30 seconds, making it a convenient expressway for espresso (which is the base of most beverages!). Needless to say, a great cafe prepares and serves great espresso. 

Commercial espresso machines can also serve a good number of customers on a daily basis. The convenience it brings to baristas will boost productivity and significantly decrease waiting time for the customers, regardless of the number of shots for the orders they have placed (because the more sales, the better!).


2. Traditional or automatic?

Basically, if you want easy-handle and compact machines for your coffee business, automatic espresso machines are the way to go.

Automatic machines such as La Cimbali S15 and S20 have built-in coffee bean grinders and milk frothers. No need to go through complicated machine operation, because with just a tap on the touch screen display, your espresso is ready to go. It also has customizable features so when you want to experiment on a unique, creative and innovative espresso, you can do so!

It will always give you divine coffee, but less mess to clean up afterwards as it has its own automatic washing system, too!

The traditional ones give the characteristics and vibe of coffee served by long-established cafes. Since these are the manual, you have control over specific customizations in your drinks. Don’t fret though, traditional does not necessarily mean complicated. 

Take Casadio’s Undici A1, for example. Despite being a traditional espresso machine, it is still easy to use and is low maintenance. La Cimbali M100 even has touchscreen commands for convenience. Traditional machines can also give you more room for customization.


3. How many customers am I aiming to serve? 

There are two-group and three-group machines available with specific serving capacity. Choosing between the two depends on the type of coffee business you are aiming for (cafe, bakery, restaurant, or any other establishments that offer coffee). 

For office spaces, La Cimbali S15 can cover the number of office employee customers you have as it can dispense up to 150 cups a day. Meanwhile, if you’re aiming for a bakery that has around 200-300 customers a day, La Cimbali S30 can produce around 200 cups per day while La Cimbali S20 can produce as many as 300 cups a day. Casadio Undici A1’s size and versatility works well for a small office and cafe. 

To summarize, if you’re aiming to serve up to 200 hundred cups daily, go for two-group machines. On the other hand, when you aim to serve around 250 to 500 drinks a day, three-group machines will do just that. 


4. How durable do I want my machines to be?

Similar to other kinds of machines and equipment, espresso machines will have years and years of lifespan if properly used according to design and capacity. 

The espresso machines we offer at Blu Coffee are quality equipment designed in no other than where espresso originated, Italy. You can rely on the reliability and authenticity of these machine investments.

On top of durable and quality machines, Blu Coffee provides great after sales service. You will learn how to use and how to maintain your espresso machines right from us, your solution providers. 


5. Is it cost-efficient?

Another important point to remember when starting a business – especially a food and beverages service – is the energy consumption of machines, freezers and other appliances you have. 

It is best to stick with equipment that will provide your needs while being a cost-saver. For example, La Cimbali M100 has an energy-saving feature which allows economic solutions for you. 


6. What do you want it to look like?

Efficiency is surely a vital factor when deciding on what espresso machine to purchase. But here is another good news: you can also match your machine to the aesthetics or technological features of your coffee sanctuary! 

For example, Casadio’s Undici Whitewood has a very elegant whitewood design. La Cimbali M100 provides LED-lit work area complete with ergonomic and soft touch filter-holder handles and simple touchscreen commands!  

Moreover, automatic espresso machines such as La Cimbali S15,  La Cimbali S20, and  La Cimbali S30 have Touch Screen Displays for easier navigation and more accessible control. Some traditional machines have USB ports and Bluetooth as well! The design and newly improved features such as rear panel, frieze, cup size holders of La Cimbali M100 Attiva is a testament to best coffee quality with visually-striking machines and a comfortable working area.


7. How much are you willing to invest?

You have to consider cost efficiency for the appliances and storage areas for your new cafe or bakery business as you go procuring for equipment.

There are ‘cheap’ and ‘affordable’ automatic and traditional machines. However, the deciding factor would depend on the projection and goals of your business. Do you want to serve as many customers as you can? It’s nearly impossible to do that with a 10-20k espresso machine.

There may also be extra cost for grinders, tampers, and knock boxes for traditional machines, but remember that these will surely help you further your knowledge and appreciation for espresso.

The word to remember is investment. The espresso machines you are going to spend money on will be a source of income for you in the long run. It will also be a source of happiness for your future customers for a long time. It’s the heart of your coffee business, anyway. Without it, you can’t pump good coffee.

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