Opening a coffee shop involves a lot, and having the right equipment is at the top of the list - as we learned firsthand. In this guide, we'll show you the coffee shop equipment you'll need to get started, how you can afford it, and options for where to buy equipment for your coffee shop.
What do we know about coffee shops?
Now 8 years in the coffee business, we have opened 3 coffee shops, a roastery and a commissary kitchen and learned a lot along the way. Mostly we learn through our mistakes, but also through some successful guesses. But one of the things our wholesale partners often ask us is what equipment we recommend. There are many manufacturers out there who promise that their equipment is the best. Sometimes we agree with them and sometimes we don't. But what we learned is that you don't want to be limited by your equipment. Your baristas are the craftsmen and your coffee equipment are your tools. And having the right tool for the job makes all the difference. So here are our recommendations for coffee shop equipment.
What you need to open a coffee shop
Before you start creating your equipment list, there are a few hurdles to overcome to open a coffee shop. First, there's a vision for the kind of experience you want to create, followed by a business model for how you'll serve your community and generate revenue. Next, you'll need to determine your location and how you'll finance the build. Then you can turn your attention to your cafe equipment list. To learn more about the steps we take when opening a new coffee shop, check out ourguide to opening a coffee shop.
Coffee equipment list
espresso coffee machines
For most coffee shops, the espresso is the heart and main offering. It is also the most complicated because it requires the most expensive and complex equipment. Getting the wrong equipment can not only be expensive, but it can also cost you lost revenue.
Anything LaMarzocco does will be a good decision. They have proven themselves to be leaders in espresso by creating the most timeless and hardworking machines out there. The Linea is a classic structure that is over 30 years old, and the PB model adds a programmable volumetric dose, which allows you to always reproduce the same dose of espresso. It is one of the best machines we know. Two of our coffees use Linea PB and after hundreds of thousands of shots of espresso they are still going strong.
It's impossible to walk into a cafe and not notice Slayer. It's a beautiful machine that combines wood and metal better than anything else out there. It's also a great machine to work with, offering flow control to perfectly customize your espresso. We've been using a Slayer in one of our cafes for over 8 years now and it's still going strong. We also get compliments almost every day.
If you really want to have fun, check out the Samremo Cafe Racer. A machine inspired by the classic cafe racer motorcycle. This machine offers some amazing features like pre-injection, volume and lots of programming.
To learn more:Introduction to Express|How to prepare a shot of espresso
espresso coffee grinders
Grinders come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. And they're often brewed specifically for specific jobs, like espresso, filter coffee, or bulk. Having the right tool for the job makes all the difference.
Mazzer has been the coffee standard for quite some time now. The Super Jolly is a meterless grinder with electronic dose adjustment, making it easier to use.
Mahlkönig makes our favorite commercial grinders. The E65S is part of a new series of grinders that are quieter and work harder than the previous series.
To learn more:How to grind coffee beans
espresso coffee accessories
There are many other tools and accessories that complete the espresso package. Here are the tools you shouldn't forget.
This handy tool allows you to quickly rinse your pitchers to keep them clean on the go.
We recommend two jug sizes, one for smaller drinks like cappuccinos and one for larger drinks like lattes. Having both sizes will allow you to properly steam the milk to get the perfect texture.
This tool allows you to quickly remove the espresso tray from the portafilter without damaging the portafilter basket or rod.
A rubber mat specially made for condensation to preserve the life of your workbench and filters.
This tool evenly distributes the espresso in its portafilter to ensure a flat, level bed of espresso for proper espresso extraction.
This tool compresses the espresso in the portafilter to produce a properly extracted shot of espresso.
Batch breweries are the easiest way to produce large quantities of fresh coffee. They are available in various batch sizes, energy requirements and features.
Batch brewers are available in 120v and 240v. We strongly recommend 240v as it heats up much faster than 120v. We also recommend the double coffee maker, which will allow you to prepare two different coffees at the same time.
The well-insulated vents will keep your coffee hot for a long time. Both the lever action airpot and the Luxus pot are great. In the early years we used lever action, but we switched to Luxus.
If you're making multiple batches of coffee, you'll want a grinder that can keep up. Bunn makes a very affordable bulk mill that is great for batch production.
manual fermentation equipment
If your cafe concept includes a beer bar where you will be serving drinks and the like, there are a number of essential pieces of equipment for a well-stocked bar.
Marco makes the best hot water dispensers. You can choose between a counter top or an under counter if you want to keep your counters neat and clean. There is also a wide range of options, from multi-temperature boilers to adding carbonated water dispensers.
Spilled Hario V60
V60 is a classic brewery. And there are many options to choose from, including material and color. While we love the V60, we're also fans of the Kalita Wave.
There are manylarge gooseneck kettlesout there, but for form and function, we love the Fellow Stagg. For a coffee shop environment, we think the Stagg combined with a hot water dispenser is a better setup than using electric kettles which take a long time to reach temperature.
The Hario scale is one of our favorites because it looks great, is reliable, and has a built-in timer. This works best for weighing coffee or preparing drinks.
To learn more:How to make coffee for serving
There are some more possibilities that will make your coffee shop complete.
You'll definitely need a toolbox loaded with standard tools like screwdrivers, wrenches, allen keys, and more. This will come in handy when you need to clean your coffee equipment.
Regular cleaning of your equipment will help it last longer and keep your drinks tasting good. This includes brushes, Cafiza cleaning powder and Rinza milk residue cleaner.
Where to find equipment for your coffee shop
To buy coffee equipment, there are many places you can go. But we recommend going to a trusted source. For online purchases,Coffee press,espresso coffee parts, theSeattle Coffee Equipmentthey are great sources. They offer great customer support, fair prices, and if something goes wrong with your gear, they'll help you navigate.
The other source of purchasing equipment, especially the more expensive items, is through a tech cafe. A coffee technician is someone who specializes in installing and repairing coffee equipment. They usually serve an area within a 2-3 hour drive and are someone you will definitely want to build a relationship with. Equipment such as espresso machines and water dispensers are best installed by a trained coffee technician rather than a plumber. These machines can be sensitive and can easily be installed incorrectly. Technicians are also often distributors for these manufacturers, simply because they often buy parts through them. And sometimes, if you hire a technician, you'll get free installation.
It is also possible to buy used equipment. This can be a good way to save money, or it can be a complete nightmare that will cost you much more. One way to make sure you're not buying a lemon is to buy from a reputable company that specializes in refurbishing used equipment. Like from technical coffee. This will ensure that someone who knows what they are doing has gone through the machine and made sure it is working properly and nothing will let you down on opening day.
How much does a good commercial espresso machine cost?
When considering your budget for an espresso machine, you should consider the expected volume. If coffee is your main offering and you are in a busy location, you should definitely consider a 2 or 3 group main machine. This will ensure that you are able to keep up with demand. A team head machine is smaller and more affordable, but it won't be able to keep up with the rush. A team's flagship machine like the Linea Mini will cost around $5,000. A 2-team Linea Classic will cost around $14,000. A Linea PB will cost around $20,000. And a Slayer espresso machine will cost around $25,000.
don't forget the coffee
And of course, you can't forget the most important part, the coffee! If you don't roast the coffee yourself, working with a trusted coffee roaster will also be a great partner to lean on. They can help you navigate the intricacies of running a coffee shop and get your equipment, as well as being your coffee supplier. At Methodical, we like to collaborate with other coffee shops. Our coffees run the gamut from dark and roasted to light and bright. Keeping the right amount of bulk coffee on hand is critical to healthy cash flow, as well as never running out or having too much stale stock. We'll help you navigate by anticipating your coffee needs, which coffee shops work best for your clientele and offerings, and just be a sounding board. If you are interested in talking more about working with us,give us a shout!