Best Commercial Espresso Machine: Our Top 6 Picks

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

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If you’re reading this post, that likely means you’re on the lookout for the best commercial espresso machine. Well, I’m here to help.

If you’re reading this post, that likely means you’re on the lookout for the best commercial espresso machine. Well, I’m here to help.

Espresso machines can be great investments for a small business. After all, we all know that many of today’s coffee drinkers are over-the-moon for an iced latte on a hot day. Plus, having an in-office coffee bar can be a great morale booster for employees and visitors.

So whether you own a small bakery, you want to amp up your cafe’s coffee program or you hope to give your office employees a complimentary pick-me-up, this guide is for you. Keep reading to discover my picks for the best commercial espresso machine!

Best Commercial Espresso Machines at a Glance

1Product List Image

Advanced customization

Dual boilers

Gorgeous design

2Product List Image
Best for Small Shops

Rancilio Epoca S1

Great value

Compact design

Optional pod adapter

3Product List Image
Best Super Automatic

Jura GIGA 10

Two bean hoppers

35 drink specialties

Easy to use

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Sleek design

Relatively affordable

Programmable shot recipes

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Very reliable

Durable construction

Volumetric controls

6Product List Image

Stylish design

Volumetric controls

Dual steam wands

Why Buy a Commercial Espresso Machine?

Before I introduce the best commercial espresso machines, I need to make sure we’re all on the same page. Why might a commercial espresso machine be a good choice for your business?

Commercial espresso machines tend to have larger capacities and more durable parts than home espresso machines. This makes them better able to withstand the demands of service, whether you’re operating a high-volume cafe, own a small bakery or want to offer espresso to your office of a couple dozen employees.

Even a prosumer home espresso machine may not be up to the task of making espresso for several people in a small office. What’s more, if you’re a small business owner hoping to level up your coffee program, a commercial espresso machine is a great investment.

Fortunately, there’s a huge range of commercial espresso machines on the market these days. The best commercial espresso machine is durable enough for regular use, will last your business for years to come and fits your particular needs.

Needless to say, buying new equipment for your business is a big decision. Read along as I explore the different types of commercial espresso machines, factors to consider and what could be the best commercial espresso machine for you.

What Are the Different Types of Commercial Espresso Machine?

There are a few different types of commercial espresso machines, so the best commercial espresso machine for you all depends on your needs.

As with home espresso machines, commercial machines fall into one of a few broad categories: super automatic, semi automatic and manual espresso machines. For the uninitiated, I’ll explain what these terms mean.

A super automatic espresso machine tends to be an all-in-one machine that requires little skill or effort from the user. It has a built-in grinder, internal brew group and some kind of auto-frothing system. What’s more, super automatics often have several drink recipes to choose from via a touch screen or app.

Meanwhile, a semi-automatic may have an auto-frothing milk wand and built-in grinder, but still requires a user to do barista tasks: grind espresso beans into a portafilter, tamp the grounds and secure the portafilter into the group head. That said, many semi-automatics don’t have built-in grinders and feature only manual steam wands.

Another attribute of a semi-automatic includes some variation of automatic brew settings. Depending on the model, this could mean either pre-set brew settings or programmable options. For example, semi-automatics often give the option to pull a shot manually, then save that recipe in a programmable brew button.

Finally, manual commercial espresso machines typically don’t have any built-in presets. Baristas often start and stop their shots manually and have full control over milk steaming. Plus, more advanced manual and semi-automatic espresso machines offer adjustability in terms of brew pressure, temperature and so on.

Naturally, espresso machines without built-in grinders require a designated commercial espresso grinder.

How to Choose the Best Commercial Espresso Machine

There’s no such thing as the best commercial espresso machine. Rather, there are several great models out there. So, the question is this: what is the best commercial espresso machine for you?

First, you’ll have to consider your current needs, experiences and constraints. What’s more, all of these factors can change throughout the life of your business. As a result, it’s a good idea to consider how your business will change over the years, and how those changes will influence your espresso machine needs.

Budget

It’s no surprise to me that budget is the biggest deciding factor when choosing new equipment for a small business. When you’re looking for the best commercial espresso machine, you’ll see a huge range in prices.

Incidentally, some of my picks are upwards of $20k, while others cost less than $5,000. 

That said, you get what you pay for. Less expensive machines tend to have smaller capacities, fewer advanced features or, in the case of a super automatic espresso machine, produce lower quality espresso.

On the other hand, there’s no use in paying tens of thousands of dollars for an espresso machine that is too big or too advanced for your needs.

Cafe Volume

Jura Giga 10 Latte Macchiato Fertig

At the end of the day, the primary difference between the best commercial espresso machine and the best home espresso machine comes down to a commercial machine’s durability and capacity.

Still, even within the commercial category there is a big range. Some espresso machines are intended for high volume cafes, so they have large boilers, fast recovery time between shots, several group heads and dual steam wands.

On the other side of the spectrum, some commercial espresso machines are intended for small offices or restaurants that don’t get many coffee orders. These machines can get away with being compact, with only a single group head and steam wand.

Naturally, the larger machines are going to be more expensive. For this reason, it would make sense for most business owners to buy a machine that meets their capacity in order to save some unnecessary expenses.

Then again, remember to keep in mind how your business will expand over the next few years.

For example, if you’re currently a low volume shop but plan to ramp up your coffee program, you’ll want to invest in a machine that can grow with you.

After all, there’s no use in buying a machine that just barely fits your needs today, only to be stuck with a machine with a too-low capacity and slow workflow a couple years down the line.

Size and Design

Again, there’s a lot of variability in terms of the size and design of the best commercial espresso machine.

On the small end of the spectrum, you could get a compact super automatic or a semi automatic with a single group head. Both of these options have small footprints and would easily fit into just about any workspace.

On the flip side, you could get a sprawling four-group workhouse that serves as the centerpiece for your whole shop.

But remember: in most cases, an espresso machine isn’t the only tool you’ll need to make quality espresso.

You’ll also need to make room for a commercial espresso grinder and an array of espresso accessories, all of which take up counter space. These include a tamping mat, an espresso tamper, a distribution tool, a milk jug (or two or three) and a pitcher rinser.

This isn’t even accounting for the empty counter space you’ll need for drink preparation and other tasks. Needless to say, counter space is valuable real estate.

At the same time, an espresso machine is one of the most valuable and regularly used pieces of equipment in a coffee shop. So, it’s worth getting the best commercial espresso machine for you, as long as it fits in your space.

Additionally, there are some design factors to consider. Do you want a machine that you can plumb into your water line, or do you want a self contained unit?

Further, do you know what kind of workflow you envision? An espresso machine’s boiler system and layout has a big impact on barista efficiency and workflow, so this factor is especially important to consider for high volume shops.

Portability

With the growing popularity of coffee carts, food trucks and trailers, portability is an important factor to keep in mind when choosing the best commercial espresso machine for you.

Naturally, an espresso machine’s portability is linked to its size and design. After all, nobody wants to haul around a 200-pound tank.

With that said, it’s common sense that a portable espresso machine must be relatively compact and light enough to move around without too much trouble. But beyond size and weight, there are other factors to consider.

You’ll need an espresso machine that can rely on its own water reservoir, and doesn’t require a water line. What’s more, a super automatic that already has a built-in grinder would make building and moving a coffee cart that much easier.

Finally, an espresso machine’s power draw is important too, since you may have to bring a generator with you or rely on a handful of outlets to power your whole set-up.

Employee Experience Level

Last but not least, you must consider your staffing choices and business model when choosing the best commercial espresso machine for your business.

Some super automatic machines require very little experience or training to use. On the flip side, higher quality semi automatic or manual espresso machines that offer programming or customization features aren’t so easy to operate without training.

What’s more, a manual espresso machine that gives baristas full control over the brew recipe requires a skilled barista to produce the perfect shot of espresso.

Needless to say, you’ll want to consider employee experience when choosing your new espresso machine.

For example, a quality-focused cafe owned by a roasting company will likely always have staff on hand who know how to train new baristas on espresso machine use and maintenance. What’s more, this type of shop won’t be satisfied with a cheaper espresso machine that can’t offer brew customization options.

On the other hand, an inn or restaurant that wants to serve espresso drinks but won’t always have designated baristas on staff would likely require a semi or super automatic that doesn’t require much skill or training to use.

The 6 Best Commercial Espresso Machines

Without further ado, let’s get into it! Here are my choices for the best commercial espresso machine.

La Marzocco Strada EP

La Marzocco Strada EP Main

PROS

  • Advanced customization options
  • PID temperature control
  • Dual boilers
  • Stylish design

CONS

  • Very pricey
  • Not ideal for more casual coffee programs

With a $20,500 price tag, the La Marzocco Strada EP is the most premium option on my list. In my opinion, this is the ideal commercial espresso machine for a high-volume, quality-focused coffee shop.

Among other customization options, the Strada EP features brew pressure and temperature adjustability thanks to an electronic pump control and PID controller.

What’s more, each group head has its own boiler and allows you to program up to four unique pressure profiles. In other words, specialty shops that offer single origin espresso options can have complete control of their dial in process with the Strada EP.

Even better, the design of the Strada EP is streamlined for an efficient workflow. This includes dual boilers, dual steam wands, an automatic backflush setting and individual displays for each group head. Plus, shot recipes can be programmed into the groups to make the workflow easier and more consistent for baristas.

Like all La Marzocco espresso machines, the Strada EP is far from lacking in the looks department. It’s sleek and stylish, with exposed groups and a large stainless steel cup warmer.

Finally, the La Marzocco Strada EP is available in several models of different sizes, some of which have feature scales in the drip tray instead of volumetric control.

Rancilio Epoca S1

Rancilio Epoca S1 Main

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Compact and portable
  • Optional pod adaptor

CONS

  • Small capacity
  • Only manual espresso shots

The Rancilio Epoca S1 is a compact commercial espresso machine intended for low-volume shops. With a $3,600 price tag, it’s the most affordable option on my list.

The Epoca S1’s small footprint means it will fit in just about any workspace. That said, its brew capacity is too small for larger coffee shops.

At the same time, baristas will need a bit of training in order to operate the Epoca S1, since shots are pulled manually. That said, baristas can monitor the pressure gauge and water level indicator to streamline their workflow.

What’s more, an optional pod adaptor, sold separately, makes the Epoca S1 much more user-friendly.

Finally, this Epoca S1 can either be plumbed in or self-contained with a water tank, making this a good choice for a portable espresso cart.

Related: Rancilio Silvia Review

Jura GIGA 10

Jura Giga 10

PROS

  • Affordable and compact
  • Superautomatic with two hoppers and built-in grinder
  • 35 drink recipes
  • Touch screen brewing
  • Built-in water filtration

CONS

  • Small capacity
  • Lots of plastic

The Jura GIGA 10 is a professional super automatic espresso machine with a small footprint and a modern design.

Due to its small capacity, with only a 88-ounce (2.6-liter) water reservoir, the GIGA 10 is ideal for low-volume locations. For example, this machine would be great in a company break room, a small inn or a restaurant that doesn’t expect to sell many espresso beverages.

Anyway, these types of locations often don’t have dedicated coffee professionals on staff, which is all the more reason to get a super automatic. The Jura GIGA 10 in particular requires very little training or barista skills.

The touchscreen-based user interface is intuitive and simple, offering 35 different drink recipes. There’s even an option for cold extraction! Who doesn’t love a cold brew pick-me-up in the middle of a work day?

Plus, the GIGA 10 boasts two 10-ounce (280-gram) hoppers and a built-in grinder, so you’re able to offer two types of coffee or even blend the two into a single drink. Even better, a fast warm-up time and automatic milk frothing serves up creamy cappuccinos in no time.

Though the GIGA 10 doesn’t have a cup warmer, it makes up for this with an adjustable coffee spout that increases the cup clearance to 6 inches (15 centimeters). The built-in water filtration system and optional smart controls are nice touches, too.

Finally, the Jura GIGA 10 is available for $4,889.95 at the time of writing, making it one of the most affordable commercial espresso machines on the market.

See Also: Jura GIGA 10 Review

Rocket Espresso Boxer Timer

Rocket Espresso Boxer Timer Main

PROS

  • Affordable for medium volume cafes
  • Consistent results
  • Programmable shot recipes

CONS

  • Single boiler can be inconsistent

The sleek and modern Rocket Espresso Boxer Timer espresso machine is the perfect budget choice for low to medium volume cafes.

It features two group heads, dual steam wands, an automatic backflush and volumetric controls. Even better, you can program four unique brew settings on each group. Oh, and you aren’t likely to find many other commercial espresso machines with these features for only $7,000.

While this machine is easy to use after a bit of training, the single boiler heat exchanger system could lead to inconsistent shots if not operated correctly. Still, if you have the capacity and staffing to train new baristas, the Rocket Espresso Boxer Timer is a great choice.

Related: Rocket Appartamento Review

La Marzocco Linea AV

La Marzocco Linea AV

PROS

  • Timeless design
  • Durable construction
  • Volumetric controls
  • Intended for high volume

CONS

  • Quite expensive

La Marzocco is a beloved and time-tested brand, so you can’t go wrong with the La Marzocco Linea AV.

Admittedly, this espresso machine is quite costly, going for $14,900 for a two group machine. Still, it’s well worth the cost if you have a high volume cafe and care about espresso quality.

The La Marzocco Linea AV commercial espresso machine is sleek and durable with a stainless steel design. Its dual boilers, dual steam wands, volumetric shot controls and plumbed water line ensures an efficient and consistent workflow.

At the same time, it offers enough adjustability to satisfy a quality-focused cafe or roaster. 

What’s more, a generous cup warmer is ideal to keep espresso cups warm and ready for service.

Nuova Simonelli Wave

Nuova Simonelli Wave Main

PROS

  • Stylish and classic design
  • Durable and ergonomic construction
  • Volumetric dosing
  • Dual steam wands

CONS

  • Not ideal for high volume shops
  • Single boiler

The Nuova Simonelli Wave is a classic and well-known commercial espresso machine. While it’s not great for super busy days, it’s ideal for medium-volume cafes.

The Wave features volumetric dosing, dual steam wands and LCD displays. Plus, automatic backflushing and preinfusion simplify barista workflow.

That said, for $10,500 it’s a bit expensive for a single boiler espresso machine. Then again, the Wave offers good temperature stability and is a good price considering its capacity. Ultimately, the Nuova Simonelli Wave is a reliable and time-tested machine that has proven itself to be great for daily service in medium-volume cafes.

Related: Nuova Simonelli Musica Review

Final Thoughts

There you have it, my choices for the best commercial espresso machine. Whether you’re starting a business or treating your employees to a new break room toy, I hope you have found a product that works for you. Best of luck in your coffee journey!

What do you think of these commercial espresso machines? Did I leave any gems out of my list? Let’s discuss in the comments section!

Your coffee expert
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Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

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