Best Commercial Coffee Machines for 2021

By: | Updated: May 4, 2021

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Commercial coffee machines provide caffeine to your employees or customers. And in today’s world, you can rest assured the demand for caffeine won’t let up any time soon.

You’ll want to consider a few factors as you browse for the best commercial coffee machine:

  • How many cups of coffee will you make each day?
  • What kind of coffee options will you offer?
  • How involved do you want the brewing process to be?

If you have a big demand for coffee, you might want a machine that can brew in bulk to satisfy your users.

Will they enjoy black coffee they can customize to their tastes? Do you want to provide the option of more upscale coffee drinks?

The answer to both of those questions will impact the brewing process you’ll want with your machine.

Adding ground coffee to a filter for drip coffee is simple. Brewing espresso and frothing milk take more work. Each cup of coffee will taste richer, though. 

Regardless of your coffee needs, there is a commercial coffee machine just for you!

Narrow down your scope by learning about the types of coffee makers. We’ll also cover features to look for and the most trusted brands.

Types of Commercial Coffee Machines

When you’re buying a coffee maker for home use, you might focus more on the size and appearance of the machine. You want it to fit on your counter and look nice. 

For commercial coffee needs, you’ll have different needs.

You’ll want a certain type of machine that can produce plenty of coffee. You can always buy specialty coffee from a reputable roaster to scale up the taste.

Pourover

Pourover coffee machines are the semi-automatic machines you see in commercial businesses.

They can be automatic or manual. The machine might have several warming plates to keep decanters of coffee warm. Others brew into stainless steel thermal servers.

Automatic

Automatic brewers are convenient because they connect directly to your waterline. You don’t have to worry about filling the reservoir for each new pot. As soon as you load a filter and grounds, the hot water will brew a full pot of coffee.

Many automatic brewing machines have separate hot water faucets. People can get hot water for tea or hot chocolate. If you’re offering a variety of hot drinks at your business, this might be the most efficient option.

Espresso

Commercial espresso machines require more work than the pourover and automatic coffee makers.

They use a different method of brewing to produce a strong shot of coffee. You can drink a shot of espresso by itself, or mix it into frothed milk to create cappuccinos and lattes.

You don’t have to be a barista to make espresso taste good.

Uses for Commercial Coffee Machines

Having coffee available for employees and customers is very common these days.

You can enjoy a cup of coffee when you’re waiting for the mechanic to service your car or when you’re getting a haircut.

There are many reasons you’ll want a commercial coffee machine in your establishment.

Coffee Shops

A coffee shop needs a quality commercial espresso machine that makes good coffee—and lots of it! This will keep your customers happy.

You’ll want to consider if you can connect the machine to the waterline. Make sure it can produce a high volume of coffee in a short period.

Restaurants

Restaurants and diners have coffee on hand to serve their customers after a meal.

You might not need a fancy machine as you would for a coffee shop, but you’ll want to keep enough coffee brewed. You won’t want to keep your customers waiting.

Offices

Just as the kitchen is often a gathering place in the home, the break room is a gathering place in the office.

Put a commercial coffee machine in the break room to give your employees a caffeine fix. This will create a comfortable environment for your employees.

Coffee Lovers

Coffee lovers don’t want to have to go to a coffee shop every time they want an espresso-based beverage.

If you have a commercial coffee machine, you can brew espresso in the comfort of your own home. This also gives you the freedom to create custom drinks.

Features to Look For in Commercial Coffee Machines

Now you know the type of commercial coffee machine you nee.

Let’s go over some of the features that will make the brewing process easier. 

Capacity

Commercial coffee machines brew large amounts of coffee at once.

Still, each machine will have a different capacity. You’ll want to consider the reservoir tank size because this correlates to how much coffee you can brew.

If you can hook your commercial coffee machine into your water line, you should do it. It’ll save a lot of time refilling the reservoir. The hot water will automatically flow through the machine and brew full pots of coffee.

Many pourover and automatic coffee makers have several warmers. These keep multiple carafes of coffee warm after they’re brewed.

You might look for a machine that has two warmers side-by-side. Bigger machines will also have warmers on top of the brewing basket so you can have up to six pots of coffee on hand.

Brewing Type

Consider the brewing skill of your users before buying a machine. Manual espresso machines are the ones you find in a coffee shop.

They produce espresso to make delicious coffee drinks. However, users will need to know how to grind beans and steam milk to use them properly.

Bean-to-cup machines are a nice all-in-one solution. These machines have a coffee grinder and brew coffee automatically.

Users only have to load water and coffee beans into the machine before pressing a button to get their drinks.

These machines also have optional milk frothers. This lets you make cappuccinos or lattes without having to heat the milk separately.

Filter Type

Consider the filter type that would be most efficient for your usage.

Paper filters can be messy if you’re not careful when you add coffee grounds. No one likes finding grounds at the bottom of their cup!

Paper filters are also wasteful, so if you buy a traditional coffee machine, you can find a reusable coffee filter to accommodate it. 

  • Metal filters are made from a finely woven mesh, often called “gold tone.”
  • Nylon filters are more fragile than metal filters but can last a long time.
  • Cloth filters are made from natural cotton and last for several months.

If you’re not getting a drip coffee maker, you won’t need the filters mentioned above.

You might opt to get a pod or capsule coffee maker so you don’t have to worry about filters at all. Pods produce more waste than filters, but some brands make recyclable containers.

The biggest benefit to pod machines is that you can have an assortment of coffee types and flavors on hand for your users.

Each pod will make a single cup for one person to enjoy. Everyone will have a chance to make a hot cup of coffee just the way they like it.

If you don’t want to have a pot of black coffee on the burner all day long, a pod or capsule commercial coffee maker will be your best bet. 

Cleaning

Different types of commercial coffee makers require certain cleaning methods. You should clean your machines every four to six weeks.

If you have hard water, you might experience build-up and need to clean more often.

Your commercial coffee machine should have cleaning instructions in the user manual. The steps to clean include descaling, cleaning the filter funnel, and cleaning the exterior.

Descaling a coffee maker will eliminate mineral deposits that affect the taste. You can run a brewing cycle of white vinegar mixed with water to clean the system.

After that process, you’ll brew a few cycles of plain water to neutralize the vinegar’s acidity.

You can clean the machine’s filter funnel with soap and water. If you have mineral build-up from hard water, using vinegar and water can clean this piece just as it cleans your coffee maker’s interior.

To clean the exterior of your coffee machine, unplug it and spray a solution of vinegar and water. Let it sit and then wipe it down to see it shine. 

You should backflush an espresso machine that gets heavy use every day. This is a cleaning method where you force water and a cleaning solution through the system until it runs clear. 

Deep clean your espresso machine each time you have brewed 200 shots. There are special cleaning tablets you can get for this process.

The Most Trusted Brands of Commercial Coffee Machines

There are so many coffee machine manufacturers out there; how do you know who to trust?

Bunn is one of our top brands because they make various machines to suit your needs. They have single-serve machines, standard coffee makers, and speed brew coffee makers.

Major businesses like Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, and 7-Eleven use Bunn Axiom machines.

Cuisinart makes quality kitchen appliances, and they hold their coffee makers to the same standard. They have machines with built-in grinders and versions to hook into your water line. Regardless of the machine you choose, you’re guaranteed a fresh-tasting cup of coffee. 

Jura is a Swiss kitchen appliance manufacturer. They were one of the first companies to make automatic espresso machines. Jura originally made household appliances. Over time, they upgraded to commercial machines that brew quality espresso on a larger scale.

In addition to our top three, you can also get great machines from Avantco. The company offers various coffee machines for sale. You can also buy handy accessories like extra carafe warmers and coffee urns.

Lavazza is another well-known coffee brand—for their beans just as much as their machines! You can shop according to your need, such as for offices, restaurants, cafes, and hotels. The company works to give back to their communities and stay sustainable.

You can also get fantastic coffee from La Marzocco and Nuova Simonelli espresso machines. Keurig makes single serve coffee makers if you want to offer pods to your users.

The Best Commercial Coffee Machines

With all of the great brands on the market, it’s hard to choose just one. We made countless pots of coffee using different settings.

This process helped us find the best commercial coffee maker in each subsection.

Pourover

Our favorite pourover coffee brewer is Bunn 12-Cup Pourover Commercial Coffee Brewer. It brews a 12-cup pot of coffee quickly and has two lower warmers so you’ll have plenty of coffee on hand.

Automatic

Our favorite automatic brewer is Cuisinart Coffee Maker with Hot Water System. It has many automatic options to customize your brew. You can make a 12-cup pot of coffee as well as use the separate hot water spout to brew a cup of tea.

Espresso

Our favorite espresso commercial coffee machine is Jura 15145 Automatic Coffee Machine WE8. It will grind the beans and has automatic functions so you don’t have to do a lot of work to get a great shot of espresso.

From there, you can create lattes, cappuccinos, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you buy a commercial coffee machine, make sure you have found answers to all of your questions.

How Long Do Commercial Coffee Machines Last?

Depending on usage, commercial coffee machines can last up to 15 years. If you use the machine all day every day, it might break down sooner. Keeping it clean will help prolong its shelf life.

Do Commercial Coffee Machines Require Plumbing?

You don’t have to connect all commercial coffee machines to plumbing. You can buy a coffee maker that has a large enough water reservoir that you don’t have to constantly refill it.

If you buy a machine that you can connect to the waterline, you will cut down on the work you have to do to brew coffee.

How Do You Use a Commercial Coffee Maker?

Different types of coffee makers operate in different ways. Many are straightforward and operate as a standard coffee maker, just on a larger scale. The user manual will explain any special features of your coffee maker.

Wrapping Up

When you’re making coffee in a commercial setting, you want to have the best machine for your needs.

You might need the most delicious coffee or prefer the ability to have more on hand. Whether you’re a barista or an average joe, you’ll find the best commercial coffee maker on our curated list.

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by Brett