The Middleby Guide to Choosing Commercial Coffee and Espresso Equipment

When consumers think about coffee, it’s easy to lump the different types of coffee service together. For operators, though, it’s more nuanced. There’s a wide range of considerations that go into the coffee service formula. What type of coffee do you plan to serve? Is it third wave coffee or a cup o’ Joe? How much space will be dedicated to coffee service? Will customers be in a hurry, or will there be an element of leisure involved? What about volume? These are just a few of the questions operators need to ask before choosing commercial coffee machines that will lead to efficiency and profitability, and this coffee maker buying guide will help.

The Different Types of Commercial Coffee Equipment

Espresso Machines

Commercial espresso machines are the standard-bearer of high-end coffee service. Designed to showcase and highlight the skill of the barista to deliver an authentic coffee experience, traditional espresso machines are the classic way to deliver the most popular premium coffee menu selections.

Super-Automatic Espresso Machines

Commercial espresso machines can also be super-automatic espresso machines, where much of the work is done by the machine. Today, super-automatic espresso machines are known to produce some of the highest quality coffee beverages in the market. With no need for a professional barista, these machines achieve a level of quality while also delivering efficiency, and speed of service, while helping to reduce labor requirements.

Decanter Coffee Brewers

When you see the pots with the classic brown and orange rims, the coffee they contain comes from a decanter brewer. Most often associated with the stereotypical diner, decanter brewers spread hot water over coffee grounds, where it seeps through and drips into a pot. These types of commercial coffee machines are ideal for continuous service across the entire dining room, and automatic decanter brewers connect directly to a water source to make service easier.

Pour-Over Coffee Brewers

Pour-over coffee brewers are very similar to automatic decanter coffee brewers aside from one main difference. While automatic brewers attach to a water source for more efficient service and less labor needs, pour-over decanter coffee brewers require staff to maintain a useable water level within the reservoir. They are ideal for service types that don’t require non-stop coffee needs.

Thermal & Airpot Brewers

Not all coffee is served by staff. In situations like buffets, conference and banquet facilities, and even in corporate cafeterias, self-serve coffee is often the preferred method of dispensing. One of the challenges to self-serve coffee is keeping it warm and at ideal serving conditions. This is when thermal and commercial airpot brewers are the ideal selection. Unlike a decanter coffee brewer, coffee is dispensed into a receptacle that keeps it warm and fresh for hours rather than minutes. Thermal brewers are perfect for high-volume locations while airpots work best in smaller situations.


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Topics: Beverage