Nothing mirrors a café’s success better than the pure, childlike joy of its customers.
A night out or a quiet coffee break is often a very intimate little adventure for people. After a rough day at work, a busy afternoon, or after hours without the warming presence of a loved one, persons come to your café to, for a moment, hang out in this cozy venue and be themselves. Happy, sad, entertained, bewildered, or surprised, these people enter your coffee shop, bar, or pub to feel free under its cape of perpetual acceptance for the vast emotional plethora that is blooming within them.
The best cafés are as soulful as their customers are.
Espresso and coffee have long been the most natural choice of beverage for many, silently joining people in daily activities. In a café, this is a philosophy almost set in stone. This philosophy implies a subtle, but important beauty in the making of these drinks. In a café, however, this beauty is a question of balance between the craft of baristas and their resilience to the hectic work atmosphere.
The best commercial espresso machine is a crucial factor for this balance. By choosing the right one for your café, you’ll inspire trust, joy, and commitment in both your baristas and customers.
Best commercial espresso machine for high-traffic venues
#1 The Aurelia Wave T3 volumetric espresso machine by Nuova Simonelli
The stupendous Aurelia Wave by Nuova Simonelli brand leaves one entranced with its hard-to-describe sublime appearance. The artistry behind it lets our description turn into comments about the Wave’s ultra-modern design that illustrates confidence with no bashful details, but with a natural, flowy composition.
Beauty flows through this machine in the most perfect way possible: surfaces curl around the sides to meet the reversed mirror as they expose the back of the machine, allowing for the polished feet to accent the elegance of the Wave, while the raised T3 group heads accent Wave’s efficiency.
The beauty of the Wave then enwinds its remarkable performance—a performance that lets you control and program the coffee.
A bright LCD display and a pump pressure gauge give insight into the processes within the machine, and the barista, aided by the machine’s pulse-jet technology and other high-end features, tweaks the espresso as necessary to fully-develop the flavor of different ground coffee.
Undoubtedly, the Aurellia Wave makes a confident statement of complete beauty, and then passes this beauty to the barista, the café, and the customers.
- For medium and high-traffic venues
- T3 technology
- Manual and volumetric dosing
- Pulse-jet technology
- LCA certification of sustainability
- Cool-Touch wands
- Reverse mirror
- Reverse mirror
- Connects to computers
Its sophisticated look and features bring sophistication and elegance to the café
Built to break down the espresso-making process into consecutive stages with features that bring out the best of every ground coffee
Improves the work flow of the café by being simple for baristas to use
Nature is unharmed by materials’ sourcing, the building, and the operation of the machine
No place for cons with an espresso machine as striking as the Aurelia Wave
#2 Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Digit, 2 group
Embodying the craftsmanship of Nuova Simonelli, the Aurelia II Digit brings an aura of sturdy prestige with its durable and intelligent design. Stainless steel elegance pokes through the highly-calculated plastic sides and feet, being integral to the machine’s entrepreneurial manner.
Expressive and massive, the Aurelia II Digit evokes the bold character of one’s café, while inviting as much as 300 people to have their coffee break within it.
This is an espresso machine that takes after the espresso insurgence, the desire for an espresso with a finish that results from excellence in preparation. Heat exchange, volumetric, and with an electronic PID, the Aurelia II Digit transforms espresso into a faster drink truer to itself.
A faithful ally to the barista in charge of it, the machine helps his optimal performance with a reverse mirror, cool-touch wands, and a soft infusion system in case tamping goes wrong. The symbiosis between the barista and this machine is intrinsically natural, making for a powerful work flow and constellations of customers in one’s café.
- For high-volume cafés
- Heat exchange boilers
- Electronic PID
- Steam and brew pressure gauge
- Auto steam feature
- Reverse mirror
- Cup warmer
- Cool-Touch wands
- Soft infusion system
- Programmable daily on and off
- LCD display
Intelligent design that is necessary, protective, and forgiving for the barista
Designed to successfully counteract the chaotic environment in a high-volume café with two group heads, an Auto steam feature, and forgiving features like the soft infusion
Precise dosing and constant temperature in all the components that operate by means of heat
Give accurate information about its operation with the self-diagnosis, the PID, and the pressure gauge
Nuova Simonelli chose mechanisms other than the T3 technology to heat the group heads
#3 Victoria Arduino Black Eagle Gravimetric Espresso Machine VA388
Nuova Simonelli doesn’t stop impressing us with its sense for fluidity in design, and the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle is an absolutely sculptural art invention. Two group heads or three of them, this commercial machine is a third wave stainless steel espresso mogul.
A melting epiphany in its looks, the machine is a careful combination of glary group heads, massive and ergonomic wand levers, and a sophisticated control panel with the central digital display and the displays designed for each group showing real-time data in blue.
Style goes hand in hand with this machine’s professional features, like the gravimetric and volumetric programming, the integrated PID, the T3 system, and the cool-touch steam wands. Gravimetric technology, the most exclusive feature that we cover on our list of best commercial espresso machines, shows the weight of the espresso, water, or any other liquid that is in the cup, while intervening for factors that can hurt the data.
Elite in its essence, the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle gives extreme flexibility for the barista who takes pleasure in espresso traditions and knowledge shaped throughout the centuries. It is the ultimate reward and recognition of a high-volume café led by baristas with polished skills, or those who want to polish them.
- For specialty, high-quality, and high-volume coffee shops
- Cool-Touch wands
- T3 system
- Pump gauge
- Soft Infusion
- Automatic cleaning programs
- Reverse mirror
- LCD Display
A professional accent to the most detailed of high-end features
Precise weight data gained by the gravimetric technology
Gives the barista insight into the data of every parameter important for the espresso
Complex, yet intuitive, to help both skilled and learning baristas have the greatest experience with it
The safety-off mechanism activates once the upper burr of the grinder is removed
Best commercial espresso machine for a small coffee shop
#4 Jura WE8
Jura always ‘pulsates’ with the dynamics of society, making coffee machines adorned with details for people with urban perspectives. The design of the Jura WE8 gives a strong reflection of the best and newest trends in both coffee machines and lifestyles, while showing the assertiveness that comes with working at an office or in a small coffee shop.
Trendy, but not posh, detail by detail, the machine appears to stand for common grounds between the waiter and the customer, and with as much as 12 specialty drinks, this is something that naturally follows.
As a best commercial espresso machine for a small coffee shop, the WE8 mesmerizes with its super-automatic features and every specialty drink that gets extracted from the machine at the touch of a button. Thirty, or even forty coffees during the course of a day help this machine to perpetuate the charm of a small coffee shop with a more intimate atmosphere.
Technologies like the Pulse Extraction Process, flexible coffee volumes, and flexible intensities introduce customers to a unique caper from a simple to an espresso moulded to their imagination.
- Great for making 30-40 coffees a day
- 12 specialty drinks
- Programmable coffee intensity and volume
- Height-adjustable coffee and milk spouts
- Pulse Extraction Process
- CLEARYL Smart water filter
Design that brings out the trendiness of the coffee shop with espresso quality and exterior beauty
Best commercial espresso machine for a small coffee shop with about 30-40 visitors a day
Fast, automated, and programmable to better serve the waiter and keep customers satisfied
Exclusive Jura-patented technologies that give espresso a touch of the new millennium
Even though sturdy, many exterior parts on the WE8 are made of plastic
#5 Nuova Simonelli Musica
Next on our list of best commercial espresso machines is one of the best commercial espresso machine for a small coffee shop, the Nuova Simonelli Musica. Like the Oscar II, the Musica also made it to our best high-end espresso machines.
The Musica radiates grandeur of size and beauty, represented by a large stainless steel housing, a bold front, and many attractive commercial-style components.
The group head of the machine is central and is accompanied with the hot water spout on the left and the powerful steam wand on the right side of the machine. Many commercial-grade processes take place inside the machine, giving the Simonelli tweak to coffee and espresso. Pre-infusion, auto-refills of the boiler, and a constant activity of the Sirai pressurestat are ways in which the machine practices its wisdom over coffee drinks.
Plumbable and pour-over versions are available to better equip and support the uniqueness of different coffee shops; the ability to choose between the version with LED lights and the one without them is just a stylish extension to the embrace of different tastes by the machine’s manufacturers.
- Heat exchange boiler
- Vacuum-breaker valve on the boiler
- Sirai pressurestat
- Programmable hot water spout
- Available as a pour-over or plumbable model
- Steam pressure control
- Three-way solenoid valve
- Available with or without side LED lights
A unique design that gives away the machine’s quality at first sight
Great steam power, with a steam wand designed for powerful steaming and a lever for steam pressure contro
One of the more affordable machines on the list
It’s a choice between the plumbable only or the pour-over only version
#6 Nuova Simonelli Oscar II
This is not the first time we’re reviewing the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II since the espresso machine also made it to our best high-end espresso machine list. Oscar II, however, doesn’t fail to impress us, and this time, besides its allure, we’re impressed by its abilities as a best commercial espresso machine for a very, very small coffee shop.
Auto-volumetric and with a heat exchange boiler, the Oscar II has commercial-grade qualities found in more expensive commercial espresso machines as a guarantee of precise coffee volume and simultaneous steaming and brewing. It is also awe-inspiring that a machine of this price has a steaming mechanism designed for a stately performance. With an impressively-designed steam wand and a pressure control lever, one can only be ecstatic about the existence of this machine.
What is also automatic on this espresso machine is the auto-refill feature that helps the machine automatically refill the boiler every time it runs out of water. This, and the rest of the features of the Oscar II, make the machine an appealing enigma in a beautiful stainless steel housing.
- Stainless steel housing with some hard-plastic parts
- Brew group bade of marine-grade brass casting
- Heat exchange boiler
- Steam pressure control
- 3-way solenoid valve
- 360˚ rotational steam wand
Performance and aesthetics in design complemented by affordability
Success in portraying a clean design with a philosophy of sophistication behind it
Encouraging a barista’s or a waiter’s personal touch to the milk and the froth with a long, powerful, rotational, four-hole steam wand and a lever for steam pressure control
Highly-automatic for a more constant work flow of the waiter or barista
Designed without a hot water spout
Can I buy one of the high-volume machines for my small coffee shop?
You could, but we don’t recommend that unless you’re the owner of a specialty or a very high-quality coffee shop. If that’s not the case, we recommend you check out the first, second, or third best commercial espresso machine for a small coffee shop on this list or use our buyer’s guide when choosing the best machine for you.
Can I use the Gaggia Classic Pro in my small coffee shop where I attend about 20-30 people a day?
Things to consider when buying a commercial espresso machine
A machine for the busiest time period of the day – When picking your machine, pay less attention to how much coffee it makes a day, but pay a lot of attention to how much it can make during those one or two busiest periods of the day. This is when you will need it to be able to sustain constant work and make coffee after coffee.
Features – Think why you’re buying the machine you’re buying and which features you need it to have. You will most likely not need fancy features like gravimetric and volumetric technology, three or four group heads, or complete control over the brewing process if you own a small coffee shop. However, these features might be necessary if you have a medium or a larger coffee place.
The cost of the machine – Generally, commercial espresso machines for a medium-volume place cost from around $4000 to around $7000 or $8000. For a small coffee shop, these prices can go a little lower. However, if you need a machine for a larger coffee place, you’ll need to invest over $10,000 in it.
The cost of the grinder – You’ll also need a good commercial grinder together with your commercial espresso machine. Grinders that are around $1000 won’t do for you—you’ll need to invest more than that in a good commercial grinder. Keep in mind that using a grinder made for home use only in your coffee shop will probably end up with the grinder being damaged because of overuse.
Design – Finally, choose the machine that will best endorse the ambient of your café or coffee shop and represent your personal espresso machine design preferences. Your café is your opportunity to show your personality and style and show people what experience they can get there.
It is time to wrap it up with a big shout out to the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia Wave T3 as the best commercial espresso machine for high-volume cafés and the Jura WE8 as the best commercial espresso machine for a small coffee shop. We gave our best try to describe both the exterior and the interior design of these and all the other machines on the list. Please, take your time to come to your conclusions about any of these machines, pick carefully, and pick with enthusiasm. Thank you for reading us.