A decent coffee machine can elevate any business for a number of very good reasons. Whether it’s providing fantastic coffee to customers at your cafe, offering a free beverage to clients to sweeten the deal, or simply to boost productivity amongst your workers, it’s never a bad idea to invest in a coffee machine.
If you’re unsure whether or not it’s worth the investment, the first question you’ve likely considered is how long does a commercial coffee machine last?
The answer to this depends on a few factors. A well made, well maintained commercial coffee maker can last 10-15 years or more. On the flip side, a budget machine may only last 1-2 years. The best thing you can do is invest in the best quality machine that matches your budget and ensure you keep it clean, descaled and address any issues immediately.
What Are the Key Features of a Commercial Coffee Machine
The key features you’ll want to be selecting for when you choose a commercial coffee machine really depends on how the machine will be used. A cafe or restaurant with trained baristas are going to be looking for a machine that is engineered to produce high quality coffee rapidly as well as able to make specialty drinks. An espresso machine is the best option for these settings.
A car sales room or agency that allows customers to help themselves to cups of java needs a very automated machine with a user friendly interface. Anything delicate or complex will quickly lead to issues. A single serve pod machine or fully automated coffee maker is the best option here.
An office environment or similar business that offers coffee to it’s set workers can vary hugely in requirements. The most popular choice is a large capacity drip machine as these are easy to use, serve large volumes of coffee and don’t require a lot of maintenance.
Which Parts Cause the Most Issues
The more complex the machine, the more potential there is for issues to develop. Usually, components like the water pump are the first bits to fail. Any fine pipework can end up clogged and heating elements can burn out.
Another potential issue with a commercial machine can be misuse by inexperienced coffee makers. Spilling water on the electrical components, clogging parts with ground coffee, and even breaking parts through rough handling is always a risk when the machine is available for anyone to use.
Factors That Can Affect the Coffee Machine Lifespan
How Often It’s Used
If the coffee machine is only used once a week then it’s going to survive a lot longer than one that is used ten times a day. The frequency of use can drastically reduce the lifespan of the coffee machine especially if the user isn’t careful with it.
Who Is Using It
The next point comes back to who is attempting to use the machine. If it’s a trained barista then they should understand the importance of flushing, cleaning, descaling as well as understanding the delicate parts of the machine that need extra care.
If it’s a member of the general public that is attempting to use the coffee machine then there’s no guarantee that they will understand the potential damage they could be doing by forcing certain parts. The same goes for a busy office environment.
The quality of water used in the coffee maker can make or break the machine. Very hard water will cause a build up of limescale and this can clog delicate components. If the coffee machine is plumbed then ensure it is de-scaled frequently and if it has a water reservoir then using filtered water will help extend its lifespan.
If a coffee machine is well looked after and has someone whose job it is to maintain the device then it will be more likely to last than a neglected machine. Regular cleaning, flushing and descaling can hold off a lot of potential future issues.
The initial design of the machine will ultimately influence it’s lifespan. A well designed, durable, stainless steel machine will last longer than a plastic version. The build quality is frequently reflected in the price of the coffee maker and this is a clear example where you get what you pay for.
Which Type of Machine Is the Most Durable
Machines made by the likes of La Spaziale and La Pavoni make extremely hard wearing, powerful espresso makers that will be at home in any cafe or busy restaurant.
For drip machines, nothing quite beats the Technivorm Moccamaster for durability but the company BUNN comes in close with their high quality, commercial drip coffee machines.
Which Type of Machine Is the Least Durable
Pod machines can be quite un-reliable and have a lot of moving parts that can jam and cause the machine to fail. Cheaply made, fully automatic espresso machines can also be very prone to issues. A good rule of thumb is, if it’s a complex coffee machine being sold for a very low price then steer clear of it!
How Do I Extend the Life of My Coffee Machine
Taking good care of your coffee machine can make it last a lot longer than it would otherwise. Keeping the jug, filter and water tank clean and flushing the machine with fresh water after use helps keep things from clogging up.
Taking care to wipe the outside of the machine and remove any coffee grounds from cracks and crevices also helps prevent grime building up alongside cleaning the hot plate after each use.
Regular descaling or using filtered water is one of the best methods to stop the machine for becoming clogged up with limescale. Limescale can end up blocking up the pipework which in turn leads to pump failure.
Lastly, keeping an eye out for any changes in water flow rate and monitoring the machine for any funny sounds or smells will alert you to any issues going on. Prompt attention given to these problems can prevent the whole machine from failing so it’s always best to call the customer care team if you think there may be a problem with your coffee maker.
Commercial coffee makers can vary a lot in build quality and functionality. When choosing a new machine for the workplace, consider how user friendly it is, how much you’ll be using it and who’s going to be looking after it. If it’s well taken care of, a good machine may last you 15 years so is well worth the upfront investment.