Custom Fitting the Right Espresso Solution
By Tony D’amico — SVP of Customer Direct Organization
As espresso beverages have become ubiquitous across the U.S., the number of brewing options and manufacturers in this space has multiplied. While those talented and creative baristas remain a fixture in independent, Third Wave coffee shops, many purveyors have turned away from traditional beverage preparation methods, instead opting for super automatics. These machines allow non-skilled wait staff to produce a diverse offering of consistently high quality espresso beverages.
However, like most technologically advanced equipment, choosing the right solution for your specific circumstances and understanding the ongoing cleaning and maintenance required to properly maintain this equipment is paramount. Given the wide range of equipment options available, it’s important to consider the following factors when deciding on the appropriate super automatic or espresso machine for your operation.
- Will the machine be used by the customer (self-serve) or only by restaurant employees?
- What is the projected # drinks / day?
- What variety of drinks will be offered (espresso, latte, and cappuccino) and in what cup sizes (volume & cup dimensions)?
- Is whole bean or ground coffee desired? How many varieties are desired?
- What drink flavors, if any, will be offered? Are powdered flavors acceptable or are liquid syrups preferred? What variety?
- Is fresh dairy or is a powdered dairy soluble preferred?
- Is 208/220v electrical service available? Are there any space constraints that need to be considered?
After the appropriate equipment solution is decided upon, proper water filtration and regular maintenance should be addressed. Espresso machines, given their high water temperatures, are very susceptible to scale build-up in the presence of hard water. Proper filtration and softening is necessary to ensure consistently high quality beverages and long equipment life.
Lastly, once your new equipment is properly installed attention must be paid to ensure that regular and proper maintenance is performed. Proper daily cleaning is never more important than when using fresh dairy products. All it requires is about 10-20 minutes a day to keep today’s super automatic espresso machines running smoothly and providing your customers high quality beverages for many years.