Are you new to the coffee business?
Do you know what to look for when choosing a commercial espresso machine?
Should you go for a one group head espresso machine or do you need more?
If you have all these questions on your mind, you are at the right place.
Choosing a commercial espresso machine can be daunting. Given the variety of different espresso machines available on the market, it is often difficult for business owners to find the right one for their café or espresso bar. But we are here to help you make the right decision for your business.
In this post, we look at some of the best 2-group espresso machines but before we jump into the details of these machines, let’s learn why you may need a 2-group espresso machine.
Moreover, we share an insight into some of the key considerations that you need to keep in mind when choosing a commercial espresso machine.
Why Go for a 2-Group Espresso Machine?
A 2-group espresso machine allows you to prepare up to four shots of espresso at a time. Compared to a single-group espresso machine that can prepare a maximum of two shots, it's double the performance.
And if you own a small café or espresso bar, then a 2-group espresso machine gives you a good start as you will need efficiency so you can better cater to your customers.
According to a poll, most of the coffee shop owners prefer a 2-group espresso machine at least for the first year of their business.
It gives you the efficiency you need to build on your business’ reputation. And once your customer base is established, you can always add on an espresso machine with 3 group heads to improve your customer service.
Moreover, a 2-group espresso machine can also be a great choice for offices where employees resort to espresso during breaks and lunch hours. Because for more espresso lovers, coffee is not just a drink. It’s a lifestyle that they carry everywhere along.
Key Considerations When Choosing a Commercial Espresso Machine
So you have taken a good start, and you already know that you will need an espresso machine with at least 2-groups to get started so you can serve your customers just in time.
But there is a lot more that you need to know which will help you make the right choice of espresso machine for your business. After all, it is the most critical investment for your business and is the most important piece of equipment that you will need.
But one of the most surprising facts is that there is no single best 2-group espresso machine. You can find several great 2-group commercial espresso machines, but at the end of the day, what may be best for you may not work for someone else.
Hence, it is critical to understand some of the key considerations that will help you choose the best commercial espresso machine for your business.
Some of the key considerations that you should keep in mind when looking for the best commercial espresso machine include the following.
The Type of Business
Perhaps the most important that's critical when choosing a commercial espresso machine is the type of business. Are you planning to set up a coffee shop, or do you intend to set up an on-the-go business?
The type of business will decide on the type of equipment that you will need for your business.
So if you have to set up a coffee shop where you will be primarily serving coffee, along with a few additions on the menu, then you will need efficient semi-automatic or automatic coffee machines that can cater to a large number of customers.
But if you plan to set up a café that would have a few more things on the menu, then you can aim for a super-automatic machine.
On the other hand, if you are planning to set up an on-the-go business, you will need portable commercial espresso machines that have a compact design, but you wouldn't want to compromise on the functionality and efficiency of the machine.
The Type of Machine
Once you decide on the type of business, next you need to look at the type of espresso machine that best suits your business needs. You can find three types of commercial espresso machines that include
- The manually controlled espresso machines,
- Semi-Automatic espresso machines and
- Super-Automatic espresso machines.
Manual machines require a lot more work and is often not a preferred choice for commercial use.
A semi-automatic espresso machine is often the top choice as it produces top quality drinks by combining the features of manual and super-automatic machines. However, you will have to work with a seasoned barista to get your perfect shot.
Finally, the super-automatic espresso machines are designed to give you consistent taste and ease of use. Moreover, the staff's skill also doesn't affect the taste of the drink. However, with this type of machine, you don't usually end up with the best quality espresso shots.
The Type of Customers You Will Be Serving
Is your potential customer base taste conscious? Or do they prefer consistency? Depending on the type of customers you will be serving, you can decide on the best espresso machine for your business.
The Potential Demand You Expect
The potential demand you expect is also critical to determine the volume of espresso that you will need to produce every day. It will help you decide on the type of machine you need. Moreover, it will also help you determine the number of group heads your machine should have.
Your Staff’s Skill
If you are working with experienced baristas, a semi-automatic espresso machine is your best bet. But if you have a newbie working at your coffee shop/café, then investing in a super-automatic espresso machine may be a good choice.
Best 2-Group Espresso Machines
Now that you know how to find the best espresso machine for your business let's delve into details of some of the best 2-group espresso machines you will find on the market.
1. Nuova Simonelli Appia Life 2-Group Espresso Machine
- Group heads: 2
- Machine Type: Available in both automatic and semi-automatic
- Boiler Type: Heat-exchange boiler
- Boiler size: 11 liters
- Weight: 160 lbs
- Manual Dosing offers single touch brewing process
- Volumetric Dosing that allows for programming the dosage
- User-Friendly steam wands
- Built-in infusion system (SIS) for consistent taste
- Digital display for automated group cleaning
- Reverse mirror that allows you to monitor the entire brewing process
- Bar pump gauge for checking pressure
- Water level indicator for monitoring boiler’s water levels
- Wide work surface with stainless steel drip tray
- Adjustable steel nozzles and soft-touch portafilter
- Drytex Thermal Boiler Insulation
While Nuova Simonelli is not as popular as La Pavoni, the company has been manufacturing top-quality espresso machines in Italy since 1936.
The brand is known for crafting coffee machines that are intricately designed, reliable, user-friendly, and well made. And it shouldn’t surprise if you see this name several times on this list as well.
It is due to the top quality and well thought out designs that the company enjoys various recognitions from around the world for being the first ergonomic machine and for best design innovation.
The Apple Life builds on the success of the preceding Appia, and pushes the limits further to prove its already proven success. Using the cutting-edge technology of Nuova Simonelli, Apple Life is highly productive and energy-efficient.
The insulated thermal system and better optimization of the machine's mechanical components can result in up to 13% saving on energy consumption. Moreover, its energy efficiency translates into a 20% reduction in environmental impact.
Some of the other features of the Nuova Simonelli Apple Life Volumetric commercial espresso machine include its soft infusion system, volumetric dosing, raised group heads for taller coffee mugs and automatic backflushing.
And while the machine offers a wide work surface, overall, it's a compact machine that can be ideal for situations where space is a limitation.
The Nuova Simonelli Appie Life Volumetric commercial espresso machine comes with 2 cool touch steam wands. However, given the compact style of the machine, it could be a tight fit for two baristas to work alongside.
Moreover, the machine comes with a separate hot water wand that can be a great advantage if you serve tea or Americanos. You will also find an optional auto steam wand that gives textures to the milk and brings it to the perfect temperature you need for your drink.
Another great feature of the Nuova Simonelli Appia Life Volumetric commercial espresso machine is the consistency it offers.
Since it is an automatic machine, it allows the baristas to program the machines for the desired volumes. And they can pull consistent shots throughout the day without monitoring every single shot.
Perhaps the best part about this machine is that it is user-friendly, so if you are new to the coffee world, it’s a great choice for you. Moreover, it is quite easy for you to train your employees and new baristas on how to use it.
In all, Nuova Simonelli Apple Life Volumetric commercial espresso machine is ideal commercial espresso machine for small to medium sized commercial establishments and offices. It is easy to operate, gives out amazingly consistent quality and doesn’t completely break the bank.
2. Casadio Undici 2-Group Espresso Machine
- Group heads: 2
- Machine Type: Automatic
- Boiler size: 10 liters
- Weight: 125 lbs
- Innovative thermal system
- Robust and reliable espresso machine model made from steel and aluminum
- High performing fixed-nozzle thermosyphon brew group system
- Versatile, elegant, and compact that offers ease of use, limited maintenance, and adjustment
- Built-in volumetric pump
- Self-leveling mechanism for water in boiler
- Dual pressure gauge
- The new button pad with LED allows you to personalize the machine
- 2 stainless steel multidirectional steam wands and a hot water wand
The Casadio Undici is a beautifully designed espresso machine from the Cimbali group. Building on its previous models, the Cimbali Casadio Undici offers you the same ease of use, minimal maintenance requirement, and adjustment you are used to from Casadio.
This espresso machine is one of the best on the list because of its compact style and versatility, making it a top choice for small or medium-scale businesses such as café and restaurants. It is a semi-automatic machine offering a host of new features at a very reasonable price.
With this Casadio, you get a fully redesigned mechanical button pad. The latest button pad doesn't only improve the looks of the machine, but it also makes it a lot more user-friendly and incredibly precise.
Moreover, the metal buttons lie on the same level as the machine's body and give the machine a more sleek appearance.
Furthermore, the Casadio Undici 2-group espresso machine is a volumetric machine that’s equipped with a microprocessor that allows the user to program coffee dosage. Hence, your machine delivers consistent shots throughout the day.
It is a great feature, especially if you are new to the coffee world and are unsure about your barista's skills, making this machine a perfect addition to your café.
And the beauty of this Casadio Undici is that you can also pull out a shot manually. Hence the machine gives you greater control of extraction and allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds.
The Casadio Undici 2-group espresso machine has an innovative thermal system that's high performing and adaptable, so you get guaranteed results with your espresso shots.
Moreover, the machine is made of steel and aluminum that makes it a robust and reliable model. Furthermore, its classic looks and affordable price are cherries on top. The Casadio Undici 2-group espresso machine boasts a ten-liter boiler, making it a great choice for small-medium scale commercial usage.
In all, the machine's efficiency, ease of use and maintenance, reliability, and affordability make it an impressive espresso machine in a compact package.
3. Nuova Simonelli Aurelia Wave 2-Group Espresso Machine
- Group heads: 2
- Machine Type: Automatic
- Boiler size: 14 liters
- Weight: 176 lbs
- Volumetric dosing that allows for the programming of coffee dosage
- Manual dosing to start and end the brewing process
- TFT display with LCD screen allows you to control dosage, pre-infusion, the pressure of the boiler, and energy saving
- User-friendly push-pull steam
- Thermosiphon Group Temp Adjustment
- Soft infusion for consistent espresso shots
- Automated cleaning by selecting the desired group that needs cleaning
- Backplate which works as a mirror so you can monitor every stage of the brewing process
- Ease of checking pressure with the bar pump gauge
- Easy monitoring of boiler water levels with water level indicator
- Automatic backflushing
- Adjustable stainless steel nozzles, a stainless steel spigot, and two stainless steel wands
- Stainless steel drip tray
- Made with stainless steel with ABS
Another best 2-group espresso machine by Nuova Simonelli is the Aurelia Wave 2-group espresso machine that's designed to impress both the baristas and the customers.
While the baristas enjoy the ease of use and exceptional features, the machine produces a perfect espresso shot that's often an unforgettable experience for the customers.
If you look at the machine's functionality, it offers both volumetric and manual dosing, which gives a chance to baristas to choose the best option for drinks.
The Nuova Simonelli Aurelia Wave 2-group espresso machine features convenient technology for baristas that they can easily learn and get used to. The TFT display with an LCD allows the barista to know the machine's current status while offering several preset options that help streamline operations.
If you take a closer look at the control panel, you can quickly learn the easy-to-follow visual steps that will guide you to create the perfect shot of espresso.
Furthermore, there are two different sets of controls for each group which allows you to cater to several customers at the same time. And the barista can enjoy great mobility with the two steam wands.
Moreover, the machine has a built-in infusion system which adds more to consistency by optimizing tamping and reducing the risk of human error. Hence, the customer gets a consistently smooth shot of espresso that will surely bring them back to you.
To enhance your customer’s experience further, the machine is equipped with smart water technology. The feature allows the machine to automatically test the water quality and notify the user in case of a change in water quality.
The machines operate at a 220V electrical connection and a plumbed-in water connection.
Like other Nuova Simonelli machines, the Aurelia Wave 2-group espresso machine is designed to reduce energy consumption and contribute positively to the environmental impact. It not only helps save money for your business but is also more environmentally friendly.
In all, the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia Wave 2-group espresso machine features versatile technology for ease of use and consistency. Hence, it is one of the few espresso machines that are equally desired by both the baristas and the customers.
4. La Cimbali M26 BE 2-Group Automatic Commercial Espresso Machine
- Group heads: 2
- Machine Type: Automatic
- Boiler size: 10 liters
- Weight: 165 lbs
- Ergonomic and versatile
- Microprocessor for easy programming
- Equipped with La Cimbali Thermal System and smart boiler technology
- Backlit electromechanical button panel
- Stainless Steel Multi-Directional Steam Wands
- Economiser for maintaining boiler temperature and energy-saving light function for improved energy efficiency
- Ruveco Teck coating
- 2 stainless steel multidimensional turbosteam wands, and one stainless steel hot water wand
- Adjustable Drip Trays
- Made from steel and ABS
La Cimbali is perhaps the most popular coffee machine brand in Italy and worldwide, and there are good reasons for it. The company is known for manufacturing world-class, top-quality espresso machines that are durable and reliable.
Moreover, the machines by La Cimbali are known for their consistency and versatility, and it is due to this reason that La Cimbali's espresso machines are one of the most common pieces of equipment you can find in cafes around the world.
And while there are several options of espresso machines by La Cimbali, the one that we think is the best 2-group espresso machine is the M26 BE, which is an entry-level, mid-range machine that continues the legacy of great La Cimbali espresso machines.
The La Cimbali M26 BE is made from steel and ABS and is equipped with several versatile features that make it a top choice for small to medium scale commercial use.
If you look at the features of La Cimbali M26 BE, it uses the company's patented "Smart Boiler" technology. The use of this technology allows you to optimize the boiler's billing cycle, which in turn creates a thermal balance between the steam and water.
With this feature, the baristas can manage high output throughout the day, including the peak times, as the machine provides continuous hot water for coffee and steam through the mixing valve.
Moreover, the machine features a backlit electromechanical button panel and a microprocessor for easy programming that's intuitive and quite easy to use. The machine is equipped with the reliable La Cimbali Thermal System, which keeps the energy consumption at bay.
The Economiser helps maintain the boiler's temperature. Moreover, the energy-saving light function improves the energy efficiency of the machine.
Another key feature of the La Cimbali M26 BE is the use of Ruveco Teck Coating. The water that is used for making espresso comes in contact with the metallic components of the machine. And the contact of water with metallic machine components can infuse metallic properties in water.
To overcome this problem, Cimabli has an exclusive patent of using the Ruveco Teck coating, which is a specialized treatment that reduces the release of metallic properties from the machine's components into water.
Since freshwater is one of the most critical prerequisites of exceptional espresso, the patented coating ensures that the water quality remains the same so you can enjoy a great shot of espresso.
In all, the La Cimbali M26 BE espresso machine guarantees flawless perfection in a cup while keeping the energy consumption at bay. Moreover, it comes with versatile features that make this machine an investment that offers great value for money.
5. Wega Polaris XTRA 2-Group Commercial Espresso Machine
- Group heads: 2
- Machine Type: Automatic
- Boiler size: 5 liters
- Boiler Type: single boiler, heat-exchange boiler
- Weight: 180 lbs
- Single boiler that works using heat exchange mechanism
- Pre-infusion technology for improved taste
- Raised group heads to accommodate taller glasses
- 4 Programmable Volumetric dosing options and manual brewing buttons
- Multifunctional display
- Automatic group washing cycle
- White LED lights for lighting the side panels
- Temperature stabilization of groups
- Lever style steam knobs
- 2 Stainless steel steam wands
- Hot water dispenser with a cool-water mixing valve
- Made from stainless steel
The Wega Polaris XTRA 2-Group Commercial Espresso Machine comes from Italy's most popular espresso machine brand Wega. Today, the company holds a 25% market share in Italy and is becoming increasingly popular worldwide.
The brand was introduced to the U.S. espresso market in 2011, and since then, Wega is gaining popularity and becoming more prominent at coffee shops and cafes.
The Polaris XTRA 2-Group Commercial Espresso Machine by Wega is an espresso machine with a heart and character that can give personality to your coffee business.
The machine comes with several versatile features, which is why it has made it to the list of best 2-group espresso machines. The machine operates with a single boiler using heat exchange system. Moreover, using pre-infusion technology, you can end up with great-tasting shots of espresso every single time.
If you look at the design of Wega Polaris XTRA 2-Group Commercial Espresso Machine, it is quite aerodynamic and futuristic. Along with the new backlit keypad, the machine also presents a new and improved design with RGB LEDs on the side panels that help reduce eye strain.
Moreover, the machine features higher group heads and lever-style steam knobs. The higher group heads can accommodate taller glasses whereas the lever-style steam knobs give a classic touch to the machine. Furthermore, it offers four programmable volumetric dosing touchpads that are ergonomic and intuitive.
The stainless steel espresso machine features two stainless steel steam wands. Furthermore, the machine has an option of Autosteam, which makes it a lot more functional and powerful than a standard espresso machine.
Finally, it comes with a hot water dispenser with a cool-water mixing valve for ease of use and improved functionality.
In all, the Polaris XTRA 2-Group Commercial Espresso Machine is a great choice for anyone who is looking forward to catering to a large number of customers while making a unique style statement at the outlet.
6. Victoria Arduino White Eagle 2-Group Espresso Machine
- Group heads: 2
Machine Type: Automatic
- Boiler size: 14 liters
- Weight: 163 lbs
- Volumetric dosing
- Cool-touch handle of the steam wand
- PID system for water temperature regulation
- T3 Temperature-control technology that facilitates power saving
- Raised group heads to accommodate taller cups
- Two brew boilers (one for each group)
- Push-Pull Steam (Autosteam capable)
- TFT Display
- Bar Pump Gauge
- Backplate design
- Automated group cleaning of individual groups
- Automatic water level
- Made from aluminum and stainless steel
The White Eagle 2-group espresso machine is a stunning piece of craftsmanship by Victoria Arduino, a brand that never compromises on performance and efficiency.
Victoria Arduino is one of the parts of the Simonelli Group, which started its operations in Italy in 1905 and is a prominent name in the industry known for high-quality and reliable commercial espresso machines and other accessories.
The White Eagle 2-group espresso machine is a state-of-the-art commercial espresso machine with exceptional performance and spectacular design. The machine is available in two variants – T3 and Digit and both are renowned models for their incredible precision.
The T3 technology improves the quality of espresso by ensuring greater control over temperature during each delivery phase so your customers end up with the right taste of espresso.
The White Eagle 2-group espresso machine has a built-in PID system that facilitates automatic water temperature regulation that leads to a consistent extraction and exceptional taste every time.
Moreover, the White Eagle 2-group espresso machine is ergonomically designed with a display that's easy to operate and manage. The TFT display that is lit by the blue LED lights gives the operator of the machine detailed, real-time information about the brewing process.
Among other useful features of the White Eagle, 2-group espresso machine is the programmable volumetric dosing that allows the same amount of water to flow through the group head every time the barista presses the button. This feature ensures exceptional consistency shot after shot.
With the White Eagle 2-group espresso machine, you can also choose between a single shot, long shot, or a double shot. You can also choose between continuous delivery and 2 long shots using the control panel on the group head.
For additional safety, the White Eagle 2-group espresso machine features insulated steam arms that prevent burns and provide additional safety to baristas. Moreover, the steam wands are operated using a lever for easy and precise frothing.
If you are looking for a commercial espresso machine that's reliable, consistent, and offers exceptional precision, then Victoria Arduino White Eagle 2-group espresso machine is what you need for your business.
So which one is the best 2-group commercial espresso machine for you?
As mentioned earlier, there is no single best 2 group commercial espresso machine. Your choice for the best 2 group commercial espresso machine depends on several factors.
These factors include the size of your business, the type of machine you choose, potential demand from your customers, and your employees' skills.
We believe that the exact answer depends on your unique situation. All of the above-mentioned 2-group espresso machines are the best, but they work really well in different situations, so you can only decide which one is the best 2-group commercial espresso machine for you.
Get started with your research so you can find the best one for your business.
Good luck on your unique coffee journey!
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