Imagine the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafting out from your food truck. It is guaranteed to attract any passerby to you so that they get a taste of the delicious coffee they can smell from miles away.
However, not all coffee machines can help you make that same impact on people. This is why it is essential to do plentiful research before buying an espresso machine for your food truck.
Espresso machines work by forcing pressurized water near boiling point onto freshly ground coffee through a filter. The result is a thick, rich, and concentrated liquid that we love to consume; coffee.
Since espresso machines use fine-grind coffee, they can make this process quick and efficient, typically less than 30 seconds. For this reason, such espresso machines are ideal for making coffee on the go or in food trucks.
Many people love to get coffee and delicious fancy drinks from food trucks, especially when they are in a rush or on the go. In fact, they prefer such places instead of actual cafes and restaurants.
Food trucks that serve breakfast can also greatly benefit from serving freshly brewed coffee. It is a great way to attract more customers to your food truck.
When you have an excellent functioning espresso machine that serves high-quality coffee and beverages, you can have your customers keep coming back for more. In this guide, we will walk you through some of our top picks of the best espresso machines for food trucks and how to choose the right one for your venture.
Best Espresso Machines for Food Trucks
Since there are so many brands that make coffee machines, finding the perfect one that meets all your needs can be a dilemma. This is why we have narrowed down the list for you and picked out only the best in the market.
The extensive reviews of each one will definitely help you pick out the suitable espresso machine for your food truck.
1. La Spaziale Dream
This is one of the best coffee machines to use in food trucks simply because it is efficient, convenient, and easy to use.
If you are a beginner or someone who is not used to making fancy drinks, you can get the La Spaziale Dream or La Spaziale Dream T, which are both ideal for newbies. Not just that, but the customization properties allow you to make a range of various coffee beverages.
The coffee machine has an incredibly impressive steam power that steams the milk even while it is extracting the beans and making espresso, which is hard to find in other machines. This is all thanks to its large steam boiler.
The La Spaziale Dream espresso machine is designed for commercial purposes and to make quick coffee frequently, making it ideal for food trucks.
You will also find that this machine will last you a longer time without claiming a warranty. The espresso machine also comes with a cleaning wand, which means that you can quickly clean it after every use.
The stainless steel body of the machine will guarantee longevity and sturdiness. All in all, this is an excellent choice for food trucks because of how quick, efficient, and noiseless it is.
2. Nuova Simonelli Appia Life Compact
Nuova Simonelli is one of the most popular and experienced espresso machine manufacturers in the world. Due to their century of experience, they have created excellent working coffee makers that are ideal for commercial and food truck purposes.
One such machine that they have recently launched is the Appia Life 2. It is perfect in such cases because it is compact and occupies less space. The great thing about it is that it is ideal for beginners since it is easy and comfortable to use while producing high-quality coffee.
The machine has raised group heads that can allow you to make fancy drinks in several sizes. Since they are raised, you will also save time because you can directly put the cup under the machine when making espresso instead of making it in a shot glass and transferring it to the cup.
One of the features that make the Nuova Simonelli Appia Life 2 easy to use is the lever for the steam. You simply need to push or pull it to start or stop the steam.
One feature that makes it one of the best espresso machines for food trucks is its cool wand for steaming. This minimizes the risk of burns and other hazards.
Moreover, the machine comes with an automated self-cleaning system. With a simple push of a button, the machine will be cleaned quickly and painlessly. Hence, saving you time.
3. Victoria Arduino Athena Classic Leva
The design of the Athena 2 is based on the simple craftsmanship and design of initial espresso machines that came into existence during the post-world war era.
The main design is essentially to honor the simple mechanism of original coffee machines. The Athena features a manual lever design that you need to pull in order to make the espresso.
Due to its simplicity in design, the Athena coffee machine is relatively easy to use, especially for beginners. It is also durable and reliable, features that most of its user's value.
Not to mention, the exterior design of the machine is sleek and classic as it is made of copper and chrome. This also adds to its durability and sturdiness.
However, because it has a predominantly manual design, it also means that you will need to clean the machine yourself thoroughly. This might be the only drawback of the machine. Otherwise, it is an excellent espresso machine looking for a simple, easy-to-use, and durable one for their food truck venture.
4. Synesso MVP Hydra
If you need a coffee machine that gives you repeated excellent performance and consistently produces a great cup of coffee each time, you will love the Synesso MVP Hydra. It is a powerhouse of a machine that will prove to be a reliable and high-quality addition to your food truck.
When you set a recipe in the machine, it will continue to follow it and produce the same coffee cup without compromising the amount of sugar, temperature, or acidity.
It is perfect for busy food trucks because the machine produces coffee in a matter of seconds, which will allow you to tend to multiple customers at one time.
Though you can use the automatic controls on the machine, you can alternatively consider switching it to the manual programming mode as well, according to your preference. For this reason, the Synesso MVP Hydra espresso machine is versatile and will suit any type of barista.
You can set the machine to your exact specifications, including the water count, amount of coffee ground, temperature, and more. Hence, instead of repeatedly changing controls for each cup of coffee, you can set it accordingly to produce uniform cups.
5. Victoria Arduino Black Eagle
On our list of one of the best espresso machines for food trucks is the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle, which was also chosen to be the official espresso machine in the World Barista Championship during 2015.
This is because of its robust technology, excellent performance, and high reliability. The espresso machine, designed by esteemed manufacturer Nuova Simonelli, uses intelligent software to produce uniform cups of coffee consistently.
It will pour the exact amount of liquid at the precise temperature you set it in. Each time, the espresso shot will be of high quality.
The Victoria Arduino Black Eagle has been designed for professional baristas and cafes, which is why it is an excellent addition to a food truck specializing in fancy beverages. Even when you are extremely busy, you will be able to successfully tweak the controls to alter the recipe based on the drink you are serving.
The only considerable drawback of the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle espresso machine is the fact that it is pricier compared to other ones in the market.
However, its reliability, ease of use, and ability to produce high-quality coffee unmatched by any other definitely make up for this. Hence, this coffee machine would be an excellent choice for food truck owners who can afford it.
If you view making coffee as a form of art or plan to serve specialty drinks and fancy beverages at your food truck, you might want to consider getting an espresso machine from Slayer. The brand is known to manufacture coffee machines that produce an unrivaled espresso-making experience.
The smart technology and unique features allow it to create unique and flavorful coffee. You can incorporate specific combinations of beans, temperature, time, and flow rate according to your preferences.
With a Slayer coffee machine, you can explore a range of endless flavors of coffee. It is truly the ideal machine for a passionate and experienced barista. Because of its unique control and high-quality design, the Slayer machine is undoubtedly unmatched by any of its competitors.
However, if you are on a budget, you might want to consider a less expensive espresso machine. With excellent performance, the Slayer machine also has a steep price.
It is also not recommended for beginners as the controls might be complicated to use. Moreover, if you are looking for a simple cup of coffee without the nuances, you should also consider any other coffee machine.
All in all, the Slayer espresso machine is excellent for an experienced barista who takes their coffee seriously. It is also great for food truck owners who know how to use it and can afford it.
How to Choose the Best Espresso Machine for Food Trucks?
Now that you know our top picks of the best espresso machines for food trucks, you might be feeling confused and overwhelmed since there are so many to choose from. There are some questions you can ask yourself that might help make the decision easier. They include the following:
How Big Is Your Food Truck’s Generator?
Power requirements are a significant consideration to make if you are looking to serve coffee from a food truck. This is because you have limited power capacity considering the fact that you will be using other electronics as well, such as light bulbs, toasters, microwaves, refrigerators, and more.
Hence you should check the power capacity of your generator and the amount of energy used up by all electronic appliances. Then you can choose the suitable coffee machine that fits your food truck generator's capacity.
How Many People Do You Normally Serve Coffee To?
When you consider buying an espresso machine for your food truck, you must consider the volume of output. What determines the volume is the number of coffees served and amount of people.
If you plan to expand and serve more people, you will need a machine that works swiftly and can produce multiple coffees at once. However, if you are starting out, you can simply envision your output, which might be challenging to do, but making an estimation will be helpful.
Moreover, you should also plan according to rush hours. If you get swamped with orders, you need a machine that helps you serve the customers.
So, even if you start out small and serve fewer people, you should still factor in a higher volume to be on the safer side. It’s best to err on the side of caution and predict a higher volume. The ultimate goal of your espresso machine should be generating more money with less effort.
What Kind of Coffee Drinks Are You Looking to Serve At Your Food Truck?
As you can probably tell, the espresso machines on this list will produce varying kinds of coffee, depending on their features. This is why you should consider what type of coffees you are looking to serve at your food truck and which one is or will be your bestseller.
Based on this information, you should choose an espresso machine that can make the same type of coffee.
If you are looking to expand your menu, you can also take recommendations from your customers on what they would like to see your food truck provide. If it is a coffee beverage you can produce with your espresso machine, it could be an excellent way to attract more customers.
How Much Space Do You Have In Your Food Truck?
Food trucks have very limited space, which is why space optimization is a pretty significant factor you must take into consideration. Hence it is crucial that you take every available space into use. You should measure the size of your espresso machine and keep it in mind when looking at the available space in your food truck.
The coffee machine should also be visible to the customers because it can attract people to your food truck. Additionally, when they can see you make the coffee, they will also be calmer and less likely to complain as well. So, you should take this factor into consideration as well.
When considering space, you should also consider the placement of the components you will need to make the coffee machine, for example, the cups, milk, fridge, and more.
Everything should be close to each other so that you don’t have to walk across. It can affect the temperature of the coffee and make your service slow.
How Fast Is Your Service?
If you believe that you get too occupied during peak hours and cannot manage everything, it might be beneficial to have more than one espresso machine. All in all, your service should be fast enough to meet the needs of all your customers without compromising on the quality of your coffee and the profits you gain.
Hence, if you think you can make quick cups of coffee in less time, you can make do with one espresso machine. Otherwise, you should consider getting a faster working machine or multiple ones.
Typically, food trucks do not have a higher volume of customers than restaurants and cafes, so you do not need a super-automatic machine that takes a few seconds to produce coffee. You can even use a manual or a semi-automatic espresso machine, depending on your service and volume.
How Skilled Is Your Staff or Barista?
There are different machines that require varying levels of expertise. This is why you should know how experienced your barista or staff member operating the device is.
If they are a beginner, they should stick to a simple coffee machine. In such a case, you should also get a super-automatic machine as that will be easier to use. You should only buy a manual espresso machine if you have an experienced barista who knows how to use it.
We recommend that you do your hiring for staff and barista before choosing a coffee machine so that you can get one that aligns with the skills of the person who will use it.
However, this is not entirely necessary since all machines do come with a manual. The learning curve may be slightly steep, but with some practice, your staff will be able to whip up cappuccinos and iced coffees soon enough.
The Bottom Line
On a final note, these factors will help you decide which espresso machine is suitable for your food truck business. You should essentially consider the current physical state of your food truck, as well as your drinks menu, the space available, and what your future plans of expansion are.
You should also consider the speed of your service and the number of customers you get on a regular basis. All of these factors will then help you decide what kind of espresso machine would be good for you.
Besides this, budget is a significant factor that should be taken into consideration if you have a food truck business. For a small-scale business and those on a budget, you can consider getting the Nuova Simonelli Appia Life, La Marzocco Linea, or the Victoria Arduino Athena. These are comparatively cost-effective and are great for small-scale food truck businesses.
On the other hand, if you don't mind splurging on coffee machines and consider them a worthwhile investment, you can go for the Slayer coffee machine line, the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle, or the Syness Mvp Hydra. These are all excellent and high-functioning espresso machines that are fast and efficient. They also make delicious and fragrant coffees.
All in all, consider your needs, space, and budget carefully before deciding which coffee machine to get for your food truck. Good luck!
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