Not all coffee businesses are confined to coffee shops. In fact, many on-the-go coffee businesses operate as premised cafes, if not more. And if you have a coffee business that's constantly on the go, you will surely need an espresso machine that can get along well with you.
Whether you are a caterer, operate a coffee van, or own any other coffee-related business, this post is for you. Here, we have compiled a list of some of the best portable commercial espresso machines that you can hit the road along.
Along with an insight into some of the best portable commercial espresso machines, you will also learn how to choose the best portable commercial espresso machine for your business.
But before we get into the details, you must find out about different commercial espresso machines and what each of them means, along with learning about situations when a pour-over machine is right for you. So let’s get started.
Different Types of Commercial Espresso Machines
If you have just started searching for the best portable commercial espresso machine, you must understand a few basic terminologies. With this know-how, you will be better equipped to make the right investment choice for your business.
Some of the common variations of espresso machines available on the market include the following.
- Pour-over vs. Direct-Connect
- Semiautomatic vs. Automatic
- Heat Exchange Espresso Machines vs. Dual Boiler
Pour-Over vs. Direct-Connect Espresso Machines
When it comes to portable commercial espresso machines, a pour-over espresso machine makes the safest option. Still, it is worth knowing the alternative so you can make an informed choice.
Pour-Over Espresso Machine
Certain coffee businesses do not require you to connect the espresso machines to a direct water line. Instead, they require you to refill the water tanks manually.
Pour-over espresso machines make a perfect choice for the on-the-go coffee business, so you don't have to worry about keeping your espresso machine connected to the water supply.
However, when you go for a pour-over coffee machine, don't forget to use water softening tablets or filters, so water quality is not a concern for both your machine and customers.
Direct-Connect Espresso Machines
As the name suggests, direct-connect espresso machines are connected to a water line so they can be refilled automatically. Moreover, when you go for espresso machines that connect directly, installing water filters and using softeners is easier.
As a result, you can maintain the quality of water, which is a critical factor determining your espresso taste. Furthermore, it also protects your machine from residual and scale buildup.
While direct-connect espresso machines are often the best choice for your café or coffee shop, however, they are not a good choice for your on-the-go business as they need water line connections.
Semi-automatic vs. Automatic Espresso Machines
Apart from the source, the next category to differentiate between types of commercial espresso machines is whether an espresso machine is semi-automatic or automatic. Each type is preferred in certain situations, and there are different reasons for it.
Semiautomatic Espresso Machines
They make a great choice for commercial espresso machines as they give control to the barista over the brewing cycle. And while it gives the barista the control to begin and end the cycle, it also means that the quality of each shot can vary.
Moreover, there can be a stark difference in taste depending upon who is making it. But then again, if you have a seasoned barista, you can look forward to an amazing shot of espresso with a semi-automatic espresso machine.
Automatic Espresso Machines
Automatic espresso machines are a common choice for commercial applications and make an even more preferred choice for businesses on the go. Since the brewing cycle is programmed, with an automatic espresso machine, you can look forward to a consistent taste regardless of who is at the counter.
So if you want each of your customers to enjoy the same great taste every time they visit your mobile coffee cafe, then an automatic espresso machine makes your best bet.
However, you can expect to pay more for this type of espresso machines. Moreover, you must know that you cannot enjoy the same flexibility that you can get with a semi-automatic espresso machine.
Heat Exchange Espresso Machines vs. Dual Boiler
One of the indispensable parts of your commercial espresso machine is a boiler without which you cannot heat water to a point where it can be used to brew. Moreover, you also need a boiler to steam milk.
When looking for portable commercial espresso machines, you can find two types of espresso machines based on boiler classification; heat exchange espresso machines and dual boilers. Here is how the function of both these types of espresso machines differ.
Heat Exchange Espresso Machine
Espresso machines that work with heat exchange boilers have a single boiler with a tube that taps the brewing temperature to the group head. Moreover, it keeps the steaming temperature separate.
This type of espresso machine is affordable. Moreover, when you turn on the machine, the boiler can warm up quickly.
Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
On the other hand, dual boiler espresso machines have two boilers that allow you to brew and steam simultaneously.
While espresso machines with dual boilers tend to be more expensive, they are stronger when it comes to steaming.
What Makes a Pour-Over Espresso Machine Best Choice for Your Business?
If you are looking for the best portable commercial espresso machine, you will likely have a mobile coffee business. And when you have an on-the-go business, pour-over espresso machines make the best choice.
The key feature that makes this type of espresso machine stand out is that you don't have to hook to a water line. Instead, you can set up your coffee machine anywhere, and all you have to do is to fill in the tank with water.
How to Choose the Best Portable Commercial Espresso Machine?
If you have an on-the-go coffee business and you need a commercial espresso machine, you will likely go with a portable espresso machine. Here are some of the factors that you should consider so you can make an informed choice.
Your Employee’s Level of Experience
Perhaps the most important consideration is the experience of people working with you. Do your employees have a good experience with espresso machines? Then a semi-automatic espresso machine works best for your business.
But what if your employees do not have enough experience or, like your business, the person behind the espresso machine is on the go? In that case, an automatic machine is perfect for you.
With an automatic machine, it is easier for you to produce consistent results every time.
Your Potential Target Market
Who is your potential customer? Are you targeting a group that prefers highly specialized coffee?
In that case, you will need a skilled and experienced barista, and you will also need a semi-automatic espresso machine. With this type of espresso machine, you can transform your espresso into an art form that can satisfy your customers and add value to your business.
But if the consistency of taste and quality is what brings your customers back to your business, then an automatic espresso machine makes a great choice.
You will also need to consider your sales before you choose the best portable commercial espresso machine.
If your customers are waiting for your coffee as soon as you open up the business, then you need a machine that you can trust for timely service. An espresso machine with a heat exchange boiler system is best for such business as it heats up in a relatively shorter time.
However, if your business is more about cappuccinos and lattes, then a dual boiler system espresso machine is your best bet.
By paying attention to these factors and thoroughly assessing your business needs, you can make a great choice for portable commercial espresso machines for your business.
Now that you know what to look for and how to make the right choice let's take a closer look at some of the best portable commercial espresso machines.
Best Portable Commercial Espresso Machines
1. Nuova Simonelli Musica 1 Group Volumetric Espresso Machine
With a large capacity tank, exceptionally high performing steam wand, heat exchange boilers, and ability to work as both direct connect and pour over machine, Musica is on top of the list for best portable commercial espresso machines.
Let’s take a closer look at this machine that can give you consistent performance all day long.
Automatic Machine Type + Manual Dosing Button
The Nuova Simonelli Musica is an automatic machine programmed to complete the brew cycle once you initiate it. Hence, it makes a great choice for beginners. But if your seasoned baristas prefer to have more control over the shot, they can also use it as a semi-automatic espresso machine.
It comes with a manual dosing button that you can use to start and stop the extraction process, which gives you more control over the type of espresso shot you produce.
Another distinctive feature of the Nuova Simonelli Musica is that it is a volumetric machine. It means that the machine doses the coffee by volume, which allows for consistent espresso shots.
With this machine, you can program three coffee doses based on your preference using the simple-to-use buttons on the control panel.
Programmable Hot Water Nozzle
Regardless of what you sell, you need access to hot water to make the perfect cup of hot drink. And unless you measure every single dose for its temperature, the only outcome is inconsistent espresso shots.
But with Musica, you don't have to worry about the temperature and consistency because this machine comes with a programmable hot water nozzle that gives the same volume and temperature every single time.
Professional Steam Wand
Another key feature that makes this machine stand out is the professional steam wand. The steam wand comes with a 4-hole steam wand tip that gives powerful steam. The wand also rotates fully so your customers can enjoy the smoothest texture of just about any milk.
Consistency Through Pre-Infusion
And perhaps the best feature of the machine is how it ensures consistency through pre-infusion. Not many portable commercial espresso machines have this feature, but Musica does, which is essentially a step before the extraction process.
Through pre-infusion, the machine runs a light stream of water through the filter, which removes any irregularities by removing the gaps and air pockets between the grinds. Hence, you get a balanced and consistent extraction shot after shot.
Nuova Simonelli Musica 1 Group Volumetric Espresso Machine is on top of our list of best portable commercial espresso machines for its amazing features and spectacular beauty. The great performing espresso machine is definitely a worthy investment for your on-the-go coffee business.
2. La Spaziale Vivaldi II
The La Spaziale Vivaldi II comes with cutting-edge modern technology and a classic design, making it one of the best portable commercial espresso machines.
This semi-automatic machine may be one of the more expensive options on the list, but it's worth every penny. Let's look at its features and find out what makes it stand out from the crowd.
The La Spaziale Vivaldi II Espresso Machine is one of the best choices for small commercial setups, especially the ones on the go. One of the key reasons for its popularity is that the machine gives you a consistent shot because of its built-in pre-infusion process.
Just like Musica, its programmable passive pre-infusion process ensures efficient extraction of the coffee grounds for a consistent and delicious espresso shot.
Brewing Temperature Regulation
And its programmable pre-infusion is one part of the trick. The other is enhanced temperature regulation. With a controlled brewing temperature, you can end up with a consistent espresso shot every single time.
Other features of the La Spaziale Vivaldi II are the volumetric dosing program and a semi-automatic hot water system, making it one of the most amazing commercial espresso machines on the market.
The programmable volumetric dosing features allow you to program the single and double cup control using the buttons on the control panel. All you have to do is to select your volume of shot, and then you can brew it with one touch.
Dual Boiler and Professional Steam Wand
The machine comes with two independent boilers for steaming and brewing along with an energy conservation option. Moreover, it comes with a professional steam wand with a steam tip of 0.9mm for extra fine froth.
Some of the other features that make La Spaziale Vivaldi II one of the best choices for portable commercial machines is its quieter operation.
Moreover, it is a direct-connect type of espresso machine, so you may not have to worry about the amount of water in the chamber. But you will have to get a water connection which might be a challenge if you have an on-the-go coffee business.
The La Spaziale Vivaldi II makes an amazing portable commercial espresso machine. However, it may not be the perfect choice for everyone.
It may not give you the convenience of one-touch automatic and super-automatic machines, but it will surely give you a perfect shot of espresso where your barista has complete control over the drink. So it makes a perfect choice, especially when you have experienced baristas working for you.
3. Casadio Undici A 2-Group Compact Espresso Machine
Another compact and super functional portable commercial espresso machine is the Casadio Undici A 2-Group Compact. It’s easy to use, compact in design, offers a higher level of output, and is affordable compared to similar machines.
Hence, it is a great fit for your business. Let's look at some of the features of the Casadio Undici A 2-Group Compact espresso machine.
Semi-automatic Machine with Dosing Buttons
The Casadio Undici A 2-Group Compact is a semi-automatic machine, so it will require you to start and end the brewing process.
And while it doesn't make an excellent machine for beginners, if you have experienced baristas working for you, you can produce top-quality espresso shots for your valued customers with this machine.
Moreover, the machine also features volumetric dosing buttons so your barista can choose whether to brew a single or double shot and let the machine time the perfect shot.
Two Group Heads
Perhaps the most appealing feature that makes this machine one of the best portable commercial espresso machines is the number of group heads. You can simply double the output with two group heads, so your customers don't have to wait longer for their favorite drink.
Heat Exchange Boiler
Another feature that allows you to speed up your service is the heat exchange boiler which allows the machine to simultaneously brew and steam. As a result, you can produce drinks quickly and significantly improve your customer service.
User-Friendly, Compact Design
The machine is user-friendly, so even your newest baristas can operate the simple-to-use buttons instead of getting overwhelmed by the machine. Moreover, its compact design makes it a perfect fit for on-the-go commercial operations.
If you are looking for a portable commercial espresso machine, then Casadio Undici A 2-Group Compact makes a perfect choice. With two group heads, you can produce twice the output with a machine that still remains compact.
4. Sanremo Cube
Sanremo espresso machines have quickly established a reputation in the market for being the most precision-centric espresso machines. And that's something you definitely need when you have a commercial setup.
Hence, with a Sanremo espresso machine, you can easily turn your ordinary cup of Joe into something special for your customers. And one of the best models the company has to offer is the Sanremo Cube.
The one-group semi-automatic espresso machine comes with the following features.
Semi-Automatic Machine with Adjustable Temperature
One of the unique selling points of the Sanremo Cube is that it offers perfect precision despite being a semi-automatic machine.
The high level of precision is achievable because of its latest technology to adjust the temperature through a potentiometer. As a result, your barista can serve perfectly brewed espresso with consistent taste and aroma all day long.
Energy Saving System
Another great feature of the Sanremo Cube is the energy-saving system, which makes it an eco-friendly choice. The fully insulated stainless steel boiler and the electronic system significantly reduce energy consumption, especially when the machine is not in use.
Compact Design and Connectivity
The Sanremo Cube espresso machine comes with a compact design that makes it a perfect fit for on-the-go businesses.
Moreover, it comes with an app that allows you better connectivity and gives you more control over the machine. Hence, making it one of the best portable commercial espresso machines.
When you go for Sanremo Cube, you don’t just invest in an espresso machine. Instead, you go for an investment for your business that gives an amazing experience to all your customer that they will cherish forever.
Choosing the best portable commercial espresso machine may not always be easy. It often means looking at several factors, including the type of business you are into, the type of machine you need for your business, along a few more considerations.
But if you are looking for a portable commercial espresso machine, this guide will surely give you a great start so you can make the right choice for your business.
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