Choosing an industrial coffee machine can be anything but easy. There are many different models on the market, each with its specific features.
Although the elements that compose them are always the same, boiler, pump, filter holder, and filters, we must not be caught unprepared.
There are indeed differences.
But what should you pay attention to when buying a professional coffee machine?
Two fundamental parameters for the preparation of an exceptional espresso are the temperature of the water and the pressure.
The temperature should never exceed 90 degrees, to prevent the coffee from being over-extracted or burnt.
The pressure, on the other hand, should never be below 9 atmospheres. Indeed, the greater the pressure, the better the quality of the beverage.
In addition to these aspects, you must also consider the materials. A coffee machine is an investment that must last over time and the components must be made with resistant materials.
But in addition to the prerogatives of each coffee machine, you must evaluate your needs.
Why do you need a professional coffee machine? How do you want to use it? Do you need a coffee machine for your business or home use?
With this article, we will help you understand how to choose your industrial coffee machine so that you have the most suitable equipment for your needs. Above all, a professional machine with all the credentials to prepare espresso with perfect organoleptic characteristics and an intense, creamy taste.
What is an industrial coffee machine?
An industrial coffee machine is an appliance consisting of five elements, each one is essential for the preparation of an excellent espresso:
- The boiler: is used to bring the water to the optimal temperature for percolation. The water temperature must be between 90-92 degrees centigrade on the panel, while it can reach 110-120 degrees in the boiler.
- The pump: generally this is the only electrical component and is used to press the water on the coffee. It regulates itself automatically, thanks to the use of the pressure switch which guarantees constant pressure.
- The filter holder: is used to contain the filter. It must be made of materials resistant to wear, time, liquids, and high temperatures. Like the filter, it is usually made of stainless steel.
- The filter: this is the container into which the freshly ground coffee powder is inserted. It can be of different width depending on the number of cups of coffee that can be extracted (one cup or two cups).
- The milk froth wand: the wand delivers steam and is used to heat the milk and froth the cappuccino. The material must be resistant to high temperatures since the water used to heat the milk is at a very high temperature.
The industrial coffee machine is suitable for preparing a large amount of coffee during the day, even one after the other. Its performance, therefore, is high and guaranteed by solid and resistant materials.
These types of equipment generally have lights that indicate when the water temperature is ideal for extraction. It is very important to check that the water level in the boiler does not drop below the minimum, in order not to damage the internal parts.
The best brands of coffee machines have devices that indicate the water level.
The pressure is also automatically adjusted by the pressure switch so that the extraction of the coffee will not be altered.
How does an industrial coffee machine work?
The extraction of coffee follows the same procedure of any coffee machine:
- turn on the machine;
- wait a few moments for the water in the boiler to reach the right temperature;
- insert the filter into the filter holder;
- put the coffee powder in the filter, eliminating the excess;
- press the powder with a tamper;
- insert the portafilter;
- operate the coffee machine.
Once you pressed the button, the hot water is pushed by the pump through the coffee powder, making the drink flow out.
And that will be the moment when you can evaluate the fragrance, scent, and aroma of your espresso. Although industrial coffee machines all work in the same way, some parameters can be managed only with practice.
Keeping an eye on the temperature and pressure of the water is essential.
A too high temperature gives the coffee a burnt flavor. On the contrary, water at a low temperature does not allow you to better extract the aromas from the coffee powder, resulting in a tasteless and cold espresso.
In short, for a coffee with an intense flavor, without residues or bitter aftertaste, you need to learn how to use the equipment well and take care of the coffee machine.
For example, descaling the coffee machine is to prevent the formation of bacteria and that the coffee is not over-extracted.
While pressing the coffee correctly helps to avoid over-extracted or under-extracted coffee. The pressing makes the coffee layer compact and must be done energetically and uniformly for a creamy and intense espresso.
A coffee with a bitter aftertaste is linked to inadequate cleaning of the filters.
Stopping delivery at the right time also affects the flavor of the coffee: an espresso should not be more than 3 centiliters, below which you get a short coffee and, above it, an Americano.
How many bar of pressure should an industrial coffee machine have?
The first thing to note is that the higher the pump pressure, the better the coffee that is extracted. High pressure allows to preserve and enhance the taste of the blend used, preserving all its organoleptic characteristics.
The pressure is estimated in bars, a unit of measurement that indicates the force exerted by the pump.
The pressure should never drop below 9 atmospheres, although the values for obtaining espresso with an exceptional taste are much higher.
The optimal pressure for an industrial coffee machine is between 15 and 18 bars.
However, if you want to get excellent coffee at home, don’t despair!
Know that even the best industrial coffee machine for home use will have these values (generally starting from 12 bars). Despite being smaller, home coffee machines, work just like those for industrial use: it is the pressure of the pump that regulates the output of the coffee.
To understand how the heat pump in the coffee machine works, try to think of the water flowing from the tap. Even when the regulator is set to maximum power, it cannot exceed 3 atmospheres.
The coffee machine needs a much more intense boost so that the water passes through the layer of coffee and captures its aromas. The pump has the task of imparting adequate pressure so that the water is hot enough and reaches 90 degrees.
Then it gets to the filter and crosses the layer of coffee.
The mechanism, in reality, is very simple but each step must be calibrated with the utmost care to extract the essential oils from the powder and have a perfect espresso.
How to choose an industrial coffee machine
Choosing an industrial coffee machine for your business can seem complex.
There are many models on the market with different characteristics: ranging from lever coffee machines to super-automatic ones. Without taking into account the materials chosen for the production, the accessories included in the price, the design, and ease of use.
In order not to get confused by this myriad of information, try to focus on your needs.
How many coffees do you prepare every day? Do you personally take care of the extraction or do you have to train staff to do so? Where do you plan to place the coffee machine?
By answering these questions, you will already be able to make the first skimming and better understand what type of equipment you need.
If you use the machine for a limited number of coffees, you can opt for a solution for one group, which guarantees you an optimal result at a low cost.
While, if you need to extract more than two coffees at the same time, a two-group coffee machine is preferable. With the latter, you can prepare up to four cups of coffee together, without creating queues or unnecessary waiting at the counter.
As for the management of the equipment, evaluate who will be responsible for preparing the coffee. Manual coffee machines need a little experience, but once you have learned a few little secrets to make them work at their best, they are unrivaled in terms of texture and taste.
Also, consider how much space you have to dedicate to your coffee machine.
Some brands provide machines designed in every detail that become part of the furnishing. At Pontevecchio we take care of the design of our lever machines to such an extent that just seeing it makes her want to create a coffee corner in the kitchen, totally dedicated to the preparation of espresso.
Our lever coffee machines
Our company was born with a mission: allow everyone to prepare a top-quality espresso, both at home and in places open to the public.
For over twenty years we have dedicated ourselves with commitment and passion to the creation of lever coffee machines, beautiful and with attention to detail, designed to withstand time and wear.
In the design phase we thought of three types of solutions, to meet the needs of each type of customer:
- Export, from € 990 to € 1,480 (depending on the color);
- Luxury 1 Group, € 1,190;
- Luxury 2 Groups, 1,399 euros.
The Export model has a mechanical operation, while the water heating is electric. The coffee machine of this type is made of brass and steel sheet, characterized by a linear and not bulky design, suitable for any type of context. The appliance is a single unit and allows you to prepare two coffees at a time.
Checking the water level is very simple and can be done on sight. It is equipped with a safety valve on the boiler. The latter is made of brass and can contain up to 0.9 liters of water.
Luxury coffee machines are available for one group and two groups. They are automatic and equipped with indicator lights to check the pressure and the minimum water level.
They also allow you to prepare cappuccinos and other drinks, thanks to the presence of a dispensing tap for hot water and one for steam.
All models are delivered with different accessories: filters for one or two cups, filter for pods, measuring cup for the coffee, tamper, and funnel to insert the water into the boiler.
Depending on the circumstances, you can choose the most suitable color from the color variations: white, gold, stainless steel, black, red, and tobacco.
Choose the best industrial coffee machine
An industrial coffee machine consists of fixed elements such as the boiler, the pump, the filter holder, the filter, and the steam wand.
Each device works in the same way: after switching on, the water reaches the temperature, the coffee is added to the filter, the arm is mounted on the dispenser and the machine is activated.
There are many different solutions on sale, but to choose the right industrial coffee machine for your home or business you need to carefully evaluate what kind of needs you have. To prepare a few coffees, a small machine with only one group is enough.
While to serve more customers at the same time it is necessary to opt for a coffee machine with two brewing groups.
Price is a fundamental variable. However, before you think it is high or low, you need to understand what characteristics the machines you are evaluating have.
When purchasing, consider the quality of the materials, the presence of safety valves, the cleaning system, the temperature that the boiler reaches. Remember that choosing a made in Italy coffee machine is a plus, both for constant assistance and for the durability of the equipment.
Keep in mind that pressure is a fundamental element in obtaining a very high-quality espresso. And that’s what you want for sure: a coffee with memorable flavor characteristics, for you and your customers.
Good coffee makes the day pleasant, gives the right sprint to face the commitments, and allows you to fully enjoy every moment. Contact us for more information on Pontevecchio lever coffee machines. We will help you choose the most suitable coffee machine for you.