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Thread: What commercial machine to buy??

  1. #1
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    What commercial machine to buy??

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi I hope someone can steer me in the right direction. I am about to invest in a coffee machine for my restaurant, I want the best coffee machine money can buy. I did decide on a three group La Cimbali M39 until someone told me that they were basically crap and have been known to burn the coffee, they have recommended a Wega Sphera. Can anyone help?? Thank you

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    Senior Member Sullo's Avatar
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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    just be careful with contracts with major coffee suppliers youll pay thru the nose for your coffee per kilo.
    I maybe wrong but buy your machine seperate to your coffee if at all possible, but Im sure one who knows more about this can advise you.
    look for good sales support and AFTER SALES SUPPORT very important, esp if you machine should break down.
    good luck

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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    A nice La Marzocco or Synesso Cyncra would probably be the best money can buy. Talk to the site sponsors about pricing - a high-end machine could set you back in excess of $120003

    Its actually baristas that burn the coffee. You need great baristas more than a great coffee machine, and a great grinder to make the most of a great coffee machine. If you have the money to burn and want consistency, you could also look at the Swift system.

    How many kg of coffee do you serve in an average night? And how many trained baristas can you justify at this time? Do you have fresh beans delivered or purchased regularly (ie. less than 2 weeks since they were green)? What percentage is Decaf? Is coffee space an issue? Are you based in a city or near good trainers?

    Help us with a bit more information, and we can help you much better :)

  4. #4
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Elise.

    "I want the best coffee machine money can buy."

    Careful, that could cost you a lot...or not.
    Depends on a lot of factors.

    I make a very nice coffee with my Expobar at home; better than they make where I work with a La Marzocco.

    See thats where the other factors come into play:
    - Quality grinder
    - Fresh coffee
    - Knowledgeable barista

    Actually, today I had a coffee from the cafe in the foyer at work and it was the best Id had from there min quite a while.
    I was forced to as the espresso machine in our kitchen is in for repairs.
    I can make a pretty good coffee on it as well.

    The difference today I would say was that the owner made it for me instead of the barista.

    So if you have the right combination of the factors above, it need not cost the earth.

    Do please supply answers to some of the questions above so that we may advise further.

    For a start it would be nice to know where your restaurant is.


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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    Hehe ... well ... heres how I responded to you on the other site ;P

    The short answer is that people will disagree on what the best machine is. I, personally, love the current La Marzocco machines (the FB80, GB5 and Mistral). I have also worked on the Synesso Cyncra and Id rate it not that far behind. I have heard that a Wega Sphera has the same guts as a San Marino Lisa - if this is true, I would expect it to be a shocking choice.

    The longer answer is that we would need to know what features you are after so that we can sensibly recommend a machine that will match your expectations. For example, are looks important? Are you after a machine that is easy to use? Or one that will maximise the quality of the espresso that you are serving? Do you need to be able to churn out buckets of milk, or just cups? Do you need to be able to run on a low amperage? Are your staff well trained? It may be that you will have to compromise some things to get others.

    The complete answer is that the machine is only a part of a the bigger picture in serving excellent coffee. If that is your true goal, you will also need to take into account things like the coffee that you are using, how well trained your staff are and the grinder that you are using. If I were to walk into your restaurant, I would order coffee if I saw that the brand that you were using wasnt terrible and your staff looked like they knew what they are doing (eg. empty dosing chamber in the grinder). I would not order coffee if you had one of the machines that I mentioned above, but it was teamed up with a brand of coffee that I know is usually stale and if your staff didnt look like they know what they are doing.

    (Oh, and seeing as I mentioned grinders, Ill say that I think that the big commercial conical grinders like the mazzer robur and the compak k10 wbc really do make a difference compared with the flat burr grinders that you usually see.)

    Frankly, I think that most restaurants really let themselves down on the coffee front. I love my food and I love my coffee, but I despair that I can only think of one or two restaurants that I would go to for an extravagant meal followed by a coffee.

    I wish you the best of luck, and I hope that you end up serving great coffee!

    Cheers,

    Luca
    Identity, I have certainly used machines that will burn the coffee, regardless of the barista.

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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    Hi Elise and welcome to CoffeeSnobs....

    As has been said by others, in order of importance to get great coffee you need......

    Barista skills - well developed (not just a kid off the street or the girl/guy who waits on the tables)
    Freshly ground, freshly roasted coffee
    A quality grinder
    A coffee machine....

    And the coffee machine comes in a poor fourth on the list!

    If any of the first three are inadequate..... then the best machine in the world wont help.....

    That is what most cafes get wrong..... they spend up big on a machine, get a reasonable grinder, then some chain provider to supply old and stale coffee... and to add the final insult..... find some pimply faced kid and put him/her behind the machine with 10 minutes of tuition and expect good coffee....

    And that is totally the wrong way round..... which is why there are so many places serving abysmal coffee.

    A good barista can make allowances for the other factors (at least to a certain extent)..... a good barista with quality beans can probably get a reasonable extraction with a less than ideal grinder and machine.... etc

    To get the ultimate, then all have to be the best you can get.... but start at the top and work down. If your situation is such that you wont or cant have quality baristas serving the coffees.... then I wouldnt worry about spending lots on "the best machine"... it will just be money down the drain.

  7. #7
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??


    Good coffee in a restaurant?

    Excellent idea!

    I can only hope that more of the foodies follow that trend so CoffeeSnobs dont have to wait till we get home for coffee.

    ;)


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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    I certainly wouldnt want a coffee from the vacpots at Vue de Monde, especially after theyve had the crayfish bouillabaisse in it.

    How bout a Clover?

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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    Wow!! Thanks for the repiles guys!! I have only had the restaurant (150 seat Italian) just over 6 months now and have been happy with everything so far. I can see there is a huge demand for coffee where we are, so Iím looking to find away to increase our coffee sales. We are located in an extremely busy shopping centre, so the majority of our sales are the busy lunch time rush, after that we are lucky to get 3 or 4 customers. We shut the kitchen at 3 and only serve coffee, drinks and cakes until 5.30. The other coffee shops around us are booming and are constantly full, most of them are doing between 35-70kg of coffee per week, all of them are franchises and in my opinion serve below standard coffee. My strategy is to use a well known brand of coffee and the best equipment available and serve consistently good coffee. Iím quite lucky to have two qualified baristas working for me at the moment, one is an ex barista trainer from Melbourne and is amazingly good. I have decided on Lavazza Grand Espresso for my beans, thatís purely based on the popularity of the brand and no one else in the shopping centre has it. We have currently a huge automatic machine (same one that McDonalds use) and are using just under 10kg per week. I have also posted on the CoffeeGeek forums so sorry if some of you are reading this twice. :-[

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sullo's Avatar
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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    If I may open myself up to flames and other "behave yourself Sullos" kinda posts.
    Please dont use vitorria or those mass produced coffees, really they have there place but are really crap.
    Talk to Andy try his stuff,

    I just hate seeing people drinking crap an thinking its good,
    And get good grinder like youll hear a thousand times here and a TRAINED Barista, pay the money get someone trained, there are plenty of sponsors here only to willing to hand over their first born child to help you, well ok maybe not that extreme but they do help.
    If Chris at talk coffee had 5 cents per question Ive given him, hed be relaxing in the Bahamas or something by now.
    Sorry rant over.

    Hides soapbox behind the kitty litter tray....

  11. #11
    TC
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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    Quote Originally Posted by Sullo link=1195643804/0#9 date=1195692863
    ...If Chris at talk coffee had 5 cents per question Ive given him, hed be relaxing in the Bahamas or something by now.....
    ;D Sullo....It felt like the Bahamas the other day....and then the change came through :(

  12. #12
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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    Hi Elise,

    Sounds like you are well on the way.....

    Two suggestions, talk to the site sponsors re a suitable machine / grinder combo..... they will provide you with good, honest advice and the buckup support you need.

    Im in Perth where the majority of restaurants and cafes sell coffee which is way below par (when out for dinner, we normally come home for coffees - including our friends - hence the 2 group La Cimbali ::) - which doesnt burn the coffee by the way ;))...

    But there are some places - like Epic - which serve exceptional espresso. Other than good staff (which it sounds like you have) they only use beans from specialist roasters.... who have produced a blend just for them! Beans from bulk suppliers will allow you to make a good coffee.... but if you have the staff, can afford quality machines then why not aim for great coffee.... there are plenty of local roasters in each state (many of whom are site sponsors - and if in Melbourne Id suggest you contact Andy)... get some quality fresh beans and the customers will be wowed.... and keep coming back....

    Good luck with your venture.

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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    Quote Originally Posted by AussieElise link=1195643804/0#8 date=1195691544
    I have decided on Lavazza Grand Espresso for my beans, thatís purely based on the popularity of the brand and no one else in the shopping centre has it.
    Oh please no!!! That is a response I hear to often, "because it is popular". Imagine how well you could do with a good roaster supplying fresh beans. If you are looking to buy good equipment why not look to buy good beans as well.

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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    MacDonalds is popular, but would you serve on of their burgers in your restaurant?

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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    Dont buy Lavazza! i just had to say it even thought youve already been told... Good local roasters- I am certain that a site sponsor will do you good for coffee, I wouldnt trust anything roasted overseas or owned by an italian label... There may be exceptions, so dont be closed off when someone tries to say differently.

    Cheers, Mark

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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    Sounds like it might be worth your while doing a bit more research. You should be able to find out what the top cafes in your city are and check them out. Once you have tasted their coffee it might give you a bit more insight into what you want to do, then you can start talking to some roasters.

    From your description of your location, it sounds like you should be able to bump your coffee sales up significantly, but I dare say that what you really need in order to do this is to make better tasting coffee, rather than to go for a brand name. Cool looking branding might get people in the door, but I dont know how many will come back if the coffee isnt great and you have a lot of competition. It would be an interesting exercise to try and analyse what percentage of your customers come back for coffee.

    It is heartening to hear that you actually have a barista, rather than hiving the task off to whoever is around.

    EDIT: For completeness sake, I suppose that I should say that Im well and truly in the fresh coffee = good, imports = crap camp and, also, that I work for a coffee roastery. I dont think that you can take the views of anyone here to be indicative of what your general potential customer base will think. And, as much as I hate to admit it, many businesses seem to do OK with coffee that is all glitz and no substance - a triumph of branding and advertising. However, if you do have as much competition as you say, I think that the only way that you are seriously going to start bumping up your coffee sales is to go for repeat business by serving better coffee than your competition.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  17. #17
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer Roaster link=1195643804/0#12 date=1195789886
    Quote Originally Posted by AussieElise link=1195643804/0#8 date=1195691544
    * I have decided on Lavazza Grand Espresso for my beans, thatís purely based on the popularity of the brand and no one else in the shopping centre has it.
    Oh please no!!! That is a response I hear to often, "because it is popular". Imagine how well you could do with a good roaster supplying fresh beans. If you are looking to buy good equipment why not look to buy good beans as well.
    I came back to this thread late so will just agree here with the above and also what luca just wrote about "serving better coffee than your competition".

    And I was wondering how you can say the Lavazza is popular if no one else in the center is using it?


    My father was in the food industry for many years and I can tell you that the quality of his products is what distinguished him from the crowd and kept customers coming back.

    Ive been making coffee at work on a Sunbeam EM6900 with beans Ive roasted myself and blown everyone away with how good it is compared to what the cafe in the foyer serves.

    Im now roasting beans for 4 of my team members who refuse to drink the brand name stuff again.

    And Ill say too that the coffee I make at home on my Expobar with my Macap grinder is even better.


    Elise you are in a position to be able to turn your enthusiasm into a positive return for your business if you can get it all together.
    I enjoy the looks on peoples faces when they taste my coffee and gladly accept the compliments you can have that too and have them pay you for it as well. Wow!

    Good luck.

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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    quote from TG:

    "I enjoy the looks on peoples faces when they taste my coffee and gladly accept the compliments you can have that too and have them pay you for it as well. Wow!"

    Bravo TG, down with mediocrity & believe in the outcomes of your passion - in this context roasting your own, & sustaining the passion to keep learning about what is genuinely an artisan craft pays dividends (personally & if genuine, commercially)...

    Today, as a first (boldly, & with a tad anxiety!), I subjected some of my customers to a personally roasted blend, away from the norm that my commercial supplier (+ my barista skills at the fore, thankyou ;)) has shaped their expectations palate-wise.

    Sipped on the spot, comments were that mine won trumps. :D

    All on a rather simplistic, (yet evidently effective!) self-constructed Corretto module - a few 500gm batches of varied SOs roasted to different profiles, then post-blended 5 days rest ...

    Yeah, makes ya feel good end of the day :)





  19. #19
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: What commercial machine to buy??

    Quote Originally Posted by GrindOnDemand link=1195643804/15#17 date=1195815405
    Yeah, makes ya feel good end of the day :)
    Doesnt it! ;)



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