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Thread: Coffee Carts - which is the best machine ?

  1. #1
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    Coffee Carts - which is the best machine ?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Im new to the site and thanks for the welcome. Im looking to set up a coffee cart in Regional Victoria and welcome any advice, tips, warnings regarding equipment. Whats the best machine for this usage and why ? What other considerations should a new player be aware of ? Thanking you in anticipation..Michael_P

  2. #2
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    Re: Coffee Carts - which is the best machine ?

    a) Dont buy cheap used equipment....its like wanting to go into the taxi business & buying a clapped out 1957 model car to do it with;

    b) in terms of cart use it is a good idea to have a heavy, solid, or "well constructed" machine. I know some side show people that keep having to weld up cracks in the chassis of their espresso machines but of course, they do a lot more moving around than "town" carts get.

    Otherwise, buy something with good simple conventional design that has good local service backup in your area.

    Regardz,
    FC.


  3. #3
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    Re: Coffee Carts - which is the best machine ?

    Michael,

    We have been running a coffee cart at a gippsland market for about 15 months. The only advice i would give is get a machine with good recovery time. I find that almost all coffees are milk based. When the rush hits we have one person on shots and one steaming. Pretty standard way of doing things. But if the boiler is not providing enough steam everything suffers including shot quality on a HX machine, and customer turn around. We use an EXPOBAR 2 group. Reliability plus . Has not let us down yet. But, heat stability can be a problem. Also get as close to a 15-20 amp outlet as possible. Hope this helps. By no means am i an expert but thats my 2 cents.

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    Re: Coffee Carts - which is the best machine ?

    Some good points but perhaps I could just offer a simple clarification.

    For "mobile" and "outside" use it is always easiest to go with a 10 amp machine because of the difficulty in getting 15 & 20 amp connections OR you would have to travel with your own generator or an extensive, very large, heavy & expensive battery system with inverter.....Or only go to sites where you know you can get the power.

    So, the idea is to have a 10 amp 2 group machine with large capacity (big boiler & massive groups)...after that, if you have that many people standing in line waiting for you, then Im afraid they need to accept there may be a small wait to get their coffee! It is dependent on the number of people waiting, not on the real rated capacity of the machine itself, because espresso machines are NOT intended to cater for crowds where the greatest majority all want milk based drinks (for example as you might find if a greyhound bus stopped in front of you and all 65 people wanted coffee now).

    After that it just comes down to all the usual constraints that suit individuals, in selecting the "right" machine for them.

    We for example have Diadema 2 group machines with 14 litre boilers and E61 type groups (they weigh over 3.5 kilos each)...so we remove the 15 amp element and replace it with a tenner, and you can plug in anywhere......noting that the machine will draw the entire 10 amps rendering use of any other appliance on that circuit, at the same time, a "no go" situation.

    It would be very unusual to have a 20 amp (3 group) machine in a *mobile* cart situation exactly because of all the above....where do you get the power?

    Chiz,
    FC.

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    Re: Coffee Carts - which is the best machine ?

    In the new year i will be doing the exactly the same thing with the mobile coffee carts. I thought about using a 2 group coffee machine however most of them being at a 65-70kg of weight, it is a little bit too much weight for one person to carry.

    Therefore i have decided to go for the Bezzera BZ40 because of its heating capacity, since having a 2 x 1400 watt element, it should be able to cope with the demand.

  6. #6
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    Re: Coffee Carts - which is the best machine ?

    Thanks to you all for your responses - needless to say im equally enlightened and more confused by your responses...
    Im thinking I need a 10amp machine, got a short list of brand names from you all and other sources (includes expobar, boema, diadema and bezzera), certainly agree that i dont need to lok at old second hand gear to do the job
    I want to make the right first impression and be able to cope with the (hopefully) huge numbers of eager coffee drinkers.
    Finally, can you folk tell me if $8,000 to $11,000 seems a relaistic price for a fitted out cart with coffee machine, grinder, fridge, all power requirement, accessories, etc.
    OOps finally again, where is the best place to loko for such a setup ? Are there mentors out therre or companies who might be interested in a joint venture of sorts ??
    Once again thanks for your feedback I greatly appreciate the time you took and the benefit of your collective experiences...

  7. #7
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    Re: Coffee Carts - which is the best machine ?

    Hi Michael,

    Do you have any size requirements at all for your coffee cart. I am currently going through this step right now with the coffee cart.

    Instead of the a standalone coffee cart, I am thinking about doing something entirely new in Australia in relation to providing coffee on the go. It is a very funny yet unique idea.

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    Re: Coffee Carts - which is the best machine ?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hi,

    I know this is thread hasnt been visited for a while, but I thought I could offer some valuable advise from my own Mobile Coffee Cart Experience.

    We use a 2 Group Rancillio (DE) which has never let us down, having said that, I sometime wish it had the bigger element but then Id need to be looking for 20 amp circuits all the time, whereas with its 3050W (15 amp outlet only required) element it works fine apart from Steam recovery can be a little slow if you are pushing into the 90+ cups per hour range.

    The other machine we have as more a back up and for big events and trade shows etc. is a 4 group Expobar elegance and it keeps up with almost any demand, it has also been very reliable.

    Regards



    Mark




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