Professional Grade Coffee Makers

Photo credit: Jimmy G

If you’ve ever dined at a restaurant, you definitely have seen a professional grade coffee maker before. They come in several types, all depending on how customers want their coffee.

The best part about professional-grade coffee makers is their large capacity. This is why it is an excellent choice for anyone in the food business. It can also be something to use at home. Whether you are entertaining or just have a big family, investing in a commercial coffee maker could solve some of your coffee problems!

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the world of professional-grade coffee makers. We broke it down into each type of machine so that you can find exactly what you are looking for.

Pour-over Coffee Machines

Many people love great pour-over coffee. But, commercial-grade pour-over machines are much different than your typical manual pour-over coffee apparatus. They are actually a lot more automatic, like a drip coffee machine.

Have you ever been to a diner before? If you have, chances are you have seen a classic pour-over coffee maker. It is an essential way to make large batches of hot coffee in restaurants. 

The professional-grade pour-over machine has a few parts. Its body seamlessly holds the water and coffee just like any other coffee machine. Yet, the machine’s frame is much larger and narrow, which easily fits on any counter. Its water chamber is easy to access, with a lid efficiently located on the top of the machine. 

The coffee grinds go straight into the machine’s extra-large funnel, with a filter of course! This fennel locks into the front of the machine, above your thermal coffee carafe (also known as a decanter.) This carafe rests on the machine’s warming plate so that coffee will for sure remain a desirable temperature.

A thermal coffee carafe is built to keep coffee warm, for around 6 hours! Thermal carafes can range in size. Typically, these machines will quickly brew around 12 cups. There are some professional-grade pour-over machines that come with 3 warming plates. That way, you can continuously brew a larger and more readily available supply of coffee.

How It works

Brewing coffee is incredibly simple with this machine. First, find a good place for your machine. These guys are pretty heavy, without water or coffee in it. It’s best to have it in a place that is comfortable for you and, of course, close to an outlet.

Once you find a spot for your machine, you can fill it with the necessary amount of water. It is best to use purified or filtered water to minimize the mineral build up in the machine. Then, you can add your desired amount of coffee into the funnel. Do not forget a filter! Once you lock the funnel in, your machine is ready to brew. All you got to do is place your carafe underneath the funnel and flip a switch!

Our recommendation: The SYBO Commercial Grade Pour Over Coffee Maker and Brewer

Single-Serve Capsule Machines

Professional grade coffee makers can be simplified even further. Over the last 10 years, the coffee pod market exploded. These little pods are now found in many homes throughout the world. With one pod and a click of a button, you have an instant and freshly brewed cup of joe. 

Today, even professional-grade coffee makers come in capsule format. These machines look like a mega-sized version of your classic single-serve machine. They hold an incredible amount of water, with some even connecting straight to water lines! This ensures nonstop coffee brewing. 

The world is pretty much your oyster with a single-serve machine. Many machines today are set up with easy to use touch screen panels to customize your cup of coffee. This way, you can choose exactly what sized cup you would like. Some machines are even equipped with automatic froth milk frothers too. 

How It works

Operating a coffee capsule machine is pretty easy. To guarantee constantly fresh coffee, you first need to ensure that your machine is set up properly. This starts with water.

The reservoir on your commercial-grade coffee maker may just need to be manually refilled. In this case, using a pitcher or placing it under the sink will do the trick. Some single-serve machines can be hooked up to your plumbing, just like an icemaker. After this is set up, you never have to add water to a coffee machine again.

The next step is choosing your pods. Generally speaking, most machines work with k-cup pods. These pods brew a classic cup of drip coffee. These pods also come in several roasts and even flavors.

The brewing process is quick and simple. You just need to insert your k-cup of choice into the top of the machine. When you close it shut, the machine punctures a hole in the cup so that hot water can move through the coffee. You simply place your cup underneath then select your desired cup size on the screen. In only seconds, you will have a hot cup of coffee!

These machines make a great addition to any office and home. Our machine recommendation is the Keurig K155 Office Pro Commercial Coffee Maker

Espresso Machines

Espresso machines are the most luxurious professional-grade coffee makers. Their large body and multiple gadgets are pretty impressive to just look at. Plus, espresso machines are easily customizable; coffee shops around the world have machines of various colors and sizes!

So, what makes an espresso machine that impressive? It all comes down to its system. The espresso machine has a unique high-pressure system that extracts a strong and condensed coffee shot. 

Commercial-grade espresso makers differ from regular espresso makers primarily in their capacity. A home-sized espresso maker typically relies on a small water reservoir. Professional grade machines must be set up to water piping for constant water access. Also, commercial-grade machines have more than one group head (or brew head) where the espresso is extracted. 

A professional-grade espresso maker is competitive. These machines are large and made for baristas to handle. They have many precise parts you need to know. Understanding these parts gets you closer to executing your favorite espresso drink.

A Few Main Parts to Know on a Professional-Grade Espresso Maker:
  • Portafilter – This is where you place your coffee grinds. It has a compact filter basket with an attached handle to secure it into the machine.
  • Group heads – These are where you insert and secure your portafilter. In other words, where the espresso magic happens!
  • Dispense Switch/ Dosage Keypad – Where you activate and monitor your brewing once your portafilter is locked in place.
  • Steam Tap – The classic wand to steam any supplementary milk for the espresso.
  • Hot Water Tap – This releases hot water, either to make a classic americano coffee or for tea.

It is important to remember that a grinder is bought separately from the espresso machine. A separate grinder lets you produce an exact amount of espresso grinds as well as custom shots of espresso.

How These Machines Work

There are two types of espresso machines: semi-automatic and automatic. The former instantly brew espresso but requires you to control the volume of water used. The latter has presets that control the specific amount of water needed.

Professional-grade espresso machines rely on a strong rotary pump for pressure. This pump pushes water up intensely and consistently.

Once the water source and pressure is secure, its time to heat the water. Commercial espresso machines are equipped with double boilers. This ensures consistently hot water for both the espresso and the steam wand. This is very important. If the water temperature is not consistent, there will be an improper coffee extraction.

Now, its time to prep your coffee! Professional coffee shops typically grind anywhere from 18 to 21 grams of coffee for the filter basket. Once the basket is filled, you can position and secure the portafilter to the group head. You can then press to start your brewing your espresso.

Professional-grade espresso machines are best for businesses. They are quite an investment; no matter the size, their price typically ranges in the thousands!

Buying Beans for your Professional Grade Coffee Maker

These big professional machines require a lot of beans. But, this will not keep you from using your favorite brand or roast. Pro tip: reach out to your favorite roaster and inquire about their wholesale pricing for beans or grounds. This can get your pounds of coffee beans at a solid price. Also, you can even order bulk beans online

For single-serve machines, you can buy k-cups in bulk easily. The best option is to consult your nearest wholesale clubs, like Costco or Sam’s Club. If you are not interested in a membership, you can always order off of Amazon.

Whether you need one or not, it is always useful to know how professional-grade coffee makers work. This ensures you know exactly what is behind your cup of coffee no matter where you are.
Photo credit: John Beans
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