The 8 Best Commercial Espresso Machines
To us, coffee isn’t just a drink—it’s a way of life. Whether you’re opening a brand-new cafe, running a high-volume coffeehouse or roastery, or simply wanting to add espresso service to your current retail gig, you need an espresso machine that can reliably whip up exceptional coffee—even at high volumes.
We're coffee industry veterans who have helped thousands of businesses evaluate commercial espresso machines, and we put together our best research in this quick article. In it, we'll explore:
- Our top espresso machine recommendations for busy and high-volume shops
- The best machine for small spaces, like coffee carts, popups, and tight-squeeze kitchens
- Price breakdowns of our recommendations so you can make a budget-conscious decision
No matter what your espresso needs and customer preferences, we’ve found a commercial machine to help you easily and quickly deliver an unrivaled cup, every time.
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10 Best Commercial Espresso Machines by Category
1. Best All-Around: La Marzocco Linea Classic S
In the coffee industry, the name “La Marzocco” is synonymous with espresso, and there’s no better example of that than the Linea Classic S. This semi-automatic La Marzocco espresso machine is a trusted classic that you can depend on for years and years.
Featuring dual-boiler technology and saturated brewing groups, the Linea Classic S ensures thermal control and maximum steam capacity for a perfectly matched coffee experience every time—even in busy settings. With robust craftsmanship and a clean, minimalist design, the Linea is as easy to operate as a home espresso machine, making it user-friendly for baristas of all backgrounds. Best of all, this tried-and-true classic is budget-friendly. So whether you’re a small cafe or just testing the waters of coffee service in your retail space, the Linea is a wise choice for anyone looking for a quality machine at a modest price.
2. Best Value: Ascaso Barista T Plus
Starting at just $10,449, the Ascaso Barista T Plus espresso machine features technology that goes well above its price tag. Designed with sustainability in mind, it’s also incredibly affordable to own and maintain!
This is due to Ascaso’s patented T Technology, which delivers thermal stability with a high level of energy efficiency. This technology allows water to be drawn directly from the main source for brewing–no more emptying your boiler! It also means energy savings of up to 50% compared to a traditional espresso machine, and 25% compared to other multiboiler machines. Multi-group technology allows each group to be powered on and off independently so you never use more energy than you need, and each group and boiler have their own PID control. Say hello to savings!
Aside from it’s amazing brewing system, the Barista T Plus boasts convenience features like built-in shot timers, work lights, cool touch steam wands, and an active cup warmer to make the barista’s experience enjoyable.
3. Best for Design: Sanremo Café Racer
For an espresso machine baristas will love and customers won’t forget, there’s no better choice than the Sanremo Café Racer. Inspired by London’s legendary café racer motorcycles, the Café Racer stands out from other machines on the market with groupheads that mimic an instrument cluster and a frame borrowed from a motorcycle chassis. For even more wow factor, ask what our Custom Shop can do to your Racer!
The Café Racer boasts a powerful PID system, allowing the barista to customize the brewing process to suit your taste. Additionally, its volumetric pump paired with a high-performance flometer ensures a precise and consistent espresso shot, every time. The machine is also easy to clean and maintain, making it a convenient choice for busy cafés. With its high-quality construction and advanced technology, the Sanremo Café Racer Espresso Machine is a top choice for espresso bars that demand the best.
A few other features to note: massive drip tray for maximized bar flow, shot light for visibility in dim cafes or evening hours, and and adjustable work surface for varying cup sizes.
4. Best for Baristas: La Marzocco KB90 AV w/ Scales
Dubbed “the ultimate workflow machine,” the La Marzocco KB90 was designed to improve the natural workflow and output of a barista. The gold standard in espresso machine technology, the KB90 can optimize the workflow of the busiest cafes in the world.
The most notable example of this is the straight-in portafilter. That’s right—no rotation! This design reduces the physical strain on a barista by twelve times and helps to mitigate repetitive motion injuries. Additionally, La Marzocco has included integrated scales that precisely measure shots based on mass–no more messing with bulky, inaccurate scales! The KB90’s automatic backflush, digital display, shot lights, and pro touch steam wands all add to the already seamless experience.
While baristas will love working behind the KB90, café owners will be wowed by its efficiency and cost savings. Data shows that the time needed to onboard a new barista is drastically reduced when using the KB90. Plus, an average of 10-15 seconds is saved per drink thanks to its integrated scales, automatic backflush, and a straight-in portafilter.
5. Best for High Volume: La Marzocco Linea PB
When you’re responsible for serving the masses their daily caffeine, you need a workhorse of a machine that you can rely on for quality and repeatability.
When you choose the La Marzocco Linea PB, that’s exactly what you get–a well-built workhorse that just works. This machine boasts dual PID controls, a hot water tap dose, and dual boilers to keep your brewing during the busiest times. La Marzocco has also added vacuum-insulated double-walled steam wands and built-in scales (ABR) for maximized workflow behind the bar.
Even cleaning and maintenance are a cinch for this machine—automatic backflush and easy-rebuild steam valves make it easier than ever to keep your machine in tip-top shape. Plus, ruby flow restrictors resist scale formation and help to extend the life of your machine. Don’t choose between style and functionality when you can have it all with the La Marzocco Linea PB.
6. Best Entry-Level: Sanremo Zoe Competition
When you’re getting started, you need an espresso machine that’s simple and reliable, without compromising on quality. With sturdy engineering and complete reliability, this semi-automatic Sanremo espresso machine can be trusted day after day.
The Zoe features a sleek, modern design and is made with high-quality materials to ensure durability and longevity. It’s equipped with a powerful 1-liter boiler that uses auto-level technology to ensure the barista’s workflow is never interrupted by low water levels. The Zoe’s advanced PID system allows for precise control over temperature, pressure, and flow rate, and it features a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to operate and customize settings to suit your specific needs. Overall, the Sanremo Zoe Competition is a dependable and affordable machine for anyone starting a coffee business.
7. Best for Small Spaces: Ascaso Baby T Plus
Short on space? The Ascaso Baby T Plus is the perfect choice for any espresso-serving venue that lacks the space necessary for a wider, roomier machine. Even if you’ve got room to grow but want a machine that’s light and more easily portable, this sleek machine is for you.
There’s no sacrificing performance with the Baby T Plus. With PID control, volumetric programming, and an onboard shot timer, this small powerhouse truly packs a punch. Plus, separate thermoblocks for espresso and steam make sure you’re never waiting on boilers to warm up or cool down. Measuring just 13.8 inches wide and 17.5 inches tall, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a space too small for the Ascaso Baby T Plus.
8. Best for Busy Cafés: Sanremo F18
Cafés that stay busy from dawn to dusk need one thing: efficiency, and that’s exactly what the Sanremo F18 provides. Modeled after the cockpit of an F-18 fighter jet, this high-volume espresso machine is ready to take off and fly past the competition.
The F18’s performance revolves around its multi-boiler system. With two steam boilers and two coffee boilers, maintaining the perfect temperature has never been easier. Plus, the group heads are equipped with heaters to ensure water remains at the proper temperature during its journey into the cup. During even the busiest of days, the Sanremo F18 will rise to the occasion and keep your bar running smoothly.
Efficiency can’t happen without tools to make the barista experience easier! The F18 is equipped with an intuitive PID system, cool touch steam wands, self-diagnostics, and an active cup warmer.
Breakdown of the Top Espresso Machines
Best all-around machine
Best machine for the value
Best machine for design
Best machine for baristas
Best machine for high volume
Best entry-level machine
Best machine for small spaces
Best machine for busy cafés
No matter the needs of your coffee-serving establishment, you can feel confident that any of these espresso machines will provide the quality craftsmanship and superior performance that will make your job easier—and your customers happier, too.
We know that making a decision on the type of equipment can be a daunting task, and we are here to help you make the best decision for your business! Please call us at (800)459-5594 or email us here, and our team will reach out to you.
Commercial Espresso Machine FAQs
What is the best brand of commercial espresso machine?
The best brand really depends on your needs and overall budget. Espresso Parts carries commercial espresso machines from top brands like La Marzocco, Sanremo, Ascaso, Slayer, Synesso, Rancilio, and Nuova Simonelli -- giving you the best solutions for high-volume to small space machines and beyond.
How much does a commercial espresso machine cost?
Commercial espresso machines range in price from $5,000 to $30,000. Espresso Parts has a wide variety of commercial espresso machines for all types of coffee shops, cafes, and coffee services that fit your budget.
How long does a commercial espresso machine last?
Commercial espresso machines are built to endure daily service and can last 7-10 years before needing major repairs or replacement.
What about a lever espresso machine?
Lever espresso machines really are beautiful, and they're fun to use. However, they also present a handful of unique challenges, particularly when it comes to espresso shot consistency. The learning curve is higher, so we tend to save recommending lever machines only for higher-end coffee shops and espresso bars that are up for the challenge.
Do you recommend a super-automatic espresso machine?
Espresso machines that grind the beans and pull the shot all at the click of a button are primarily designed for convenience, but rarely for quality. We don't typically recommend super-automatic espresso makers for this reason.
What else do you need to budget for?
The espresso machine is the heart of a coffee experience, but it's not the only gear you need. Make sure to leave some room in the budget for a conical burr grinder (dedicated to espresso, ideally), cups, saucers, shot glasses, and milk pitchers.