In comparison to espresso machine titans like Faema and La Marzocco, Slayer espresso machines are the new kids on the block. Launched in 2007 with the goal of improving the taste of coffee brewed as espresso, Slayer has taken the industry by storm and isn’t turning back.
Along with its industrial aesthetic, Slayer espresso machines are known for advanced brewing features designed with a focus on coffee craftsmanship and expertise. But is a Slayer espresso machine the best option for your coffee shop?
Slayer espresso machines combine intricate artisan brewing technology with the reliability of volumetric features for espresso extraction you can count on, whether you’re facing a hectic rush or a chill morning.
Before you make a purchase, you need to know which Slayer machine best suits your cafe's needs.
In this article, we cover:
- Which Slayer model is best for home baristas and coffee shops
- The top Slayer espresso machine for conquering long lines on a busy Saturday
- The Slayer machine espresso experts love
Let’s find out if Slayer espresso machines are right for your coffee shop.
The Best Slayer Espresso Machines by Category
1. Most Approachable Slayer Espresso Machine: The Single Group
Adored by home baristas and the budget-conscious new coffee shop owner alike, the Slayer Single Group is a tiny powerhouse of an espresso machine.
Don’t be dismayed by its small size. The Single Group espresso machine leverages the company’s patented needle-valve technology for precise flow control. The independent brew and steam boilers simultaneously ensure a stable temperature for espresso extraction and milk steaming.
The Single Group comes with all the features you’d expect from a Slayer espresso machine, including shot mirrors, removable drip trays, and the classic manual paddles.
Unlike its counterparts, the Single Group does not offer volumetric controls. This machine is meant to be a hands-on extraction experience, whether you’re at home or in the coffee shop.
Coffee shop owners interested in the Single Group machine should take note of their cafe’s volume before settling on this model. Smaller shops with fewer crowds or event-based businesses only handling a few drinks at a time will find this model works well for their needs. However, coffee shops with a larger local audience and designated rush periods will find they need additional groupheads to keep up with demand.
2. Best Value Slayer Espresso Machine: The Steam EP
The Slayer Steam EP is a coffee shop’s total value. Designed for new cafes and seasoned pros alike, this espresso machine model provides convenience and shot reliability through volumetric features, individual group boilers, and programmable features.
Built by former baristas, the Steam EP was designed with barista ergonomics in mind. This model leverages removable drip trays, low counter height, and simple access to parts for quick and seamless repairs. Programmable features allow baristas to control a 0.4-second “Pre-Wet” phase, as well as a “Pause” phase, before total extraction occurs.
The difference between the Steam EP and Steam LP is the lack of manual extraction controls. The Steam EP operates entirely on volumetric controls, giving baristas the freedom to focus on other aspects of the drink preparation process and customer experience.
The Slayer Steam EP is ideal for coffee shop owners needing an accessible, entry-level espresso machine that retains its value, is a workhorse during busy rushes, and produces delicious espresso with assistance from volumetric controls. New and experienced coffee shops will find the Steam EP’s value and performance make it a desirable espresso machine.
Learn More: An Expert Review of the Slayer Steam EP
3. Best Barista-Approved Slayer Espresso Machine: The Steam LP
There’s a reason Cydni Patterson, a coffee professional in North Carolina, described the Slayer Steam LP as a barista’s “dream machine.”
The Steam LP offers manual and volumetric extraction controls, empowering baristas to expertly dial in espresso recipes and set them—so espresso beverages and single-origin shots taste perfect throughout the daily morning rush.
Designed with Slayer’s signature manual paddle controls and ergonomic features, the Steam LP offers a variety of digital and tactile controls to bring out each barista’s craftsmanship. Cydni put it best when she said:
“The manual paddle provides a tactile representation of the bloom which is helpful. And the ability to do quick digital adjustments to the volumetric settings. It feels like you’re the captain of a spaceship, but those quick adjustments are great during a busy rush.”
Slayer’s Steam LP espresso machine is truly the best of both worlds, a terrific option for coffee shops looking to bridge the gap between coffee mastery and automation. Baristas will love both the manual and volumetric extraction controls, while customers and shop owners will adore the drink consistency day in and day out—even on a busy Saturday.
Learn More: A Barista’s Review of the Slayer Steam LP
4. Best Artisan Slayer Espresso Machine: The Espresso v3
If your coffee shop values the nuanced combination of science and artistry behind espresso extraction, the Slayer v3 espresso machine is for you. This fully manual espresso machine gives baristas full control over every element of the brewing process, from flow rate to pre-infusion and beyond.
The v3 espresso machine comes equipped with all of Slayer’s typical features including independent brew boilers, patented needle-valve technology, and digital shot timers. Without volumetric controls to rely on, the v3’s manual design gives baristas the reins to creatively extract espresso recipes and adjust them throughout the day as necessary.
The Slayer v3 espresso machine is a great addition to coffee shops focused on delivering a professional quality beverage, extracted by industry experts. Coffee shops with a team of espresso experts find that the Slayer Espresso v3 allows staff talents to shine through in the cup.
Keep in mind that with the steep learning curve that comes with manual espresso extraction, the v3 is not a suitable espresso machine for entry-level baristas or beginner coffee shops.
Breakdown of Slayer’s Espresso Machines
Most Approachable Slayer Espresso Machine
Best Value Slayer Espresso Machine
Best Barista-Approved Slayer Espresso Machine
Best Artisan Slayer Espresso Machine
Slayer espresso machines were designed with coffee professionals in mind. From the convenience of the Steam EP’s volumetric controls to the expert-level manual extraction features in the Espresso v3, Slayer’s machines stand up to any espresso demand. You can’t go wrong when you add a Slayer espresso machine to your shop.Need help choosing between Slayer’s impressive lineup of espresso machines? We’re here to help. Our team of coffee industry experts is ready to provide you with sound guidance on the best espresso machine for your coffee shop’s needs and budget. Give us a call!