There’s one thing that virtually everybody in the world of coffee knows: good espresso cannot happen without a good machine.
Ironically, the market is flooded with espresso machines. Particularly non-commercial machines; they’ve pushed the concept that these small and weak machines are so good that many of us are starting to believe it. There’s even crossovers which are basically bigger home espresso machines, however they get nowhere near commercial-grade espresso makers.
This makes it hard to find good information on commercial espresso machines on the internet, which is why we’ve compiled a short but super useful list of the top 4 commercial espresso machines.
Faema E61 Legend
If there’s a moment that we can pinpoint as the birth of espresso machines, it’s with the release of the original E61, in 1961. This machine made the jump from mostly manual machines to semi-automatic espresso machines, with a number of revolutionary features that changed the history of espresso for the better.
The Faema E61 Legend was issued to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its most iconic machine, issuing this spectacular model which, while still retaining the much-loved aesthetic of the original, manages to look modern and elegant.
- Temperature Control allows the user to go beyond simple temperature adjustment and set different temperatures for each individual group.
- Automated pump, which you can turn on and off at will.
La Pavoni Bar-Star
In just a few words: a dependable machine. And, without a doubt, the best piece of engineering when it comes to espresso machines. Not only is it packed with high-quality features, but it is also simple to use; you don’t need to be an experienced barista to start using the Bar-Star.
Most notably, the Bar-star features an impressive energy-saving function that allows you to run the machine at ¾ power. This enables you to make coffee like you normally would even during the slow hours of the day, while saving a fortune.
- Energy saving options including a a sleep mode.
- One of the strongest points in favor of this machine is its boiler. Ranging from 14 to 30 liters in capacity, the copper-heated boiler comes with an auto shut-off function and a manual reset for the thermostat.
Victoria Arduino Athena
The Athena inhabits the fine line between an espresso machine and a piece of art. This absolutely gorgeous machine is a throwback to some of the first espresso machines ever made back in Italy.
There’s a certain charm to lever machines that makes the process seem delicate, almost ritualistic.
Every Athena machine is one-of-a-kind, as the external body of the machine is all hand-crafted, which, as they put it, is “an expression of uniqueness and tradition that is also reflected in the final cup”. Which brings us to our next point: the coffee.
This machine’s strengths rely almost entirely on regulating water temperature and pressure just before brewing. Turning a raw and wild stream of water into a controlled one with just the ideal temperature and pressure to brew the perfect cup.
- Water temperature and pressure regulator:
- Water is regulated two times; one when leaving the boiler, to help it cool down (as most
- boilers heat water a few degrees over the ideal temperature; 96 °C or 204 °F) and then
- right before brewing, to help achieve the perfect pressure.
- Hand-crafted parts.
- Two steam wands and a hot water tap.
Nuova Simonelli Oscar II
Nuova Simonelli is one of the few brands that can actually deliver the holy grail of coffee lovers; an espresso machine for the home that can actually stand its ground in front of more commercial machines. The Oscar II, in particular, is the kind of machine that qualifies as a hybrid between a high-end home espresso machine and a light-duty machine for a coffee shop.
The feature that illustrates this professional aspect the most is the fact that the Oscar II works with a direct water input, much like any other respectable commercial espresso machine, not to mention its steam wand, which performs at a level way above any home espresso machine you can find in the market nowadays.
- Manual Dosing.
- Insulated boiler works better at keeping water hot, which helps both to shorten heating time and to save energy. Also, the boiler doesn’t have to work at 100% each time since the water stays relatively hot, which greatly protects against wear-and-tear.