Opening a coffee shop today will cost at least $80,000, and expenses can reach over $300,000 if you’re considering a sit-down shop. In order to save as much money as possible, you’ll want to be as savvy as you can when it comes to buying equipment.
We’ve put together a coffee shop equipment list that will help you plan out your business.
Big Items for Your Coffee Shop Equipment Checklist
These are the most essential (and potentially costly) items for your list.
At the core of every coffee shop is its grinders, and selecting the right grinder is pivotal to the quality and consistency of your coffee. Investing in a high-quality grinder is essential to ensuring customer satisfaction at your shop.
We like burr grinders because they provide a uniform grind size that is crucial for extracting the best flavors. You can choose between flat burr grinders, which are better for uniformity but worse for noise, and conical grinders which are quieter and bring out the lighter flavors of the beans.
You should also consider the speed, size, and capacity of your grinder so that you can tailor your choice to the amount of coffee you plan to serve. If you think you’re going to be pretty busy at your shop (and you probably are), then getting a grinder with a doser to contain and compartmentalize the ground coffee will be a big help.
A coffee shop machine that is perhaps more important than your grinder is your espresso machine. If you were going to invest big in any one piece of cafe equipment, this is probably it. You want to make all of your lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, and other tasty drinks quickly and reliably.
Semi-automatic machines are less expensive, but they can be a bit more work. An automatic espresso machine can take care of grinding the beans, tamping the grounds, dosing the coffee, and even steaming the milk. They are a solid choice for particularly busy coffee shops, or if you anticipate that you’ll have times when just one person is working the shop.
The brewer is the solid workhorse of your coffee shop. You’ll want to choose an option that will brew coffee quickly and that has plenty of settings for you to tinker with to make your coffee just right. Getting a brewer with a direct hookup to your plumbing and the ability to make multiple brews simultaneously can make your life a lot easier. Just make sure you’re not brewing too much coffee and letting your brew sit for too long. Also, a hot water spout for quickly preparing tea and hot chocolate is also a great choice.
Smoothies, frappes, and other blended beverages can add diversity to your menu, which can help you attract a wider, and younger, customer base. We recommend choosing a blender that’s affordable, consistent, and easy to clean. You might also give some consideration to how loud its going to be, especially if you have a sit-down coffee shop in a small or enclosed space.
While coffee may take center stage at your business, a great tea selection provides an alternative to your customers that’s easy to make while still filling their caffeine needs. Look out for good tea brewers that include settings for precise temperature control and steeping times. Using built-in water filtration can also help improve the taste of your freshly brewed tea. Make sure you have enough capacity for peak hours while allowing a small amount to be brewed during slower times. It’s also a great idea to have a good selection of tea bags behind the counter for when your customers are looking for a good alternative.
There are several types of coffee roasters you might choose for your shop, depending on the type of beans you use, the flavor you’re looking to emphasize, and how you want to control the process. Drum coffee roasters are a classic choice because they are relatively easy to work with, though you do need to watch them to make sure they don’t burn your beans. If you’re looking to roast your beans a little faster, a fluid bed roaster is a strong alternative. They’re not as likely to overcook the beans, though they can be more costly and some people prefer the flavor of a drum roaster.
If you’re looking for a great way to stand out from your competitors and stay with the trends, selling cans of cold brew coffee is a great choice. They allow your customers to grab a hot coffee in the morning while keeping an extra cold one for later. Cold brew cans are also great to take to work and share with other people in the office, since you don’t have to worry about the ice melting and watering down your brew.
Oktober offers high-quality, affordable can seamers that will allow you to quickly and easily can your cold brew to go. They’re a hit with bars, food trucks, and restaurants who can their beer and cocktails for their to-go customers. The Model 8 seamer has a low footprint and requires little maintenance. We also offer canning machines for coffee beans.
Smaller Items for a Coffee Shop Equipment Checklist
- Coffee scale
- Milk frothers
- Water filter
- Ice maker
- Coffee warmers
- Steam wand
- Drip trays
- Food-safe cleaning supplies