SOS!!!

Need urgent advice choosing espresso machine and coffee roaster. What would one look for in making these difficult choices? This is for a small "to go" coffee shop in a high foot traffic area. We've looked at few coffee roasters around where we are, Boston and spoke to Barismo, Stumptown, RedBarn, Barrington, George Howell and Counter Culture Coffee as possible suppliers. The difference in prices is about $1,000.00 between the cheapest and the most expensive. Anyone can recommend what your experience is with any of those?

As far as the machine. We really want to go with La Marzocco, of course. However, twenty something thousand dollars is a little too much so we've looked at such options as a Faema,  Slayer, Unic and Synesso. Any advice there?

Also, for those who successfully operate coffee shops, what is the percantage of espresso drinks you sell vs drip coffee and iced coffee on average?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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1) $1000 difference in what? Don't ever purchase coffee based on price. Get samples from all. Do blind tasting several times. Pick a winner. Done.

Also never buy espresso machine through your roaster. Buy that on your own. And with LM, sometimes you can get higher end show used machines for less than their basic models regular price. Just call LaMarzocco USA and ask.

2) Get a LaMarzocco Linea 2 Group. Faema are inconsistent. Unic is a big no, and Synesso and Slayer will run you the same or more than the top end LaMarzocco. For what you are doing, I would stick with the tried and true workhorse, yet still excellent espresso machine.

3) It depends how you construct your menu and what your focus is as to how your sales of various items will be.

Hi John,

Thanks so much for your response!

$1,000.00 difference in cost of  coffee per month. By the way, I wasn't trying to say that we would be choosing coffee based on the price. What I meant to say is that the difference in price is not the deciding factor, otherwise it would be an easy choice. That's why we've been struggling to make up our mind regardless of that factor. 



John P said:

1) $1000 difference in what? Don't ever purchase coffee based on price. Get samples from all. Do blind tasting several times. Pick a winner. Done.

Also never buy espresso machine through your roaster. Buy that on your own. And with LM, sometimes you can get higher end show used machines for less than their basic models regular price. Just call LaMarzocco USA and ask.

2) Get a LaMarzocco Linea 2 Group. Faema are inconsistent. Unic is a big no, and Synesso and Slayer will run you the same or more than the top end LaMarzocco. For what you are doing, I would stick with the tried and true workhorse, yet still excellent espresso machine.

3) It depends how you construct your menu and what your focus is as to how your sales of various items will be.

This is exciting, stay calm.

I don't agree with the post about buying a machine from a roaster. Many roasters will cut you a deal knowing you are going to buy coffee from them. Often they will look at this as a partnership.

I would be happy to share the details of running a shop but not on line. I am old school and actually like to phone. 716-980-5282.

Hi Serendipity,

Your choice of roaster is personal & should remain that way so that you are passionate about the coffee you serve & it is an expression of you & your business.

La Marzocco makes incredible espresso machines (especially the GB5) but you are paying an enormous premium for incremental value.  If you have a specialty coffee (third wave) clientele that is going to be ordering primarily shots, macchiatos, & Americanos, then the Marzocco makes sense.  If not, Astoria & Simonelli make reliable workhorses that pull a great shot of espresso at a fraction of the cost. https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/astoria/gloria-sae-2

National Average of Coffee Sales

-Black Coffee: 24%

-Latte: 17%

-Cappuccino: 12%

-Americano: 8%

-Espresso: 8%

-Iced Coffee: 5%

-Flavored Latte: 5%

Good luck, feel free to reach out with any other questions!

Erik

1-844-488-4262

I agree with John; a blind tasting is a great idea.  Look for a roaster that not only has coffee that you think is delicious, but is someone you want to work with.  It may seem like a simple thing, but talk to their sales reps and get a feel for who you feel fits your values and your company the best.  See who can back up their promises with results and won't just leave you hanging.

As far as equipment goes, you don't have to spend $20k on a Marzocco, depending on the model and number of groups.  What are you considering from them?  I agree with John on espresso equipment, as well.  A Linea may not be the fanciest looking machine, but it more than gets the job done.

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