Hi All,


I've been collating information for my coffee shop (still a few months away). I have to decide whether to go for a 2 group or a 3 three group.


When looking at the literature, the 2 groups seem impressive (160 Cups of Cappuccino Per Hour ). I appreciate there are a number of factors involved. Maybe the following could help.


1) There will be 20-25 covers in the coffee shop.

2) Takeaway crowd will be catered for.

3) Breakeven point is 200 cups a day (but of course we are looking to build on that)

4) The usual peak periods apply

5) We are going to supply tea as well, but haven't decided if I am going to draw the hot water from the espresso machine orr a separate hot water boiler


Thank you in advance again





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Replies to This Discussion

i have a 3 group heads. It all depends on how busy you wish to be. 3 group heads allow more Barista at the machine when you get really busy. And if Space/price is not an issue at all. Otherwise, if you are efficient and fast, 2 is great.

160 cups of cappuccino per hour is almost three a minute. While that may be technically possible, it's very hard for me to imagine actually getting that volume through one machine. If I were you and I had some reason to expect that volume, I'd go for two two group machines. I have a three group linea and I don't do anywhere close to that even at our busiest times ever. With a three group and two baristas we can do quite a lot, but three a minute is insane. Unless you had two baristas and someone dedicated to rinsing frothing pitchers and keeping the area clean.
I've been pondering the same question, and I keep hearing "if you expect high customer traffic, you should get a 3 group" and yet I don't think I've ever seen or required having 2 baristas on the espresso machine at one time. The only other thing that you already addressed is running out of hot water, since most 2 groups don't have a double boiler, but that's why you get a marzocco. I mean even if you are busy enough to have 3 employees on shift, you'd want 1 on register, 1 on espresso, and 1 on food/dishes (if you do that at your shop). And unless you have grinders on both sides of your machine, it's really awkward for 2 people on an espresso machine to dance around each other just to be able to make 2 drinks at once. Sure if it gets really busy it's tough for one barista to make all the drinks, but ideally they're trained well enough to be fast and efficient without sacrificing quality.
Well.. on our three group machine the far left group NEVER works. Fix it, it breaks. Fix it again, it leaks, then breaks... so we have a two group and it serves us just fine even when we are extremely, extremely busy. When this happens I am usually the only barista on the machine which is how I like it. Another barista can still set up cups with sauces and such but I don't want anyone up in my business. :)
For tea, we use the hot water from our coffee brewer instead of our espresso machine.
From a showpiece point of view a 3 group is nice.

From a practical point of view a 2 group is realistic.

We have a 2 group and have conquered some deep lines of people.

And, yeah... 160 drinks per hour is an amazing technical specification. It's like having a car that can go 300mph. But really, where, when, and how often would you actually drive that fast?

do you have a grinder(s) that can keep up with 3 groups?

ive been in a alot of shops that get really busy, they have 3 or 4 group machines. guess what... they only use two


how many baristas are on bar and how experienced are they?  if you have one good person, they can run 2 groups. if youve got 2 good people(that work well together) then they can use 3


After a rush with a three or four group you can down one or two for cleaning leaving two up just in case get hit with another rush. When that one clean move on to the next. Keeps shot quality higher thoughout the day.


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