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6+ Best Commercial Espresso Machines with Pressure Gauges


BEST COMMERCIAL ESPRESSO MACHINES WITH PRESSURE GAUGES

You’ve probably heard the old adage that knowledge is power.

This same idea can be applied to espresso machines. Making espresso is influenced by many different variables, and the more information you have at your disposal, the better.

That’s why baristas love espresso machines with pressure gauges. To help you find the right one for your business, we’ve written this guide about the top 6 best commercial espresso machines with pressure gauges.

You’ll find out:

  • Why pressure gauges are important
  • Basic espresso machine types
  • How to decide on an espresso machine
  • Our picks for the best commercial espresso machines with pressure gauges

WHY ARE PRESSURE GAUGES IMPORTANT?

Looking at a pressure gauge, you may not realize just how valuable it is. 

Most of the time, they’re small dials on the front of the espresso machine. If you don’t understand their function, they can be so easy to overlook. 

But the information they provide to users is integral. Generating the correct amount of pressure, which is usually nine bars, is necessary for good espresso. 

A pressure gauge tells you when your machine is ready to brew or steam by letting you know it’s at the right pressure level.

These gauges also double as a sort of diagnostic tool. If you notice that your espresso machine is consistently not reaching the right pressure, you can determine that there may be something needing repairs, such as the pump.

For these reasons, pressure gauges are often considered indispensable tools by baristas, and you can’t go wrong by having one readily available on your espresso machine.

ESPRESSO MACHINE TYPES 

Making your decision will be much easier when you understand what it entails.

To get started, you should learn a little about these basic espresso machine types you’ll see most often:

  • Automatic espresso machines
  • Semiautomatic espresso machines
  • Automatic espresso machines with manual dosing
  • Pour-over espresso machines
  • Direct-connect espresso machines

AUTOMATIC ESPRESSO MACHINES

Automatic espresso machines are an exceptionally good choice for shops with a high volume of espresso orders or businesses that want to provide consistently high-quality drinks every time a customer visits.

They work by controlling the dosing for the water in each shot themselves through pre-programmed settings. Your barista simply sets the portafilter on the machine, presses a button to start the brew cycle for a single or double shot, and waits.

This level of automation is wonderful for a few reasons: customers will get the same drinks they know and love regardless of who’s at the counter, and employees are free to work on other things while the espresso brews. 

Like with all things, however, they have their disadvantages. The main drawback to these machines is they’re a little more limited when it comes to customization.

Here are some advantages to automatic espresso machines: 

  • Accessible to all skill levels
  • Consistent quality level in shots
  • Increases employees’ ability to multi-task

Here are some of the disadvantages:

  • Can be more expensive than semiautomatic machines
  • Not as much opportunity to customize drinks 

SEMIAUTOMATIC ESPRESSO MACHINES

Semiautomatic machines are much-loved among expert baristas. 

This is because they put the maximum amount of control into the hands of the user. On this type of machine, you choose when to start and stop the brew cycle for every shot, usually by pulling levers or pushing a button.

For all intents and purposes today, these are essentially manual machines. There are, in fact, truly manual machines that depend on the barista to apply the right pressure by pulling a lever, but these are rare in businesses nowadays.

If you like the look of levers, however, you can find many semiautomatic machines that use levers in their operation.

Here are some of the advantages of semiautomatic machines:

  • Greater ability to customize drinks
  • Strengthens barista skills and growth
  • Allows talented baristas to shine

Here are some of the drawbacks:

  • Espresso quality depends on the skill of the barista
  • Steeper learning curve
  • Not as fast as automatic machines

AUTOMATIC ESPRESSO MACHINES WITH MANUAL DOSING

Those who like the flexibility of semiautomatic machines and the consistency of automatic machines should look no further than automatic espresso machines with manual dosing. 

Simply put, these are automatic machines that have manual dosing options, like on a semiautomatic machine.

They’re generally operated through use of buttons. You can opt for pre-programmed automatic buttons, or manual buttons when you want to control the duration of the extraction.

Basically, you get to have your cake and eat it, too, on these kinds of machines.

These are some of the advantages to them:

  • Accessible for everyone from beginners to experts
  • Flexibility to personalize drinks as needed
  • Optional pre-programmed automatic buttons

There’s really only one main disadvantage:

  • Typically more expensive than the alternatives

POUR-OVER ESPRESSO MACHINES

Pour-over espresso machines are a type of machine that relies on the user to supply them with water manually.

They have built-in water tanks that you have to pour water into as they run low. As you can imagine, this means your employees need to pay attention to the water levels in the tanks.

Quite often, these types of machines come with features that make this easier, such as lights that come on when the water level is getting low.

We also strongly recommend using water softener tablets or filters with this type of espresso machine.

Here are some of the advantages of pour-over models:

  • Can be used from anywhere
  • Usually more affordable than direct-connect machines

Now for the main disadvantages:

  • Increased water tank maintenance
  • Greater risk of scale buildup

DIRECT-CONNECT ESPRESSO MACHINES

The alternative to pour-over, direct-connect espresso machines are hooked up to a water line and refill themselves automatically.

What does that mean for you? 

No more stopping to refill the water tank. On top of that, it’s often easier to add water softeners and filters to these models, safeguarding them from scaling and improving the flavor of your water.

These are the advantages of direct-connect machines:

  • No need to refill the water tank
  • Easy to install water softeners and filters

Here are the disadvantages:

  • Not mobile like pour-over machines
  • More expensive than pour-over machines

HOW TO DECIDE ON AN ESPRESSO MACHINE

Once you know a little about your options, the second part of the process is deciding what you need your espresso machine to do.

This goes beyond just making espresso – although, of course, that’s the end goal. Since there are countless variations in espresso machines, you’ll have to think about certain factors that will influence how your drinks will be made.

Consider these factors before you buy:

  • Your budget
  • Your staff skill level
  • Your image
  • Your espresso volume

YOUR BUDGET

Undoubtedly, your budget is a key consideration. 

You don’t want to spend more than you’re able to afford, but at the same time, you don’t want to spend too little simply because you’re saving money initially.

The sweet spot will have an espresso machine you can afford, but also the features you need for your business. Don’t just think about now, either – think about what you may need in the future, especially if your company is going to grow.

For instance, an automatic machine might seem a little much at the outset, but if you end up with more employees down the line, will it be useful to you? 

When you examine each espresso machine through a balanced focus of its features and your budget, you’ll get a much better fitting result.

YOUR STAFF SKILL LEVEL

The comfort and experience of your employees should also be factored in. 

For businesses that don’t focus on espresso sales or where there’s a high turnover, automatic espresso machines are a good choice because they’re so easy to use. 

Direct-connect machines are also a wise selection for beginners, because then your employees won’t need to worry about refilling the water thank. It becomes a much bigger issue when you have more employees using the machine at a time; a new employee might not know to stop and check the water level or how to refill the tank.

On the flip side, businesses with a highly skilled staff can get a lot out of a semiautomatic machine. This might be the better choice for you if your company is a high-end or specialty one.

YOUR IMAGE

You’ve probably been taught that looks aren’t very important, but it’s a perfectly valid topic to think about when it comes to espresso machines.

Your business most likely has a specific image, and your espresso machine can accentuate that image. Many manufacturers make gorgeous machines, such as Nuova Simonelli or Victoria Arduino. 

Even if you feel that the way an espresso machine looks doesn’t really matter, consider it from your customer’s point of view. If you have your machine out on a counter where a customer can see it, it may as well look impressive.

YOUR ESPRESSO VOLUME

How often do you make espresso drinks – do you have lines of back-to-back orders, or is there some time between them?

For businesses with an extremely high volume of espresso orders, the speed of the espresso machine being used increases in importance. If that sounds like your story, then an automatic machine, which allows your employees to multi-task while espresso is brewed, will be indispensable to you.

You may also want to take a direct-connect machine into consideration. The time saved by employees not needing to refill the water tank can add up, and customers won’t be irritated by untimely refills as they wait for their orders.

If you have a little more time between orders, a semiautomatic machine should do the trick just fine. Likewise, you’ll be able to get by more smoothly with a pour-over machine in this case.

TOP 6 BEST COMMERCIAL ESPRESSO MACHINES WITH PRESSURE GAUGES

VICTORIA ARDUINO BLACK EAGLE GRAVIMETRIC

VICTORIA ARDUINO BLACK EAGLE GRAVIMETRIC

Speed and grace were married into the design of the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle Gravimetric. 

The ridged sides of this exquisite machine are reminiscent of the feathers on an eagle’s wing, and like those same wings, this model will help you fly through orders. Available in two- or three-group configurations, you can make two or three times as many drinks as a single-group model on the Black Eagle.

You’ll get remarkably consistent shots every time with the gravimetric technology used by the Black Eagle, which measures the weight of the espresso rather than the time during extraction.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $23,850 (2-group) or $30,105 (3-group)
  • Machine Type: Automatic + manual dosing options
  • Boiler: Multiple
  • Plumbing: Direct-connect
  • Gravitech: Instead of ending the brew cycle based on a specific time, the Black Eagle is even more accurate by ending it once a specific weight has been achieved by the shot. 
  • T3 Technology: Baristas can tweak the temperature in each group head independently, resulting in even more precise control over espresso quality.
  • LCD Display: Displays on each group tell the barista a variety of information, including the temperatures in the boilers and the amount of liquid in the glass.
  • Cool Touch Wands: Reduce the risk for workplace injuries, as the Black Eagle’s steam wands won’t scorch your employees even during heavy use.
  • Automated Cleaning: Baristas can choose which group to clean through the display, and the Black Eagle will clean the group itself, freeing them to work on other matters.
  • Reverse Mirror: Employees can monitor the quality of each shot from 360 degrees, as the back plate on this machine also doubles as a mirror.

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NUOVA SIMONELLI AURELIA WAVE T3

NUOVA SIMONELLI AURELIA WAVE T3

The Nuova Simonelli Aurelia Wave T3 is poised to make a splash in any company with a medium to large volume of espresso orders.

The Aurelia Wave is a barista championship-quality machine, so you can be certain, no matter how specialized your shop is, that this machine can keep up. 

Its soft infusion system is built to make full-bodied espresso that your customers will remember long after the fact. You’ll also get the ease of automated dosing or the flexibility of manual dosing controls whenever you need.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $18,500-$20,500 (depending on the number of groups)
  • Machine Type: Automatic + manual dosing options
  • Boiler: Multiple boilers
  • Plumbing: Direct-connect
  • Pulse Jet Technology: Start and stop the coffee flow at any time, so you can create different flavor profiles from one type of bean.
  • Soft Infusion System: Don’t let human error interfere with your espresso – the Aurelia Wave’s soft infusion will erase channeling caused by the mistakes and boost the taste of your shots.
  • Raised Group Heads: Save time on having to transfer shots to larger cups with the raised group heads on this machine that will allow you to brew right into tall cups.
  • Auto-Purge: Cleaning is streamlined as the Auralia Wave automatically purges the group head itself every time you remove the portafilter.
  • Surface LEDs: Even in dimmer surroundings, your employees will be able to work accurately with the lighting provided by these surface LEDs.

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LA PAVONI COMMERCIAL VOLUMETRIC BAR-STAR 3V 

LA PAVONI COMMERCIAL VOLUMETRIC BAR-STAR 3V

Available as a luscious red or luxurious black like many sports cars, the La Pavoni Bar-Star 3V is another espresso machine designed for speed.

Three groups means you’ll be able to make three times the amount of espresso on the same machine. It’s also wide enough that potentially more than one barista can work on it at a time.

The pressure gauge on the face of this machine shows you both pump and boiler pressure, so you have as much information as possible at your disposal.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $7,800
  • Machine Type: Automatic
  • Boiler: Heat exchange
  • Plumbing: Direct-connect
  • Copper Boiler Construction: In addition to being adept at conducting heat, the boiler’s copper material is antimicrobial for increased sanitation.
  • Anti-Vacuum Valve: Reduces time spent on steam wand maintenance by preventing milk from getting sucked back in and forming clogs.
  • Programmable Hot Water Button: Cut down on the time spent making Americanos or hot teas by programming the amount of hot water you need in advance.
  • Two Flexible Steam Jets: Three groups framed by two steam wands makes it possible for two baristas to work at this machine simultaneously for even greater speed.
  • Double Scale Gauge: The gauge on the front displays both boiler and pump pressure, so you can easily see when any adjustments are necessary.

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NUOVA SIMONELLI APPIA 2 VOLUMETRIC

NUOVA SIMONELLI APPIA 2 VOLUMETRIC

With its automatic and manual dosing options, the Nuova Simonelli Appia 2 Volumetric is the perfect machine for both novices and experts alike.

Regardless of whether you use its automatic or manual dosing, the Appia 2’s soft infusion will work tirelessly to make each shot well-rounded by settling the coffee grounds with a gentle stream of water.

The ergonomic push-pull steam trigger will also keep your employees comfortable through long shifts at the counter.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $4,275-$8,865 (Depending on number of groups)
  • Machine Type: Automatic + manual dosing options
  • Boiler: Heat exchange
  • Plumbing: Direct-connect
  • Raised Group Heads: Preserve the golden crema on top of the perfect shot by being able to brew directly into cups of any size.
  • Soft Infusion System: Rounds the flavor of your espresso by ensuring every single particle of coffee is reached during extraction.
  • Cool Touch Wands: Employees won’t be afraid to clean these steam wands that don’t hurt to touch even after heavy use.
  • Reverse Mirror: Baristas can watch the espresso for any visual quality issues using the mirror behind the drip tray.
  • Automated Cleaning: Your employees will be able to close at the end of the day much quicker when they won’t need to clean the group heads on the machine themselves – they can just tell the Appia 2 to do it for them.

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LA SPAZIALE S1 VIVALDI 2 

LA SPAZIALE S1 VIVALDI 2

User control and consistency are the qualities that are most important to the La Spaziale S1 Vivaldi 2. 

It may be an automatic machine, but it uses all kinds of programmable options, such as allowing baristas to program pre-infusion to last anywhere from 1-8 seconds or make precise 1-degree changes to the group temperature. 

This machine really does have something to offer everyone.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $2,575
  • Machine Type: Automatic
  • Boiler: Dual boiler
  • Plumbing: Direct-connect
  • Programmable Passive Pre-Infusion: With the ability to alter the pre-infusion stage to last from 1-8 seconds, you can create unique flavor twists from one kind of bean.
  • Group Temperature Adjustment: Alter the group temperature in highly accurate 1-degree increments to ensure the optimal temperatures for brewing.
  • Swivel Stainless Steel Arm: Reposition the steam arm so you can hold the milk pitcher however is comfortable and still get the perfect foam.
  • Dual Manometer: Right on the front of the Vivaldi 2, you can monitor the boiler and group pressure so you have a clear readout of what’s going on.

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NUOVA SIMONELLI MUSICA

NUOVA SIMONELLI MUSICA

If you’re looking for style and user-friendliness, the Nuova Simonelli Musica is a strong pick.

Its gleaming exterior comes with optional LED edges in the Lux configuration that give it a cutting-edge space age feel. But make no mistake – you’ll get high-end features whether you choose LED edges or not.

Increased thermal stability to guard your espresso from temperature fluctuations is provided by the thermos-compensated group while Nuova Simonelli’s legendary pre-infusion works to take the flavors of your espresso to new heights.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $2,245-$3,240 (Depending on plumbing and LED edges)
  • Machine Type: Automatic + manual dosing options
  • Boiler: Heat exchange
  • Plumbing: Pour-over or direct-connect
  • Thermo-Compensated Group: Protects your espresso from unexpected cold pockets that can ruin its taste.
  • Boiler Insulation: Insulation around the boiler makes this machine energy-efficient, as it doesn’t need to work as much to stay up to temperature.
  • Pre-Infusion System: The Musica can shrug off mistakes made in tamping with its pre-infusion system that smooths out any channels or unevenness in the coffee grounds.
  • Indicator Lights: There’s no such thing as guessing games with the Musica – its lights will tell you about water levels and when the heating element is on, so you don’t burn yourself during maintenance.
  • Optional LED Edges: On the Lux configuration, you’ll get LED lights built into the edges of the machine that both look exquisite and illuminate the workspace for safe brewing and steaming.

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