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Top 4 Best Espresso Machines for Coffee Carts


BEST ESPRESSO MACHINES FOR COFFEE CARTS

Looking for an on-the-go espresso machine that you can take anywhere on a coffee cart?

Then this is the guide for you. In this guide, we’ll discuss the top 4 best espresso machines for coffee carts. 

We’ll cover the following information:

  • Basic espresso machines features
  • How you know which one to choose for yourself
  • Our choices for the top 4 best espresso machines for coffee carts

Let’s get to it.

BASIC ESPRESSO MACHINE FEATURES

SEMIAUTOMATIC VS AUTOMATIC MACHINES

Perhaps the most important feature of any espresso machine is its type, because this will have the most noticeable influence on its daily use. 

Most espresso machines can be described as either automatic or semiautomatic. Although there are other types on the market, these are the most common and the ones we’ll focus on.

Automatic machines have control over the brewing process. You’ll set the portafilter in place and start extracting, but the machine will end the cycle by itself once the espresso is ready.

The pros of automatic espresso machines are:

  • Easy for people of all skill levels to use, as they don’t have to be concerned with controlling the brew cycle.
  • Drink quality is consistent regardless of who’s using the machine.
  • Employees are able to multi-task because they don’t have to stand at the machine to stop the brew cycle.

These are the cons of automatic espresso machines:

  • Typically more expensive than semiautomatic machines
  • Less flexible for drink customization since these machines rely on programmed dosing settings.

Semiautomatic machines, in contrast, depend on the barista for beginning and ending the brew cycle. Whether it’s by pushing a button or pulling a lever, the user will need to choose when to start and time it appropriately so they know when to stop.

The pros to a semiautomatic machine are:

  • More room for customization, as baristas can pull as long or short of shots as needed
  • Smaller initial investment than automatic machines

The cons are the following:

  • Takes more time for beginners to learn
  • Drink quality depends on the person using the machine

Neither type of machine is definitely better than the other. You can still enjoy a great espresso from either design, so choosing one over the other will depend mostly on your own needs and preferences.

POUR-OVER VS DIRECT-CONNECT 

Pour-over and direct-connect refer to how an espresso machine gets the water supply it needs to function.

Direct-connect machines are a commercial standard because they’re low-maintenance. You connect the machine to a water line, and then it fills itself with water as needed. 

However, this kind of setup is immobile and not well-suited for coffee carts. A coffee cart will benefit more from a pour-over machine, which has a water tank that is refilled by hand when levels get too low. 

For that reason, this guide will focus on pour-over machines. However, please note that we recommend using water softeners and filters with pour-over machines to protect them scale buildup and ensure your water is tastiest.

DIMENSIONS

With coffee carts, you may need to be more aware of the amount of space you have than brick-and-mortar coffee shops.

This is when you’ll need to look at the dimensions of each espresso machine to ensure they fit comfortably into the cart. You’ll also want to measure your available space in advance so you have an accurate idea of how much room you have.

An espresso machine is an important investment for businesses selling espresso drinks. You wouldn’t want to buy a machine, only to find it didn’t fit on your counter.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH ESPRESSO MACHINE TO CHOOSE?

Choosing the best espresso machine isn’t just a matter of picking the cheapest or most expensive one – there’s more to the process.

It’s important that you get a machine that’s going to benefit your business in your unique circumstances. Before you make a choice, think about what exactly you need.

First, as a mobile business, you’ll want a pour-over espresso machine. These machines can go with you and function wherever you need them to because they don’t need to be connected to a water line.

Then think about your or your employees’ proficiency. If you want a machine that will be easy to train employees on and is accessible to all skill levels, an automatic espresso machine will fit the bill.

Although if your preference is for a machine that gives you the maximum room for drink customization, a semiautomatic machine is the better choice. Just in keep in mind that semiautomatic machines take a little practice to get the hang of.

Style could also be important to examine. Your business is a brand with likely a distinct look, and you may want a machine that promotes the look you’re going for. 

Luckily, there are many manufacturers that make machines to be both beautiful and efficient. Nuova Simonelli, for example, crafts artisan espresso machines that would catch the eyes of any customer.

Bottom line: Make sure you consider each espresso machine through the lens of your specific needs, rather than just focusing on the price tag.

TOP 4 BEST ESPRESSO MACHINES FOR COFFEE CARTS

ROCKET DUAL BOILER ESPRESSO MACHINE R58

Rocket Dual Boiler Espresso Machine R58

Distinctively elegant, the Rocket Dual Boiler R58 is a powerful machine perfectly suited to small businesses or home users.

With dual boilers, it has the force to easily steam and brew together, allowing you to build your drinks as fast as possible for waiting customers. You’ll be able to focus on your work in complete safety, as the hot water spigot and steam arms on this machine will never burn you.

As an added bonus, the R58 will even let you know when it needs more water with a flashing low water sensor, so you’ll never be caught off guard by a dry water tank in the middle of a rush.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $3,000
  • Machine Type: Semiautomatic
  • Groups: 1
  • Boiler System: Dual boiler
  • Plumbing: Pour-over with ability to convert to direct-connect
  • Dimensions:  16.25 inches tall, 12.25 inches wide, 17.50 inches deep
  • No-Burn Hot Water and Steam Wands: Reduce the hazards of the workplace by using an espresso machine with hot water and steam wands that won’t burn your employees.
  • Low Water Sensor: You won’t need to constantly monitor the water tank when the R58 itself will let you know it needs water.
  • E-61 Commercial Group: By circulating water nonstop between the boiler and group head, disastrous cold pockets that could ruin the quality of your espresso are a thing of the past.
  • 304 Stainless Steel Casing: In additional to being lustrous, the stainless steel casing of the R58 is sturdy, promoting its longevity.

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NUOVA SIMONELLI MUSICA ESPRESSO MACHINE – VOLUMETRIC

Nuova Simonelli Musica Espresso Machine - Volumetric

Looking for an espresso machine that will wow your customers? The Nuova Simonelli Musica is the espresso machine for you.

With its gleaming and polished exterior, as well as optional LED edges, the Musica is a real sight for sore eyes. But stunning looks aren’t the only thing this machine has to offer.

With its insulated heat exchange boiler, you’ll discover this machine has quick heat-up time when you turn it on, so you can get going right away in the morning. A thoughtful pre-infusion system will help to ensure that every espresso you make undergoes an even extraction, resulting in drinks bursting with flavor.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $2,245
  • Machine Type: Automatic + manual dosing options
  • Groups: 1
  • Boiler System: Heat exchange boiler
  • Plumbing: Pour-over (also available as direct-connect)
  • Dimensions:  17 inches tall, 16 inches wide, 13 inches deep
  • Indicator Lights: Not only will the Musica alert you when the water level is low, but it will also light up to tell you when it’s ready for steaming or brewing so you don’t have to guess.
  • Articulating Steam Wand: Comfortably froth milk from any angle you need with an easily repositioned steam wand.
  • Reverse Mirror: The reflective back plate functions as a mirror you can use to visually monitor espresso from all sides.
  • Button Pad with Backlit Soft-Touch Buttons: The buttons on this machine are both straightforward to understand and easy to read even in low-light settings such as on cloudy days.

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LA SPAZIALE S1 MINI VIVALDI II ESPRESSO MACHINE

La Spaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi II Espresso Machine M-VIVALDI-II

The La Spaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi II was made so it can fit in wherever you need it to.

But you’re not sacrificing quality when you choose this compact machine. Its easy-to-use central LED display allows you to control the temperature of your group head in incredibly accurate one-degree increments so you can optimize each drink.

This machine will even let you know when there any issues with a built-in diagnosis system. You won’t need to play a frustrating guessing game if you ever have to troubleshoot.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $1,895
  • Machine Type: Automatic
  • Groups: 1
  • Boiler System: Dual boiler
  • Plumbing: Pour-over
  • Dimensions: 15 inches tall, 16.5 inches wide, 16.5 inches deep
  • Built-In Diagnostics: Eliminate irritating guessing games while troubleshooting problems through the Mini Vivaldi’s diagnostic system.
  • Touch Pad: Control the group temperature in precise one-degree increments or adjust dosing all through the convenient touch pad.
  • Stainless Steel Swiveling Steam Arm: Froth milk to perfection using the steam arm that can be moved to any angle you need.

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NUOVA SIMONELLI OSCAR II ESPRESSO MACHINE

Nuova Simonelli Oscar II Espresso Machine

If the Oscar I was already a legendary machine, you can imagine how much the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II improved on its design.

With its stainless steel exterior, the machine has a sleek new look to match its improved features. It comes with ergonomic qualities such as a push-pull steam switch that can be operated with a gentle push back or forth and a steam wand that can be repositioned.

This makes the Oscar II an especially comfortable machine to use during long hours.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $1,295
  • Machine Type: Semiautomatic + programmable timed dosing options
  • Groups: 1
  • Boiler System: Heat exchange boiler
  • Plumbing: Pour-over
  • Dimensions: 16 inches tall, 16 inches wide, 12 inches deep
  • Push-Pull Steam: Save yourself and employees from wrist strain with the Oscar II’s steam trigger that can be turned on or off with a simple flick of the lever.
  • Extended Articulating Steam Arm: On top of being easy to move, the steam arm can reach deeper into milk pitchers for more even heat distribution.
  • Programmable Timed Dosing Buttons: This lets you get the flexibility of a semiautomatic machine and the convenience of an automatic machine in one. You’ll be able to program single and double shots by time so you can brew with the push of a button when you need speed or use manual dosing to pull extra long or short shots.

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