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5+ Best Espresso Machines with Programmable Timers


BEST COMMERCIAL ESPRESSO MACHINES WITH PROGRAMMABLE TIMERS

Have you ever gotten espresso from a coffee shop that tasted too bitter or even too weak?

There are a lot of things that contribute to a better coffee, but timing is one of the most important. Brewing your espresso for too long or too short can result in a practically undrinkable beverage that your customers will toss in the garbage the moment they can.

You can help boost the flavor of your drinks by using a timer. In this guide, we’ll show you the best commercial espresso machines with programmable timers.

You’ll discover:

  • Why programmable timers matter
  • Basic espresso machine information to aid you in your decision
  • How to tell an espresso machine is right for you
  • Our choices for the best commercial espresso machines with programmable timers

WHY DOES A PROGRAMMABLE TIMER MATTER? 

Get the timing wrong, and your espresso can be a watery or bitter mess that will leave your customers with a bad taste.

Since this isn’t the impression you want to leave on customers, it’s crucial that you pay attention to timing when it comes to brewing espresso. You can certainly buy a timer to attach to your espresso machine, but that can look tacky and it can be lost.

Fortunately, many espresso machines come with built-in programmable timers. This keeps you from having to purchase a separate timer while allowing you to keep track of the time for brewing in one convenient place. 

ESPRESSO MACHINE BASICS

AUTOMATIC AND SEMIAUTOMATIC

Automatic and semiautomatic translate to how much control your baristas have over the brewing process.

Want maximum control? A semiautomatic machine is for you. 

On a semiautomatic machine, users push a button or pull a lever to initiate and stop the brewing cycle. Timing is even more critical on these types of machines, since baristas have complete control over the duration of the extraction period. 

The outcome largely relies on the skill of the barista, so semiautomatic machines are popular with experts, but may not necessarily be the best choice for beginners.

If you’re searching for something easier to use, then look at automatic espresso machines. Users begin the brew cycle by pushing a button, then the machine stops brewing at the right time by itself.

There’s not as much flexibility on these machines as on semiautomatic ones, because baristas obviously don’t have the same degree of control over brewing. But they are much simpler to master and will guarantee an unchanging level of quality day after day.

PLUMBED AND NON-PLUMBED

Espresso is impossible without water, which is why there are two different ways you can keep you espresso machine supplied with water.

Pour-over (non-plumbed) machines use their baristas for refills. When the reservoir gets too low, users pour more water into it themselves.

One of the best things about this type is that these machines are portable. They can work anywhere you can pour water into them with an outlet nearby.

But there’s one caveat: there’s more tank maintenance involved, and it’s recommended that you use water filters and softeners with these models. 

Direct-connect (plumbed) machines are the intuitive alternative. By being connected directly to a water line, they refill automatically without any action on the user’s part.

The first obvious benefit to this is the reduced water tank maintenance. Employees are free to focus on customers or other tasks rather than stopping to replenish the reservoir every so often.

There are two main drawbacks to this setup: it’s not as mobile as a pour-over machine, and it’s oftentimes more expensive. 

But most businesses who use direct-connect machines feel that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

DUAL, HEAT EXCHANGE, AND SINGLE BOILERS

Like hot drinks or creamy milk foam?

That wouldn’t be able to happen without boilers. They’re a huge component to your espresso machine, and so it’s imperative to learn about them.

Single boiler systems are more common in home machines, because they usually aren’t able to brew the espresso and steam the milk at the same time. This slows the creation of a drink down quite a bit.

Heat exchange boilers are essentially single boiler systems, but they’ve been designed specially to allow for simultaneous brewing and steaming. Within a heat exchange system, you’ll find a single boiler with a tube running through that brings water for brewing to the group head while water for steaming is kept apart.

Dual boiler systems are pretty self-explanatory – they’re just systems that have a steaming boiler and a brewing boiler. 

The standard in a commercial setting is either a heat exchange or dual boiler, but which one is better?

Truthfully, there are pros and cons to either setup. 

Heat exchange boilers warm up pretty quickly when you turn them on, but dual boilers tend to out-power them when it comes to making steam. Dual boilers, although powerful, aren’t as energy-efficient as heat exchange boilers.

At the end of the day, it’s your own preference that will dictate which boiler design is better for you.

HOW TO TELL AN ESPRESSO MACHINE IS RIGHT FOR YOU

Even though it’s important, the timer is only a small part of any espresso machine. There are many other qualities that may lead to you choosing a specific machine. 

So what are some things you can look out for?

Think about the user-friendliness of a machine. This is essential for businesses with a lot of employee turnover or that won’t focus enough on coffee to become espresso machine experts.

Automatic machines shine in those situations. They’re simple to adjust to using, and they’re consistent along the way, so your customers can expect the same taste every time.

Alternatively, if your business is a specialized shop or has talented baristas, a semiautomatic machine should be more to your liking. The control they offer is perfect for coffee pioneers who want to experiment with flavors.

Those concerned about utility bills might want to look closely at heat exchange machines. It might not make the biggest difference in the world, but these machines don’t need to work as hard to stay up to temperature, which will lead to lower energy consumption.

However, if steam power is your biggest concern because you’re going to be making tons of cappuccinos, a robust dual boiler espresso machine could be exactly what you’re looking for. 

Need an espresso machine that can travel with you? Think about a pour-over design, which can work from anywhere because it doesn’t need a water line. 

Direct-connect machines are best for stationary businesses, though, because of how they eliminate the need to worry about tank refills.

BEST COMMERCIAL ESPRESSO MACHINES WITH PROGRAMMABLE TIMERS 

VICTORIA ARDUINO WHITE EAGLE T3 

VICTORIA ARDUINO WHITE EAGLE T3

Like with other Victoria Arduino machines, the Victoria Arduino White Eagle T3 was specifically designed to combine beautiful form and function.

At a glance, your eye will catch on its ridged and shining chrome panels, but it’s what this machine can do that will really get your attention.

The White Eagle, even as an automatic machine, brings the ultimate level of control to users with T3 technology that makes it easy to control the temperature in each individual group head. Meanwhile, its soft infusion system will ensure you get creamy espresso every time.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $16,200-$18,900 (Depends on number of groups)
  • Machine Type: Automatic + manual dosing option
  • Boiler: Multiple
  • Plumbing: Direct-connect
  • T3 System: Exercise complete control over the brewing process by tweaking the temperature in each group head as necessary.
  • Programmable On/Off Time: The White Eagle can be programmed to turn on or off at specific times, so employees never forget to switch it off again.
  • Cool Touch Steam Wand: Accidentally brushing against or cleaning the steam wand won’t result in painful burns.
  • Automatic Cleaning: Rather than clean the group heads by hand, employees can focus on other tasks at the end of the day. 

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NUOVA SIMONELLI AURELIA 2 T3 

NUOVA SIMONELLI AURELIA 2 T3

Those looking for a top-of-the-line espresso machine can’t do much better than the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia 2 T3. 

Its soft infusion will work behind the scenes to make each espresso you craft a memorable experience to your customer. When you need to make a personalized drink for a particularly discerning customer, you can easily switch from the automated volumetric dosing to manual dosing, pulling short and strong ristretto shots or longer shots as needed. 

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $15,615-$17,415 (Depending on number of groups)
  • Machine Type: Available as 2-group automatic or 3-group semiautomatic
  • Boiler: Multiple
  • Plumbing: Direct-connect
  • Surface LEDs: You need good lighting to see what you’re doing when it comes making a good espresso, and the built-in LED lights provided by the Aurelia 2 let your employees clearly see no matter how dark it is.
  • Soft Infusion System: With a gentle stream of water prior to extraction, the Aurelia 2 erases any errors caused by tamping for a richer flavor.
  • Push-Pull Steam: Long hours of steaming milk won’t leave your baristas with aching wrists using the simple steam trigger that can be moved back or forth.
  • LCD Display:  Through a convenient and intuitive display, baristas can alter doses, boiler pressure, and make tweaks to energy saving settings.

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LA SPAZIALE S1 VIVALDI 2

LA SPAZIALE S1 VIVALDI 2

The La Spaziale S1 Vivaldi 2 is ideal for cozy and intimate environments, like in small coffee shops, hotels, or bars.

At its heart, you’ll find a rotary pump that is both durable and low-noise, so your customers or clients will never be disturbed. A compact frame means it’s able to squeeze into smaller countertops without any struggle on your part.

Available in red or black, you can even make the Vivaldi 2 blend in perfectly with a wide variety of décor. 

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $2,575
  • Machine Type: Automatic
  • Boiler: Dual boiler
  • Plumbing: Direct-connect
  • Rotary Pump: Your customers will be able to enjoy conversations uninterrupted by the roar of an excessively noisy espresso machine.
  • Compact Size: Measuring at 15 inches tall, 16.5 inches wide, and 16.5 inches long, the Vivaldi 2 won’t be a hassle to accommodate on any countertop.
  • Fault Diagnosis Alarms: Ever had to fight to figure out what was wrong on another device or appliance? Tedious troubleshooting is eliminated by the Vivaldi 2’s alarm system that lets you know instantly if there’s a system failure.
  • Electronic Boiler Refill: Instead of having to pay attention to boiler water yourself, this machine will fill its boiler without you needing to tell it to.

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LA SPAZIALE S1-DREAM

LA SPAZIALE S1-DREAM

With its memory card reader and writer, the La Spaziale S1-Dream is a little technological marvel. 

You can program up to 4 different drink profiles into its memory card for easy future access. Group and steam temperature are also easily controllable through the Dream’s touchpad, so you can make corrections and adjustments whenever you want.

It’s built with stainless steel front and back panels that protect the Dream and also give it a shining and classic look that your customers will love.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $2,395
  • Machine Type: Automatic
  • Boiler: Dual boiler
  • Plumbing: Direct-connect
  • Memory Card: Allows up to 4 coffee profiles to be added or edited for simple drink-making.
  • PID Temperature Controller: Make highly precise one-degree adjustments to the temperature, so any coffee profile can be accentuated.
  • Rotary Pump: On top of being quieter, the pump in the Dream is built to last.
  • Manual semiautomatic button: Easily accommodate customers with customized orders by switching to the semiautomatic button, which gives baristas total reign over the length of the brew cycle.

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QUICK MILL SILVANO EVO 

QUICK MILL SILVANO EVO

Small businesses on a budget can get a lot out of the Quick Mill Silvano Evo.

A PID display will give you the power to make adjustments to the internal temperature any time you want. Its three-position power switch helps protect your boiler with its left position that fills your boiler without turning on the heating element – this keeps your boiler heating while dry.

As a sort of cherry on top, the Silvano Evo has a cup warmer right on top that you can use for cup storage space and to keep your cups pleasantly warm for your customers.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $1,075
  • Machine Type: Semiautomatic
  • Boiler: Hybrid
  • Plumbing: Pour-over
  • PID Temperature Controller: Effortlessly make alterations to temperature, so that thermal conditions are always optimal.
  • Cup Warmer: Functions as simultaneously a nearby storage space for your cups, and keeps your cups warm so that hot drinks aren’t quickly cooled when they’re poured into the cups.
  • Three-Position Power Switch: The power switch allows you to fill the boiler without turning on the heating element, so if the boiler doesn’t fill for any reason, it doesn’t damage itself by heating up while dry.
  • Three-Way Solenoid Valve: By depressurizing the portafilter before its removal, employees are protected from painful coffee ground splatters. 
  • Stainless Steel Construction: The stainless steel build of the Silvano Evo is a sort of two-in-one gift – it looks polished, and it’s extra sturdy.

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