There is nothing more satisfying for a customer than walking into a coffee shop and seeing a menu full of varying cappuccinos, lattes, espressos, and more. Having specialty coffee drink options adds unmatched versatility to your business that, in turn, draws in a much larger variety of caffeine-craving guests. By following this guide, you can find the right specialty coffee equipment and accessories to make sure your business is serving flavorful hot drinks that turn one-time hopefuls into regular patrons.
There are virtually limitless possibilities when it comes to creating specialty coffee drinks that tailor to your customers' taste buds. Below are some examples of popular choices you can make by using different specialty coffee equipment:
Espresso Machines - Espresso machines are used to brew highly concentrated black coffee by forcing pressurized hot water through finely ground coffee beans.
Commercial Coffee Makers - Commercial coffee makers are used to brew your standard cup of coffee. They brew by dripping hot water through a filter basket of coffee grounds and allow gravity to pull the prepared black coffee into the pot.
*These drinks also feature espresso in their recipes.
Coffee Presses - Coffee presses are used to produce coffee that features a rich texture and concentrated flavor. Boiling water is poured on coarse ground coffee and then pressed down after steeping to separate the grounds from the liquid.
Now that you have some background knowledge on espresso and cappuccino machines, it's time to decide which equipment is right for you. The chart below lays out some examples of what we offer.
Common Drinks: Lattes, mochas, cortados
Benefits: Grinding your coffee right before brewing it is one of the most effective ways to serve up the best-tasting drinks. Unless your machine uses pods, a grinder is required to use your espresso machine properly. Experts say that within 2 minutes, coffee beans begin to oxidize, which changes the flavor. The sooner you brew your coffee after it's been through the grinder, the better your coffee will taste.
Common Drinks: Iced lattes, cold brews, frappes
Benefits: Serving iced coffee drinks at your establishment will keep guests coming during all seasons of the year. After a hot summer's day, guests will love coming into your coffee shop and ordering an iced latte that serves as both a cool refresher and a caffeine boost.
Common Drinks: Lattes, cappuccinos, hot chocolate
Benefits: Topping your beverages with latte art helps to enhance the perceived value and drinking experience of your specialty coffee drinks.
If you decide that buying specialty coffee equipment is a good investment for your business, it's important to consider the tools and supplies your baristas will need to effectively produce hot coffee drinks from the machines. Check out the chart below for a list of common accessories that help to enhance the drinks you serve to your guests.
Frothed milk adds flavor and texture to drinks. The key is to bring the milk just to its boiling point, but not beyond. If your milk gets too hot, it can curdle and ruin the drink. Having a frothing thermometer will help you monitor the temperature of the milk, and thus achieve consistent results every time.
Having a variety of flavoring syrups will add versatility to your cafe, bistro, or coffee shop. Serving a signature drink with creamy caramel or rich vanilla flavor will keep customers coming back for more. If you really want to impress your guests, try offering them holiday classics as well, like pumpkin spice or peppermint mocha.
Coffee decanters keep your freshly brewed coffee hot and ready to serve. By having a full carafe on-hand, you'll always be able to mix up a breve or Irish coffee while another pot is brewing.
Coffee machine urns are made with different specifications and capacities, which allow you to dispense more than 100 cups with every refill! They also come in different sizes and styles, so you can find one to match any decor, theme, or atmosphere.
Frothing pitchers are great for foaming milk for your specialty drinks, or even to serve cold cream at a condiment bar. The fine point at the end of the pitcher makes pouring easy, so you can create delicate designs in your customers' drinks. Plus, the durable metal is easy to clean.
Offering customers coffee-to-go boxes will encourage them to purchase group-sized take-out orders, which will increase your sales and reach new customers. You can purchase to-go boxes that hold several gallons of coffee for a catered event, or individual cups for an office or work site setting.
Water filtration is necessary in protecting the integrity of the drinks you serve, as well as the service life of your machine. Water filtration systems block contaminants and help to extend the life of your equipment by consistently preventing sediments, cysts, and scale from clogging the internal workings of your machines. For example, the mineral content in an espresso/cappuccino machine should be kept below five and as close to three grains per gallon (or GPG) as possible. This has the potential to eliminate up to 70 percent of machine failures! For more information on the importance of water filtration for your equipment, check out our water filtration systems article.