You have a business plan, a great location, and the perfect name with an awesome logo to go with it, but now that it's time to supply your coffee shop, you're unsure of where to start. Well, even though specific requirements will vary from business to business, we've developed a comprehensive coffee shop equipment list to get you started. To get an idea of the equipment needed when opening a coffee shop, take a look at the information below, or for a quick reference, check out our printable coffee shop equipment list!
The first step for any independent coffee shop is sourcing coffee beans that will give your drinks the distinct, fresh flavor that will define your brand. The second step is choosing an espresso machine that allows you to transform those beans into lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, and other specialty drinks. These espresso-based drinks will not only draw in customers, but they will boost your revenue more than selling cup after cup of plain, black coffee. While there is used equipment for sale, buying a new espresso machine is recommended since this will be the workhorse of your coffee shop.
Recommended Quantity: 1Shop for espresso machines from $1195
Grinding your beans in house and throughout the day is the key to creating the best drinks possible. In fact, grinding beans even 10 minutes prior to brewing can result in a noticeable decline in the flavor. But, why does freshly grinding coffee beans make such a difference? It increases the surface area of the bean and gives you access to the rich oils and soluble particles that create the distinct taste and aroma of different brews. Espresso grinders are designed to make the ultra-fine grind that espresso machines require to work properly.
Recommended Quantity: 2 (regular, decaf)Shop for espresso grinders from $590
Bunn 35600.0020 BrewWISE MHG Stainless Steel Multi Hopper Coffee Grinder with Removable Hoppers - 120V
Although customers who order specialty drinks will far outnumber the ones who prefer regular, black coffee, it's important to accommodate all of your customers! A single grinder for both regular and decaf drip coffee can generally keep up with the lesser demand for this type of drink.
Recommended Quantity: 1Shop for coffee grinders from $539
While one regular coffee brewer should be sufficient for the average coffee shop, there are plenty of types to choose from. Automatic brewers and pourover coffee machines are two of the many ways to brew and serve coffee. While these typically brew into decanters, there are also coffee urns, airpot brewers, and satellite brewers, which brew into vessels that can keep coffee hotter for longer. These are great options for a self-serve station.
Recommended Quantity: 1 Brewer; 3 Airpots (regular, decaf, and daily/weekly special)Shop for coffee brewers from $160
A powerful blender with a sound shield is necessary so you can make frozen espresso-based drinks like iced lattes, frappes, and macchiatos. The sound shield allows you to use the blender without disturbing the ambiance at your business, which is especially important for small operations where there is little separation between the drink prep area and the seating area.
Recommended Quantity: 1Shop for blenders from $84
From traditional iced tea to unsweetened lemon tea to southern sweet tea, iced tea is a classic drink that customers love to sip in the summertime. You can purchase an independent tea brewer dedicated to this type of beverage, but depending on the size of your coffee shop, you may also want to look into combination coffee and tea brewers to save on counter space. Once you've made tea, there are plenty of dispenser options to choose from as well.
Recommended Quantity: 1 Brewer; 1 DispenserShop for iced tea brewers from $430
Although many coffee machines come with a built-in hot water faucet, a standalone hot water dispenser can increase your volume of boiling water and even clear up traffic jams caused by someone trying to make coffee and fill multiple mugs with hot water for tea at the same time. Since hot water is also used for many cleaning tasks, having hot water at the pull of a lever can also cut down on the time it takes to perform routine cleaning throughout the day.
Recommended Quantity: 1Shop for hot water dispensers from $75
We recommend that you invest in a reach-in refrigerator for your back-of-house area where you can store extra milk, drink garnishes, and smoothie ingredients. While a one section reach-in should give you plenty of storage space for beverage-related items, you may want to consider a larger unit if you're planning to serve food as well.
Recommended Quantity: 1Shop for reach-in refrigerators from $1099
Purchasing in a larger, reach-in refrigerator in your back-of-house area to store extra milk and any other refrigerated menu items is important, but what about the items you'll need to access frequently? Undercounter or worktop refrigeration units fit directly beneath your drink prep counter to give your baristas easy access to the supplies they need most often. Make sure that you adhere to any side or rear clearance requirements stated by the manufacturer to ensure that your unit runs as efficiently as possible.
Recommended Quantity: 1Shop for undercounter and worktop refrigeration from $899
Manitowoc UY-0140A NEO 26" Air Cooled Undercounter Half Size Cube Ice Machine with 90 lb. Bin - 132 lb.
Ice is an essential ingredient in smoothies, ice coffees, and other cold specialty drinks—not to mention in sodas or water—and having an undercounter ice machine will give your employees direct access to ice so customer service isn't sacrificed by the need to refill an ice bin from a remote ice machine location. Undercounter ice makers are designed specifically to fit underneath countertops so they can be placed out of the way of foot traffic while producing enough ice to keep up with high demand.
Recommended Quantity: 1Shop for undercounter ice machines from $1549
Pastries, donuts, croissants, and other baked goods are the perfect snack to enjoy with a rich cup of coffee, so displaying them in a bakery display case right by your checkout gives you maximum marketing potential and increases impulse sales of these sweet treats. Bakery cases come in all shapes and sizes, as well as in refrigerated and dry versions. Consider what and how much you're planning to serve before purchasing a unit for your coffee shop.
Recommended Quantity: 2 (one larger refrigerated case for cakes and pies, and one non-refrigerated countertop case for small muffins and pastries)Shop for bakery display cases from $27
An underbar sink fits directly under your counter and gives your baristas a convenient, efficient space where they can wash small hand tools, dump the remaining liquid from used mugs, and wash their hands. Many underbar units also come with drainboards that can be used to dry drinkware and other smallwares items. If you don't have the room for an underbar sink, you may want to consider an espresso bar that is outfitted with a pitcher rinser and/or dipping wells to offset the need for an actual sink.
Recommended Quantity: 1Shop for underbar sinks from $230
Regency 58" 16-Gauge Stainless Steel Three Compartment Commercial Sink with 2 Drainboards - 10" x 14" x 10" Bowls
Primarily for use in your back-of-house area, a 3-compartment sink is great for a number of tasks, from washing and sanitizing dishes to cleaning fresh fruits that will later be prepped and blended into smoothies. Bowl depths and type can vary from sink to sink, and you'll want to consider the type of faucet that will best suit your needs as well. For example, do you need a pre-rinse faucet for spraying down heavily soiled dishes or will a simple deck mount swing faucet do the trick? Most 3-compartment sinks come without a faucet attached, so you can purchase your ideal faucet and ensure the proper fit with your sink.
Recommended Quantity: 1Shop for 3-compartment sinks from $380
Depending on your business's volume, a 3-compartment sink may take care of all of your dishwashing needs. However, purchasing a dish machine is another option. Undercounter dish machines are small, compact units (about the size of a residential unit) that can process up to 35 racks of dishes per hour. For many cafes, an undercounter dish machine will be able to handle the volume of soiled dishes being returned to the kitchen. If noise in your front-of-house area is a concern or you believe an undercounter dish machine won't be large enough, a single rack dish machine may be a better choice. Check out our dishwasher sizing guide for more information!
Recommended Quantity: 1Shop for dishwashers from $2569
1. Espresso Tampers
An espresso tamper is a small handheld tool that is used to compress ground espresso beans into the portafilter basket before brewing. Tamping the ground beans is a crucial part of producing the perfect shot of espresso because it ensures that the grounds are packed evenly inside the basket. The majority of tampers are made of metal, and some come with decorative handles for a customized feel. It's important to make sure that the size of the tamper matches the size of the portafilter baskets on your espresso machine.
Recommended Quantity: 2
Necessary for making specialty drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, frothing pitchers are used in conjunction with the steam wand on your espresso machine to foam the milk that is added to the shot of espresso during the drink-making process. The convenient spout on the pitcher also allows your baristas to get creative while adding the milk to the espresso by making artful designs in the cup.
Recommended Quantity: 4 (2 small; 2 large)Shop for frothing pitchers from $5
3. Knock Boxes
Having a knock box on hand to collect spent coffee and espresso grounds keeps wet, heavy grounds out of your trash can. A knock box has a bar across the middle so you can easily knock grounds out of the portafilter and basket for easy disposal at the end of the day.
Recommended Quantity: 1Shop for knock boxes from $13
Having the right amount of every ingredient is crucial, so make sure you purchase plenty of measuring cups and spoons. Some manufacturers even make measuring scoops specifically for coffee applications.
Recommended Quantity: 4 Liquid Measuring Cups; 1 4-Piece Standard Measuring Cup Set; 2 4-Piece Measuring Spoon SetsShop for measuring cups and spoons from $1
Recommended Quantity: 2Shop for scales from $4
6. Syrup Pumps
Quality syrup pumps keep your flavoring syrups flowing and are designed to dispense a certain amount of syrup with one pump, so you can make consistent drinks every time. It also helps you better manage your inventory.
Recommended Quantity: 5Shop for syrup pumps from $2
Frothing thermometers in particular are a great choice for a cafe because they are specially designed to attach to frothing pitchers to aid in precise temperature monitoring.
Recommended Quantity: 2+Shop for frothing thermometers from $3
Timers are useful when your employees have to prepare multiple drinks at once. They can also be used to monitor how long ago a particular coffee was brewed and alert you when it's time to brew a fresh pot. If you need to time many different things at the same time, look into a timer that can be programmed to keep track of several different "events" at once.
Recommended Quantity: 2+Shop for timers from $4
While many customers will take their coffee to go, others will prefer to sit in your coffee shop as they peruse a book or browse on the free wifi. It's these customers who will expect their Americanos and lattes to be served in real, honest-to-goodness mugs. Sizes, shapes, and colors of mugs vary, but having the right amount on hand is the key.
Recommended Quantity: 36 Mugs (12 per size); 12 Tea CupsShop for coffee mugs and tea cups from $14
10. Espresso Cups
Smaller than traditional mugs, espresso cups are designed to hold a 1 oz. shot of espresso or a 2 oz. double shot for customers who need an extra caffeine boost to get them through a late night of studying or an afternoon slump.
Recommended Quantity: 12Shop for espresso cups from $11
Designed to infuse delicious flavors into beverages without leaving any debris behind, these tea accessories will be a hit with tea drinkers who prefer loose leaf tea to bags. Plus, tea ball infusers allow you to serve loose leaf tea to your customers so they can steep their tea to their own tastes.
Recommended Quantity: 12 Tea Ball Infusers; 1 case Lemon Wedge BagsShop for tea ball infusers and lemon wedge bags from $1
Your dinnerware needs will vary greatly depending on the scope of the food you're planning to sell and the atmosphere you would like to establish in your coffee shop. Each type of material from china to melamine or wood has its benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to do your research and consider your menu before deciding what to buy.
Recommended Quantity: Will varyShop for dinnerware from $1
13. Sugar Pourers
Simple and easy to use, sugar pourers let customers add their own sweetness to their drinks and can be refilled easily when they get low. While you can place a sugar pourer at every table, another option is to have a central location where customers can access sugar and other condiments before they sit down or head out the door.
Recommended Quantity: 2Shop for sugar pourers from $1
Everyone takes their coffee differently, and putting fresh cream at your condiment station or on the table is sure to win over even your most particular customers. Creamers come in all different capacities and materials so you can find the right style to match your coffee shop's image.
Recommended Quantity: 2+Shop for creamers from $1
Selling coffee means offering plenty of extras like sugar packets and creamers, and adding a condiment caddy to your business will keep your countertop organized. The amount of available counter space in your coffee shop will help you determine the size of the organizer, or you can invest in small sugar caddies to place on each table.
Recommended Quantity: 1Shop for condiment organizers from $6
Keeping cups, lids, and straws organized can be a challenge, but an organizer can help you reduce clutter and dispense these items in a more sanitary way. Plus, having cups and lids available in your serving area lets customers who are in a rush serve themselves from one of your airpots, pay, and be on their way.
Recommended Quantity: 3 Cup Dispensers (8 oz., 12 oz., and 16 oz.); 1 Lid Organizer; 1 Straw OrganizerShop for cup, lid, and straw organizers from $7
How can your customers decide what kind of coffee they want if they don't know what's been brewed? Magnetic chalkboard labels are perfect for frequently changing drink menus, while pre-printed metal or wooden beverage signs are an easy labeling solution.
Recommended Quantity: Will varyShop for coffee and beverage labeling from $2
Aprons not only protect your staff's clothing, they give your employees a more professional appearance. Plus, they come in a variety of colors and styles to fit in with your theme.
Recommended Quantity: 10Shop for aprons from $2
Used as a base for many specialty coffee drinks, high quality espresso has a thicker consistency and a higher concentration of caffeine than regular coffee, which is what gives it its bold flavor. Additionally, regular coffee is a staple in any coffee shop for on-the-go customers, so it's a good idea to have several different roasts, or even flavored varieties, on hand.
Recommended Quantity: Will varyShop for coffee and espresso from $4
Many coffee shops go through just as much milk as they do coffee (if not more)! Milk is an essential ingredient in the majority of specialty coffee and espresso drinks, so storing some in your undercounter refrigerator for quick access is ideal. Your larger reach-in refrigerator is perfect for storing a backup supply of regular milk, half and half, and other dairy products.
Recommended Quantity: Will vary depending on drinks offered
Tea is a refreshing and versatile drink that can be served hot or cold depending on the season and the preference of your customers. Standard black, white, and green tea, fruity or herbal teas, and special organic options are all available in tea bags or loose tea.
Recommended Quantity: Will varyShop for tea bags from $2
While Chai is a type of tea, it is in a category all its own! Full of naturally energizing botanicals, chai tea is a popular drink around the world, and with the addition of milk and espresso, you can even make hot Chai lattes or cool frappes topped with whipped cream.
Recommended Quantity: Will vary depending on type of chai (concentrate, dry mix, etc.)Shop for chai from $4
Hot cocoa has transformed over the years from a simple treat into a gourmet beverage, but this classic winter favorite can be enjoyed all year round!
Recommended Quantity: Will varyShop for hot chocolate from $3
Whether you only want to offer traditional favorites like french vanilla and caramel or more unique flavors like toasted marshmallow and toffee, you can give your customers the ability to customize their drinks by stocking flavoring syrups. Plus, syrups allow you to promote holiday favorites like peppermint and pumpkin spice!
Recommended Quantity: 5 (french vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, and 2 specialty or holiday flavors)Shop for coffee flavoring syrups from $3
5. NapkinsWhen drips and spills do occur, having plenty of napkins on hand will be a life saver. Keep them on the table in napkin dispensers or in one common location next to your condiment station. We even offer a wide variety of beverage napkins in bright colors to match your logo or enhance your themed event when you host customers in house. Recommended Quantity: 1 case Shop for napkins from $2
Commercial coffee brewers should be cleaned every night to prevent the buildup of coffee debris and oils inside the machine or carafe that can cause off taste and smell if left to accumulate for too long. Cleaning the inside of your machine with a special cleaner, wiping down sprayheads and external parts, and thoroughly washing any removable parts helps to extend the life of your machines. These types of cleaners and sanitizers are available in everything from liquid to powder to tablets.
Recommended Quantity: Will vary depending on type of cleaner; typically, 1 bottle or 1 case of tabletsShop for coffee equipment cleaners from $6
The best way to clean your commercial espresso machine is to backflush it with a specialized cleaner at the end of every night. This prevents the buildup of espresso grounds and their oils in the group heads, shower screens, and portafilter baskets, which not only improves the quality of your drinks, but also extends the life of your equipment. Soaking portafilters and baskets once a week in a mixture of the same cleaner and water is also recommended.
Recommended Quantity: Will vary depending on type of cleaner; typically, 1 bottle or 1 case of packetsShop for espresso equipment cleaners from $7
Cleaning the equipment that comes in contact with dairy products is doubly important, and these cleaners are specially designed to break down milk protein buildup to keep your machines sanitary.
Recommended Quantity: 1 bottleShop for milk frother / steam wand cleaners from $16
Brushes allow you to clean tough stains more easily as well as get into the cracks and crevices that are often missed during regular cleaning.
Recommended Quantity: 2Shop for beverage equipment cleaning brushes from $2
5. Espresso Machine Maintenance Kit
This isn't a specific kit, per se, but keeping items like a stubby flathead screwdriver and an awl on hand to tighten screws and change gaskets on your machines will allow your staff to complete small maintenance tasks quickly and get back to serving your customers.
Recommended Quantity: 1
Trash cans and wastebaskets are essential to keep both employee areas and public space within your coffee shop clean. Adding a trash can and recycling bin near your condiment station and near the exit is a good way to encourage your customers to keep tables and other common areas trash-free, while having several bins located in key places in your back-of-the-house space allows your employees to work more efficiently. Don't forget to purchase liners and garbage bags to make taking out the trash a more efficient process.
Recommended Quantity: 9 (2 trash cans and 2 recycling bins front-of-house; 2 of each back-of-house, plus a larger wheeled trash can for heavier waste)Shop for trash cans and recycling bins from $4
The basic ingredient of any drink is water, so installing a water filter will improve the flavor, smell, and overall appearance of your products. Additionally, many filters remove sediment and reduce scale build-up to protect the inner components of your equipment, which cuts down on maintenance and prolongs the life of your brewers.
Recommended Quantity: Will vary depending on equipment and filter typeShop for water filters from $8