Guide to Coffee Bar Equipment: A Complete List of Essentials

Marketing 17 minute read 27th October 2023

The quality of coffee beans and barista skills aren’t the only things that decide the success of your coffee shop. Because the truth is, the equipment you’re using has a huge say in the taste and look of your coffee. Therefore, consulting a guide to coffee bar equipment is a fundamental ingredient for your success.

However, a shopping list for equipment won’t be enough. The brands and models you choose will depend on your budget.

In short, the first step to opening a coffee shop isn’t buying equipment. You must first figure out what you need and set a budget. Only then can you search for reliable suppliers and equipment that won’t be a burden on your pocket.

But if you’ve made your business plan and are ready to make investments, this guide is the next step.

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How To Create the Most Effective Coffee Bar Equipment Layout?

Apart from ingredients and tools, the coffee bar equipment layout can also interfere with your shop’s success.

There are two territories in a coffee bar: one where the customers sit and the other where your staff works. A counter separates the two areas. The layout can truly affect your coffee shop’s ROI. So, consider it wisely and make the right choice, keeping your customer profile in mind.

Now, people often treat coffee shops as a place to relax and enjoy. If they have to hear constant machinery noise or if tables near the kitchen overheat, it will ruin the vibe.

Therefore, make the best use of space by utilizing as much as possible but still giving customers room to breathe. A diagonal placement is ideal for saving space.

Moreover, display the confectionary items on glass shelves on the counter. This will work for the aesthetic and help customers decide what they want to order.

Additionally, place coffee machines and other tools you’ll use to make the beverages on the counter.

The walls behind the counter must have your menu. Display it in a way that makes it easy for customers to read from afar. The counter must also have your POS system and card reader.

Regarding the kitchen, it will store your supplies, refrigeration units, cleaning sinks, etc.

Plus, keep microwaves, ovens, and equipment that generate heat far from the counter. You might not need a full kitchen if you’re not offering baked goods or desserts. But you must keep the local health regulations in mind.

The Coffee Bar Equipment List You Need To Start Selling Your Cup of Joy

From 2020 to 2026, the coffee shop market will grow with a CAGR of 13.62%. Looking at these stats, it’s clear that opening a coffee shop is a profitable hustle.

But there’s a lot that goes into this business. Success won’t be possible without researching the trends and making preparations to fulfill them. For that reason, we’ve created the following coffee bar equipment list and divided it into five categories for your ease.

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A Guide to Coffee Bar Equipment Is Incomplete Without an Ingredient List

Let’s start this coffee shop equipment list with the most obvious items: ingredients you’ll need to make the beverages.

However, knowing your coffee’s target market is essential to making the most out of this guide to coffee bar equipment. Are you just trying to attract coffee lovers, or do you want a variety? Answering questions like this will help you craft an appropriate menu that you can use to see what ingredients you need.

With that said, a coffee bar can’t go without coffee and espresso. Some people like their cup of coffee strong, while others prefer it to be mild. Therefore, you must go for a variety of roasts and flavors so you can cater to everyone.

Another type of beverage that goes closely with coffee is hot chocolate. Add that to your ingredient list, especially if you want to attract children and teenagers.

While coffee and tea lovers are on opposite sides of the scale, both enjoy the quiet ambiance of coffee bars. So, it’s a good idea to keep tea bags and loose tea handy.

Other ingredients you’ll need are flavors, milk, sweeteners, flour, syrups, and creamers.

Ingredients and sophisticated menu items work wonderfully for your coffee shop marketing. Therefore, consider the ingredients more than just the foundation of your products. They will affect your footfall and business results.

The Right Machinery Will Help You Give the Best Taste in Coffee

An ingredient list alone would be useless. You’ll need machinery to turn the raw materials into products that gain you loyal customers.

Firstly, specialty drinks are a driving force of coffee bars. Without an espresso machine, you won’t have many options to cater to a wide audience. Lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos all require this machine. Therefore, your coffee machine must be of superior quality.

Secondly, let’s face it: ground coffee beans never taste the same as fresh ones. And your customers know that.

So, commercial coffee grinders should also make it to your list. But again, all customers won’t have the same taste. For that, you’ll need coffee roasters.

Thirdly, automatic brewers, pour-over brewers, and coffee urns are staples of the brewing process.

However, you’ll need something to brew the coffee in, right? Decanters are the usual choice here, but satellite servers will work better for keeping the coffee hot.

Moreover, invest in frappe and smoothie blenders because tastes shift with seasons. Your customers might want something fruity for a change. If you are good with these tools, you can make videos to promote your business in any marketing campaign.

Since you’ve added tea to your ingredient list, you can’t go without iced tea brewers and dispensers. Lastly, have a hot water dispenser for efficiency.

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Make the Coffee Look Good With These Barista Tools

It’s not just the caffeine and taste that coffee lovers are after. They want their coffee to look good as well.

To make this possible, you need frothing pitchers and thermometers. The steam wand on your espresso machine will help froth the milk to whiten the coffee and make designs. Of course, the barista’s skills will come into play here. But skills won’t make a difference if you don’t have the right pitcher.

Then, there are espresso tampers that help you evenly pack the ground beans before brewing. With this step, you can make sure that you get the perfect espresso shot.

However, ensure that the size of your tamper matches the size of the portafilter basket on your espresso machine.

Moreover, no recipe comes out the same if you don’t use measuring cups and spoons. To offer an addicting taste and keep it the same each time, add those to your shopping list. Another related item here will be a portion scale.

But remember that coffee is about more than just beans and water now. People want special flavors and syrups in their coffee, especially if they have a sweet tooth. The same is true for tea. So, adding syrup pumps, tea ball infusers, and lemon wedge bags to the list is vital.

Lastly, you’ll need something to dispose of the wet-ground coffee once you’ve brewed it. You could throw it in the trash, but mixing huge amounts of coffee and tea with other waste isn’t ideal. Besides, leftover coffee and tea make great fertilizers for plants. Therefore, knock boxes will be handy here.

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These Side Accessories Will Make the Job Easier

Now that we’ve discussed things that help make the coffee and beverages let’s talk about what you’ll serve them in. Here, you must not forget that you can’t use the same accessories to serve each beverage.

Mochas and lattes require big mugs, while espresso shots are usually small servings. Therefore, you must have coffee mugs as well as espresso cups at hand.

But then again, you’ll also need tea cups. Tea makes for a moderate serving that lies somewhere between coffee and espresso.

Moreover, customers like control over their drinks. They want the freedom to adjust the amount of sugar they take. They also want different creamers to align the coffee to their taste. So, have sugar pourers and creamers to serve with the beverages.

However, you’ll also cater to customers who are in a hurry and want to take their drinks with them. Use paper hot cups and lids to serve takeaway coffee, hot chocolate, and tea. But for smoothies and frozen drinks, buy plastic cups and lids. Plus, you’ll need straws and stirrers.

Besides, customers get annoyed when their hot coffee cup burns their skin. Custom coffee sleeves will allow you to save them from that annoyance and show off your branding.

Another helpful accessory is a cup carrier so that your staff can deliver multiple cups at a time. You might also need filters, plates, cutlery, water glasses, trays, disposable boxes, and ice cream cups.

Don’t Forget About the Cleaning Supplies for Closing Time

Let’s wrap this list up with cleaning supplies you’ll use to wrap up your coffee shop day. One thing you must remember here is that coffee machines require special cleaning supplies. So, here’s what you’ll need.

Firstly, if you don’t clean brewers daily, debris will collect, and that will affect the taste of your coffee. A coffee equipment cleaner will help you clean the interior and exterior for the best taste and look.

Secondly, you also have an espresso machine, which you’ll have to clean daily. So, add espresso equipment cleaners to the list. But you won’t use these just for the machine. You’ll also want to soak the portafilters and baskets in a mixture of this cleaner and water once a week.

Thirdly, remember the milk frother, the design tool you added to your list? You’ll have to clean that and the steam wand that forms the foam, too. There’s a special cleaner for these things so buy that too.

Fourthly, you’ll need various-sized brushes to reach small corners as well as large surfaces. Plus, you must have maintenance kits for your machines to repair small damages. Lastly, don’t forget about water filters that make the base of every drink taste fresh and clean.

How Much Does Coffee Shop Equipment Cost?

Now that you know the equipment you need, you must be curious about the investment you’ll have to make. As a general rule of thumb, you might need to spend at least $10,000 collectively.

Starting with the espresso machine, $500 to $2500 is the usual investment here. The coffee makers will sum to the same amount as espresso machines. While coffee roasters start from $3000, you can’t go without them. This is because roasting the beans to the right amount makes a great difference in the taste of the coffee.

Again, coffee and tea won’t be the only drinks you’ll serve. For cold drinks and storing milk and other supplies, you’ll have to spend $500 to $12,000 on a refrigeration system.

Lastly, a water filtration unit will take at least $ 1,500 to $10,000 from your bank account.

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Incorporate Technology To Add Some Spice to Your Coffee Shop

After reading this guide to coffee bar equipment, you must know the main things you need to start. As a recap, you can’t do without an espresso machine, coffee brewers, blenders, milk pitchers, creamers, coffee beans, etc.

But a coffee shop is more than just a place to eat and drink. Many people, especially those working from home, go to coffee shops to work in peace.

To cater to this audience, consider giving free WiFi in your location. Not only will this keep your customers happy, but it will also give you a chance to initiate WiFi marketing. Gathering customer data and showing them personalized ads will work in your favor.

Try out Beambox’s WiFi marketing platform and join other 12,000 venues that are growing their business smoothly. Start your trial now!

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