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Jack Merriman

Content Marketing Manager

Opening a coffee shop is an exciting new venture that many people dream of, but is one that requires careful planning and, in some cases, a significant amount of upfront investment. Whatever stage of the planning process you’re in, from dreaming about your future coffee shop to the serious consideration stage of adding a coffee shop to your existing business, you’re going to want an idea of the kind of upfront costs you can expect.

In this article, we’re going to provide an idea of the kind of costs you can expect when opening up a coffee shop including everything you could need from espresso and bean-to-cup machines, grinders, filter coffee brewers, water filters, barista tools and blenders, along with a look into the costs of looking after your equipment and a few tips to reducing the cost of your investment.

How Much will your Coffee Shop Equipment Cost?

The exact type of coffee equipment you will need depends on a number of factors, including the types of coffee you want to serve, the service makeup of your outlet (self-serve vs staffed), the skill of your workers and rates of turnover, and of course your budget.

For many typical coffee shops, an espresso machine and coffee grinder will be the way to go. For others, a bean-to-cup solution will be the best choice for their main coffee machine. Other things to think about include the fridges, filter coffee brewers etc.

So, assuming you already know what kind of equipment you need, let’s get into the estimated costs for each.

Price of Traditional Espresso Machines

A fantastic option for a staffed coffee outlet, an espresso machine will be the backbone of your coffee business. The kind of price you can expect to pay for your espresso machine can vary greatly depending on new vs used, model and manufacturer, 2 or 3 group heads, and any additional add-on features such as automatic milk steaming, cool touch steam wands, upgraded displays, bespoke designs and materials, and of course finance options.

Low-Budget – In general, you can expect to pay roughly £3000-£6,000 for a brand new, entry level espresso machine like the Sanremo ZOE or D8. These machines will provide everything your baristas need to produce great coffee as long as they are prepped with the right tools, training, and coffee. Typical daily coffee capacity can range from 100-300 cups per day for this level of espresso machine.

Mid-Range – For those seeking more features and capacity from their coffee machine, a multi-boiler espresso machine is likely going to be your best choice. These can typically be rated for 300-500 cups per day and come at a higher price point, so you can expect to pay around £6,000-£10,000 upfront for a new espresso machine of this quality.

Premium – For coffee shops that want the newest designs and features for their espresso machine, you’ll be looking for equipment from the top of the range from an industry leading espresso machine manufacturer. Machines of this quality include the Cafe Racer and Opera, and typically cost between £10,000-£20,000+ from new.

Your Espresso Machine Will Need a Grinder

A grinder is an additional requirement for businesses that want to use a traditional espresso machine. Again, the price of these can vary drastically depending on the burr size, quality, dosing a QOL features, daily usage capacity and new or used.

Affordable – For an entry level on-demand coffee grinder that might be capable of preparing up to 200 cups per day such as the Anfim luna, you can expect an upfront cost of around £800-£1200.

Mid-range – For a higher capacity, more feature-driven coffee grinder that provides a fantastic grind profile and QOL upgrades to support your barista’s workflow, you’ll need a more higher end coffee grinder than can run you between £1,200 to £2,500 depending on the exact model, burr size and feature set.

Premium – The most premium coffee grinders which typically solve a very specific problem for coffee shops can run you between £3,000 to £6,000. These typically feature great build quality, industry-first features, premium grind quality and workflows. Our most expensive coffee grinder is the Sanremo X-One, which features three typical coffee grinders in one machine body. Check out our review here!

Cost of a Bean to Cup Coffee Machine

Automatic, or ‘bean-to’cup’ machines, are a great option for self-serve environments or for when there is limited scope for barista training and speed is paramount. There are a vast number of bean-to-cup coffee machines on the market nowadays, and most manufacturers will have models to suit a wide range of price points. Once again, the value of your investment depends on a wide number of factors.

Entry level bean-to-cup machines typically have a small set of menu options, limited scope for customisation and functionality, inexpensive materials, and require a more rigid cleaning schedule in order to maintain proper performance. For entry level, commercial bean to cup machines that can handle up to 200 cups per day, you want to look at machines such as the Alto 400 machines. These will cost anywhere between £3,000 to £5,000 depending on capacity, features and optional extras such as a fridge or hot chocolate units.

Mid-range – For a higher capacity machine built with more reliable parts and machinery, that also offer a more intuitive user experience and improved milk texturing, you’ll want to spend anywhere between £5,000 to £15,000. This is a broad range but reflects the wide variety of bean-to-cup machines currently on the market. For this budget range, we typically recommend Schaerer coffee machines.

Premium – The most premium automatic coffee machines are ones that provide a range of automatic milk texturing options and control the brewing process to ensure consistency between every brew, constantly tweaking grind size and dose settings to guarantee a delicious coffee every time. These machines also typically come with an ecosystem of modularity and telemetry to ensure limited downtimes in case of faults. Eversys coffee machines are prime examples, and cost anywhere between £20,000 and £60,000 depending on the model type, customisation and optional add-ons.

Filter Coffee Brewer Prices

Brewed filter coffee has always been a fantastic option for serving a large amount of great tasting coffee in a matter of a few seconds, and is becoming increasingly popular . Once again the price for filter coffee machines can vary drastically. For a small volume cafe, we would recommend ordering a high end domestic filter coffee brewer, these typically cost between £300-£500 with good options by Sage, Wilfa, Moccamaster and Marco.

For larger commercial settings that might be needing to serve more than a few litres of filter coffee at a time, we recommend looking for commercial filter coffee brewers from Marco, Bunn or Fetco. These range in price from £500 to £3,000+.

Water Treatment Filters

For an in-depth guide into water filter options and the kind of treatment setup your coffee shop and water source will need, click to read our full article -> A Cafés Guide to BRITA Commercial Water Filters. In short, most coffee shops will need some sort of water solution for their setup. These cost anywhere between £100 to £250 pounds plus the cost of the initial setup and filter head, and the filters are typically replaced every 6 or 12 months.

Barista Tools

Giving your baristas everything they could need to brew great coffee quickly requires a few additional tools. Some of these are obvious such as the milk pitchers, tampers, cloths and towels, but other items could include brushes, a knock box, a set of coffee scales, a basic set of screwdrivers, a milk thermometer, a tamping mat, and the right cleaning chemicals for your machine.

Our standard barista tool set costs £150 and includes everything your baristas need including towels, pitchers, a tamper and tamping mat, thermometer, brushes, coffee scoop, scales and a whisk. Other extras will be an additional cost, with big purchases to consider being tools like coffee distributors and automatic tampers like the PUQpress which can be a few hundred pounds. Learn more by viewing our product catalogue here -> Coffee Shop Supplies.

Blenders for Smoothies and Frappes

Non-coffee drinks are a great option to capture additional revenue from your customers, and to offer something different across the seasons. Many smoothies and frappe drink recipes requiring blending a mixture together with ice, so you’ll need a blender. For small volumes, you might be able to get away with a small domestic appliance which might cost you between £50-£200. However, for a well-built commercial blender that can operate quickly and reliably under high volumes, you can expect to pay between £500 up to £2,000.

Service package prices and the cost of repairs

The cost of looking after your equipment is an important factor to consider, with different options available to suit any budget. For a deep dive video and article explaining the costs behind service and repairs for coffee gear, see -> How Much does it Cost to Fix a Coffee Machine?

Pay-as-you-go repairs come with the benefit of only paying for breakdowns and faults when they happen. You can expect to pay £185 for an engineer to come to your site and £15 for every 15 minutes of labour after the initial 30 minute time-frame. To make sure your equipment is being looked after proactively by our coffee engineers with annual inspections, servicing, and free and fast repairs when something goes wrong, you’ll want an annual service package. For these you can expect to pay between £500 and £3,000 annually depending on the level of cover and type of machine. Learn more here -> Service Cover and Repairs.

Total Coffee Shop Equipment Costs

So, to answer the question “How much will the equipment for my coffee shop cost?”, the short answer is “it depends”. But, to give you an idea of pricing based on what we see with our wholesale customers, you’ll typically fall into one of the following categories.

Traditional coffee shop

Where coffee is the heart of your business, you’re going to want an equipment setup that gives you complete control over the final result and taste, along with providing all the tools your baristas need for serving great quality coffee. You’ll need an espresso machine, at least one grinder and extra if you want to serve additional coffees, a filter coffee brewer, a water filter, a small blender, and a standard set of barista tools. With this in mind, you can typically expect to spend between £8,000 to £30,000 on the coffee brewing equipment for a standalone coffee shop.

‘Off the high street’ cafe 

The next category is what we call in-store cafes, such as the dining area in a garden centre, leisure centre university or public library or visitor attraction. These are typically busy locations, and therefore need a mixture of high-end equipment that can cope with high capacities. Here you’ll need either a high quality bean-to-cup machine or an espresso machine with a grinder, a commercial blender, a large filter coffee brewer, water filters, and a well-stocked package of barista tools. These businesses can expect their coffee equipment to cost anywhere from £20,000 to £70,000 depending on the exact machinery and number of drinks you’ll be serving per day.

Coffee as an Optional extra

The final category is a business for which coffee is just an optional extra, such as in a restaurant, an office building or a car showroom. The required equipment here can vary between a small single group head espresso machine, or a low capacity premium bean to cup machine. For that reason, the cost of coffee equipment for this business category can vary greatly between £5,000 to £25,000, with the main factor being the selection of a small espresso machine or a low-volume premium automatic machine like the Eversys Cameo or Legacy.

Tips for Saving on Costs from your Coffee Equipment

If you got this far, you may have been surprised by some of the numbers and how the price for coffee equipment can vary wildly depending on the type of machine, level of features, design and customisation and daily cup capacity. No matter what type of equipment you’ll be needing, there are a few things you can do to get the best price possible.

  1. Lease instead of purchase
  2. Shop around for best deal
  3. Buy used or refurbished
  4. Consult with experts about your needs

Spreading the cost of your equipment over time is typically done with a lease, breaking up the cost of the equipment over time via weekly, monthly or quarterly payments over the span of 3 to 5 years. Typically your business will need to have a history of having filed your accounts for 3 years for the lease application to be successful, so this may not be suitable for all businesses. As an example, for a £13,000 bean to cup machine on a 3 year lease, you can expect to pay in monthly instalments of around £420, greatly reducing the upfront cost and investment.

Shopping around for the best deal includes gathering quotes from a number of wholesale coffee companies, machine providers and online sellers. It’s important to note not just the actual price of the machine, but also what is included with the installation and what kind of support they can provide you going into the future.

Buying used or refurbished equipment is a great option for many business looking to get a better price for coffee gear. Some equipment types can last for decades if they are taken care of, especially well-built espresso machines, grinders, and filter coffee brewers. Many coffee companies have stock of used equipment that they have removed for existing customers, so it’s worth asking your coffee company if they may be able to help.

Consulting with a coffee company about your equipment needs is something we recommend everyone does when deciding on the what to buy for their coffee shop. There are often large differences between the equipment you want to buy, the equipment you can afford to buy, and the actual equipment you need. Getting a second opinion is a fantastic idea, especially if you’re drawn to shiny new toys. If you would like some free, no-obligation advice about what kind of gear you’ll need, feel free to get in touch or call on 0800 092 8992.