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Jack Merriman

Content Marketing Manager

The Sanremo F18 is the middle of the line commercial espresso machine from the Italian manufacturer, first unveiled in 2020 and designed to mimic the look and feel of a jet engine fighter plane.

Sitting between the more affordable ZOE and more premium Café racer in price, the F18 offers great coffee brewing performance, consistency and reliability for the medium to high-volume cafe. It does this at an affordable price by giving you everything you need and nothing more, leaving out some of the more experimental coffee brewing options and nice-to-have features seen in the Café Racer and Opera.

We’ve supplied the F18 to our wholesale customers and have had the machine in our own showrooms for a number of years, so we’re pretty familiar with it’s features and quirks. We know it’s not for everyone and we don’t want you experiencing buyer’s remorse. So, continue reading to learn all about the Sanremo F18, the coffee quality it’s capable of, how it feels to use, the different pricing options, features, and who it’s for.

Brewing Coffee with the Sanremo F18

 The F18 is a multi-boiler espresso machine unlike it’s similarly named F18 SB, and offers reliable output and extractions by its volumetric measuring system. We find the F18 to be an intuitive and approachable espresso machine that simplifies the dial-in process, allowing a beginner barista to focus on finding the perfect grind size each morning.

When it comes to brewing espresso, the F18 provides a skilled barista with a wide array of coffee brewing features:

  • Separate temperature and four programmable shot buttons for each group head.
  • Dedicated brew boilers and e61-style group heads achieve an advertised +/- 0.2 Celsius temperature stability.
  • Easy access and adjustment of fundamental brewing parameters through the touch screen display and menu system.
  • Live views of ambient brew boiler pressure, steam boiler temperature, and pressure, as well as water level.
  • Adjustable pump pressure.
  • Programmable soft pre-infusion time for each shot button.
  • Display shows live brew parameters for easy adjustments during the morning dial-in process.

The F18 provides more than enough in the way of adjustment features to allow incredible levels of coffee, as long as a skilled barista and a capable coffee grinder are nearby. After the morning dialling in of the coffee by grind size, the reality is that the barista will not play with many of the brew parameters during day-to-day service.

For these baristas, the consistent dose and temperature offered by the F18 will make for an intuitive and reliable espresso machine. However, for the café that often brings in new coffees or likes to offer a wide range of options, the F18 certainly allows many coffees to be fine-tuned and extracted consistently.

Milk Steaming

With a dedicated steam boiler, the barista can easily brew espresso and steam milk at the same time with no detriment to performance.

The plastic dials used to open the steam valves are one of the most common areas of user interaction, but they aren’t the most pleasing or ergonomic to use. However, the quarter turn steam valves that open quickly are a new innovation that make the experience much more seamless than with the ZOE. And, with cold touch steam wands, using the F18 to texture and steam your milk is intuitive and easy.

Steam performance is both fast and powerful, and we found no issues in properly texturing milk for a range of milk drinks and latte art

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F18 User Experience

The F18 is a pleasure to use and, being so intuitive, allows the barista plenty of time and space to interact with the customer rather than worrying about the details.

Workflow – This machine does everything a barista could ask for, with a dedicated cup warmer, bright backlights, adjustable drip tray height, a snooze mode and on/off timer, and an auto backflush function for the end-of-day deep clean. The learning curve is easy to adopt and makes for a coffee making experience that really gets out of your way as a barista. The cold touch steam wands and mixed hot/cold water dispenser make burning yourself difficult, which are always great workflow feature that many baristas wish they had access to.

Design – The design language is heavily inspired by the materials, shapes and tech found in modern fighter jets, hence the name F.18. Whether that suits your preferences and café space is purely subjective, so if you’re looking for something different but just as capable, it’s worth checking out our review of the Café Racer.

Build Quality – Overall, build quality is solid. Hard plastics, brushed aluminium and stainless steels are used throughout, with the parts exposed to coffee being corrosion resistant steel that remains polished and clean even with heavy use and neglect. Group heads are solid steel improving temperature stability, and the entire machine is heavy-duty with the three-group model coming in at 97kg. It’d be nice to see the steam wand dials made of aluminium or steel, as having one of the things you interact with most be made out of plastic does make the experience feel a little less premium.


Software and Features of the F18

Built-in software is incredibly intuitive and allows complete control over all machine brewing parameters. The F18 also features a number of quality-of-life software features already mentioned, including the energy-saving snooze mode, power on/off timer and auto backflush. Much like a fighter jet, the F18 also alerts the user with alarms on the screen of any ‘engine failures’ by constantly monitoring the electronics within the machine. 


Sanremo F18 Pricing and Options

Recommended retail price in the UK begins at around £12,000 for the tall two-group model. Prices can vary depending on customisation options, two or three group heads, and whether the supplier is providing you with any additional services such as coffee beans or service cover. To learn why pricing for wholesale coffee products and services can vary drastically, read How much does wholesale coffee cost? Our pricing explained.

There are four different colour options to select from; matte black, matte black/white, matte black/brown, and matte black/racing red. And for those seeking something more affordable, Sanremo also offers a single boiler version that makes some clever comprises to cut down on cost; the F18 SB.

Who is the Sanremo F18 for?

The Sanremo F18 is built for the medium to high-volume café owners and baristas. Incredibly easy and intuitive to use, yet with enough brewing features to highlight the best from your coffee, the F18 is suitable for both the beginner baristas and for those with SCA barista training.


Download the F18 Technical Specification! We’ll also email you a copy…