Coffee Shop Essentials: 8 Pieces of Must-Have Equipment

coffee shop equipment like grinders and an espresso machine sit on top of a a counter

Last Updated: April 4, 2021

Opening a new coffee shop is certainly a daunting task. The industry has exploded over the last several decades; with it so has competition and customer expectations. It’s an expensive endeavor as well. For instance, espresso machines, grinders, refrigeration, and other important pieces of coffee shop equipment can run you a pretty penny. Even small details of the store, like mugs and saucers, can add up quickly. Overall, a solid business plan, proper budgeting, and a healthy self-confidence are essential.

Okay, now that your blood pressure is through the roof, let’s look at the latte half full. Any coffee shop entrepreneur has a genuine passion for the art and everything that comes with it. This kind of passion will lead to a successful business. Plus, you’ve entered an industry that does nearly $800 billion in sales in the United States alone. Americans are drinking more coffee than ever, and they’re doing so at small, local businesses like yours.

With the right formula, that expensive equipment can pay itself off quite quickly. Here, we’ve compiled a list of coffee shop equipment that every new establishment should consider, including how the right coffee shop point of sale solution can make life a little easier.

8 Pieces of Coffee Shop Equipment Your Business Needs

  1. Espresso Machine
  2. Coffee Grinder
  3. Drip Brewer
  4. Water Filtration System
  5. Refrigeration and Freezers
  6. Ovens and Toasters
  7. Shelving and Display Board
  8. Point of Sale System

1. Espresso Machine

Big surprise, right? Particularly, a quality, industrial espresso machine can range from a couple thousand to easily well over 10k dollars. Opening a coffee shop can be expensive, and this purchase will be very budget-dependent. However, it is clearly essential for every coffee shop.

Just make sure you do your research! Do you want a manual, semi-manual, or automatic machine? How many group-heads are needed? Would you benefit from a large, ultra-efficient machine or something smaller for a lower volume?

a barista uses coffee shop equipment to make an espresso

2. Coffee Grinder

No matter how great your espresso machine is, the espresso won’t taste up to par without a correct grind. This purchase probably isn’t as fun as your espresso machine, but it’s just as important. Again, ask yourself a few questions: Do you prefer manual or automatic? Do you need different grinds for French press, drip, espresso, etc?

Do you want a digital measurement of each grind? If you’re looking for some in-depth grinder analysis, this blog is devoted entirely to coffee grinders.

3. Drip Brewer

Depending on what kind of coffee shop you’re opening, you may want an industrial drip brewer. These have become less popular in recent years as a higher demand for espresso-based drinks and alternative brewing methods has replaced them, like French press and pourover. However, if you plan on serving a high volume of morning customers who are in a rush, a solid drip brewer could be a lifesaver. Overall, they’re much more inexpensive than an espresso machine and can still make a great cup of coffee.

4. Water Filtration System

New coffee shop owners often overlook exceptional water filtration systems. It’s easy to focus on the beans, the roasting, and the espresso machine. In fact, a regular cup of coffee is 98% water and the quality can drastically affect your coffee.

Additionally, you might want to consider a reverse osmosis system which removes impurities but remineralizes the water. Alkaline water is another popular trend as well, balancing out the strong acidity in coffee. This water is anything but basic. Here’s a small rundown of a few of the most popular options for a coffee shop filtration system.

5. Refrigeration and Freezers

Proper refrigeration is necessary for any coffee shop. If you plan on serving food or juices, for example, you’ll need a more substantial system. Consider a chef’s refrigeration system with pans, or perhaps even a walk-in refrigerator for a larger operation.

Moreover, many newer systems can be built into your coffee shop beautifully, leaving your aesthetic untouched. And with space being a common issue for shops, fitting the equipment in naturally is important.

6. Ovens and Toasters

Likewise, you’ll benefit from equipment that can heat your products as well. The majority of coffee shops serve food, many now featuring extensive menus. Furthermore, proper ovens and toasters are becoming essential for new coffee shops. Look for machines that are convenient to use and heat quickly as well. For this reason, most quick-service items should not take much preparation or inconvenience. Consequently, convection ovens are pricey but are remarkably efficient, easy to install and use, and generally have long lives.

7. Shelving and Display Board

Shelving and display materials can be easily overlooked but are critical for running a smooth operation. Generally, crowded work areas are inconvenient and reflect on the shop as a whole. Like refrigeration, with a little creativity, it can beautifully integrate proper storage into your coffee shop as part of the whole.

In addition, the same goes for signage. Uniqely, it’s inexpensive and is a way for you to add a little more character to your cafe. Consider some digital signage ideas for inspiration, and don’t forget to create an attractive window.

coffee shop equipment is shown at a cafe bar with a barista in the background

8. Point of Sale System

One of your final decisions before opening is choosing the right point of sale. Don’t make this decision lightly, however. As has been noted, your POS can substantially affect your business. For any quick-service store or coffee shop, fast transaction speed is vital. Your point of sale solution can also help with inventory, ordering, time tracking, marketing and much more. KORONA POS has software specifically designed with coffee shops in mind.

Good Luck with Your Coffee Shop Equipment Decision!

There are plenty of other things to consider when opening a new café or coffee shop, but hopefully, a couple of these pointers are helpful. There’s a little part of most people that would love to own a cute coffee shop, so way to go. Find out more about KORONA’s café point of sale by clicking below!

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Writen By

Michael Chalberg

Michael has long focused his writing on the world of retail and small businesses. He''s been a part of the KORONA POS team since 2018 and loves helping entrepreneurs find ways to adapt and succeed. In his spare time, you'll likely find him hiking somewhere in the Southwest.

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