Anytime you want to stop in and buy a new machine is a good time for me! Seriously though, there comes a time when repairing a well-used machine is going to cost more than it’s worth.
Our records show that most commercial espresso machines will be replaced after six to eight years, although a few will last for well over a decade with proper care. Heavy use can wear moving parts and perishable gaskets more quickly. Poor maintenance procedures can also shorten the life of your equipment.
As with any restaurant equipment that uses water, softening the water will give your machine the opportunity to last as long as it should. Hard, untreated, water will plug up the boiler and pipes. This will cause brew head temperature to drop below 190 Fahrenheit, and will prevent your machine from pouring a good tasting shot.
Cleaning out the boiler and pipes can easily cost $1,000 or more. A computer replacement can also cost over $1,000. These high dollar repairs can exceed the resale value of a 6 year old machine, and may tip the scales in favor of new equipment.
If you’ve been wondering if your espresso machine is ready to be retired, give us a call and we can help you make an informed decision.
There are several common choices for making drip coffee. Restaurants with staff carrying coffee to tables to serve generally choose to brew directly into 1-2 gal., 64 oz – or 1.9 liter glass or stainless carafes. These will have a short holding time: well under 30 minutes for glass pots on burners, and somewhat longer hold times for stainless, insulated carafes.
Coffee houses will choose to brew into larger air-pots, or 1 to 1.5 gallon stainless insulated servers. These containers will have hold times up to 2 hours or so. Coffee in a thermal container will keep its temperature longer if you preheat the container by warming it with hot water before brewing. Hold times will decrease as you pour cups of coffee from it. A container that is nearly empty will lose temperature rapidly; a full container will stay hot longer.
Machines from all the major manufacturers are available in any of the popular formats. Brewers can be either analog, with simple push buttons and only a simple volume control, or digital, with computer programmed recipes. Most equipment we sell is digital, and we will typically configure your coffee house brewers with extra deep brew baskets to insure you can use as much coffee as needed without having grounds overflow the filter.
Whatever brewer you use, consider filtering your water with a cartridge system to remove bad tastes from your tap water and reduce scale build up.
The final steps to a great drip coffee come in choosing your coffee variety and brew strength. And of course remember to keep your servers and brew baskets clean. If you use flavored coffee, keep separate brew baskets, air-pots and grinders. If you’d like to know more about new brewers give us a call. You can arrange to stop by and try out our favorite machine in the demo room, and we’ll help you choose the brewer and coffee that best suits your needs.