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Choosing a machine for a very, very small retail coffee bar
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godofgwar
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Aug 2009
Posts: 148
Location: San Francisco
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Single Dripper/Aeropress
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Sat Sep 8, 2012, 9:20am
Subject: Choosing a machine for a very, very small retail coffee bar
 

First off, I appreciate all the help I've received in the past regarding equipment here on CG. But please note that this post is solely about advice on a machine, not about grinders (it will be paired with capable grinders) or whether or not a retail shop will succeed or fail. Thanks for understanding.

I'm in the startup stages of a very, very small commercial coffee bar. Really, it's more like a stand. Space is very limited and my choice of machine is unfortunately going to take a little creativity to fit nicely in the shop. In theory, the best fit would be be a GS/3 or a Synesso single group, but of course, a two group 220v machine is ideal.

Right now, I'm looking at:

*LM Linea 2 MP
*Synesso Cyncra 2 Group
*LM Strada 2 Group MP
*Some combination of one or two GS/3s or Cyncra Single Groups

Again, the Cyncra 2 Group and Strada 2 Group will force me to be very creative with positioning the machine inside the space. Regarding the single group machines, I've seen a few shops do small single origin bars, but I don't believe I've ever seen a shop run the main bar with a GS/3 or single Cyncra. So I can't say I'm super confident in their ability to keep up in a hopefully busy environment. Please chime in if you think otherwise.

Thanks in advance for the help.
-Chris
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Intrepid510
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Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 355
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Sep 8, 2012, 7:18pm
Subject: Re: Choosing a machine for a very, very small retail coffee bar
 

I am no expert in retail at all, obviously there are a lot of shops in SF so I would ask around to see if you might be able to get someone to talk to you. Of course the local espresso machine supplier that will offer you full support is the best fit and I am sure if you are going to be featuring a roaster as a wholesale account they would be more than happy to help you out with making your decision.

It seems like the 2 group Linea works for a lot of places, and doesn't seem overtly huge. Most of your drinks will probably feature milk so it shouldnt matter if you are not able to pressure profile or have the most up to date machine. Perhaps if you are hugely successful you can then go on and scale up to a bigger badder machine just like coffee-geeks.

 
Less water, more grounds.
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godofgwar
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Aug 2009
Posts: 148
Location: San Francisco
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Single Dripper/Aeropress
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012, 11:29am
Subject: Re: Choosing a machine for a very, very small retail coffee bar
 

Thanks for the suggestions. It's funny, I've talked to several baristas at different shops in SF and most only have experience on machines sized Linea or bigger. Most of them have no clue if something like a single group (GS/3 or Synesso) would hold up in a busy environment. A two-group Linea does seem to be the most logical option, though I would prefer something a bit different than the majority of local shops, as that machine seems to be the norm.

-Chris
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natpark1
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 6
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Marzocco GS 3
Grinder: Mazzer Major E, Vario W,...
Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012, 12:25pm
Subject: Re: Choosing a machine for a very, very small retail coffee bar
 

godofgwar Said:

Thanks for the suggestions. It's funny, I've talked to several baristas at different shops in SF and most only have experience on machines sized Linea or bigger. Most of them have no clue if something like a single group (GS/3 or Synesso) would hold up in a busy environment. A two-group Linea does seem to be the most logical option, though I would prefer something a bit different than the majority of local shops, as that machine seems to be the norm.

-Chris

Posted September 9, 2012 link

We've been running a GS3 MP at a Farmers Market here in Texas this past spring and summer. Yesterday was our first "cool" (mid 70s early) day with school back in session and our GS3 had issues keeping up with steam pressure during our peak period when we were making a lot of lattes.  I don't have a specific breakdown of the drinks made during that period but we did about $250 in sales during that hour with drinks priced between $2.50-$3.50 and we probably sold a few bags of coffee as well. Next week we will be taking 2 GS3s with us to market.  

If you are going to be set up in a space and won't have to worry about transporting machine and the availability of 220v I'd go ahead and look at a 2 group Linea or a GB5.
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godofgwar
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Aug 2009
Posts: 148
Location: San Francisco
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Single Dripper/Aeropress
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012, 2:31pm
Subject: Re: Choosing a machine for a very, very small retail coffee bar
 

We've been running a GS3 MP at a Farmers Market here in Texas this past spring and summer. Yesterday was our first "cool" (mid 70s early) day with school back in session and our GS3 had issues keeping up with steam pressure during our peak period when we were making a lot of lattes.  I don't have a specific breakdown of the drinks made during that period but we did about $250 in sales during that hour with drinks priced between $2.50-$3.50 and we probably sold a few bags of coffee as well. Next week we will be taking 2 GS3s with us to market.  

If you are going to be set up in a space and won't have to worry about transporting machine and the availability of 220v I'd go ahead and look at a 2 group Linea or a GB5.

This is exactly the kind of advice I'm looking for. Thanks for chiming in.

Just out of curiosity, are you using a gas generator at farmer's markets to power the GS3?

-Chris
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natpark1
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 6
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Marzocco GS 3
Grinder: Mazzer Major E, Vario W,...
Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012, 6:34pm
Subject: Re: Choosing a machine for a very, very small retail coffee bar
 

godofgwar Said:

This is exactly the kind of advice I'm looking for. Thanks for chiming in.

Just out of curiosity, are you using a gas generator at farmer's markets to power the GS3?

-Chris

Posted September 9, 2012 link

Our market has 110v electricity available, so we just run a 100' 10 gauge extension cord to a powerstrip that runs the GS3, grinders, and flojets.

If you're looking to do something similar, let me know and I can give you the full rundown of our setup.
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godofgwar
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Aug 2009
Posts: 148
Location: San Francisco
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Single Dripper/Aeropress
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012, 7:51pm
Subject: Re: Choosing a machine for a very, very small retail coffee bar
 

If you're looking to do something similar, let me know and I can give you the full rundown of our setup.

Awesome, I'll definitely give you a shout down the road. We're going to want to do private events at the very least, so I'd love to know how you're setting up.
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