As far as automatic or pour over commercial coffee makers are concerned, there are two primary profiles you’re likely to observe during your research.
The in-line brewer profile is the most space-saving of the profiles, linear in shape and typically able to hold decanters on top as well as the base. They are ideal for narrow settings where height isn’t an issue.
Low Profile brewers work well when height is a concern. They are, however, much wider. They usually hold decanters in front and next to the brewer, ideal for horizontal settings.
Before installation, verify the voltage requirements to ensure the machine will install properly at your establishment. In general, the higher the machine’s voltage, the quicker the recovery time. When determining voltage, understand:
- How much coffee you’ll go through on an average day, and
- How your operation is outfitted to handle higher voltages
You’ll be able to brew coffee quicker with a higher voltage unit, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to brew more. If you intend to serve a good deal of coffee each day but not sure which outlet your establishment is outfitted for, going with a high capacity 120V machine is a safe bet. 120V machines will plug easily into standard outfits.
208V and 240V are common voltages as well, but they may mandate different outlet stylings. It’s always best to have a thorough understanding of how your operation is wired prior to making a final decision. All three voltage options may still require hard-wiring depending on the phase (single or three), or amps, and this should be performed by a qualified electrician.
Several machines also require a water connection, like automatic makers described above, in order to work to their full potential. You’ll want to verify any plumbing requirements and that you have the correct hookup that’ll fit your maker.
You should seek a professional installer for espresso or cappuccino machines as these can be much more complicated than standard brewers. Many espresso machine vendors won’t even sell their machines without an installation fee factored into their price.