Friday 19 November 2021

Commercial or Domestic: The Differences Between Bean to Cup Machines

 **Collaborative Feature**

Do you enjoy a cup of coffee? If you do, have you ever considered purchasing your own coffee machine? If so, this post will definitely be of interest to you, so keep reading below. Nowadays we have more choices about how we consume our coffee, and how we make it, than ever before. Bean to cup coffee machines are all the rage, and they make it incredibly simple and straightforward to start making coffee as well as being able to enjoy the fantastic drinks it creates without having any barista skills whatsoever.

You may have used some of the commercial coffee machines, that are often installed in hotels, restaurants, and other places where coffee is served but there aren’t necessarily baristas. It gives a simple way for employees to prepare drinks to a good standard without the need for a dedicated barista to prepare them. You might have even see them in some waiting rooms so you can use them yourself to prepare a coffee whilst you wait.

While there are not necessarily strict definitions of both “home use” and “commercial” it is generally understood that there are some key differences between the sorts of machines aimed for the home market, and those that are for the commercial market.

Let’s delve into some of the differences.

Size and Capacity

A bigger machine with the capacity to make a lot of drinks in a short time is often a bean to cup machine aimed at the commercial market. Large machines such as the ​​SMEG “CMS8451A” will happily prepare drinks for hours without needing much maintenance. These machines may have large hoppers for beans and function like a fully ‘plumbed in’ appliance in your commercial setting, only occasionally needing you to add beans or milk.

Capacity also extends to how many drinks can be made at once. There are many machines that can make two espresso shots at once, but fewer that can prepare two full, barista-style drinks at once. These tend to be commercial models where the demand for quickly creating bigger quantities is higher.

Drinks Choice

Some of the cheaper home bean to cup coffee machines only have the potential to make some basic drinks. Some of them may just make espressos, which you can use as the basis of other drinks by combining steamed or frothed milk, but they may not have the capacity to create a lot of different beverages. The basics, like a latte, or just a simple Americano, might be an option.

Commercial models tend to have a huge drinks choice and even the option to add user profiles and alter more settings including the strength of the drinks you are making. Some of the different bean to cup coffee machines on the market can offer up to 20 different drinks profiles and styles, so you can enjoy the whole menu of a coffee shop in your own business environment.


Like pretty much every type of coffee product, the price can vary massively. For £300-400 it is possible to pick up a decent bean to cup coffee machine for home use, that can do all the basics. However, if you want one of the more professional models that can give you all the features you desire and even store user profiles, you may be looking at thousands. On top of that, there are some other considerations with spending this much as you might get a better warranty and you could even enjoy high-tech features and functions such as companion apps and timers to let you make a drink using your phone. Technology and price go hand-in-hand when it comes to any type of coffee machine.

Integrated Systems

You can get an integrated system for your own home, of course, but this is unusual. They tend to be for commercial systems, and provide a coffee machine that sits flush with the other units in the kitchen, including ovens and other appliances.

Integrated systems are a much bigger undertaking to install, and you will likely need to incorporate them as part of the kitchen design right from day one.

Milk and Water Services

Water and milk need to be fed into whatever machine you are using to create your coffee. Commercial models are likely to have larger reservoirs for you to put milk and water in, whereas small models may not have a way to incorporate milk. Alternatively, some smaller home models have the capacity to feed straight from a milk carton.

There are different designs and methods here, but the large, commercial models may well have more sophisticated solutions. For instance, Bosch models that boast “milk, water and bean containers are neatly hidden away.”


Some manufacturers will brand their machines as “commercial”. It is possible for a traditionally ‘commercial’ coffee machine to be used in your home, so there is no specific definition that you can use to differentiate a home model from a commercial, but the differences above will give you some idea of how people usually define these differences. Whether you decide that a small home-use model is going to be sufficient or you need a commercial-grade machine...well that’s really up to you.


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