A cheaper 2-group traditional espresso machine and grinder will cost you about £2,500-£3,500, with more premium models going up to about £6,000. This is quite an investment for a bakery wanting to add coffee to its offer, but it would allow you to sell the most popular drinks, such as cappuccino and latte. However, there are cheaper ways into the coffee market and filter machines start from as low as £190.

== What’s on the market ==

What’s new?

Bezzera is launching the new 2-group Bezzera Bistro Compact espresso machines in semi or fully-automatic models

Convince me

As an introductory package, all models are supplied with enough free coffee or Espressopots to pay for the machine outright, when sold at £1.50 per cup

Go on, persuade me some more

There is also a host of free extras including water filters and bean grinders and an open invitation for buyers to attend a ’Coffee by Numbers’ training day for themselves and their staff (normally charged at £55 per attendee)

I like to plug and play

Good - the range operates from a standard 13-amp socket and features all stainless steel working surfaces and high-quality copper boilers

How do I get one?

Hand-built in Milan, they are available in ’Espressopot’ or Coffee Bean packages via Maidaid-Halcyon’s UK distributors

Price: From £1,995


What’s new?

Rancilio has extended its range of Classe 6 espresso machines with a new 1-group model

Erm, I don’t actually sell much coffee

Perfect! This new model is aimed at outlets with a modest demand for coffee and it’s compact, measuring just 360mm in width

So it’s small but is it beautiful?

It’s manufactured in stainless steel with an all-metal body and is available in three tantalising models: the E1 fully-automatic plumbed-in version; the S1 semi-automatic plumbed model; and the ST1, which is a tank-top machine

But will it suit my colour scheme?

Well, it’s available in any colour you like, so long as it’s black

How do I get one?

The machines are made in Milan and distributed exclusively in the UK by The Coffee Machine Company, based in London

Prices: E1 £2,525; S1 £2025; ST1 £1,625

www. coffeemachinecompany.co.uk

What’s new?

The fully automatic "Special" from La Spaziale, available as a 2-group machine, which has a 10-litre capacity boiler, and a 3-group with a 15-litre boiler

Not another Euro-sapping Italian machine!

While the weakness of sterling against the euro has caused headaches for operators looking to re-equip with Italian-built espresso machines, supplier Café du Monde says it can offer a cheaper option

How come?

The Special is a basic machine with none of the bells and whistles associated with top-end machines and "ensures that the the quality of coffee produced is on a par with any La Spaziale model", says the company.

So why bother buying the top-end version?

Beats us. Café du Monde estimates the Special could save customers as much as £1,000 on comparable machines

Prices: £2,570 for the 2-group and £3,125 for the 3-group; fully-inclusive lease deals are available for £23.71 per week for a 2-group and £33 per week for a 3-group


What’s new?

The Filtro Mini Jug, a small batch filter coffee brewer that prepares coffee directly into a 1.6-litre thermal jug

How does it work?

The unit is manually filled with cold water, using the flask itself and operates on the ’flash’ boiler principle. Hot water is sprayed over a bed of ground coffee in the filter basket, with the brewed coffee pouring directly into the thermal jug. Once the brew is ready, a light comes on

Don’t you get horrible stewed coffee with filters?

The benefit of brewing directly into a thermal jug is that coffee is not left on a hotplate for long periods. The insulated jug keeps coffee hot without stewing for a period in excess of an hour - suitable for a modest demand

But I want something bigger and higher volume...

Marco also has machines such as the Mini Jug model, which fills a niche between the pour-over on the one hand and the larger 2.2-litre thermal flask or the Shuttle on the other. For larger volumes, there’s the Qwikbrew and Maxibrew bulk filter brewers

Price: The Mini Jug costs £189