Coffee Shop Equipment List

Coffee Shop Equipment List: 12 Must-have Items for Opening Day and Beyond

Coffee shop equipment list ukOpening a coffee shop can indeed be challenging, but having a detailed coffee shop equipment list can greatly enhance your chances of success.

According to a July 2020 report from Research and Markets, the global coffee shop market is projected to be worth $237.6 billion by 2025. Coffee stands as the second most popular beverage globally, exerting a significant influence on our social interactions and daily routines.

To establish a thriving coffee shop, it’s crucial to stay abreast of industry trends, identify dependable wholesale partners, and procure top-quality accessories and supplies within your budget.

To aid you in this endeavour, we present a comprehensive coffee shop equipment list to kickstart your venture:

1. Automatic drip coffee makers

Price range: £30-£500

As black coffee typically forms a substantial portion of your café’s sales, the first item on your coffee shop equipment checklist should be a reliable coffee maker. Your chosen coffee maker must demonstrate durability to handle a high volume of daily production, efficiency to meet demand during peak hours (typically mornings), and capacity to brew sizable batches, thus averting the need for constant brewing throughout the day.

While it’s common for coffee shops to employ multiple coffee makers simultaneously, it’s advisable not to overextend yourself. Many successful café proprietors recommend maintaining three or four different blends at any given time to cater to varying tastes.

2. A high-quality espresso machine

Price range: £400 to £25,000

Espresso machines are pivotal for crafting many classic coffee beverages, making it essential to invest in a quality machine. However, navigating the expansive industrial espresso machine market can be daunting, especially considering the potential for higher prices. Understanding the key features that distinguish a good espresso machine and how to maximise value is paramount in your selection process.

3. An industrial coffee grinder

Price range: £500-£3,000

Given that many coffee shops prioritise freshness by using whole beans, incorporating an industrial coffee grinder into your equipment list is imperative. Choosing the appropriate grinder is pivotal for enhancing the flavour profiles and aroma of your coffee or espresso, underscoring the importance of investing wisely in this essential component.

4. POS system and website

Price range: £0 – £1,500

A Point of Sale (POS) system serves as more than just a sales terminal. It acts as a central hub for managing various aspects of your coffee shop business, including inventory tracking, business analytics, employee management, and payment processing.

In today’s digital age, a modern coffee shop requires a POS system capable of facilitating sales across multiple channels. This entails seamless integration with third-party delivery platforms, support for restaurant e-commerce stores, and online ordering functionalities, ensuring flexibility for your customers. A robust POS should streamline orders from online, phone, and in-person channels, maximising sales opportunities.

Furthermore, a quality POS system often includes user-friendly tools for setting up your coffee shop’s website and cultivating an email subscriber list, enabling you to expand your digital footprint and engage with your audience effectively.

5. Curbside pickup supplies

Curbside pickup has become an essential service for coffee shops, offering customers convenience and ease. To facilitate efficient curbside pickup operations, coffee shops require a range of supplies.

This includes sturdy and weather-resistant signage clearly indicating designated pickup areas, ensuring seamless navigation for customers. Additionally, thermal bags or insulated containers are indispensable for preserving the temperature and quality of freshly prepared beverages during transit from the counter to the customer’s vehicle.

Disposable cups with secure lids are essential for spill-free transportation, while disposable cutlery or stirrers provide added convenience for customers on the go. Lastly, implementing a reliable order management system or mobile app for curbside pickup scheduling and payment processing streamlines operations, enhancing the overall customer experience.

6. Milk and water

We took a slight departure from traditional equipment, but don’t underestimate the importance of the right liquids in perfecting your coffee offerings.

Milk: The type of milk used can significantly influence the taste of your coffee. Consider offering a variety, including dairy-free options like almond or oat milk, to cater to different preferences and dietary requirements.

Water: Often overlooked, water quality is crucial in coffee preparation. Investing in a high-quality filtration system can not only extend the lifespan of your espresso machine but also enhance the flavour of your coffee. Since coffee is primarily composed of water, ensuring optimal water quality is essential to achieving the perfect brew and safeguarding your equipment from potential damage caused by high mineral content.

7. Industrial blenders

Price range: £80-£25,000

Industrial blenders are indispensable assets for coffee shops, particularly those aiming to cater to the increasing demand for blended drinks. These powerful machines are designed to withstand the rigours of high-volume production, ensuring smooth and consistent blending of various ingredients.

Whether crafting refreshing fruit smoothies, decadent frappes, or creamy milkshakes, industrial blenders deliver superior performance and efficiency, enabling coffee shop owners to meet customer preferences swiftly and reliably.

Equipped with robust motors and durable blades, these blenders can effortlessly pulverise ice, fruits, and other ingredients to create silky-smooth concoctions with optimal texture and flavour.

While the initial investment in industrial-grade blenders may be substantial, their long-lasting durability and exceptional performance make them a worthwhile addition to any coffee shop’s equipment arsenal, contributing to enhanced customer satisfaction and increased sales.

8. Ovens and toasters

Price ranges Commercial convection oven: £7,000- £30,000

Commercial gas range and stove: £2,000-£30,000

Toasters: £200-£5,000

For coffee shops with a limited hot food selection, which is the case for at least 60% of such establishments according to a survey, having a reliable and efficient method for food preparation is essential.

Given that most coffee shops offer breakfast sandwiches, bagels, or pastries, investing in either a conveyor toaster or a pop-up toaster is crucial for quickly and consistently toasting these items to perfection. For coffee shops serving frozen breakfast sandwiches similar to larger chains like Starbucks, compact and rapid ovens are necessary.

These ovens should be quick to operate and easily accessible to baristas, ensuring efficient heating of frozen items without compromising on quality. By selecting the appropriate toaster and oven options, coffee shop owners can streamline their food preparation processes and better serve their customers.

9. Refrigerators and freezers

Price ranges: £800-£12,000

When launching your coffee shop, preserving the freshness of your food and dairy products is paramount. Essential to this endeavour are refrigerated display cases and counter fridges strategically positioned behind the counter.

It’s worth noting that refrigerators contribute significantly to your coffee shop’s aesthetic appeal, so they should boast sleek designs that harmonise with your shop’s overall ambiance.

For design inspiration, platforms like Pinterest offer a wealth of ideas to explore. Additionally, you’re likely to require freezers in two key areas: behind the counter and in the back storage area. Storing frozen food items upfront ensures easy access for baristas to fulfill orders promptly, while keeping a surplus in the back storage area helps prevent shortages.

With prices typically ranging from £800 to £12,000, investing in quality refrigeration equipment is essential for maintaining the freshness of your offerings and enhancing the overall customer experience.

10. Shelving

Effective storage solutions extend beyond shelving in a coffee shop setup. Boxes and crates prove invaluable for storing beans and other inventory, while pumps and containers are essential for organising syrups and toppings.

A well-organised storage system is critical for ensuring smooth operations, ultimately safeguarding profits in the long term. Collaborating with a local or trusted restaurant supply retailer can help meticulously plan out your storage system, ensuring efficiency and maximising space utilization.

11. Containers, pumps and storage

In the bustling environment of a coffee shop, efficient storage solutions are paramount for maintaining order and streamlining operations. Containers and pumps play a crucial role in ensuring the proper dispensing and storage of syrups, toppings, and other essential ingredients.

These tools not only facilitate quick and precise preparation of beverages but also help in minimising waste and maximising efficiency. Additionally, well-organised storage,

whether through crates, shelves, or designated storage areas, is essential for keeping coffee beans fresh and readily accessible near the brewing stations. Implementing a comprehensive storage system not only enhances productivity but also contributes to a seamless customer experience by enabling swift service and maintaining the quality of offerings.

Collaborating with trusted suppliers and meticulously planning out storage arrangements can help coffee shop owners optimise space and resources, ultimately leading to greater satisfaction for both staff and customers alike.

12. A security system

Price range: £800 to £2,000 on average

Ensuring the safety and security of both employees and customers is paramount for any business, including coffee shops. Investing in a comprehensive security system, encompassing features such as surveillance cameras and burglar alarms installed at key locations within the coffee shop as well as on the front and back doors, is essential to deter crime and prevent potential incidents.

Implementing employee management tools can further enhance security measures by mitigating the risk of cash theft from the register. With various security systems available on the market, it’s imperative to choose a reputable company with years of experience in the field to provide reliable solutions tailored to your coffee shop’s specific needs.

Minimising profit loss due to theft should be a priority when establishing your new store, underscoring the importance of investing in robust security measures from the outset.

Buying new vs used equipment 

When embarking on the journey of opening a new coffee shop, one pivotal decision revolves around whether to opt for new or used equipment. While many restaurateurs lean towards purchasing new, there are scenarios where used equipment could offer distinct advantages. This choice holds significant sway over your business’s financial stability, operational efficiency, and overall success.

Investing in new coffee shop equipment boasts numerous advantages. Firstly, you’ll acquire the latest technology, ensuring optimal efficiency and reliability. New machines often come with warranties, providing assurance and protection against unforeseen repairs or replacements. Furthermore, newer models may feature advanced functionalities and enhanced energy efficiency, translating to reduced long-term operating costs.

However, the primary drawback of buying new lies in the cost. For new coffee shop owners, the expense of acquiring brand-new machines can pose a considerable financial strain. This outlay could potentially impact the availability of funds for other critical aspects of the business, such as marketing, staffing, or decor.

Conversely, purchasing used coffee shop equipment presents a cost-effective alternative. Used items are typically available at a lower price point, enabling you to allocate more resources to other essential areas. In some instances, older equipment may be constructed from higher-quality materials and designed to withstand longer periods of use. Opting for used equipment can be advantageous if you intend to experiment with different concepts or are uncertain about the long-term viability of your business. It allows you to minimise initial investment and test the market before committing to expensive, brand-new machines.

However, the main drawback associated with used equipment is the potential for damage or reduced longevity. It’s crucial to meticulously inspect the condition of each item and ensure its proper functioning. Consider the potential costs of repairs and maintenance, as older equipment may necessitate more frequent attention. Additionally, used equipment may lack warranty coverage, heightening the financial risk in case of any issues.

Ultimately, the decision between new and used coffee shop equipment hinges on your unique circumstances and priorities. Take into account your budget, long-term plans, and risk tolerance. Striking a balance by investing in new equipment for critical areas, such as espresso machines, while opting for used items for less critical tools, could be a prudent approach.

What to do after completing your coffee shop equipment list

With your coffee shop equipment list sorted, you can now shift your attention to the myriad other aspects of launching a business: recruiting your team of cashiers and baristas, crafting the layout of your coffee shop floor, curating merchandise offerings, and establishing a distinctive brand identity.

Armed with the appropriate tools and equipment, your coffee shop is poised to lay down a solid foundation for success. By focusing on these crucial elements, you’re paving the way for your establishment to thrive and make a lasting impression on your customers.

Read more:


Having the right coffee shop equipment is essential for running a successful and efficient operation. From the basics like coffee makers and espresso machines to specialized equipment like coffee grinders and blenders, each piece plays a crucial role in delivering high-quality beverages and food to your customers.

Additionally, investing in a reliable POS system, refrigeration units, and storage solutions ensures smooth operations and optimal freshness of ingredients. Other equipment, such as curbside pickup supplies and security systems, contribute to enhancing the overall customer experience and safeguarding your business.

By curating an essential coffee shop equipment list, you can set your coffee shop up for success and provide a memorable experience for your patrons.

Business Finance Expert at PDQ Funding | + posts

Lee Jones is a seasoned Business Finance Specialist with over two decades of invaluable experience in the financial sector. With a keen eye for market trends and a passion for helping businesses thrive, Lee has become a trusted advisor to countless organizations seeking to navigate the complexities of finance.