Equipment Needed to Open a Coffee Shop

by Devra Gartenstein; Updated September 26, 2017

A coffee shop is an ideal business for a gregarious person who appreciates fine coffee. To open a successful coffee shop, you will need equipment for brewing and serving coffee, as well as decor and tables to create a friendly atmosphere. The equipment for opening a coffee shop can range from quite inexpensive to extremely costly, depending on the quality of the coffee you want to serve and the type of coffee shop experience you want to provide.

Coffee Makers

Coffee shops make coffee, so you will need some kind of equipment for brewing coffee in order to open. You may choose an industrial coffee brewer, or an espresso machine or both. When choosing your coffee-brewing equipment, consider the type of clientele you intend to draw. A high-end coffee shop should have equipment to produce good quality coffee, while a coffee shop geared towards quickly serving a large volume of coffee should have equipment that can brew a lot of coffee efficiently.

Coffee Grinders

In order to serve a quality cup of coffee, you will need to grind the beans yourself. Purchase an industrial coffee grinder suitable for the type of brewing equipment that you have, such as a grinder that is typically used for espresso beans. Choose a grinder that can handle the volume of beans that you anticipate grinding.

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You will need a refrigerator to hold your milk at a suitable temperature. A small coffee shop can often get by with a refrigerator designed for home use, but if you will be doing a considerable volume of business, you should invest in a commercial refrigeration unit that can hold plenty of inventory and keep your milk cold even when the cooler door is opened every few minutes.

Thermal Pots

If you will have a self-serve area for coffee refills or milk at your coffee shop, you will need to purchase thermal pots. These thermoses will keep coffee hot and milk cold even when they sit at room temperature. Purchase large thermal pots for coffee and smaller ones for milk.

Open Sign

A coffee shop should have a neon "open" sign to signal to regular and potential customers that they are open. A lit sign makes potential customers who are driving by much more likely to stop because they are not risking taking the time to make a detour only to find that your shop is closed.

Cash Register

Your coffee shop should have a cash register to keep track of sales totals and track transactions by category. You can buy a cash register at an office supply store or at a supplier that specializes in business machines.

About the Author

Devra Gartenstein is an omnivore who has published several vegan cookbooks. She has owned and run small food businesses for 30 years.

Photo Credits

  • Rafael Suarez/Demand Media
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