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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    Question Dual fuel espresso machine advice


    I am currently in the process of starting up a mobile coffee trailer business with my partner. I have just completed my level 2 barista training and I am on the hunt for equipment.

    I am ideally looking for a dual fuel 2 group espresso machine, ideally a used/refurbished machine to keep costs down. Also looking for a digital on demand grinder.

    It seems the only purpose built dual fuel machines I can really find any info about are the Fracino range. Does anyone know of any others that are available?

    I have mainly been looking at La Marzocco and Nuova Simonelli machines. We will be getting our beans from Small Batch Coffee in Brighton (UK) (also where I did my training).

    Our main aim is to sell really really good coffee!

    Any tips on the mobile coffee business also appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Most of your machines out there are only purposed for one fuel. In order to purpose for both gas and electric you have to shield any and all electronics with wiring from flame and high heat. Hence you're not going to find a ton of machines out there. I'm assuming you're in the UK so I would suggest you start with the Fracino. Its better to buy local and have the repair guy right up the street vs someone who is hours away.
    Have you ever walked through the aisle of your local grocer and smelled the death of a dying bean?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    United Kingdom
    Can't say I'd recommend a Fracino, sorry. I've seen too many with problems.
    There are a few machines in the UK available with gas kits, Izzo, Bezzera, Rancilio, La Nuova Era... I think some of the Spanish machines too?
    Bear in mind that gas machines need to be set up by a qualified engineer and probably won't be as efficient as the electric version. I have also seen machines powered by electric and gas - one small element helping to boost the heat from the gas.
    One or two custmomers have reported that they have had to obtain extra test certificates for the gas part of the machine as well as the usual written scheme/pressure test certificate before being able to take their coffee carts onto some sites.
    You might well be worried about towing a large generator or using an inverter? A 2 group "compact" machine with high groups can be a good buy - 13 amp power required (small generator) and keep up pretty well especially if you use an additional urn for hot water.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    We have used a few propane powered machines for off-site events. One was electric with a gas add-on options. CCafe is right, it burned up some of the electronics. The gas machines take a long time to warm up, produce a LOT of extra heat and are sensitive a small breeze. I'd highly recommend a good, quiet generator, a long cord and an electric powered machine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    United Kingdom
    Another thing to consider: water
    Carts often run machines from tanks of water + a suitable inline pump to provide some pressure. This generally doesn't work well with water softeners which are generally designed to be connected to mains water and it's more constant, higher pressure.
    We do have customers who have a softening system at their home base that they use to fill tanks before leaving but of course you will probably need to top up on site with potentially hard water.
    So, get a machine that is easy to maintain/descale - you mentioned Marzocco, with twin boilers that are packed into the chassis pretty tightly, it could mean a high cost in this respect. Get some quotes.



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