Question: To all commercial espresso machine owners


New member
Aug 9, 2008
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Have anyone rented or leased a commercial espresso machine for their business? I''m interested in starting a coffee business, so to keep my start-up cost low I would like to rent or lease a machine.

Does anyone know any company that does this, especially being in Hawaii. And what machine would be good to use. I do know I want to use an Automatic (not clear about this machine) or Super Automatic machine.

However, just to be clear and correct me if I''m wrong, especially with an Automatic machine.

1. Super Automatic: automatically grinding the coffee, tamping it, and extracting it into an espresso. Meaning, I just have to press a button and an espresso is done. The training of staff is easier.

2. Automatic: Does not grind and tamp, so I need to perform this in order for extraction of an espresso.

So, what is the difference between a Semi-Automatic and an Automatic both have the same process.

Please correct me about these machines if I''m wrong.

Lastly, for those who have an Automatic or Super Automatic machine what is the cost for repairs and maintenance with these machines if I decide to purchase later.

Thanks in advance for your help!!


Active member
Aug 11, 2004
Des Moines, Iowa
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I'm going to forewarn you leasing espresso machine equipment can be a very big downfall for a lot of shops. An espresso machine needs to be maintained on a regular basis. That and most of them are imported from overseas and the cost of the machine and the replacement parts has gone up dramatically over the last 3 years.

If your in Hawaii I can't even imagine what its going to run you. Since pretty much everything there is imported already. I would highly recommend you consider purchasing your espresso machine. Leases of this nature tend to be so outrageous any profit you do make will be absorbed by your lease.

Some of the places that I have seen that do lease equipment will make their money back in as little as 1.5 years on a $6000 and then offer to buy out after 2 years for the depreciated value. So when its all over you could have bought 2 or 3 machines for the same price.

You also need to be careful on how they word it. I've also seen a place that billed any repairs that were found to be the owners failure to maintain proper working conditions for the machine. Which can really run up the bill.

Both 1 and 2 are correct.

A semi auto is the same as an automatic except it does not contain a control board the will remember shot settings. You will have a switch that you will have to press to make pull the shot and then press it again to stop it.

Super Automatics will be more expensive to repair. Anytime you automate a process there are more variables to go wrong. Not to mention more moving parts to break. In a traditional machine (semi auto, and a auto) the amount of moving parts are limited to the solenoid valves, contactor's, water pump, and motor. A typical super automatic has multiple motors to grind espresso as well as run the water pump. They also have some form of group that acts as a portafilter would and that too requires a motor for movement. Anything that moves will eventually wear out. Also automated steam arms can have a higher failure rate as well. The temperature sensor will take a pounding for only so long.

So you typical Super Auto in my opinion can run a shop $500 - $1500 a year in maintenance upkeep depending on usage.