Subject: Schaerer VS. UNIC? and What about WMF? 2 step machines


New member
Mar 19, 2013
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Which Super Automatic is best overall?

I am the manager of Awake Café in Triad Baptist Church. Our church runs about 1,500 people every Sunday morning. We have 3 services one at 8:45, one at 10, and one at 11:15. In between the services our coffee shop gets flooded with mocha thirsty members for 20 minutes. We serve as many as we can with our Commercial Manuel Astoria 2 group. This machine just is not cutting it, though. We have 20 minutes to produce as many specialty coffees as we can. Everyone loves lattes as our most popular drink is the White Chocolate Mocha. Currently, We can make about 30 hot lattes in 20 minutes, and we are turning away probably 100-200 people from getting a drink every Sunday morning because our line is so long, and there is not enough time to wait and make it to the service or Sunday School on time. That is my situation, so here are my questions.

First off, I realize there is no machine out there that can produce enough coffee for hundreds of people in 20 minutes, but I want to serve as many as I can. My baristas are volunteer, so they are no where near professional. They need buttons to push to froth milk and make espresso fast and easily. This is why I am in the market for a super automatic espresso machine 2 step, and price is not an issue. I just want to know which machine and which company is best. I have done countless hours of researching and calling people, and I am tired of it, but my search is narrowed down to 2 brands, possibly 3. I hear the top two big dogs out there are Schaerer and Franke, and they are the most used. I hear Schaerer is a little better than Franke, only because when something goes wrong, there parts are cheaper. Then there is UNIC, which from what I have heard, has only been in the states for 5 years, and they supply some Googles, Cheesecake Factorys, and Olive Gardens. There machines are made of almost all metal parts on the inside, and they are extremely expensive. Then I know little about WMF, their machines are repaired by Schaerer I think. These three are what I have come down to- Schaerer, UNIC, and WMF.

Here are the questions I need answered: What machine is best and fastest latte producing machine for each company? (Like Ambiente or Coffee Art plus), Are refurb machines trust worthy? How is each company's service record? How well is their customer support? Do they have parts available in the US? What major coffee shop chains do they supply? Do you know of any places that have UNICs or WMF near Kernersville, NC? Do you know places neutral technicians or neutral managers I could contact to find out more about UNIC and WMF? Now. I will go into specific detail on what I know and am curious about in each company. taking to salesman all the time gets the same result, they all think their machine is best. That is why I need third parties to help!


Most people tell me they are the best overall. Schaerer themselves would say that the coffee Art Plus is the best machine for me, but most third party distributors say the Ambiente PS is the way to go because it has been out longer, and there are more servicers and part available. Third parties say the Ambiente is a proven reliable machine over the past 15 years. Is that true? I love the way the Coffee Art Plus looks, though, and Schaerer says that the plus is the same as the Ambiente with more features, which is true, but with having more features do the features break or mess up more than the Ambiente? If price were a problem, Would you buy an Ambiente refurbished from a reliable comapny at half the price of a art plus? Art plus 12,500-13,500 and Ambiente refurbished 5,000-7,500. What is the best choice? I know Schaerer is reliable in every way from parts to service to performance , but I just wonder is there anything better/faster? Now, Don't forget to overall compare Schaerer with UNIC and WMF.


UNIC scares me, because a lot of people have never heard of them, but I have yet to hear muck bad/negative about their machines, reliability, service, or parts. Plus, The Tango Duo is a 2 group super automatic and could surely out produce any one group super like the art plus if working properly. It is very expensive like 20,000+ but I would probably get it If i knew it was the best. What do you know what the UNIC machines and company? What about the Tango SOLO too? I am interested in either two SOLOs or one DUO, possibly two Duos in the future. Do you know of any coffee shop/cafe chains that have UNIC super automatics? Heard anything about UNIC putting out a new touch screen super automatic? Know cafes, hotels, business, or resturants I could contact about UNICs reliability, parts, service, and machone speed, and how they like their machine?


I don't even know what WMF stands for, but I know their machines are similiar to Schaerer because of the finesteam and espresso dispenser head. What have you heard about with service, parts, machine speed, and reliability of WMF? The bistro 2 step (no chocolate) is what I am interested in. Do they supply an major chains with super automatics? Know any coffee shops, cafes, resturants, hotels, or businesses that I could contact to ask their about their machine and how they like it?

Conslusion: I am sure I am forgetting something about all the info I have gathered over two weeks, but this is most of it. I really need some input so I can finalize my search. I understand that every super automatic will need to be serviced sometime in its lifetime, but which machine needs it least? Which one has the cheapest parts? and Which has the fastest and best service? Which machine will make the most and fastest consistent lattes?

PS- Anybody know anything about the Franke Foam Master? It is there new machine coming out soon, I believe.


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Super Moderator
Staff member
Feb 28, 2008
Near Philadelphia, PA
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Hello "triadawake"

Welcome to the Coffee Forums website.

Is this the church that you're affiliated with?

It's great to see that the profits from the Awake Cafe go towards the church missions. I imagine that it must be fun to volunteer as a barista on Sundays.

You wrote such a detailed message. I'm sure many of the members of this Forum will be able to make some recommendations regarding selecting a new espresso machine.



New member
Mar 19, 2013
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Yes that is our church! haha That is our Awake Café logo too. How did you find that? Btw the Barista love to work on Sundays! We have a lot of fun, even if they don't really know what they are doing haha.


New member
Dec 7, 2012
Michigan, US
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This is my take on Super Automatic Machine.
You will need to service them regularly. I mean... You will be good friends with your service guy. That is going to be fact.
So if I were you, I would research who is the best service company around with reliable track record. And ask them what machines they sell and service.
There will be tons of great machines with great track record but if you can't find anyone to service or if they only have one person who service that brand, you might be down one weekend you need the most....
At my coffee house, I will never buy anything but Nuova Simonelli because the service company has about5 guys who can service this brand and they are all good enough to take the machine a part and rebuild it in about 2-3 hours.

If the service company offer service contract, do buy them so you don't have to be the person the church calls you whenever there is a problem. I do volunteer for my church and I know how the church work as well.....

Good Luck...