If you're opening a coffee shop from the "ground up", you'll need to evaluate your equipment needs - especially if you're securing funding from a financial institution or stakeholder. While your business may have specialized equipment and tools, there are a few basic coffee shop necessities:
Espresso Machine: Available in semi-automatic, automatic, or super automatic, an espresso machine is the lifeblood of any coffee shop. Choose a model with a boiler capacity that's large enough to accommodate "rush hour" traffic, and one that can be serviced locally.
Water Softener: Hard water can lead to lime build-up, and may result in costly equipment maintenance and repair. Opt for a whole water system or, at the very least, a separate system for your espresso machine.
Espresso Grinder: You'll need two espresso grinders, one for regular and another for decaf.
Bulk Coffee Grinders: Consider purchasing three grinders: one for regular, one for decaf, and the third for flavored coffees.
Drip Coffee Maker: Purchase a commercial system that can accommodate your peak customer volume. Choose automatic coffee makers that are plumbed directly into a water line.
Blender: As with drip coffee makers, be sure to purchase a commercial blender designed to withstand heavy usage levels.
Refrigerator(s) : In addition to a storage refrigerator, you'll also need an under-counter model.
Ice Maker: Typically, you'll need an ice maker that can produce 600-1000 lbs. of ice per day.
Depending on what you'll be offering at your coffee shop, you may also need pastry display cases, a sandwich prep station, steam table, ovens, or prep tables, as well as business equipment like a cash register, telephone system, and speaker/music system.
There are many factors to consider when stocking up on coffee shop equipment, so be sure to thoroughly research each purchase.