Coffee Shop Equipment 101: Shopping List for First Time Owners

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Owning a coffee shop involves more effort than just making coffee, multiple factors play along in making your business work! Starting a new business is stressful and sometimes you feel overwhelmed and all over the place, but being able to plan everything in advance is the only thing that will help you in the process of starting your business! So before you do anything else, it’s best that you start compiling all the necessities for the coffee shop itself and assemble it completely! So here is a coffee shop equipment 101, shopping list every first-time owner should write down!

Start from the bulky stuff

If you already have space rented for your coffee shop, it’s best that you measure and plan the whole space, and follow it by making a list of the needed items according to the measurements. On top of that, you should start with having a budget in mind, you want to get the sturdiest cabinets and counters that can hold all your needed equipment later on. Once you place your counters and bulky items, it’s time to see what kind of coffee machines and equipment can be used in the given space! Just make sure that everything is of great quality and that it can withstand multiple coffee gadgets and machines without a problem!

Shelving and storage

This might be seemingly insignificant, but you’d be surprised how useful a bit of additional storage space can actually be! It’s all about making the best with what you’ve got – and that’s usually the floor and four walls, so you need to make the best of it! Installing a good shelving system where you can place all your little gadgets and gear where they can be easy to grab is a bonus – not to mention that it will look cool, yet extremely functional, owning a coffee shop is more than just making coffee and creating a pleasant environment, you need to be practical as well!

Automatic drip coffee maker

Once you set all your tables and counters, it’s time to get to the real deal! Probably the most versatile and most used machine you’ll need is a regular coffee maker, who doesn’t like regular, black coffee right? – it will become a crucial piece in your coffee-making adventure, as many people like their coffee this way! The good thing about an automatic drip coffee maker is easy to use and it doesn’t take much space on the counter, so you can have multiple machines without cluttering the space so much! 

An espresso machine

Probably the most popular drink in many coffee shops is a shot of espresso! So you’ll certainly need a good espresso machine, or even two of them depending on how bit your coffee shop will be! There are multiple types of espresso machines, the easiest and most practical to use are espresso machines with a built-in grinder, but a lot of them don’t have that option which is also fine if you get that model instead. While, it’s better to optimize your space and same money while still getting top-quality equipment, getting a machine that can do two things at once is like killing a bird with one stone!

Coffee grinder

If you opt for getting a regular espresso machine, or a coffee machine without a built-in grinder, you want to invest in a good industrial coffee grinder! You want to preserve the freshness of coffee grounds, so you should grind them on the spot instead of getting already ground coffee beans for your shop! It can certainly influence the taste of the coffee, so the fresher the grounds are, the better the coffee! This will also make your baristas look super professional and cool while doing so, which is also a plus!

Smoothie blenders

You are probably wondering, why would you need a blender for your coffee shop? Well. if you want to expand your menu a little bit, adding simple smoothies and frappe is a great, and effortless way to do so! And having a professional blender can be a benefit too if you want to make special orders, like making a drink that’s coffee flavored! The possibilities are endless if you have the ideas and the passion to do it – but having a blender is certainly one of those things that are always handy if you have it around!

Refrigerator and cooling system

You’ll need a cooling system one way or another, but maybe you should invest in a full-on refrigerator especially if you plan on serving food and already made cold brew! You don’t have to go overboard, especially if you are working with a smaller space, you want to make sure to get the right-sized refrigerator for your cafe, so it doesn’t get too cramped! Also, you’ll need a good ice machine, especially if you want to make iced coffee, smoothies, and similar – so make sure it’s from a well-known brand and get the most out of it!

Don’t forget the details

Once you get all the big and bulky stuff out of the way, you need the finishing touches that will bring your coffee shop to life! Little things such as measuring cups and spoons are an essential part of every coffee, and a bare necessity to have at hand! A small scale can also come in handy to have in your cafe, especially if you are making a specific order! Even something like a small trash can for the desk, and a larger trash can for spilled or ruined coffee is a must if you want to keep your workplace nice and tidy – it’s all about being functional and practical!


At the end of the day, gathering all the needed supplies and equipment is crucial, and should be done as soon as possible, so you can prepare to open your cafe in no time! The only important thing you should consider is quality over quantity and the fact that if you invest a bit more in better equipment, it will come back to you with satisfied customers who love to support your coffee shop every day! Once you get all the needed necessities, you can focus on bringing it all together and making your coffee shop dreams come to life!


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