Extremely early stages of planning a coffee shop, looking for advice

hello, a couple friends and i are spit balling the idea of opening a small coffee shop and i have just a few questions. we plan on using a Linea Classic 2 Group along with K30’s for espresso and an EK43 for brew (pourovers, etc.). is this a decent setup to start with? do you guys have any suggestions for a hot water dispenser? also, i’ve only recently learned about the importance of water treatment, can someone shine in on what i need to pay attention to as far as water treatment goes? is there anything else equipment-related that i’m forgetting, if so, feel free to let me know!


That sounds like a fine setup! You didn’t mention a batch brewer in that list and that will take care of brewing and hot water dispensing in one unit. I’d suggest a Curtis D500GT or something from Fetco.

Your best guidance on Water treatment comes from LaMarzocco itself. We filter our water to spec and use that throughout the shop. You can find LaMarzocco USA’s water specs here It may be a tad different based on where you are in the world. We had a local water filtration company build a setup based on our water source, from which the output matches spec. So your filtration system may need to be modified if you move locations/water sources.

Good luck!

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ah you’re right, i’ll have to look into that

this will be in the Toronto area so i’ll have to look into the water situation then!


We opened up shop a few months ago and went with the Linea Classic 2 group as well (love it!). We’re rocking the Peak for espresso, a Mazzer Mini for decaf, EK43 for batch brews and everything else. The FETCO single station CBS-2141XTS for batch and hot water dispensing. In hindsight, wish we’d gone with Curtis. I keep hearing they’re doing cool things and are getting way better. FETCO’s OG but we had difficulty with electrical installation and had to have an electrician come in to fit into our outlet. Plus my personal gripe, I don’t like the FETCO Luxus Thermal dispenser because it is so bulky, the thermal pot doesn’t disassemble from the base and therefore cumbersome to clean through out the day.

We went with an RO system for our water filtration from Living Water. My partner has worked with them for many years at other shops.

Lets see… plumbing and drainage for your equipments. I’m no contractor by any means, but was able to PVC together a drainage setup and run it to an existing floor drain.

I love the Acaia scales. We use the Lunar scale for espresso. and are looking to add on the Pearl as well.

Lastly, start doing research on permitting. I used to work for a construction permit consulting firm, and don’t neglect your due diligence. I’ve seen too many projects get stuck in the permitting process for months to over a year trying to do something simple because they didn’t do their research.

Good luck man!

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thanks for the input! i was also looking at the Peak and someone did in fact bring up decaf option too and having a separate grinder for that, so this is good. your setup sounds like what i’m envisioning for ours haha. for pourovers, do you use the hot water straight from the dispenser or do you have separate gooseneck kettles hooked up?

i haven’t had the chance to play with an Acaia scale, but from what i’ve heard they’re extremely responsive, which might be good to have for espresso. i have a couple Brewista’s i play with right now haha

i’ve heard nightmares of permitting too, we’ll definitely have to get a jump start on that

with the 2 group, how many drinks are you pumping out a day on average? is it suffice? or would you suggest a 3 group?


We decided to strictly go with a batch brew setup. Combination of a growing neighborhood market and that we just don’t really want to do pourovers :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

for our volume, a 2 group works just fine. We’re pushing about tickets drinks a day and still growing.

good luck!

Spot on with the recommendation for the Curtis D 500 for batch brew. I cannot say enough good about these machines. They are rock solid, fast, reiable, and VERY consistent. We use them when we travel to events, set them up to feed from portable water breakers with the FloJet portable mpoump system. Saves having to find and wait three days for the union plumbers to come round, take a day to figure it out, do it, then come back and undo it when we leave… at who knows how high a cost.

I HIGHLY recommend getting the "dual voltage option… maybe forty bucks more at list, but you now have options for mains current. When drawing on 22o volt circuits, recovery time between brews is so fast you can’t even drag the new full airpot out from under the machine, quick rinse the brew basket, shake in a new batch of fresh ground coffee, poke it back under the showerhead and punch GO again. Their six batch per hour output is WAY conservative… I’ve consistently gotten ten…

Quality of the brew, once you have dose and grind dialled in, rivals a well-done French press with the same coffee. I’ve brought premium higher end coffees to events and had lots of folks come back raving about “the best coffee I’ve ever had”. From people who know what they are about, too!!
One strong recomendation, though… besides getting the dual voltage model. GET the deeper optional stainless brew basket. It cost less than a hundred US extra, then use their own deeper filters made for that bast basket. When using quality higher end freshly roasted coffees, the bloom tends to overfill the standard depth bed, run over the top of the paper filter, and you end up with grounds in people’s cups. Wish I’d known about that when I got my first. (we have two, and need them both for larger events… yes, we can slam out that much coffee)

Curtis were first to market with this new generation of batch brewers, the D 500 seems to be the standard, and theyve constantly improved, brought out newer more sophisticated technology, and continue to stretch the envelope. Service, advice, help, from ,y rep has always been near instant and excellent. He seems very committed to MY success. And this seems to be the norm across the company.

haha yea, you have me pretty sold on the Curtis now;p. we’ll look into it

thanks again

Hey Tionico!

Thanks for this awesome reply! I’m also thinking about a batch brewer for my cafe that I’m opening in about two months.
My problem is, that I have no clue whether people here in Germany will accept batch brew, cause I never saw somebody selling it in my area.
The other thing is that I don’t have a lot of workspace in my cafe and I’m not sure whether the Curtis will fit in. Do you maybe have some smaller suggestions?

Thanks! :slight_smile: