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Professional coffee machines: quality and innovation

Dispensing a superior espresso coffee is the result of a series of functions that a professional coffee machine must encompass and synthesise perfectly within an aesthetically pleasing structure.
The design and construction of a high-performance espresso machine cannot be based on technical operability alone but must consider multiple aspects: technological innovation, ergonomics and design. The final objective is to create an attractive, practical device with high technical performance that makes the bartender's daily work easier, guaranteeing quality in the cup with every coffee.

And it is precisely in this direction that the market is moving. Today, professional coffee machines are undergoing a profound revolution, embracing automation, digital interfaces, and connectivity. This has allowed baristas to spend less time on technical operations, allowing them to focus more on creativity, the search for perfect blends, and refining extraction techniques.

In this article we will discuss:

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Professional coffee machines with design: style and efficiency

The change in coffee consumption in recent years has led to an evolution in the espresso machine proposal. This is also demonstrated by the data reported by the ANIMA Assofoodtec Research Center, in which the professional espresso machine sector experienced rapid growth in 2023. In particular, Italy has taken a leadership position, generating a turnover of 500 million euros, of which 75% comes from exports.

While professional equipment was previously designed only for the HoReCa and Vending segment, today these models, which guarantee high technical performance and refined design, are being produced in a new version for the Home segment in order to meet the demands of a more demanding and selective consumer. Manufacturers have committed themselves to the development of better performing equipment, focusing on aspects of design and efficiency.

The latest coffee machines are designed with ergonomics in mind: a fundamental ally in making the operator's work processes smoother and more efficient, especially in a situation of continuous use. Designing a machine that combines attractive aesthetics with ergonomic aspects is today's challenge. More and more design studios are involved in these projects. Leading companies in the sector are looking for professionals to develop new product concepts, interpreting the values of the brand and the needs of the end target.

This is how traditional, lever-operated and super-automatic machines take on new forms and functions. Some opt for a compact and practical design with rounded and harmonious lines, and others prefer marked geometric lines and reflective panels for an avant-garde style. Whatever the layout and choice of materials, the aesthetic design must be created to enhance the technological design contained within the device.
The coffee machine designed in this new configuration becomes the protagonist at the bar counter and a furnishing object, no longer to be confined to the kitchen.


Design coffee machine


Lighting in professional coffee machines

When designing a designer coffee machine, the lighting part also needs to be properly studied and defined. Understanding which lighting component is the most appropriate to install in the device and which can fit perfectly into the product layout is not easy. There are a number of critical aspects to take into account, which are listed below: light output, source overheating, source waterproofing and vapour insulation. For this reason, it is essential to rely on professionals in the sector, who know how to support planners, designers and engineers in defining and implementing the creative idea they have in mind.

Various lights can be integrated into coffee dispensers, depending on whether the purpose is purely aesthetic or functional. Optical fibre is a first type: through such profiles, it is possible to enhance the contours of the side panels to define the shape of the body with light effects. Another eye-catching solution is backlighting: providing a system of this type for certain components of the machine means using LED or other sources to backlight the keyboard, the display or the company logo itself on the front panel. When defining the design, it is useful to study the spaces for positioning the lights intended to illuminate the work area. Choosing the optimum source to illuminate the dispensing process allows the operator optimal visual control. In this case, LED technology lends itself to being positioned inside the dispensing unit to make all processes visible.

coffee machine lighting

Professional coffee machines: the use of LEDs

Of all the different lighting options, LED is one of the most effective lighting technologies for designer coffee machines. High energy savings, high luminous efficiency and low working temperatures are among the main advantages.
The solution can be used as a simple illuminated control and indicator button, or as a more complex system mounted on a printed circuit board for aesthetic purposes, for a more sophisticated professional coffee machine design. The LED source, cleverly installed in the housing of the device, allows for high-impact chromatic effects. This makes it the undisputed star of the restyling of designer machines. The LED lighting,  whether monochromatic or set to the RGB system, can be incorporated into the cup warmer area to highlight the shelf, or installed concealed on the contour of the panels, enhancing the shapes and materials of the appliance. The wide range of colours available also helps to further customise the machine at the various stages of drink preparation.


coffee machine LED button


It is from the study of the LED source, after a phase of research and implementation, that we succeeded in designing a high-efficiency lighting system, which can be applied to the dispensing systems. We are talking about micro-LED spotlights, small but high-powered light sources that, when inserted in the coffee dispensing area, focus attention on the drink, enhancing its colors. Our range of micro spotlights includes several models that can be installed in different coffee machine configurations.


SLIM's mission is to "Give light to ideas". We put our experience in the creation of lighting components at the disposal of professionals who are looking for a lighting solution for their devices.

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