You've decided to open a coffee shop, entering the $782 billion food and drink industry. And while you might have the perfect at-home setup to make coffee, there are a lot of coffee shop equipment essentials that you'll also need.

You'll need coffee machines, espresso machines, tables, chairs and a slew of other items, but you'll also need a lot of smallware, too.

These are small items that you'll need to stock up on to be able to properly fill your coffee shop.

1. Measuring Cups

Measuring cups, tools and timers are going to be the cornerstone of your coffee shop. Consumers expect consistency, and if you're "eyeing" all of your ingredients, your shop will lack the consistency that consumers demand.

You'll want to purchase:

  • Measuring cups. Measuring cups are used to accurately add coffee grounds to filters, add water and add other ingredients. A stainless-steel measuring cup set is a must, but you'll also find quari measuring cups for liquid, measuring spoons and more.

  • Timers. Accurate brewing times mean consistency. Digital timers are needed for each coffee maker or station to ensure that the coffee is brewed with accuracy.

A good rule of thumb is to have a set of measuring cups, tools and timers for each coffee maker. A few backups never hurt either. This will allow you to keep your shop efficient even during the morning rush.

2. Napkin Holder and Napkin Dispenser

Napkin holders are a must-have. Spills can and do happen, and customers often grab one or two napkins on their way out of a coffee shop. Napkin and glove dispensers are great items to carry in any eatery or coffee shop.

Coffee shops are different than, say, a pizzeria that has napkin holders on every table.

Coffee stations, where you'll be placing sugar pourers, packets, cream and other items, will often have a few napkin holders on them.

3. Coffee Scoop

Coffee scoops are vital to the operation of any coffee shop. Scoops are used for:

  • Picking up whole coffee beans before being ground

  • Picking up ground coffee beans

Start with four coffee scoops. If you need more in the future, they're an inexpensive item to purchase.

4. Knock Box

Knock boxes help make cafes and coffee shops more efficient. Coffee shops need a knock box, or several, to allow grounds from the coffee filters to be cleaned quickly. The idea is simple:

  • Knock the grounds into the box

  • Fill the filter with fresh coffee

Knock boxes are simple and easy to clean, and they'll allow owners to keep their coffee stations neat and tidy. Most coffee shops will suffice with just one knock box thanks to the 4" depth.

5. Coffee Filter Paper and Coffee Filters

Coffee filters are vital in any coffee shop. The essence of every shop, these semi-permeable papers allow coffee to trickle through the filter while keeping the solid grounds out of the liquid. Coffee shops will find that filters are:

  • Offered in a variety of sizes

  • Come in environmentally friendly options

Coffee shops must purchase filters that match their coffee machine filter size. A good starting point is to purchase a case, or 1,000 filters at one time.

6. Cream Pitcher

Creamers are a necessity. Everyone likes their coffee differently, and fresh cream is a must-have for many coffee drinkers. Good stainless-steel creamers are ideal because the material won't leave an odd taste.

Stainless steel also has the benefit of:

  • Matching any dГ©cor

  • Being easy to clean

Creamers come in a multitude of sizes, so choose a size that best fits your coffee shop's needs. Most coffee shops will have a minimum of two cream pitchers, but feel free to have a few extras for those busy coffee rushes.

7. Sugar Pourers

Sugar pourers make it simple and easy for customers to sweeten their coffee. Easy to refill, a sugar pourer can be placed on every table, or a coffee shop can start with a coffee station that has sugar pourers, packets, cream pitchers and any other coffee necessity.

A central location for condiments and sugar is recommended.

These locations are often smaller in size and should have a minimum of two sugar pourers available.

Some customers don't want to use regular sugar, so packets should be available to meet these customers' needs. The packets that are most common include:

  • Raw sugar

  • Sweet n' Low

  • Stevia

  • Splenda

Any additional packets are an added bonus for customers that may have a different sweetener choice than others.

8. Cups and Lid Organizer

Organization is key in any business. Coffee shops need to make organization a key part of their operation, and there are organizers for:

  • Cups

  • Lids

  • Straws

Customers that are in a rush, often running late to work, prefer to make their own coffee, so these organizational tools also reduce employee time spent on serving customers.

Cup sizes will vary, but the standard cups available at most coffee shops are:

  • 8-ounce

  • 12-ounce

  • 16-ounce

Businesses often suffice with at least one lid and straw organizer, but this is highly dependent on the size of the shop and the amount of foot traffic it receives.

And these aren't the only items to add to your coffee shop equipment and supplies list. You'll also need:

  • Packet holders

  • Straw and stirrer dispensers

  • Aprons

  • Condiment organizers

  • Espresso cups

  • Syrup pumps

  • Scales

  • Tampers

These basic coffee shop equipment and tools will help you get your coffee shop up and running. As business increases, keep track of your inventory and increase the quantity of these items as needed.

Equipment Pricing Information

Coffee shop equipment cost varies, but once you have all of the basic items, you can scale your needs from there.

Coffee Shop Essentials

Cheap vs. Expensive Option

Measuring cups

$2.33 4pcs set - Winco MCP-4P
$13.39 per 1pc - Thunder Group ALKAM040

Napkin Holders

$2.45 - Winco WHW-10
$69.99 - Tork 73350

Coffee Scoops

$2.45 - Winco CSP-6

Knock Boxes

Coffee Filters

$21.99 per 1000pcs - Bunn 476

Cream Pitchers

$0.86 per 1pc - Winco BCS-3
$215.98 per 48pcs - Yanco MM-PC

Sugar Pourers

$12.14 per 12pcs - Winco G-103

Cups and Lid Organizers

$3.20 - Winco OGZ-1B
$54.99 - Winco CLSO-3T


Coffee shops are fun, exciting and can be a lucrative business. You need the right items to get started, and once you have all of the right equipment, you'll be well on your way to making your customers happy.

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