Are you trying to find the right commercial espresso machine for your business? In this Nuova Simonelli Appia 2 review, we'll help you figure out if this machine is going to suit your needs.
After you've read this review, you'll know...
- Which of the Nuova Simonelli Appia 2's key features work hardest for your business.
- Some tips for choosing the best configuration of this espresso machine.
- How the Appia 2 compares to other models like it.
- What types of operations to buy this machine for.
- Crucial background information on the brand and its history.
Let's dive in...
MAJESTY COFFEE SCHOOL
Did you know that when you shop with Majesty Coffee for The Appia 2 you get upgraded to our GOLD warranty package for FREE?
Key Features And What They Mean
Raised Group Heads
This is an excellent feature for cafes that offer (or plan to offer) beverages in multiple standard sizes. With raised group heads, you'll easily be able to fit large cups right underneath.
Why is this important? Because it saves time and the espresso. If you can't fit cups under the group heads, you'll brew into shot glasses, then transfer the espresso to cups. This takes longer and disturbs that perfect layer of crema you need for the best latte art.
Push Pull Steam
This ergonomic element of design is actually pretty ingenious. You'll see lots of different steam mechanisms on espresso machines, from twist knobs to levers, but the push-pull control is one of the most user-friendly.
To steam, the barista pulls the trigger forward. To stop, all the barista needs to do is push the lever, and it will automatically return to its off position.
As there's no twisting or hard pulling and pushing required, a long day on the machine won't wear your baristas out.
Soft Infusion System
This system is related to pre-infusion, a method of wetting the ground coffee in an initial phase of brewing to ensure even extraction, maximum flavor and perfect crema.
Part of the beauty of this system is that it's a safeguard against improperly tamped espresso. Even the most skilled baristas' tamping can be off from time to time, but with the soft-infusion system, poor tamping won't affect the quality of the product.
Automating aspects of coffee extraction is not the only way to ensure quality. The reverse mirror on the Appia II provides more of a 360 view of the brew cycle so that you can see it from every angle.
The machine's back plate functions as a mirror, letting the barista visually monitor brewing. Combined with other key features of the Appia II, the barista can easily keep track of multiple indicators of extraction success as well as problems to correct.
Cool Touch Wands
This is kind of like a free gift to your baristas. Steam wand burns are usually part of the territory, but not with this feature.
The Cool Touch Wand does just that—it makes for a cooler wand to cut down on burn hazards while steaming milk or cleaning the wands afterward. Plus, it reduces milk crusting that's hard to take off, making cleanup much easier.
Cleaning the machine at the end of each day is absolutely essential. The automation of the Appia II's cleaning system means that baristas can simply press a button for the group that needs to be cleaned.
Your machine will be cleaned quickly, painlessly and thoroughly with this feature, enhancing efficiency and promoting product quality.
Note: Each configuration of these espresso machines have options to select the amount of groupheads that you need.
This is the perfect choice for the shop owner with limited space, or even for a home user looking for an espresso machine that won't monopolize the kitchen counter.
The Appia II Compact shaves off a hefty nine inches from the width of the original machine so that it's more economical in terms of space usage. It does this without sacrificing any utility with its two group heads and steam wands.
The Appia II Semiautomatic is the machine for technically proficient baristas. Its semi-automated system gives them greater control over espresso production, including complete control over the start and end of the process.
This can be a boon to some businesses looking to cultivate a more analog experience without going fully manual.
If you're looking at the Appia II Volumetric, it's probably because you need a machine that can accommodate users of various skill levels while maintaining quality consistency.
Here's the way this machine works: The barista programs the espresso volumes and pulls shots at those levels all day long, guaranteeing product uniformity and optimal quality for every drink and customer.
This also frees baristas up to engage more with the clientele or start working on other drink orders. If your business is customer-focused, this may be the machine for you.
Appia life line
Since the original date of this article, Nuova Simonelli has released their Appia Life line of espresso machines. This line makes many upgrades to the Appia II and is worth your consideration as well.
Like the Appia II, the Appia Life comes in several configurations. Check them out below and click on any of them for more information.
As the counterpart to the Appia II Compact, the Appia Life Compact is designed with the same goal in mind: to create an espresso machine with a remarkably small footprint.
The main upgrade to this design is its extreme energy efficiency. With additional boiler insulation, the Appia Life Compact doesn't need to fight to stay up to temperature. This means it uses 13% less energy than its Appia II predecessors.
The Appia Life Volumetric is what you should choose if you want the energy-efficiency associated with the Appia Life, but with an increase in productivity.
As you can see, it gives you the opportunity to purchase it with multiple groups. In fact, you can get the machine with anywhere from one to three group heads.
Additionally, as a volumetric machine, it's the epitome of user-friendliness. No need to worry about inconsistencies in shot quality from barista to barista, because it will time the duration of the dose for you.
Do you have extremely skilled baristas who have the knowledge and experience to craft great espresso time and time again? Then what you may be looking for is a machine like the Appia Life Semiautomatic.
Like the other Appia Life models, it offers you supreme energy efficiency. Rather than controlling the timing of the dose, though, it will give your employees total control over extraction.
This is a machine that seasoned baristas will truly shine on.
Like the Nuova Simonelli Appia II Compact, this La Spaziale S9 Compact machine is designed to take up minimal space. It's volumetric, making it most comparable to the volumetric version of the Appia II Compact.
For the functionality, economical space usage and price, these two machines can be assessed side-by-side to see if one offers you significant advantages over the other.
Here are two machines that are very similar by nature as they're made by the same company. We'll compare the 2 Group models of the Appia II and Aurelia II lines.
You'll get pretty much all the same functions from these machines, including:
- The T3 system
- Volumetric dosing
- LCD display
- Raised group heads
- Soft infusion system
The Aurelia II can be thought of as a more fine-tuned line, which accounts for its slightly higher price. In terms of what these machines can do, you'll see similar applications and results.
This machine is most similar to the Nuova Simonelli Appia II Volumetric with two groups, two steam wands and a fully volumetric design.
One thing that differentiates these machines is that the Appia II Volumetric has raised group heads for various cup sizes. However, the La Pavoni Bar 2V is priced slightly more conservatively.
As always, consider the needs of your business. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to espresso equipment.
About the Brand
Nuova Simonelli has been in the business of constructing innovative espresso machines since 1936. The creator of the T3 technology system, this company has been named the official machine of the World Barista Championship.
Nuova Simonelli is trusted by professional baristas around the world and makes numerous machine lines, including the Musica, the Oscar II and the Aurelia Wave.
Ideal Machine Applications
Since different businesses and individuals need different functions from their espresso machines, it's important to know which models are best adapted to which user.
The Appia II Compact makes an ideal machine for home users and businesses that see low to medium levels of customer traffic. This goes for coffee shops, restaurants, offices and businesses that just want to offer a quality espresso beverage to their clientele.
Both the Appia II Semiautomatic and Volumetric machines are better suited to medium or high-volume businesses, namely restaurants, cafes and coffee shops. They offer the efficiency and production capacity most busy establishments need.
What Customers Say
Generally, we hear that this company's products are an industry professional's dream.
They're attractive and highly functional for the barista on a mission to make the perfect shot of espresso every time.
Nearly every customer we've had that's bought one of these machines have been happy with their investment.
Though more groups and high-tech features will generally raise the cost of an espresso machine, we price ours with a range of budgets in mind.
One of the most economical options is the Nuova Simonelli Appia II Compact in the 5,000 to 6,000 dollar range with two groups and semiautomatic, volumetric and "autosteam" options.
The Appia II Semiautomatic ranges from 3,000 to 6,000 dollars based on number of groups (one to two).
In the 4,000 to 8,000 dollar range are the Appia II Volumetric machines, which come with one to three groups and an option for "autosteam" on the one-group.
For expert service and the best prices, be sure to check out these machines on Majesty Coffee:
- Nuova Simonelli Appia II Compact
- Nuova Simonelli Appia II Semiautomatic
- Nuova Simonelli Appia II Volumetric
- La Spaziale S9 Compact 2 Group Volumetric
- Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II Semiautomatic
- La Pavoni Commercial Volumetric BAR T 2V
Nuova Simonellie Appia Life Compact
- Nuova Simonelli Appia Life Volumetric
- Nuova Simonelli Appia Life Semiautomatic