In this guide, we're comparing the Nuova Simonelli Appia II vs Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II. We'll detail all of the crucial information you need to decide which commercial espresso machine is right for you.
Here is what you'll learn...
- The key features all of the Appia II and Aurelia II configurations share.
- Key differences between the Appia II and Aurelia II configurations, including price points.
- Which machine you should buy depending on your business needs.
Nuova Simonelli Appia II
The Appia II machines are excellent choices for medium to high traffic volume restaurants and cafes that set the bar high for espresso service. Choose one of the Appia II configurations if you want fast and efficient production or you need a compact size option.
Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II
Created with advanced technology like the T3 system and a new LCD display, the Aurelia II is perfect for specialty coffee shops. Go with the Aurelia II if you plan to enter barista competitions or you just want that kind of espresso machine quality for your cafe.
A basic but defining similarity between the Nuova Simonelli Appia II with the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II is the direct-connect design.
Direct-connect espresso machines hook up to a water line to provide a continuous water supply. This is particularly important for businesses that feature espresso service—you don't want to clog up the line by needing to stop and refill a reservoir running dry.
You can also install a water filter or softener in a direct-connect espresso machine. This will improve the quality of your water and the flavor of the espresso.
It'll also help with the maintenance and longevity of the machine as it will protect against rapid scale buildup that can break the machine down.
Soft Infusion System
Soft infusion is a feature you'll find in many premium espresso machines. Its primary purpose is to ensure better flavor extraction from the espresso.
When the soft infusion system is triggered, a low-pressure jet of water is released to saturate the coffee grounds without disturbing them, reaching all of the particles for even extraction when the full-pressure water stream is released.
The reason this system has such high business value is that it automatically corrects incorrect tamping that could result in poor extraction and espresso flavor. The more consistently excellent your product is, the greater trust you'll build in your customers.
With a soft infusion system in both the Nuova Simonelli Appia II and the Aurelia II, newbies and experts alike operating these espresso machines can expect a high-quality result for their efforts.
Raised Group Heads
If your business provides multiple cup sizes, you'll see the value in an espresso machine with raised group heads right away.
Just like it sounds, raised group heads let you brew into tall cups. This makes your production line faster and more efficient.
Without this design, you'd need to brew into shot glasses or smaller cups first and then transfer the espresso, which takes up more time and can break that beautiful layer of crema.
A quick note about this feature:
All of the Nuova Simonelli Appia II and Aurelia II configurations come with raised group heads except the Aurelia II T3 Semiautomatic and the two-group version of the Appia II Semiautomatic.
The Aurelia II T3 Volumetric and the one-group Appia II Semiautomatic have raised group heads.
Push Pull Steam
Long hours on an espresso machine with a less than ergonomic design will tire your baristas out faster.
Both of the Nuova Simonelli models have push-pull steam triggers instead of turning steam triggers.
Push-pull steaming allows baristas to tap the steam wand on and off so that they don't wear out their wrists with twist knobs.
As trained baristas and espresso enthusiasts know, keeping a close eye on the brew process is essential for maintaining high standards of quality.
The reverse mirror built into the back plate of the Appia II and Aurelia II gives you visual access to all of the angles while brewing.
You'll be able to closely monitor the espresso color, consistency and other key indicators of quality without even needing to bend down.
Cool Touch Wands
Have you ever been burned by a steam wand before? It's pretty common when you're cleaning the wand after steaming or leaning a little to close, unless you have Cool Touch wands.
The Appia II and Aurelia II Cool Touch wands won't reach hazardous temperatures, protecting you from burns.
A bonus is that the cooler temperature prevents milk from caking onto the wands, resulting in easy cleaning.
Thoroughly cleaning the espresso machine at the end of the day is a vital aspect of machine maintenance. However, it's time consuming when done manually.
These Nuova Simonelli machines come with automated cleanings, which means that you can interact with the digital display to select a group for self cleaning.
The purpose of automation in any aspect of your machine is to increase efficiency and consistency. For businesses, this can have a great impact on your bottom line.
Bar Pump Gauge
Having a bar pump gauge is excellent for helping you monitor internal aspects of the brew process.
By keeping an eye out for drops in pump pressure you'll be able to determine whether you need to make changes to your brew ratio.
You'll also be able to tell if it's time to replace the pump. In this way, the bar pump gauge is like a built-in maintenance guide.
Some of the Appia II and Aurelia II espresso machines feature volumetric dosing while others don't. But whether they're volumetric or not, they all incorporate manual dosing.
To use a manual dosing feature, you have one button to press to begin and end the brew cycle. In other words, you are controlling the amount of water the machine doses, and ultimately the espresso volume.
Some of the Appia II and Aurelia II espresso machines operate solely by manual dosing (specifically the semiautomatic configurations).
Volumetric machines (or automatic espresso machines) are programmed to automatically dose the correct volume of water for brewing at the push of a button.
Both the Aurelia II and Appia II models come in volumetric (automatic dosing) configurations and semiautomatic (manual dosing) configurations.
In the Aurelia II model, there are five configurations:
- Aurelia II Volumetric
- Aurelia II Semiautomatic
- Aurelia II Digit
- Aurelia II T3 Volumetric
- Aurelia II T3 Semiautomatic
Only the Aurelia II Semiautomatic and Aurelia II T3 Semiautomatic rely solely on manual dosing.
The Aurelia II Volumetric, Digit and T3 Volumetric have volumetric dosing in addition to a manual dosing option.
Here are the configurations the Appia II comes in:
- Appia II Volumetric
- Appia II Semiautomatic
- Appia II Compact Volumetric
- Appia II Compact Semiautomatic
Like the Aurelia II configurations, the Appia II configurations that offer only manual dosing are semiautomatic: the Appia II Semiautomatic and the Appia II Compact Semiautomatic.
The Appia II Volumetric and Appia II Compact Volumetric feature both volumetric and manual dosing.
Basically, what the Aurelia II and Appia II have on common here is the combination of volumetric and manual dosing in some of their configurations. If you look at other commercial espresso machines, you'll often find that they offer one or the other.
Having both options is powerful for businesses. The volumetric dosing will be fast, efficient and consistent while the manual button will let you brew custom espresso shots upon request on the fly.
T3 Technology in the Aurelia II
One of the major features that distinguishes the Aurelia II from the Appia II is the Aurelia II's T3 technology.
This system consists of multiple copper boilers that allow you to adjust the temperatures for each group head independently.
You'll gain unprecedented thermal accuracy and control of the primary boiler, group boiler and group head temperatures. Ultimately, this means greater extraction flexibility for different coffee profiles.
*Note that only the T3 configuration of the Aurelia II comes with T3 technology.
Compact Size Option in the Appia II
The Appia II comes in a compact configuration that's easy to maneuver in tight spots with little counter space.
The Appia II Compact is 22 inches long, 21 inches high and 22 inches wide, which is pretty conservative for a two-group machine.
For comparison, the standard two-group Appia II Volumetric and Appia II Semiautomatic machines are 31 inches in length.
The Aurelia II configurations are all a bit larger, with the two-group machines measured at 33 inches long, 23 inches high and 23 inches wide.
LCD Display in the Aurelia II
The Aurelia II Digit and T3 configurations both come with an LCD display (like the Appia II model, the Aurelia II Volumetric and Semiautomatic are sans LCD display).
The high-resolution LCD display makes for easy programming of major functions like pre-infusion, boiler pressure, dosages, and energy savings settings.
The greater control and ability to make speedy adjustments to all of these elements sets the Aurelia II Digit and T3 apart, even from other high-end espresso machines.
Power Saving Options in the Aurelia II
Each of the Aurelia II configurations comes with energy saving options. Lower energy consumption reduces your electricity bill and increases your ROI.
Especially if you have many machines running on electricity in your shop, energy conservation can become quite a vital feature.
It's also kind to the earth—an easy and simple way to reduce your carbon footprint.
Surface LEDs in the Aurelia II
It goes without saying that you need to be able to see what you're doing when you're operating an espresso machine. But this can go beyond simply flipping the light switch on in the cafe.
The Aurelia II is designed with LEDs around the machine to ensure that the work area is well lit, even in low-light situations.
It's akin to working with a flashlight versus relying on a diffused light source that may not fully reach your work area.
Per group, the Aurelia II has a larger boiler capacity in comparison to the Appia II.
Except for the Appia II Compact, which has two groups and a 7.5-liter boiler, the other Appia II configurations have the following boiler capacity:
- 1 group: 5 liters
- 2 group: 11 liters
- 3 group: 15 liters
You can see that the Aurelia II has a little more boiler power for each group:
- 2 group: 14 liters
- 3 group: 17 liters
- 4 group: 20 liters
The bigger the boiler, the more volume in espresso drinks the machine can handle.
Number of Groups Available
Both the Aurelia II and the Appia II come in multiple group options, but the Appia II is the only model with single-group options.
Depending on which configuration you get, you have options of one to three groups with the Appia II. If you go with the Aurelia II, you can choose from two to four groups.
Here's a breakdown of the group options for each model:
1 or 2 groups:
- Appia II Semiautomatic
2 groups only:
- Appia II Compact (Volumetric and Semiautomatic)
2 or 3 groups:
- Aurelia II T3 (Volumetric has two groups, Semiautomatic has three groups)
- Aurelia II Volumetric
- Aurelia II Semiautomatic
1, 2 or 3 groups:
- Appia II Volumetric
2, 3 or 4 groups:
- Aurelia II Digit
The bigger your business, the more groups you'll need.
The Appia II falls within the $3,000 to $4,000 range for single-group machines and the $5,000 to low $7,000 range for two-group machines.
The three-group Appia II Volumetric is below $9,000, making it an economical option for a high-volume cafe.
As a sort of upgraded version of the Appia II, the Aurelia II comes with sophisticated features that raise the price.
The two-group Aurelia II machines fall within the $8,000 to $15,000 range, the three-group machines are priced approximately between $9,000 and $17,000, and the four-group Aurelia Digit is just under $18,000.
So Which Should You Buy?
There will be many factors in your decision making process when comparing any two espresso machines, including product features, business type and budget.
In many ways, assessing the product features is tied to assessing your business type. If you have a high-volume business, you'll be looking for multiple groups and larger boilers.
Most likely, you'll also need automated functions like volumetric dosing to make espresso production fast and efficient.
Both the Aurelia II and the Appia II can accommodate medium to high volume businesses, with the exception of the Appia II Compact. With its lower boiler capacity and small size, it's ideal for lower volume establishments, or even home or office use.
The Aurelia II has the most power to keep up with a fast pace and high demand as well as advanced features like the T3 system for fine-tuning and improving the quality of your product.
For this reason, the Aurelia II tends to be the better choice for medium to large specialty coffee shops, barista competitors and establishments that set the bar high for quality.
If finding the most economical machine is at the top of your list as you shop for an espresso machine, the Appia II may be the perfect choice.
The Appia II is more stripped-down in terms of technological features. But if your goal is to provide great espresso and steady service in a medium or larger cafe or restaurant, the Appia II is highly accommodating.
If you're wondering whether you should go with a volumetric or semiautomatic configuration in any of these machines, consider your skill level and the skill levels of anyone who will be using the machine.
Are all the operators at different points in their barista training? Are some brand new to using an espresso machine?
If this sounds about right, you may want to go with a volumetric machine as it will provide consistent results for anyone operating the machine.
Remember, too, that all of the Appia II and Aurelia II configurations come with manual dosing options so that you can get more creative and customize drink orders. The big question is whether you want the guaranteed consistency of the volumetric dosing.
Here's the bottom line:
The Appia II is a great economical choice for medium to higher volume cafes, offices, restaurants and even prosumers.
For medium to high volume specialty and high-end coffee shops, cafes and establishments looking for barista championship quality, the Aurelia II is our top pick.
Check the latest pricing for the machines below...