If I Don’t Purchase From Espresso Outlet, What Espresso Machine Retailer Do You Recommend?
This is a question we get from time to time, so we decided to do a post and answer the question in case other people are asking the same thing. We obviously think our company is great, but we certainly realize there are other places to purchase espresso machines, grinders, and brewers. These are the companies we’ve found to have the best reviews, customer service and product offerings. If you decide not to purchase with Espresso Outlet, we think these are some good companies to consider.
Chris Coffee Service
Chris Coffee is a great company with great products, service, and the employees are very knowledgeable. Chris Nachtrieb, the owner, founded the company in 1975. As you will see in a lot of their marketing material, Chris started the business in his 1975 El Camino Super Sport. He went door to door to find his first customers, many of whom are still customers with the company to this day. Since then he and his wife Pattie have grown the business to have over 50 employees and they roast over 100,000 lbs a month in coffee. They carry a wide range of home espresso machines, commercial espresso machines, grinders, accessories, brewers, blenders, parts and, ofcourse, coffee. The are based in Albany, New York. In reviews, something that shows up a lot is about how good their service techs are when there are any issues with their products. They also appreciate that Chris the owner will many times respond to customers directly. If you go on Coffee Geek or Home Barista forums, there are a lot of forum posts where people speak positively about the company. Ofcourse, there are some negative reviews, a lot of them relating to shipping damage (something that can happen with any retailer), but overall the sentiment is quite positive.
Clive Coffee is another company on our top US espresso machine retailer list. It’s hard to beat the great photos they have on the website. The specialize in not only great espresso machine brands, but also great looking espresso machines. A tagline that they have is “Beautiful espresso at home.” They have a showroom in Portland Oregon where customers can see high end espresso machines, grinders, coffee makers, and accessories in person. People that have been to the showroom almost always have good things to say about it. They also sell roasted coffee that gets good reviews. On their website they talk about how they love to offer personalized service to their customers and from reviews that is what they do. They have a great About page where you can see bios of all their staff, which helps create a personalized feel to their service and it helps show that they value each of their employees enough to included them on their website. The negative reviews (everyone has some) seem to be mostly related to products that had an issue, not really with the customer service that the company provides.
Whole Latte Love
Whole Latte Love may be the largest espresso machine retailer in the United States. It could be Seattle Coffee Gear, but we aren’t sure. According to tools that estimate web traffic, both get similar amounts of traffic. They have a good website with a lot of detailed product pages, articles, how to information, videos, and a lot of other supporting materials. According to their website, they have been in the business since 1997. It is a family owned business that grew out of the family basement to a company that has a large headquarter building as well as several warehouse buildings. According to their website they serve millions of customers throughout the United States. We aren’t sure how many employees they have but it must be quite a few to service so many customers. According to their website they take pride in being experts in the business, having great customer service, and good warranties. Positive reviews talk about customer service, having a good choice in espresso machines and grinders, having competitive prices, great coffee choices, free shipping and no sales tax in many states. On Google business they are rated with 4.4 stars at the time of this posting (3/11/2020), so most reviews are quite positive when you average it out of the 391 reviews on Google. The negative reviews tend to be about perceived poor customer service, products getting damaged in shipping and other shipping related issues. They also have a lot of reviews on Trust Pilot with a high rating there as well. You can go through the reviews and make up your mind, but our opinion is Whole Latte Love is a good company.
Seattle Coffee Gear
Seattle Coffee Gear is another large espresso machine retailer. They may be as large or larger than Whole Latte Love. According to various web traffic monitoring tools they get hundreds of thousands of visitors every month. They have a ton of Youtube videos on all kinds of espresso machine, grinders, and coffee related topics. Gale has kind of become the face of the company as she is in so many of the videos. They have a good product offering and they have two retail locations where you can actually go and see the product. Most espresso machine retailers ship all over the country, but many don’t have showrooms, so if you are in the area where Seattle Coffee Gear is located stopping in and seeing the equipment in person is a nice benefit of working with the company. According to their website, they take pride in offering low pressure sales advice and finding equipment that is a good match for your needs. They also take pride in having in house authorized repairs for the brands they carry. Reviews of the company tend to be quite positive. A lot of people like their videos (of course!), helpful sales representatives, and the speed of shipping. A lot of reviewers mention specific people by name when making reviews, so it seems that Seattle Coffee Gear does a good job with having a personal approach when interacting with customers. Most people speak positively about customer service, but some reviewers show frustration with after sales support and when there are shipping related damage issues (sometimes those do take some time to figure out, so they are probably not Seattle Coffee Gear’s fault). Overall, our opinion is that Seattle Coffee Gear is a good company.
Prima Coffee Equipment
We don’t think Prima Coffee is as big as Chris Coffee, Seattle Coffee Gear, or Whole Latte Love, but they have been in the business for quite awhile (we couldn’t find the exact year) and they have many good reviews. They are located in Kentucky. According to a counter on their website, at the time of this posting (3/11/2020) they have, “52,445 people brewing better with gear from Prima Coffee Equipment”. They have a full line of gear for both home and business. They don’t have as many videos as Seattle Coffee Gear or Whole Latte Love, but they do have a lot of informative videos. Positive reviews talk about great customer service pre and post-sale. They don’t have as many reviews as the other companies, but in the reviews, we didn’t find any negative themes. Overall, we consider Prima Coffee Equipment a good company to do business with.