There is a lot to consider when sourcing equipment for a cafe: quality, reliability, cost, street cred, timber handles hand-carved by a tibetan monk. One question we get asked a lot, should I buy or lease…and by the way, do you do ‘free’ equipment. Good question, let’s break it down.


Straight forward. You buy it, you own it. Your coffee roaster should be able to pass on a discount on new equipment if you’re buying coffee through them. Pros: - Usually lowest overall cost. - Not locked in with suppliers. Cons: - You’ve got to have the money or have access to low-cost finance (like a home loan).


Specialty equipment finance (like Silverchef) has taken off over the last few years. You get to pick the equipment and they use it as security on the loan. Great if you can’t get finance through a bank. It costs more in interest, but you gain the benefit of flexibility. Pros: - Nothing to pay up-front. - You can upgrade after a set period (usually 12 months). - Not locked in with a coffee roaster. Cons: - Higher cost (when you include interest).

Loan (‘free’) from coffee roaster

If only things in life were free. Unfortunately, free (loan) equipment is like a mobile phone plan. You get something shiny and new, but you pay more for the ongoing cost - in this case, the cost of coffee per kg. That’s not to say that it can’t work, if you are turning over a high volume of coffee / week and you’re happy with the terms being offered. Pros: - Nothing to pay up-front. - You don’t have to maintain it. Cons: - Coffee costs more per kg to pay for it. - Terms with your coffee roaster can become restrictive (e.g. have to buy certain products, minimum quantities usually apply). This information is a guide only, we recommend that you talk about the options with your accountant before making a decision. Find out more about how we can help with commercial coffee equipment here. For more help on starting a new business or improving an existing business, drop us an email at or call (02) 4962 4222.