Find the right equipment & partners
Ensure customer service & guard against loss of revenue
Regular equipment maintenance is an essential part of delivering coffee quality and ensuring your tills are always ringing. Find equipment engineers and part suppliers that support your objectives on United Baristas Workshop.
United Baristas Workshop allows baristas to find engineers in their area, and to rate the quality of their work
Sam, head of coffee, Grind
Our Workshop partner is the parts supplier Espresso Solutions. Founded in 2011, they are a vibrant family-owned business in Crawley who stock parts of most major makes and models of coffee equipment. Many reputable engineers purchase their parts from Espresso Solutions and you can too by using the parts finder on their website.
Schedule regular preventative maintenance work in advance and have a relationship with an engineer should you require an urgent call out. Many service contacts run for 12 months; have two, three or four site visits per annum; include a boiler inspection and certificate; include labour and minor parts, but exclude major parts and repair work as a result of damage. Most businesses should take out service contracts to reduce operational hassle, guard against loss of revenue, protect the resell value of equipment and spread maintenance costs evenly across the year.
Many engineers are available for ad hoc call outs to service or repair equipment. Always make sure the engineer knows the make, model and year of the item and has a good understanding of the issue before the appointment so that they have opportunity to source parts. If you call out an engineer more than once per year it is probably more cost effective to take out a service contact.
Major maintenance or repair work and some jobs, such as descaling, need to take place in a workshop. Many engineers have limited workshop facilities and will send the machine to a workshop owned by one of the larger service companies. There is no issue with this, just make sure you know where and by whom your machine is being serviced.
Modifications and customisations
There are a variety of cosmetic and performance improvements that can be made to most espresso machines including wraps, paint jobs, custom parts and equipment upgrades.
Minor maintenance work can be done after basic training and most coffee professionals and businesses are eligible for trade pricing from key parts suppliers.
What to look for when choosing a service partner
There are over 100 engineers in the UK servicing the independent and specialty coffee industry. With so much choice, it can be challenging to identify the right service partner for your needs. Here’s some tips:
- Make sure that they have access to authentic parts and have a working relationship with your espresso machine manufacturer. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the UK parts supplier to check they purchase from them or call your equipment manufacturer to check their claims
- Read reviews on United Baristas Workshop, ask around the coffee community and ask them for a reference
- Make sure that they are reasonably local. Otherwise you’ll end up being indirectly charged if the travel distances are significant or the work will be sub-contracted to a third party
- Build a shortlist of two or three engineers you think might suit your needs and get them in for a coffee to view your equipment and to ask them to quote for a one year service contact. Make sure you ask each of the engineers to quote for the same level of service and be clear about your expectations
- Learn the basics so you can readily and accurately communicate equipment issues
We launched United Baristas Workshop in 2016 following frequent requests from the United Baristas community for reputable coffee equipment engineer recommendations. Instead of providing recommendations for our specific experience, we build a platform that would allow baristas to find, rate and review engineers so that experience could be more readily shared across the coffee community.