Equipment For A Mobile Coffee Truck (A Complete Checklist)

Last Updated on November 8, 2021 by John Moretti

A beautiful day starts with coffee, right? There is a coffee truck that often parks a block away from my house. There is always a line of customers seduced by the smell of brewing coffee waiting patiently to get their caffeine fix. A mobile coffee truck is a great business to get in to. But what equipment would you need to operate a mobile coffee truck?

To operate a Mobile Coffee Truck, you need – an espresso machine, an espresso coffee grinder, and a commercial coffee grinder, a drip coffee maker, and an Airpot coffee brewer, refrigerator-freezer, power generator, and a POS system.  It is also worth investing in a water filter and blender.

Most people cannot function without coffee, and its popularity is getting more popular. A mobile coffee truck is an excellent business venture. With high-profit margins and comparatively minimal equipment needed, a mobile coffee truck is a recipe for success. 

Espresso Machine

Jura E6 Automatic Coffee Center, Platinum
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The espresso machine is arguably the most important piece of equipment you will buy for your Mobile Coffee Truck. Offering a plain, black brew is not what will drive sales. You want repeat customers. People go back to coffee shops and coffee trucks time and time again because of the delicious mochas, lattes, cappuccinos, and iced coffees that are on offer. 

You may be tempted to buy an espresso machine that is intended for home use because commercial espresso machines are much bigger, taking up a lot of counter space, space that is already of short supply in a truck. However, you will need a commercial espresso machine to meet the varying needs of your customers. 

It is better to choose a semi-automatic or super-automatic machine as manual “level” controlled commercial espresso machines are more labor-intensive to use.

If you are a skilled barista and want to offer the best quality drinks – go with a semi-automatic commercial espresso machine. You will need to pull shots and froth milk manually, so making coffee will require a bit of effort.

The super-automatic is the commercial espresso machine of choice if you are looking for an effort-free way to make coffee. The coffee will not be the highest quality, but it will be made quickly, with little skill required at the press of a button.

Your espresso machine is an investment so buy the best model you can afford. Spend a bit of time learning how to operate it so you can take advantage of all its features.

Coffee Grinders

OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
$9.79 ($1.63 / Count)

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The quality of the grind is what gives coffee its taste, so choose a grinder that won’t destroy the coffee by burning or over-grinding the beans.

You will need at least two conical burr espresso grinders, one for regular espresso beans and the other for decaf. These grinders need to produce a fine grind that is required to make espresso-based drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, and machos.

Also, buy a commercial coffee grinder that is capable of grinding a high volume of beans in a timely manner. This is for making plain, black coffee.

Don’t use the same grinder to grind both flavored and plain coffee, as there will be traces of the flavorings in each blend.

Drip Coffee Maker and Airpot Brewer

BUNN VP17-3, 12-Cup Low Profile Pourover Commercial Coffee Maker, 3 Lower Warmers, 13300.0003
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While most of your customers will be lining up for fancy beverages, there will be some who just want a good old-fashioned cup of joe. To save you time and so that you can concentrate your efforts on making vanilla spice Macchiatos, it is a good idea to have a drip coffee maker or Airpot brewer. This way, when a customer requests a simple cup of java, all you have to do is pour it out.

Refrigerator and Freezer

You will need a commercial refrigerator and freezer that is specifically designed for a mobile food business. The refrigerator and freezer need not be huge – you just need to store milk and ice to make iced beverages. 

Power Generator

Champion Power Equipment 100302 4000-Watt RV Ready Open Frame Inverter, Yellow
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Equipment like your water filtration system, your blender, and coffee grinder may require a portable power source. This means that you will need to buy a portable power generator. When choosing a power generator, make sure it is silent; the last thing you need is constant noise in a small coffee truck. Also, choose a power generator that is large enough to run all of your equipment.

POS System

And because you’re in the business to make money, you need a reliable and easy-to-use mobile payment system called a POS system. You will lose out on a lot of business if you don’t have card payment facilities, as many people don’t carry cash. The POS system allows your customers to make card payments with ease.

Water Filter

A delicious cup of coffee needs to be made with quality water. Since coffee is made up primarily of water, the water has a huge impact on the taste.  If the water you use to make the coffee has a high mineral content, not only will it have an effect on the taste of the coffee, but, over time, it will also damage your espresso machine. To ensure consistency in the taste of the coffee you will be offering, consider buying a water filtration system.


Although not essential, a blender is nice to have because it will allow you to expand your menu, and in turn make more sales. Certain drinks like frappuccinos require blended ice. 

You could also make coffee-based smoothies, which are especially popular during the summertime. 

The Bottom Line

The food truck business is a burgeoning industry. Winter or summer, rain or shine, coffee will always be in demand. Be sure to offer consistently good coffee to stand out from the many other coffee sellers out there and ensure customers keep coming back. 

Having an expansive range from steaming lattes to refreshing iced coffees as well as an array of must-try flavors will ensure that you have something for almost every taste and preference and keep you in business all year round.