When picking a generator for your mobile coffee cart or truck, there's going to be a couple of first questions that you have to ask yourself.
Gas vs. Diesel vs. Propane
I personally like gas generators for the following reasons:
- Gas is easiest to find
- Gas mechanics are easier to find
- Better resale value
- More sellers, which means more variety to pick from
220v vs. 110v
If you are in the USA and using a commercial espresso machine (2 groupheads), you most likely need a 220v machine.
Most 220v have 110v that come with them.
If your espresso machine is using 1 grouphead, its probably 110v.
Most 220v generators are loud and pricey. Generally, they start with over 4,000 watts and over 70 decibels. And on the low-end, $600. They quickly move up from there. Sky is the limit.
Generally, anything above 70 decibels, you cannot have a conversation next to. Anything below, you can.
If your generator is 70+ decibels and you are mounting it to the front or back of your trailer/truck, you should be fine. There will be the hum of your generator in the background but it won't interfere with conversation.
Honda makes the quietest, but it comes with a price.
Not all Equipment are Ran at The Same Time...
One of the things I quickly noticed is that I do not run my espresso coffee grinder and my blender at the same time. So it doesn't make much sense that I buy a generator so big it covers both appliances. Also, I don't use much hot water throughout my day, so I only plug that in the morning when I'm getting ready then I nurse the tank through out the shift. I use cold brew for my drip coffee, so I was able to scrap the need for a coffee machine/pot.
Buy a Good Warranty
If you can, shoot for a 3 year warranty.
Here is some generators that I liked:
Westinghouse 7500 Generator: https://amzn.to/3b0GWKW
Champion 7500 Dual Fuel: https://amzn.to/2wZNURI
Honda 7000i: https://amzn.to/2UaWbu5
Some other Generator essentials:
40’ Generator Cord: https://amzn.to/3b0Z1s9
Generator Adapter: https://amzn.to/2WiJLCS