Top Coffee Cart Generators Revealed

Top Coffee Cart Generators Revealed
4.3 | 12 votes

Starting a mobile coffee cart business? Before you start honing your milk frothing, you need enough portable power to run the coffee machine. Here, we look at the best coffee cart generator on the market.

Operating a coffee cart with a generator is the best way to expand your business into new locations as it eliminates the need for a mains power connection. The type of generator you choose for your coffee van business will depend on a number of factors.

coffee cart generator

Having a portable generator allows you to operate your coffee business anywhere

First and foremost the genset needs to be portable, so it doesn’t take up too much space in your van and can be easily moved from A to B. It also needs to have sufficient rated output to power your coffee machine, coffee grinder etc. The bigger the coffee machine, the bigger the generator needs to be. (If you need help determining what size generator, check out our simple step by step guide here)

Another factor to consider is noise output: you don’t want your caffeine-deficient customers to have to shout their coffee order over the roar of your generator!

The good news is there are plenty of generators out there that are ideal for your needs and to satisfy your size, noise and power level requirements as stated above… The best option is a portable inverter generator. This type of generator includes a lightweight microprocessor (the inverter) that replaces the heavy alternator found in conventional-style generators to provide a stable sine wave delivery. Perfect for powering sensitive appliances such as laptops, TV’s, phones and other electronic appliances.

There are some great inverter generators on the market… and some not so great ones. Here, we’ve done the dirty work (i.e. consumed lots of coffee) to find the best of the bunch:

1.     Yamaha EF6300iSE

By far the best choice coffee carts generator, this inverter generator is large enough to comfortably power your beloved coffee machine, grinder, fridges, tills, lights etc. It’s also a popular choice for food vans. Because most coffee machines and grinders need more power than the average portable generator can provide, the 6300 watts produced by this Yamaha generator is the best bet in most cases. Another thing we love about this generator is its noise level – or lack thereof. It features noise block technology and inbuilt mufflers for super quiet operation. And because it has an inbuilt smart throttle, you can enjoy maximized fuel efficiency while you’re on the road. All this comes in a portable package complete with in-built wheels and lifting handles as well as a 48-month warranty.

The Yamaha EF6300iS: the most popular generator for coffee carts, food trucks and mobile businesses

The Yamaha EF6300iS: the most popular generator for coffee carts, food trucks and mobile businesses

2.     Yamaha EF2000iS

If your coffee machine and associated equipment is of a smaller variety, this generator might be sufficient. It delivers a maximum 2000 watts which is ideal for smaller appliances – some smaller coffee set-ups can get away with just using this little unit (but be sure to do the numbers first and calculate your specific wattage requirements). One of the best things about the Yamaha EF2000iS is its compact size and weight – it’s actually the lightest portable generator in its class, which couldn’t be more perfect where a mobile business is concerned. Also whisper quiet and as with all Yamaha units, it comes with a 4 year warranty and national service network. Lastly, this unit has the capability to connect with another identical model to almost double the power when paired together, as shown in this customer video:

Explore the full range of coffee cart generators at My Generator or read related articles below, to further help you choose the right generator for your mobile business:


1) Watch this short video on how a food van owner uses a wattage meter to measure the power draw of his appliances and in doing so, ensures he has the right generator size and set up to run his food business:

2) An important safety point with generators and coffee carts/vans is that when operating the generator it must have ventilation to draw in fresh air and for the release of exhaust fumes. Enclosing the generator and not providing sufficient ventilation during operation is unsafe and can damage the generator. Be safe kids! 🙂

Sean Connolly

Sean Connolly

Managing Director at My Generator
Sean is the co-founder and Managing Director of My Generator (
Sean Connolly

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  • Dufaigh June 17, 2017, 9:18 am

    Hello There ,

    Id like to ask you , whats the best gene for me to use just for my coffee machine, grinder .
    Down here ill list you the type of machinery that ill use .
    1. Rocket espresso machine R58 (usage : 1400 w).
    2. Breville Grinder (usage : 165 w ).

    Thank you .

    • L Adams June 18, 2017, 11:27 pm

      Hi, thank you for your question. With the appliances you have listed, you need to find out what the starting wattage is – I suspect the wattage figures you have listed are the running / continuous wattage amounts. Appliances with motors (like coffee machines and grinders) have an initial surge (starting) amount. This can be around 3 to 5 times the running amount (or more). You will need to know these amounts in order to correctly size a generator for your requirements.
      The challenging thing is that this starting wattage figure is not usually displayed on the appliance data plate or within the product manual. So, you can either call the manufacturer of your appliances and their technical dept. can inform you of the starting wattage of your coffee machine and grinder.
      Alternatively, you can engage an electrician to take a wattage meter reading on your coffee cart/truck to see what is the maximum power at any one time that you will require to run all of your appliances. This is a very easy task for an electrician and is often the best way for coffee van / food truck owners to know precisely how much total power they need. Many mobile businesses will do this.
      To give you an idea, the most popular model for coffee van / food truck owners is the Yamaha EF6300ISE. Some operators can get away with smaller generator models from around 2000 – 4000 watts in size; you can browse models in this range HERE. This may well be the case for your situation, but again; make sure you get the starting wattage numbers for your appliances first! Many thanks

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