Choosing between the various office coffee machines can be a daunting task for those who are tasked to set up their office’s office pantry.
You have to consider a myriad of factors such as the type of office coffee makers, type of coffee beans, type of coffee served, amount of coffee consumed in the office, the various brew strengths, and the various brewing systems / brewing options available.
This article helps to break down your considerations by introducing the 4 common and popular types of office coffee machines that are used all over the world today.
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Bean To Cup Machines
Bean to cup machines are coffee machines that are sometimes also classified under the category of super automatic coffee machines. These types of office coffee makers are the most versatile and convenient, as they can produce the drink autonomously at the touch of a button, and require no skilled manpower to operate it.
As the name suggests, this type of coffee brewer will grind up fresh beans on demand, and from it, brew a cup of coffee for the user. These coffee machines come in a variety of different footprint sizes and output capacities to deal with different demands.
Depending on the amount of coffee consumed in your particular office, you can opt for a machine with a smaller or larger footprint and output capacity. These types of office coffee makers are also flexible in terms of water source, and usually come equipped with an independent water tank, while also being able to be piped into a direct water source, usually through a standard ⅜ pipe.
It is recommended that you use a water filter when piping these coffee machines up to a direct water source to get rid of any harmful mineral content that may build up in the machine over time. This versatility makes it one of the most common types of coffee machines for offices.
The versatility of a bean to cup machine does not stop there though, as most of them can also be equipped with a milk fridge or milk cooler to produce milk based coffee drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos. You can also decide on the type of coffee beans that you like, and use them in the machine. You can also toggle between various brew strengths on demand to cater to different tastes and preferences.
Some of the brewing systems of certain bean to cup machines can also accommodate the inclusion of powdered mixes, which can provide wider drink variety. For example, by mixing in chocolate powder to a milk based coffee, you can produce a lovely cup of mocha with such a machine. Especially when dealing with office coffee, such variety is important as it also allows non-coffee drinkers to enjoy the machine.
Brands that are well known for producing bean to cup machines are Jura, Necta, Miele, Nuova Simonelli, and Franke.
This bean to cup machine is acknowledged to be the best Superautomatic espresso machine in Nuova Simonelli stable of machines: Nuova Simonelli Pronto Bar
Single Serve Machines
Single serve coffee machines are relatively new to the scene in terms of its role as an office coffee machine, and operate on the format of using coffee capsules or coffee pods, depending on the brand. Each coffee capsule or coffee pod is made to be single use, and good for one single serving of coffee.
With such machines, the brewing system usually allows for either an espresso or a long black coffee to be made, though there are some more advanced machines that can also mix in the milk to produce a milk based coffee like a latte or a cappuccino.
Simpler machines without the milk function can also be paired with a separate milk frother as part of a two step process, but this is really for home use as the process is quite time consuming and not really applicable in an office setting. When used in an office coffee machine, cold milk is normally added manually to the black coffee by the drinker.
The Colet Single serve brewer. Do you know that you can own this machine after serving the contractual period of your office coffee machine rental?
In terms of maintenance, single serve coffee machines are probably the easiest of all the machines to maintain as there are little to no moving parts within the coffee machine itself, which is why it is a popular choice for smaller offices with not more than 20 people.
Single serve coffee machines are also extremely cheap to buy, and usually cost no more than a couple of hundred dollars.However, these machines also have fairly small brewing systems which take a long time to produce a cup of coffee, are small and built with less robust parts, and are not built for volume.
Moreover, these machines also come equipped with a small water tank and can probably brew 3 - 4 cups of coffee before requiring a refill. They do not come with a direct water pipe in option, and as such, are not suitable for high volume.
When overworked, such coffee machines can develop problems like a mis-calibration of the correct water volume to be dispensed per cup, or just break down altogether. The last thing to note is that while the coffee machine itself is cheap to purchase, the cost per serve of coffee is usually higher than that found in a bean to cup machine. Brew strengths are also limited on a single serve espresso machine and are usually limited to one fixed setting.
Brands that are well known for producing single serve coffee machines are Nespresso and Keurig.
When we talk about espresso machines, we refer to the semi automatic commercial espresso machines found in specialty coffee shops. These machines are powerful and high quality and are arguably the type of coffee machine that produces the best cup of coffee. However, to do this, the machine will require trained manpower to operate the machine, and will also need to be paired with a standalone coffee bean grinder. These machines are normally utilised by large, modern offices such as Facebook and Google, and have more than 300 people.
Though seemingly troublesome, if your office has the space and the budget for a full office pantry, perhaps even one that is manned by a trained barista, then a full fledged espresso machine can be an excellent choice for your office. The presence of the machine and the drink quality that can be derived from it can make it the ultimate office coffee solution out there.
In terms of variety and versatility, that will depend on the skill of your barista or the person making the coffee as these commercial espresso machines are made to only produce a traditional espresso shot. Brew strength, along with other variables are human dependent and controlled by the barista.
Brands that are well known for producing espresso machines are La Marzocco, Victoria Arduino, Synesso, and Bezzera.
Instant Coffee Machines
Instant coffee machines are automatic coffee machines, but utilise instant coffee powder mix as the coffee source, as opposed to fresh coffee beans like in a bean to cup machine. As such, making a traditional espresso from this machine is not possible.
The tradeoff however, is that most instant coffee machines come with multiple hoppers for you to house different types of instant powder mixes, thus increasing the drink variety greatly. Common inclusions alongside the instant coffee would include hot chocolate powder, and a non-dairy creamer. It is however not uncommon to see offices opt for more unique options such as matcha powder or milk tea powder.
These machines cater to a wide range of preference, but the drink quality is normally lower, and the powder mixes are pre-sweetened, which means that you cannot really adjust the sweetness to your liking.
The powder that is used in instant coffee machines is also special, usually with an added anti-caking agent to stop moisture from clumping the various powder mixes. This essentially means that you will need to get these machines and the powder mixes from a dedicated supplier on a contracted schedule, and may not be ideal if you do wish for commitment or to be tied down to a contract.
If you like to know why and how to choose office coffee machines, click on the link for more information or drop us a message below to find out more.
OCM was started in 2007, focusing first on coffee machines, then marketing for coffee and food and beverage companies. Check out this restaurant marketing guide to learn more about the many campaigns and companies we have worked with.
OCM has also created many marketing workshops and classes for the F&B industry. Many of the modules are running in the Singapore Skillsfuture Classes in tertiary institutions such as Temasek Polytechnic Skillsfuture Academy and also ITE College East COC classes.
For the readers (coffee lovers), we continue to share coffee articles (and videos) and have also started a free coffee class section (with free online coffee training supported by coffee partners).
To connect with coffee and F&B practitioners, join our growing F&B group on Linkedin (20 000 and growing).
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