Getting a coffee machine for your workplace is, in my opinion, very exciting! Being able to make great cup at anytime without leaving the office, or forking out $3 plus from a shop, is terrific.
So you’ve decided to get a machine, which one is best for you? I am glad you asked. The answer is, “it depends”. Okay, so that is not really an answer to which is the best coffee machine for your office, but that’s because there are several factors to consider. I am basing this blog on automatic machines as they make great coffee without requiring a barista to operate, making them ideal for the multi-user nature of a workplace. So, here are some things to consider to help determine the best coffee machine for your needs:
1. How many coffees will you and the office be making each day?
The size of the coffee machine is relevant for usability and budget.
Smaller machines are great if you only have a few coffee drinking staff and clients, but a small machine cannot handle higher usage well. It can be too slow only making one cup at a time, or break down too often through over use, or require too much attention when it comes to refilling and clearing the dreg draw. In this case, a higher capacity coffee machine is better.
On the other hand, large machines that are not used very much are a waste of resources – costing more than it needs to and unnecessarily taking up too much kitchen space. Also, you may be tempted to fill up its large bean hopper which can result in the coffee beans going stale as they sit in a warm machine for too long.
The Saeco, Jura, La San Marco and San Remo range of coffee machines come in a variety of sizes to cater for this.
2. How “automatic” would you like it?
As I mentioned above, automatic coffee machines are brilliant for multi-use environments such as workplaces as they are so easy to use and make great tasting coffee. An automatic coffee machine is a coffee machine that will measure and grind coffee beans, tamp the coffee, brew it at the correct temperature and pour it into your cup, all at the press of a button. An automatic coffee machine will also typically heat and foam your milk as well.
So the question of how “automatic” is firstly about the milk. If you want to press one button for the entire process without moving your cup, then you would be after a Saeco One Touch, Saeco Aulika, Saeco Phedra or any of the Jura coffee machine range.
Alternatively, if you would like the option to manually steam your milk so that you can make it just as you prefer, then the Saeco Royal Cappuccino, Saeco Idea Cappucino and La San Marco Plus 5 are great choices. These machines also have auto milk heating/foaming so all users are happy.
To take it one step further, vending style machines such as the Saeco Phedra can also make delicious hot chocolate and chai at the press of the button.
3. Where will you be putting the coffee machine?
This is mainly about the size of the coffee machine again. Things to consider are bench space and height of any shelves or cupboards above the bench. Automatic coffee machines typically need to be filled from the top so there needs to be sufficient space above the machine.
Also, larger machines can be plumbed in for convenience so a nearby water source is required if this is a preference.
4. Would you prefer fresh coffee beans or pods / capsules?
This is both a taste and convenience decision. Personally, I prefer the fuller, more robust coffee flavour that comes from freshly ground beans. However, there are some brands of pods that do make a good coffee – the quality of the coffee beans used for the pod and how effectively the ground coffee is sealed are two major factors when it comes to taste.
If you are a very low user environment and would take too long to get through an opened bag of beans, then pods can be your answer as each are opened at time of use. For higher users, capsules can become expensive and environmentally unfriendly.
5. Should I rent or buy?
The decision to rent is usually one of convenience, and whether your time is best spent “looking after” the machine. Coffee machines have various aspects to them that will influence how well they perform. – from settings to maintenance. Also, they will invariably need repairing from time to time. Benefits of renting are:
So what is important to you?
All of the above?
Even after going through points 1 to 5, you may still be faced with a choice of coffee machines. Ranking the above factors will help narrow this choice down. I hope this article will help you decide on the best coffee machine for your workplace’s individual needs.