Finding the Perfect Coffee Machine For Your Office
So you already know coffee helps the majority of us work better, and you’re looking to supply this precious lifeblood for your workplace with an office espresso machine?
Firstly, good on you, you legend!
Second, here’s our trusty playbook to help you find the perfect office espresso machine among the sea of options. Because the taste of your coffee and supply capability is directly affected by your device of choice, it’s important to cover off a few bases before we dive right in with milk frothers pumping.
Generally speaking, the most common types of coffee machine solutions you will find in offices are:
- Pod or capsule single serve
- Instant vending machine
- Fresh bean automatic machine
- Barista style
Naturally, each has its strengths and weaknesses. Filter coffee for example, is quick and fairly portable, which is great for events and conferences, but it only offers a single type of coffee. Pod or capsule coffee machines are very easy to fit into workplaces, plus you get the George Clooney effect.
Coffee vending machines and bean to cup machines cater to a wider range of coffee guzzlers with more beverage selection (short black, long black, latte, cappuccino, flat white, mochaccino and hot chocolate options). The creme de la creme, barista style machines, provide excellent quality coffee and a little bit of an experiential edge to the office.
If you already have an idea about which office espresso machine you’re after, skip ahead to learn about purchasing options. If not, let’s look at some key factors you should consider along the way and how the different types of machines rate for each:
1. Company size
This comes down to good ol’ economics: demand and supply. How many staff do you house? How many drink coffee? The average office worker drinks coffee twice a day so you’ll want to make sure the office espresso machine you pick can supply your office demands. If client meetings are a regular occurrence, you may want to allow for a slight buffer should you entertain the idea of delighting clients with a hot bevvy.
Have a look at our visual guide below for which coffee machine might suit you best, according to company size:
The buzzword of the century. When it comes to office espresso machines, you want to know 2 things. How convenient is it to make a cuppa and how convenient is it to clean up and/or service the machine?
Well, we don’t need any sophisticated research to know that bean to cup and capsule or pod machines reign in convenience, producing your desired cup of coffee at the touch of a button (or two). Barista style machines also come out on top of filter coffee. While it involves a few fiddly steps, it doesn’t require a setup process, getting the well, filter paper, boiled kettle etc.
As for the latter, clean up can vary quite dramatically between machines and even across different brands. Regular cleaning is of course ideal, regardless of which machine you choose, since preventing mineral and lime scale build up will minimise break down, substandard functioning, and extend the life of your machine.
That being said, make sure you are aware of how much cleaning your prospective machine requires, and how long that process would take. Consider who will be responsible for the task of cleaning daily, weekly and monthly. Whether it will be someone in your business, or if it will sit with a service rep, if included in your lease agreement.
You may also want to look at servicing agreements as part of your contract, to support your busy office staff in maintaining their machines.
Here’s a comparison chart which shows how the different machines compare for convenience:
3. Coffee Quality
Here’s a key question – how much do you care about the quality of coffee from your office coffee machine? One of the benefits of providing good coffee in the workplace is the amount of time saved for employees who would otherwise head to the nearby cafe for their fix. This essentially equates to time increased in productivity. So, if that’s important to you, find out how the drinks taste. How fresh is the coffee, ground or in bean form? Is the coffee ethically sourced and fair-trade certified? Does it emit velvet aromas, fit for a Columbian prince?
Sure, there are some who don’t mind instant coffee, and if your budget is limited, that’s totally fine. But one thing’s for sure, those who are particular about their dark nectar will be hugely thankful for delicious coffee and likely to express their gratitude with better work output. In the words of Richard Branson, if you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers.
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As previously mentioned, the quality of coffee, along with choice of beans, is directly related to the quality of the office coffee machine. Because good machines are big investments usually leased over 3 – 5 year terms to stagger costs, you don’t want a cheap machine that won’t last. Be sure to check reviews for reputable brands instead of unknown brand names from China, and be wary of misrepresentations of quality, for example “Italian design”, which does not necessarily mean “Italian made”.
5. Future proofing
Lastly, while you’re making sure the machine you choose can stand the test of time, you should also think about how much growth you’re expecting in your organisation over that same time frame. You will want to make sure you don’t outgrow your machine.
How many new hires are you expecting in the next few years? Will the coffee machine(s) be able to manage the increased capacity should you expand quite quickly? Would the math work out if you needed to purchase or lease an additional machine?
Ideally, you’d want to max out one machine before sourcing a second, e.g. if you need 200 cups of coffee per day, you’ll want 2 x 100 cup machines instead of 3 x 75 cup machines. That is unless of course, it is more important for you to have better spread across the office floor and efficiency in coffee production, i.e. 3 cups of coffee produced at a time in 3 locations instead of 2.
All things considered, you now have a pretty good idea of the machine you’re after and you can’t wait to make the big reveal to staff and clients to show how much you value them. No doubt, they will feel appreciated, rewarded, and in return, improve in productivity and morale to increase output and revenue! The future is bright.