If you are looking for coffee machines that can be used in offices or businesses in general, then you need to ask yourself these questions.
1. Do I want instant coffee or bean coffee served from the coffee machine?
Instant coffee machines are slightly less expensive than those that grind beans because they are simpler in design. For example, there is no grinder or brewer in an instant coffee machine, just mixing bowls where the coffee is mixed with hot water.
However, you need to consider taste. Today instant coffee (sometimes called soluble coffee) is made to very closely resemble taste of coffee made with ground coffee. Your choices are between:
- powders such as Dallmayr Espresso
- mixed agglomerated coffee like Ricoffy (it is called “agglomerated” because, unlike powdered coffee, it is made by joining the powder particles together to form small clumps of coffee and it is called “mixed” because it contains coffee mixed with chicory and maltodextrin)
- pure agglomerated coffee such as Nescafe Classic (only contains coffee)
- freeze dried coffee (like Dallmayr Gold, Jacobs Kronung or Nescafe Gold) which are made by rapidly removing water from a coffee extract to form crystals that retain more flavour than the powders or agglomerated coffee
Each has a different flavour profile so test them out to see what fits your taste and budget (they become more expensive as you move from a to d)
Bean coffee is exactly that…. you put coffee beans into the machine, and it grinds, compacts and passes hot water through it just like at the coffee shop! You can choose from many different suppliers who blend beans to very different taste profiles. You only need to find one that you really like… and what a great journey that will be!
2. Do I just want black or white coffee, or do I want other drinks too?
If you just want black coffee from your machine, you can choose a very simple coffee machine like a filter coffee maker. Here you just add ground coffee into the machine’s filter basket and about 2l of water, turn it on and come back 7 minutes later to freshly brewed coffee.
If you only want to make enough for one cup at a time, you need either an instant coffee machine or a bean coffee machine with a coffee canister that releases coffee and mixes it with water when you press a button.
However, if you want to mix your coffee with milk you have two choices:
- an automatic bean coffee machine with fresh milk (like a Delonghi or Dr Coffee machine) that can make espresso, black, white, cappuccino and latte drinks
- an instant or bean coffee containing coffee vending machine with either fresh milk or powdered milk, and typically with other canisters for sugar, hot chocolate and latte powders (e.g., caramel latte). These can make espresso (if a bean coffee is used), black, white, cappuccino, latte, chocaccino, mochaccino and hot chocolate drinks
In an office environment, it costs very little extra to provide staff with a range of hot drinks. A good bean coffee cappuccino is roughly the same price as a steaming mug of hot chocolate.
So, most office coffee machines have multiple drink options. The more complex the drink offering, there is typically a higher cost to buy or rent that machine. Ensure yours can make many different types while fitting your budget.
3. How many people will use the coffee machine?
This is a key question because not all coffee machines are created equal. Some are for home use where the demands placed on the machine are lower, and others are built to handle extreme demands.
Office coffee machines have larger boilers, pumps that are designed for constant use situations and stronger parts. A domestic machine will be cheaper but with office demands, you will only have to repair it more frequently and it will not last as long as a commercial coffee machine.
So, with more than 5 people requiring coffee in your office, ensure you only buy a commercial grade coffee machine from a reputable supplier.
Points to help you decide which is the best coffee machine for an office or business in general:
- Instant coffee machines are less expensive to buy, run and maintain
- Bean coffee machines offer better coffee flavour and greater taste choice
- Coffee machines can be very simple and offer one type of coffee or they can offer multiple drink choices
- Coffee machines can offer milk drinks from fresh milk or powdered milk
- The type of coffee machine you need will depend on your preference for bean or instant coffee and whether you want a variety of drinks that can be made using fresh or powdered milk, and other powders such as hot chocolate, sugar and flavoured latte powders
- If you are serving more than 15 cups of coffee per day, you will need to select a commercial coffee machine. This can be a filter coffee machine like a Bravilor, or an automatic machine like a Dr Coffee and a commercial coffee vending machine like a Rheavendor or Sielaff coffee machine.
Now you can look at our range of coffee machines to see which one would suit your needs. If you need assistance, why not call us. We have been placing coffee machines in offices and businesses for 18 years now. We know what to ask and we have a range of coffee machines to suit every situation.