Bean to cup coffee machine vs vending machine

Alex | July 17, 2022

Is your team asking for a quality cup of coffee at work? If you’re a facilities manager or an office manager, part of your role is to take care of your employees. Happy employees are proven to be more productive, creative and loyal to their employer, so it makes sense to make an effort to treat your team well. Many people today expect barista-style coffees in the office so a cup of instant coffee simply won’t do. However, with lots of coffee machines on the market, it can be tricky to know what’s right for you. We look at the differences between vending machines and bean-to-cup coffee machines.

Vending machines

Firstly, vending machines have come a long way since the 1900s when they started to become popular. You may remember those sad and murky cups of coffee served up in a plastic brown cup but things have moved on thankfully. In the UK, vending machines are still popular to have in offices and in 2018, it’s estimated that we had approximately one vending machine for every 55 people. Of course, they can vend a wide variety of drinks, snacks and various products, but we’re just going to look at coffee vending machines.

Depending on your budget, you can provide very affordable instant coffee that’s made with powder and is served from a vending machine. However, this won’t create a great tasting, quality cup of coffee and it’s unlikely to meet your team’s expectations. If you go more premium, you can get coffee that’ll taste better, but what vending machines don’t tend to do is grind the beans on demand.

Grinding the beans takes a little extra time, so one of the pros of having a modern vending machine is the speed in serving your coffee. Other pros of having a vending machine is that they’re easy to use, simple to maintain and because they’re automated, you don’t really have to do much to them apart from keeping them regularly stocked and refilled with coffee powder.

In general, they tend to be geared more towards volume and cost so they’re not for everyone. If you decide to opt for a traditional office coffee vending machine, there are lots of great providers out there. Market leaders like Selecta, Connect, Liquid Line, Logic Vending, and UK Vending all provide a good selection of machines for your office. For a more premium offering, you may want to consider a bean-to-cup office coffee machine.

Bean to cup coffee machine

This term simply describes the coffee-making process from how the coffee is ground, pressed and brewed fresh. Bean-to-cup machines have internal grinders, so they grind the beans, and then hot water is forced through the ground coffee at high pressure. This results in a perfect cup of coffee. The whole process happens in seconds at the touch of a button. We like to think of a bean-to-cup machine as a coffee machine and barista all in one.

Bean-to-cup machines offer a wide range of different coffee drinks. Choose from espressos, americanos, cappuccinos, lattes, flat whites and more. Many options offer hot chocolate as well.

Whilst bean-to-cup coffee machines may be more expensive than your basic vending machine, most people don’t actually buy their bean-to-cup machine outright. Instead, they choose to either lease or rent it. These options offer a number of benefits as there’s no upfront cost, and customers can choose to upgrade at any time. At FreshGround, we offer short-term contracts that start from just 3 months, so you’re not tied in. Our customers also tend to set up a repeat consumables order with us so they get fresh coffee beans delivered every month, along with everything else they need.

If you do choose to invest in a premium quality bean-to-cup machine you can expect great tasting coffee, reliability, consistency, and a barista-style coffee experience at work. Check out our range of bean to cup machines today.

Get in touch

Still not sure which one is right for you? Here at FreshGround, we have over 40 years of experience in the coffee business so we’ve got you covered. We’re here to help you find the perfect solution for you and your team. Simply give us a call on 020 7553 7900.