How to Choose a Commercial Coffee Machine
If you’re on the lookout for a new commercial coffee machine, you’ll know just how many options there are out there. Ranging in size, functionality and affordability, finding the right machine for your needs can be a challenge. Coffee is the lifeblood of most offices, so putting a little time and effort into finding the perfect product for your team is well worth it.
In this guide we take a look at what the best commercial coffee machine is for your needs. From technology to flavour and capacity to affordability, we’ll take you through the most important things to consider.
How much coffee do you need to make per day?
When asking yourself ‘which commercial coffee machine should I buy’ consider how much coffee you will be making every day. This will have an impact on everything from how much you invest to the size of the machine you buy.
Non-commercial coffee machines aren’t designed for heavy use, so you need to ensure you buy an appliance that’s up to standard if you’re going to be using it repeatedly throughout the day. If your coffee machine is going to go in an office kitchen or common room, or if you’re going to be using it to whip up cappuccinos, lattes and espressos for the public, you’re going to want a heavy-duty machine that’s built to last.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on placing your machine in a reception area or office that’s shared by just a few people where it will only be used a handful of times a day, a smaller machine may do the trick.
Time is money, so whatever the size of your workplace people aren’t going to want to wait long for their coffee to brew. Before you buy a coffee machine, find out how long your chosen model will take to prepare a cup of coffee. Compare this to other machines on the market before making your decision. Remember that areas with heavy footfall will need a machine that brews at lightning pace to avoid queues building up.
Running costs are an important factor. Ideally, you’re going to want to keep your commercial coffee machine for a number of years. If you have your machine for three, four, five years or even longer, its efficiency will have a real impact on your energy bills. So compare the running costs of different machines, and consider the amount of electricity each machine consumes.
You should also look into how much it costs to make a single cup of coffee, find out what the servicing costs are and try to learn how much it would cost to repair the machine.
As a rule of thumb, machines that require pods or other special supplies are much more expensive to run in comparison to those that need only standard coffee beans. Remember, the commercial coffee machine that’s most affordable to purchase initially may not be the cheapest to run in the long term.
Of course, the most effective way to serve great coffee at a great price is to lease a machine. This way, you avoid the worry of a depreciating machine, while all servicing and maintenance is included in the price.
What type of coffee?
Commercial coffee machines are able to produce simple filtered coffee right through to specialist brews. When it comes to deciding what’s right for your workplace consider who is likely to consuming the beverages. Ask your staff for their preference, and question if you are looking to impress a client.
- Filter coffee machines
Each different style of machine has its pros and cons. Filter coffee machines are generally a more affordable option and allow you to provide multiple brews at the same time.
If you choose a filter machine, you’ll be able to store hot coffee in an urn for hours. Appliances like the Bunn ICB are perfect for occasions when you need to serve a lot of people quickly or provide coffee to multiple people in different rooms.
- Coffee pods
Commercial coffee pod machines are similar in style to domestic versions made by brands like Nespresso and Krups. However, they’re much heavier duty, more robust to handle and are designed for regular use.
Coffee pods contain ground and roasted coffee that can be stored for up to nine months. The main benefits of coffee pods are that they’re easy to use, easy to clean up and allow you to offer a number of different drinks. The downside of this style of machine is that they’re expensive, with each cup costing up to 30p. Coffee pod machines are perfect for lesser-used areas, like receptions, where guests will just have the occasional cup.
- Bean to cup
Bean to cup machines allow you to make barista-quality drinks without a barista. Easy to use, you simply press the button next to the drink you want and it will be ready in moments. Machines store roasted coffee beans and grind them ready for each individual cup. This means that your great-tasting coffee will never become stale. Bean to cup machines come in a range of sizes and brew coffee quickly. What’s more, they’re one of the most economical options per cup brewed.
Another thing to remember is that bean to cup machines are the only way to serve coffees that require foamed or steamed milk, such as lattes or flat whites, without hiring a trained barista!
As coffee machines are so varied, there’s no simple answer to the question ‘what’s the best commercial coffee machine?’ In reality, it comes down to what’s right for you and your particular circumstances. To find out more about commercial coffee machines, explore our site or contact a member of our team.