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Are commercial office coffee machines worth the expense?

Alex | August 10, 2023

We take a look at various coffee machines to help you understand if they’re going to bring value to your office. Together, we’ll help you find the solution that will work for you and your team.

Are you thinking about getting a coffee machine for your office? Perhaps your team has grown, you’re moving, or you simply want to provide your team with a better coffee experience. There are of course lots of things to consider when making your selection from hundreds of types, models and styles of commercial coffee machines.

As an office manager or facilities manager where you’ll be balancing budgets, one of your key factors in decision-making will be price.

What type of machine should I choose?

Firstly let’s look at some basic coffee machine types to get started. You can choose from coffee pod machines, pour-over filter or bean to cup coffee machines.

Coffee pod machines

If you have a very small team of maybe one or two, you might be able to just pick up a domestic coffee pod machine. They’re cheap to buy, easy to use and simple to maintain. However, as they’re only designed for domestic use, as in a family at home, they won’t suit a large team. They also won’t be able to cope with demand at peak times like morning coffee and lunch breaks. Having said that, there are some pod machines that have been developed for commercial use namely, Nespresso offers a range.

Filter coffee machines

Designed to make batches of delicious fresh coffee in minutes, filter coffee machines are great for high-capacity areas. They can brew between around 1 – 5 litres of filter coffee at a time. They’re really easy to use. They simply rely on gravity to allow water to trickle through coffee grounds and into your coffee jug. They’re a popular choice at conferences and events or to be placed in meeting rooms. It’s worth noting that the coffee produced by filter machines is so much better than it used to be in times past.

Bean to cup machines

A bean to cup machine is perhaps the most popular choice for commercial kitchens. They combine a coffee grinder, espresso maker, and a milk frother all in one. They’re really easy to operate. Plus they give you lots of drink choices from espressos, americanos, cappuccinos, lattes and more.

They work by grinding whole coffee beans, heating the water and then dispensing hot water over the freshly ground beans. As the coffee is ground on demand, you’ll only get the freshest, great-tasting coffee.

What does expensive mean to you?

It’s important to take a moment to think about what ‘expensive’ means to you. If your commercial coffee machine brings added value, improves your workplace culture, helps you attract and keep talent AND helps keep your team happy and hydrated – what’s a reasonable price to put on that?

We understand there are budgets to balance. Pricing is an important factor to consider, but weigh that up against the added value. You may find that a commercial office coffee machine pays off for you and the team.

What are the benefits of a bean to cup coffee machine

Let’s talk about the benefits of a bean to cup machine in the office. Again, like pod machines, you can get domestic versions but they’re unlikely to fit the bill if you’re an office with more than say, a handful of employees. Domestic versions are affordable and start from around £400 and you can pick them up on the high street or online.

Some challenges with having a domestic appliance in a commercial setting will mean they may not be able to keep up with demand. Again, at peak times in the office, these domestic machines have not been designed to pour at high volume over a period of time.

Another thing to consider is that if you use a domestic machine in a commercial setting, you probably won’t be covered by your warranty.

With this in mind, we recommend our customers to get a bean to cup machine from a supplier that specialises in offices and businesses. They will likely better understand your requirements and cover you for all aspects of the coffee machine experience. This basically covers your bases and includes your coffee beans, your machine and customer service.

Beans, machine, service

When choosing your machine, you’ll want to focus on these three key factors. It’s important not to allocate too much value to just one of these pillars. So for example, there’s no point in using the most premium graded coffee beans in a machine that’s not of fantastic quality. This will result in mediocre coffee. In turn, there’s no point in having the best quality, high-end machine if you don’t have a service plan in place. Try to allocate value evenly across the following and consider:

Beans | What type of coffee beans will your team enjoy in the office?

Machine | What’s the best machine that will suit your team’s unique requirements?

Service | What’s the best service plan to ensure we don’t have downtime and keep the coffee flowing?

Make your choice

In conclusion, it’s ultimately up to you to decide if getting a coffee machine is worth the expense so you can weigh that up against the value added to your workplace culture. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach and no right or wrong decision.

Our recommendation would be to take your time to research coffee machines that are on the market, consider what beans your team will love and take a look at a range of comprehensive service plans that keeps you covered. Plus if you need a hand, we’re here to help. Just get in touch with us.