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How to choose your office coffee machine

Alex | August 21, 2023

If you’re on the lookout for a new office coffee machine, you’ll know just how many options there are. Ranging in size, functionality and affordability, finding the right machine for your needs can be a challenge. Coffee is the driving force of most offices, so putting time and effort into finding the perfect product is well worth it.

In this guide, we take a look at what the best office 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 will you need per day?

When asking yourself ‘which office coffee machine should I buy’ consider how much coffee you’ll 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, or domestic, coffee machines aren’t designed for heavy use. 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 break-out room, you’re going to want a robust and 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’ll only be used a handful of times a day, a smaller machine may just do the trick.

Time is money, so whatever the size of your workplace, your team, clients and visitors 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.

What are the running costs?

Running costs are an important factor to consider. Ideally, you’re going to want to keep your office 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. Most modern machines today are built with sustainability in mind so they may have power-saving functionality to look out for.

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 like a bean to cup machine. Remember, the office 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 rent or get your machine on a free loan agreement. These options mean you avoid a large upfront cost especially when budgets are stretched. Plus you avoid the worry of a depreciating machine because all servicing and maintenance are included in your service plan price.

What type of coffee do we need?

Office 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 be drinking the most. We recommend that you ask your staff for their preference, and question if you are looking to impress your clients and visitors too.

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. However, they are only suitable for small teams or say for a meeting. They won’t be up to the job of providing a large bustling office with all your coffee needs.

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 around six to nine months. The main benefits of pods are that they’re easy to use and clean and offer a choice of drinks. The downside is that they’re expensive, with each cup costing up to 30p. Coffee pod machines may work for lesser-used areas where guests will just have the occasional cup. However, they’re not as sustainable as a bean to cup machine. Just make sure you check if the pods themselves are recyclable to prevent unnecessary office waste.

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 seconds. Machines store roasted coffee beans and grind them ready for each individual cup. This means that your great-tasting coffee will always taste fresh. Bean to cup machines come in a range of sizes and brew coffee really 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.

Contact us

As coffee machines are so varied, there’s no simple answer to the question ‘what’s the best office coffee machine?’ In reality, it comes down to what’s right for you and your office team. To find out more about office coffee machines, explore our site or contact a member of our team.