Category • Blog articles

Why settling for low quality coffee is costing your office more than you realise

Alex | May 9, 2023

Most of us would agree that coffee is the fuel that keeps us going throughout our workday. Whether it’s a morning pick-me-up or an afternoon boost, it has become an essential part of office culture.

But, have you ever stopped to think about the quality of the coffee you’re providing for your office team? If your answer is no, you may be settling for a below-average coffee experience, and worst of all, it may be costing your office more than you realise.

We’re going to explore how upgrading your coffee options can benefit your team and even boost productivity, employee satisfaction, and ultimately, your bottom line.

Coffee is a small perk that people genuinely value and it can actually help to attract and retain talent. In fact, you may be surprised to know that in one survey, over 10% of people would reject a job offer based on the coffee provided in their interview! So are you giving your team coffee that they enjoy? You should be and here’s why.

What does “low quality” mean?

Firstly, what do we mean by “low-quality” coffee? In many workplaces, it’s all too common to find instant coffee or pre-ground coffee which are widely considered to be inferior to freshly ground beans.

Instant coffee

Whilst instant coffee has come a long way over the last few years, it still can’t compete with high-quality, freshly ground beans.

Generally, you’ll find that instant coffee lacks the complex flavours and aromas that fresh coffee beans provide. This is often due to the beans being over-roasted to help increase their shelf life. This can result in a bitter and almost burnt taste.

Another downside to instant coffee is that it is either freeze-dried or spray-dried. Both processes require additional chemicals and additives and these can negatively affect the taste of the coffee and may even have negative health effects.

Pre-ground coffee

Similarly, pre-ground coffee will struggle to compete with freshly ground. From a flavour perspective, you may be surprised to know that as soon as coffee beans are ground, they start to lose their flavour. In fact, coffee starts to lose its aromas and flavour intensity in just 30 minutes with the flavour further deteriorating as time goes by. This is because pre-ground coffee has a larger surface area exposed to air, which can cause the coffee to become staler faster. It also has a shorter shelf life than whole coffee beans.

You’ll find as well that a lot of pre-ground coffees are roasted to darker levels in order to withstand this ageing process, which can result in a slightly bitter or over-roasted taste. We’re not saying you can’t still get a great cup of coffee from pre-ground beans – because you can. However, they must be high-quality, fresh and stored correctly.

What should I get for my office?

If you’re responsible for providing your team with coffee and refreshments, we understand you’re working within budget restrictions. Rising costs across the board are affecting UK businesses so office managers or facilities managers will naturally be looking for areas to cut. However, we recommend you think carefully before cutting costs when it comes to coffee.

If you are a business that is settling for instant or pre-ground coffee, you might be missing out on the full potential of what great quality, fresh-tasting coffee can offer. Undoubtedly your team will appreciate the improved taste and aroma of their coffee, but they’ll also benefit from the health benefits of high-quality coffee. By providing a range of barista-style coffees that your team enjoy, you’re helping to keep them happy, healthy and hydrated.

High-quality coffee

To further highlight the importance of quality, let’s look at some real-world examples. Imagine two offices – one that provides instant coffee using an office kettle whilst the other provides high-quality, coffee beans freshly ground in a bean to cup machine.

In the instant coffee office, employees may find themselves waiting around for the kettle to boil, making a cheap, poor-tasting cup of instant that they don’t really enjoy.

It’s a proven statistic that people value a quality coffee experience at work and if you’re giving them instant, you’re not meeting your team’s expectations. Today, employees expect to get the same coffee quality and choice they get in a high street coffee shop that they would in their office.

And yes, high-quality beans from a bean to cup machine are more expensive than instant. However, by investing in your team, you’ll find that they’re more productive and more loyal to your business. Plus you’re also contributing to an engaging office coffee culture.

Keeping your team happy and hydrated

If you’re looking to upgrade your office coffee experience, we have a wide range of quality coffee beans and commercial bean to cup coffee machines. We’ll work with you to understand your team’s exact requirements and we even offer free coffee-tasting sessions where you can come to our London showroom to sample lots of different beans. Simply get in touch with us and together, we’ll find the perfect coffee experience for your office.