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How to Pick the Best Coffee Machine for your Office

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We all like to wake up and smell the coffee, but our love for it goes far beyond breakfast. It keeps us alert and motivated, but is also a treat that makes the work day that bit more pleasurable – most would consider coffee machines an office essential.

So having decided to invest, you need to decide which type of coffee machine would work best for the company – that’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a handy guide to all the options, so whether you’re a team of 50 or 500, we’ll help you make the right choice.

What is the Best Office Coffee Machine for Your Company?

Bean to Cup Office Coffee Machines

Filled with roasted coffee beans, which are ground on demand at the point of making a coffee. When many think of an office coffee machine they envisage a bean to cup espresso machine. For a small office that insists on the finest coffee made with fresh milk, the XF10 would be ideal, easily making 30 drinks a day. On the other hand, a larger office with much higher demand might opt for the Esprada X60, producing 250 drinks every day with the added advantage of using premium granulated 100% skimmed milk – which reduces maintenance, cleaning and servicing.

The Advantages of Bean to Cup Coffee Machines

This is a popular office coffee and espresso machine choice, as only grinding what you need prevents coffee from becoming stale and eliminates waste. The only waste product from bean to cup machines is the coffee ‘grounds’ which is 100% biodegradable and makes particularly good compost for the garden! The consistent high quality of the coffee is also a draw, they are easy to use and you can make coffee to your own tastes. The cost per cup is also extremely economical, particularly if you were to take advantage of a coffee deal such as those offered by Esprada – unbelievably perhaps, the ingredients cost for an Americano, for example, is about 9 pence! Furthermore, many Esprada bean to cup coffee machines have additional canisters that can be filled with chocolate, milk and in some cases tea – enabling a huge array of drinks from one cutting edge machine.

The Disadvantages of Bean to Cup Coffee Machines

They require a reasonable amount of space around them to enable maintenance and for topping up ingredients etc. They do need a basic daily maintenance regime to ensure quality coffee keeps flowing.

Coffee Pod Machines

These are the type you often see in people’s kitchens, except office machines are scaled-up. The pre-blended, grounded and roasted coffee comes in hermetically-sealed capsules (which means they make a satisfactory cup of coffee and keep for longer – months in fact). Once put in the machine, the seal on the capsule is broken and hot water is passed through it to make a single cup of coffee.

Nespresso, Nescafe and Dualit are the best-known brands for these, and they each have their own range, depending on which design you’d like and how many cups you need.

The Advantages of Coffee Pod Machines

Many small offices use coffee pod machines because they’re straightforward and convenient to use, and you can stock a range of different coffee styles.

The Disadvantages of Coffee Pod Machines

They’re not very environmentally-friendly, because the capsules aren’t easy to recycle – although manufacturers are working on this. They’re a costly option – each capsule normally costs between 30p and 50p and this makes them prohibitive for the larger office.

Although consistent in taste, coffee pod machines cannot replicate the quality flavour of a fresh ground barista-style coffee. There’s also a major drawback for those who like variety – coffee pod machines only have one single brew setting for all types of beverages served from the machine.

Traditional Coffee Machines (Group or Barista Coffee Machines)

If your workforce really loves coffee and has space, a traditional coffee machine is the answer. The Esprada T10 can handle 50 drinks an hour, the T25 100 drinks an hour, and the Esprada T35 can make up to 150 drinks an hour – you’ll need an in-house barista though!

The Advantages of Traditional Coffee Machines

The coffee is brilliant and the process couldn’t be any easier, because your coffee is made for you – by a professional. As the machines are built to cater for high volume use, they’ll easily be able to cope with large offices.

The Disadvantages of Traditional Coffee Machines

You need to have the space to house the machine itself but also the barista, who may need to become an employee. Not a cheap option, but the coffee will be amazing.

In-cup Coffee Vending Machines

Not often a frontrunner when thinking about the best coffee machine for the office – the cups come with pre-measured portions in them, and a press of the button adds hot water.

The Advantages of Coffee Vending Machines

They’re quick and easy to use, and relatively cheap to run. You can offer a wide range of branded hot/cold drinks, and this can include soup and hot chocolate. A real ‘grab and go’ solution for free vend in a warehouse or workshop location, for example.

The Disadvantages of Coffee Vending Machines

The coffee is not of the highest quality and the cups are single-use which creates waste that, although generally recyclable, still needs to be managed.

Filter Coffee Machines (‘Pour and Serve’)

With a filter coffee machine, coffee is brewed using pre-measured sachets and filter paper. Hot water is passed through the coffee and filter paper into a pot. Traditionally, filter coffee pots are made from glass and sit on a hot plate to keep the coffee warm.

Depending on which design you prefer, and how many drinks you’d like, Esprada offer a complete range from the F10 to serve small offices and meeting rooms, through to the F40 which can handle large volumes within hospitality environments.

The Advantages of Filter Coffee Machines

Once a pot is prepared, there’s a batch of hot coffee available to go around, and anyone can pour themselves a cup whenever they want. They are very simple machines, low cost and produce a decent tasting drink. They are often the best solution where a large number of coffees are required in a short space of time e.g. a break during a conference.

The Disadvantages of Filter Coffee Machines

You can connect your machine to the water supply or manually refill it – the latter can be laborious, but does give it an element of portability. Filters can be messy to dispose of and can cause spillages. There are also health and safety concerns linked to the manual lifting of glass jugs of hot coffee

Making Your Mind up – What is the Best Coffee Machine Type for your Office?

So what is the best office coffee machine? Choose a coffee machine that completely fulfils your individual office needs – every office is different, tastes and budgets vary.

Just make sure your machine is simple to use, reliable, efficient and will not require onerous amounts of maintenance, but most of all – looks great and produces exceptional coffee!

If you’re looking to invest in a coffee machine for your office, get in touch with Esprada. Our dedication to quality workplace refreshment is a passion. Combine this with our ability to provide affordable solutions tailored for your office needs and our 4 week free trial, and you’ll soon be able to experience the Esprada difference. Contact us for a no obligation discussion with one of our experienced coffee gurus…