We know it's tough to pick a coffee machine that ticks all of the boxes when it comes to catering for your team's love of coffee, and when you're making such an important investment it's essential that you get it right. In this short guide we hope to help guide you through the key benefits of each type of machine so that you can make an informed choice when picking out your perfect coffee solution.
Filter, PODS or bean to cup? Comparison table.
Filter Coffee Machines
The details: Also known as "pour and serve", filter coffee machines brew coffee from pre-measured sachets, through a filter paper, and into a pot. This means that once a pot has been prepared, there's lots of hot coffee available for people to pour themselves a cup whenever they want.
Traditionally, filter coffee pots are made from glass and they sit on a hot plate in order to keep the coffee warm, but we recommend using thermal flasks which eliminates the need for a hot plate. This is a wonderful benefit, because hot plates tend to give the coffee an unpleasant burned taste if it's left for too long.
You can choose for your filter coffee machine to be connected to the mains water supply, or manually refilled. Obviously a mains connection can be incredibly convenient, but if you'd like your coffee machine to be portable, perhaps to move between meeting rooms or reception areas, the manual-fill option gives you brilliant flexibility.
Coffee Pod Machines
The details: You're probably familiar with the likes of Nespresso and Krups, which are popular household coffee pod brands. Office coffee pod machines are very similar, only a little bigger and more robust for dealing with a higher volume of users. The coffee, which has already been blended, roasted and grounded, is hermetically sealed in neat little capsules to keep it fresh for up to nine months. Once inserted into the machine, the capsule's seal is broken, hot water is forced through it, and a fresh cup of coffee is produced.
The big benefit of pod machines is that they're super easy to use. There are no filters to worry about, few spillages and very little mess, which makes them perfect for busy staff rooms or reception areas where the coffee zone may be visible to customers. Plus, you can stock up on a wide variety of pod types in order to offer people an excellent range of drinks.
The downside of coffee pod machines tends to be their cost and their environmental impact. Compared to filter coffee or bean to cup machines, capsules are fairly expensive and cost between 30p to 50p per cup. Plus, since the capsules are often made from a combination of aluminium and plastic, they're really tough to recycle and tend to wind up in landfills. For environmentally conscious companies who have a pretty high level of coffee consumption, pod machines might not be the most desirable option.
Barista (traditional) espresso machines
The details: If your business is really serious about coffee and has a dedicated cafe area, as well as the funds to hire a barista, then a traditional bean to cup espresso machine is definitely on the cards. These types of machines don't come cheap, but they are built to cater to very high volume use in cafes or restaurants.
Unfortunately, the cost of these machines is usually prohibitive for small to medium businesses, and maintenance can also be expensive. Not only that, but the quality of drinks will only be the best when a trained barista is serving - it certainly isn't the type of machine you would set up in your office kitchen, unless all your staff happened to have professional barista experience!
Bean to cup coffee machines
The details: The bean to cup coffee machines that we supply tend to be an excellent compromise for businesses who want fresh, delicious coffee and a range of barista-quality drinks, in a convenient self-serve format. The machines are filled with roasted coffee beans which are ground as needed, which prevents the coffee from becoming stale before it is brewed.
A huge benefit of bean to cup machines is that they can offer a wide range of drink choices to suit all tastes. Plus, drinks are served quickly and to a consistently high standard every time. Not only that, but there are a range of models in various sizes so that you can invest in a machine which meets your level of use.
A good coffee partner will help you to choose a coffee machine that fulfils your office needs completely, is simple to use and requires only maintenance that you are comfortable with. They will also support you throughout the lifetime of your machine in terms of cleaning, descaling and preventative maintenance. Plus, the cost per cup tends to be really economical, which makes the initial investment incredibly worthwhile.
Need some advice?
Got more questions about the type of coffee your office needs? Ready to start looking more closely at some top coffee machine models? Whatever you need, be sure to get in touch with the Office Coffee Company, we'll be happy to help.