A great cup of coffee remains central to encouraging teams to collaborate more in a face to face (but safe) way from the office.
In 2022, the office coffee machine is an important investment for businesses - encouraging staff back to the office, increasing productivity and happiness, whilst decreasing workplace stress.
Where the kettle and drinks vending machine used to be the norm, advancements in technology have provided businesses that wish to provide a better quality of coffee at work, with a whole host of choices.
But worry not our easy-to-use guide will help you find the right solutions for your business. From information about different coffee machines and tips on what to look out for, to picking the right products and partners, we’re here to support you in making an informed decision.
For many, cafetières offer the simplest way of making a cup of fresh ground coffee.
Design - A glass container incorporates a wire filter that is attached to a plunger.
Ideal for - Domestic use and making a small number of coffees.
Watch out for - Getting a consistent quality can be difficult unless you precisely measure the amount of coffee needed per serving.
Filter Coffee Machines
For many businesses, fresh filter coffee lies at the heart of a good, office coffee experience.
Design - Filter coffee machines use pre-measured coffee sachets, for a consistent drink.
There are two different systems: ‘pour and service’ and ‘thermal pot: The pour and service method filters coffee through a filter paper and basket, into a glass pot that is kept warm on a hot plate.
The latter design brews into a thermal jug or flask, which keeps the coffee hot and fresh, negating the need for a hot plate. This design can also save you time, as it can be fitted to the mains water supply with a filter.
Ideal for - Offices and caterers
Watch out for - Poor tasting coffee with pour and service systems. Unless you use the coffee within an hour, it will start to degrade, and in most cases, it will develop a burnt taste due to the hot plate. We recommend a bulk brew filter coffee machine.
Mains water connected - Optional
Bulk Brew Filter Machines
Designed to brew between 10 and 60 litres, the bulk brew coffee machine is a sound investment for those looking to provide a large volume of fresh ground coffee. They offer to save both time and money.
Ideal for - Businesses wishing to provide coffee service for many meeting rooms or caterers require fresh ground coffee on demand.
Watch out for - Bulk brew machines are large and require a high voltage electrical supply, so make sure you have room in your establishment.
Mains water connected - Yes
Instant Coffee Machines
Instant coffee machines offer a quick and convenient way to make a range of drinks, which usually include espresso, black coffee, white coffee, latte, cappuccino, and hot chocolate. The size of the machine is relative to the volume of drinks it dispenses.
Ideal for - Those looking for a choice of drinks dispensed quickly.
Watch out for - Instant coffee may not satisfy those seeking quality, fresh coffee.
Mains water connected - Yes
Pod and Cartridge Systems
Also known as single-brew coffee machines, pod and cartridge systems offer an easy, quick and convenient way to make one cup of coffee at a time, without any spillages or messy filter holders to clean.
Design - These machines use disposable, hermetically sealed, plastic pods of coffee, The roasted, blended, ground coffee in the capsules can remain fresh for up to 12 months
When you put a coffee pod into the machine, water is heated and forced through it, releasing the flavour of the drink into the cup.
Ideal for - Domestic and small offices
Watch out for - There has been much criticism over the sustainability of pod systems, with the majority of used pods going to landfill. Costs can also be prohibitive, with each drink coming in at between 20-50 pence.
Mains water connected - Both
With using fresh coffee beans to make a choice of drinks, most will agree that bean-to-cup coffee machines offer the best quality and most authentic range of coffee shop drink options.
Design - With many designs boasting a traditional espresso machine heritage, coffee machines developed for businesses offer ease, convenience, and minimum fuss. They are usually the best option for workplaces looking for a consistent ‘coffee shop’ range of drinks, without the hassle.
Ideal for - Offices that require a consistent range of fresh, quality coffee drinks.
Watch out for - Make sure your choice of coffee machine can serve the required number of cups per day.
Mains water connected - Yes
Quality Coffee Needed!
On the journey to finding your perfect cup of coffee, selecting the best coffee machine for your business is just the start. It’s important to think about the source, quality and taste of the coffee you choose, too.
Things to consider:
- How fresh is the ground coffee and/or the coffee beans?
- Is the coffee ethically sourced? e.g. Fairtrade Certified
- Is, the coffee sustainable? e.g. Sourced from Rainforest Alliance Farms
- Have the blends been created by coffee experts?
- And, have you tried it?
At the Office Coffee Company, we offer free in-office coffee tastings to help you choose the right coffee for your business.
Looking After Your Machine
To keep your coffee machine functioning at its best, it’s important to regularly clean and descales it to prevent mineral and limescale build-up. If the last thing on your mind is cleaning your business coffee machine, then you could consider selecting a machine that offers an easy cleaning programme and/or selecting a refreshment partner that offers a cleaning service.
Things to consider:
- How much time and effort is needed to keep the machine clean?
- Have you got a member of staff that could be responsible for the daily,
- weekly and monthly cleaning of your investment?
- Are you comfortable with how the machine works, and your ability to look after it?
At the Office Coffee Company, we offer routine deep cleaning visits as part of our TotalCare Service.
Types of Milk
1. Fresh milk - We all know that fresh milk tastes great, and we’re all used to adding it to our freshly brewed coffee. Fresh milk is the obvious choice for use with domestic coffee machines, and caterers and businesses that use traditional espresso coffee machines.
Ideal for - Use with machines that are kept constantly clean.
Watch out for - Using fresh milk with commercial and business coffee machines. If they’re not kept constantly clean, machines can easily clog up with milk residue, resulting in a hygiene hazard.
2. Granulated milk - If you don’t want the hassle of the cleaning regime required with fresh milk use, you can still enjoy the same great taste with authentic granulated milk. Freeze-dried to create a more convenient and hygienic product, granulated milk won’t clog your machine. Plus, it is a healthy alternative, containing less than 1% fat.
Ideal for - Busy working environments that don’t have the resources to constantly clean the residue that fresh milk leaves.
Watch out for Similar products that are loaded with artificial flavourings, colours and preservatives. It’s authentic granulated milk you need to ask for.
3. Whitener or topping - Whitener or topping offers a cheaper, faster alternative to fresh milk, and it can also be less messy. On the downside, you’ll miss out on the real taste of fresh milk and your coffee or tea won’t be of as high quality.
Ideal for - Vending machines or areas where quality is of less importance.
Watch out for - Suppliers that sell it as a milk powder.
Water Quality and Filtration
As much as we love our quality coffee beans, with a typical cup of coffee made up of 98% water, it’s just as important to consider water quality.
Having a water filter fitted to your coffee machine will help remove chlorine, pollutants, heavy metals, such as lead or copper, and other particles that are present in mains
water. Coffee machines with a water filter deliver superior quality drinks that look and taste great.
Water filters will also prevent any potential limescale from ending up in your drink. Hard water can cause limescale to build up on the heating element, and other important areas, reducing energy efficiency and damaging your machine. Left unchecked, this will eventually lead to the total breakdown of your equipment.
When choosing your business coffee machine, make sure the service provider changes the filter and descales the machine, every six months.
All our machines are fitted with a BRITA filter, as standard. Plus, we offer routine filter changing visits with our TotalCare Service.
Funding Your Machine
Outright purchase - By buying your coffee machine directly from a company, in one lump sum, you will be the sole owner of the equipment. It can cost less in the long-term, but if your requirements change and you need a new machine, you will have to pay out again.
Lease - Leasing is a popular way of funding business coffee machines. Provided by banks and leasing companies, the capital is broken down into instalments. You can choose to Lease Hire a machine and give it back after an agreed term, possibly for an upgrade. Or you can Lease Purchase a machine and own the asset.
With leasing, there is no room for payment negotiation if things go wrong with your coffee machine as banks and leasing companies are only interested in collecting the money owed.
Rental - Not widely available, coffee machine rental can be the easiest and most cost-effective way of funding your new coffee machine. By renting your machine directly from a provider, who will potentially also look after your service and refreshment supplies, you can bypass the need for external finance and leasing. companies.
Cup plans - With cup plans, the cost of rental, maintenance and supplies are all covered by a single price per cup, allowing you to only pay for what you use. Costs can be entirely covered by the vending price of coin-operated machines, with users covering all the charges, or your business can subsidise them.
Watch out for - Lack of flexibility. Consider if your business will have the same requirements in the future.
At the Office Coffee Company, we provide simple straightforward coffee and water solutions for the busy office. Our approach to looking after our customers means we put you first. Take a look at what’s included;
- Complimentory coffee tasting at the start
- Full installation including plumbing, parts and BRITA filter
- Comprehensive onboarding including coffee quality checks
- Single point of contact to see you through the process and ensure you are happy
- A full clean and descale to your coffee machine every six months (we even include the filter)
- No third party leasing Agreements, a simple rental plan with no fee’s, extras or hidden costs
- All call-outs, parts and labour which means we will be with you within 24 hours of the fault and fix it the first time*
*First-time fix at the date of publication is 94%. TotalCare service plan sits alongside either a rental plan or purchase option with extends the parts only warranty of the coffee machine from 12 months to onsite including all parts for the duration of the Agreement.