First, let’s consider the typical requirements of an office environment and how each different type of coffee machine may be able to fulfil them.
You want to offer your customers and employees delicious, freshly ground barista style coffee, so the coffee machine you choose needs to be simple to use, easy to maintain and set up, and of course it should fit comfortably in the space you have available.
There are quite a number of different types of coffee machine available, without even going into all of the different manufacturers. Let’s see if we can narrow the search down to the most suitable type of office coffee machine. Then all you have to do is choose the best machine for your needs – one that offers a good selection of coffee options, has all the functionality you require and which falls within your budget.
Let’s have a look at what’s on offer:
Powder and Soluble Coffee Machines
Powder or soluble coffee machines are great if you just want to serve instant coffee, but as we’re trying to move away here from instant to a higher quality beverage, we can essentially rule out all soluble coffee machines immediately. Similarly, vending machines are going to give you the same instant / powder-based drink, so we can rule these out as well.
Positives - very simple to use
Negatives - freeze-dried coffee offers no real improvement in taste over instant coffee
Pod and Capsule Coffee Machines
There is now a wide variety of pod-based machines available in the market, including Flavia / Kenco etc. and machines with capsule style sachet/bag refill. We’ve tried most of them. They are basically OK and are quite simple to use, but can be rather wasteful, depending on the sachet style, and that’s definitely not good for the environment.
If they could really get the full flavour of a freshly ground barista coffee from a sachet or pod, we're pretty sure they would already be using them in Caffè Nero, Starbucks, etc. to save themselves the high cost of employing baristas. In fact, the new Costa Express sites all use Bean-to-Cup machines, as do McDonald’s.
Positives - often cheap to buy and easy to use
Negatives – pods/capsules can be expensive and they are difficult to recycle
Conclusion - Soluble, Pod or Capsule office coffee machines will fulfil the needs of many, but to get a really good speciality coffee, you’re going to need freshly ground coffee beans, and that means either a traditional machine or a good quality Bean-to-Cup machine.
Traditional Machines vs Bean-to-Cup Machines
A traditional machine (picture below) offers the potential to make the very best coffee, but this potential is impacted by the operator of the machine, so you’ll need to have a full-time barista on the payroll. Some offices do this, but it’s an expensive option.
This is where bean-to-cup machines (see below) really come into their own. They may not offer quite the absolute coffee perfection that a good barista can provide, but they do offer consistency and convenience. Your staff can operate these machines at the touch of a button and get themselves a great tasting coffee.
Any well-trained barista you find working in a good coffee shop will be an artist, and should be able to extract the finest espresso for you. If your company can’t afford the luxury of a full-time barista, a good quality Bean-to-Cup espresso machine is going to offer you nearly the same quality of coffee, but at a lower cost.
Traditional machines are generally large and require a mains water supply and a large filter. A bean-to-cup machine can be tank fed or mains water fed. A traditional machine will usually need a fairly large separate grinder, as well as a knock box. A key benefit of bean-to-cup office coffee machines is that they are easy to set up and take up much less space. In the case of a tank fed machine, only a mains electricity supply is needed, so you’ll be up and running, drinking great coffee right away.
Conclusion - If your office just needs to provide basic, simple coffee with minimum fuss, then a pod or vending system may be the ideal solution, but, if you’re prepared to put in a little occasional maintenance in order to get a far superior drink, we can’t think of a reason to choose anything other than a high-quality bean-to-cup office coffee machine.
Of all the speciality coffee making options currently available, a high-quality bean-to-cup machine is going to tick the majority of boxes for most offices and businesses.
Where you have multiple users requiring high-quality speciality coffee at the touch of a button, a bean-to-cup office coffee machine has got to be the answer.
Make a Coffee with Your Smartphone
Another important feature in today’s busy world comes with the Jura Operating Experience App – with this you can make your coffee using your smartphone! No physical contact with the machine is required - simply place your cup under the dispenser and use the app to select your drink.
One of the consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic is that nobody wants to touch buttons anymore, so using this app clearly has health and safety benefits.
Traditional Machines Are Great, but Need to Be Used in the Right Environment
At Caffé-Select we sell and service Jura bean-to-cup office coffee machines, so you may think our conclusion about the best coffee machine for an office environment is biased. We’d like to point out that we actually use, sell and actively promote traditional machines as well, but they have to operate in the “right” environment.
In our view, the right environment for traditional machines is with an “operator” who knows how to use it correctly. When the stars align and you have the combination of a traditional machine and a highly skilled barista, fabulous coffee will surely be served.
To find out more about our fabulous range of Jura bean-to-cup office coffee machines, CLICK HERE.