Choosing the right coffee machine for the office is an important aspect in promoting positive workforce morale. Arguably, a quality cup of coffee for everyone is just as important as good equipment or fast Wi-Fi. However, choosing the perfect machine for your workplace may be somewhat intimidating, especially when you consider the wide range of products available.
Luckily for you, this list is here to help! We’ve done our research and put together a list of opinions about the various coffee machines on the market. With this knowledge, you can consider the circumstances of your office and make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the perfect coffee machine to keep your colleagues or employees on their toes throughout the day.
Herein, we’ll discuss all the considerations that should be kept in mind when purchasing coffee machines for small office spaces and big office spaces alike. The considerations are fairly broad and far-reaching because we wanted to cover all our bases. After all, everyone has different ideas of what a good cup of coffee is and what a good coffee machine should do. Additionally, everybody’s work environment is unique. Nevertheless, we are hopeful that this list will assist you in one way or another by guiding you in the right direction.
The Purchasing Guide
An important consideration when purchasing a particular coffee machine is how programmable it is and how much control the user has when it comes to setting their preferences. There are a plethora of super-automatic coffee machines out there that are designed to do most of the work on your behalf, but this is not to say that you can’t vary how you want your beverage prepared. There are many programming options available on most models to suit your particular needs and circumstances.
For example, you may have an interest in changing the grind size, the temperature of the drink, or the strength of the coffee. If you are very particular about how the brewing process should go, you should look for models that allow for adjustments, as there are some that only have a standard brewing setting that is not subject to change.
The Type of Machine
Not to be confused with the model, the type of coffee machine refers to its core programs and design. Some of the popular options to choose from are as follows:
The Bean-to-Cup Machine
Buying whole beans rather than pre-ground coffee is actually a great way to save money. If this appeals to you, you should consider models out there that have a built-in grinder. All you would need to do is add fresh beans and let the machine do everything else. This is significantly more convenient than having to purchase a grinder separately.
The Barista-grade Machine
Semi-automatic espresso machines will always provide quality coffee that could put the professionals to shame. No matter what brand you buy, semi-automatic espresso machines are reliable, and you can trust that you’ll get a great-tasting beverage out of them.
The Filter or Drip Coffee Maker
Filter or drip machines are very inexpensive and highly intuitive. Many come with a carafe that will keep the temperature of your coffee steady even if you don’t get to it right away. If you want to save money by buying coffee in bulk, these machines are a good option.
The Pod-based Machine
Pod-based machines can be pricy, but they provide ultimate style and convenience. All the user has to do is fill up the machine’s water tank and insert a capsule of concentrated coffee. Tap the button and, within a couple of minutes, you’ll have a warm and flavorful cup of coffee to indulge in.
Although the type of coffee machine is very important, there are a number of more specific functions and features that you should keep in mind when selecting the right model for your office. Some of the more pertinent considerations are as follows:
The capacity of the machine’s water tank, milk carafe, and bean hopper is very important and should be considered in relation to the size of the office and the number of members working there on a daily basis. It would be especially tedious if the machine would need to be refilled after only one or two uses, especially if there are many employees waiting to get their cup.
If you have a particularly small office, a smaller machine may be perfectly suitable. Some models can only manage a few espresso shots at a time, but there are also many models that can make multiple cups at once. Make sure that you select the right fit for your team.
Particularly in an office, family, or another group setting, you’ll need a machine that is resilient to constant use.
It is, therefore, imperative that you not make pricing the most important factor when selecting a coffee machine, as many cheaper models won’t last and the constant maintenance or the need to replace them will cost you more in the long run. Budget for quality and longevity.
Make sure that your chosen machine has high-quality parts and keep away from cheaper models that take shortcuts. A good way to know whether the machine you are considering has durable components and is likely to last is to read consumer reviews.
You surely don’t have time to train every employee on how to work an overly complicated coffee machine, and this would be especially tedious if your workplace has a high staff turnover rate, meaning it would have to be a frequent tutorial. Rather, just find a user-friendly device that just about anyone could figure out.
Happily, many of the models produced these days require just the tap of a button to brew a cup of coffee, meaning that there should be no training videos on correct coffee creation in the future. You may not even have to consult the instruction manual, as many have a very clear display screen that directs you throughout the process.
Hygiene and Maintenance
Simplicity when it comes to using the machine is important, but just as important is the simplicity of maintaining the machine and keeping it clean. Most modern models have self-cleaning capabilities or are just incredibly easy to dismantle and clean out as needed.
The office coffee machine should be treated as a long-term investment, meaning that you should be willing to spare the extra expense for a high-quality and durable machine, rather than a cheap one that will only last a few months before needing pricy maintenance or replacement.
It’s also important to remember that the quality of the machine itself has a direct impact on the quality of the coffee it will produce. Your workers deserve high-quality coffee to get them through their day and you wouldn’t want to spend money on a machine that produces espressos that may as well be instant coffee. Not to mention the embarrassment of offering bland coffee to potential clients during meetings! It just goes against the whole point of buying a machine in the first place.
When planning your budget for the coffee machine, don’t forget about the cost of restocking it and the quality of coffee you would need for the machine to be put to its best use. Although pod-based machines are simple and convenient, the coffee capsules used in these machines are in need of constant replacement and they certainly aren’t cheap.
We would recommend that you buy a bean-to-cup machine and stock up on high-quality and fresh coffee beans that will last a while.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Kind of Coffee should be used in an Automatic Coffee Machine?
In theory, you can put any kind of coffee you like in an espresso machine, but it’s recommended that you use a medium or dark roast in order to get a full and rich flavor out. Italian and Espresso roasts tend to have that desired richness and bitterness that most coffee drinkers are looking for. However, it is imperative that you not use oily coffee beans in automatic coffee machines, as the natural oils can leak into the cogs of the machine and cause unwanted blockages and other obstructions.
How Many Bars of Pressure is Ideal for Espresso?
Espresso generally requires 9 BARs of pressure to be optimum, which is around 9 times the pressure at sea level. Some more modern machines, however, are designed with internal pressure pumps that operate at between 15 and 17 BARs.
How does one go about maintaining their Espresso Machine?
Espresso machines require frequent cleaning and descaling. If the machine gets daily use, then it should be cleaned at least once weekly. The weekly clean need not be overly thorough, and it should suffice to simply backflush the machine with water. However, you would need to do a more precise and thorough clean after 200 shots or so in order to keep the machine running at optimum performance. During a more thorough clean, you should backflush the device and use the suggested cleaning capsules or powders that can be bought separately.
How does one descale their Espresso Machine?
The manufacturer of your particular model will most likely suggest in the instruction manual how frequently you should descale the machine. Modern models also come with various alerts to let you know when it is time to descale the machine. This is usually in the form of a little light indicator or a warning appearing on the display screen.
Coffee forms part of the staple diet of most adults around the world and many of us can’t imagine going about our workday without it.
If you are working in an office environment, in particular, it’s very easy for the fatigue to set in after hours of staring at a bright screen and not getting up to a lot of physical activity throughout the day. More importantly, if you have a lot of client meetings taking place in the office, you surely want to provide a high-quality espresso for them to sip on as you talk business. A good automatic coffee machine can boost productivity in the office and client satisfaction as well, so there’s really no reason not to get one.
We hope that this list has presented some useful guidance to start your journey of finding the perfect automatic espresso machine for your office. We are confident that with all the above considerations in mind, you will make the right choice.