Customised Coffee Solutions: Tailoring Brews for Different Business Environments.

Coffee is the lifeblood of many office workers, providing that much-needed caffeine kick to power through the workday. In today's corporate world, providing employees with coffee solutions in the workplace has therefore become essential, but choosing the right coffee solution for your office can be a challenging, sometimes daunting task.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ll explore various types of coffee solutions commonly found in office environments, comparing their strengths and weaknesses. If you’re considering the different approaches and are looking to buy an office coffee machine, this one’s for you.

Choosing for Office: Semi-Automatic vs Fully Automatic Hot Drink Machines

When it comes to choosing a hot drink machine for your office, one fundamental decision revolves around the level of automation: semi-automatic or fully automatic. Understanding this difference is crucial in aligning your choice with your office’s specific needs.


Semi-Automatic Hot Drink Machines

Semi-automatic coffee machines require more hands-on involvement from the user. These machines often feature a manual control system, giving individuals the ability to start and stop the brewing process. The key distinction lies in the absence of a built-in cup drop unit, requiring users to place their cups manually.

  • Control: Users have more control over the brewing process, allowing for customisation.
  • User Interaction: Requires manual cup placement and initiation of the brewing cycle.

Suitability: Ideal for environments where users prefer more control and customisation in their hot drinks.


Fully Automatic Hot Drink Machines

Fully automatic machines, on the other hand, boast a higher level of automation. These machines often come with a built-in cup drop unit, streamlining the brewing process and reducing the need for user intervention.

  • Automation: Offers a hands-free experience with automated cup dropping and beverage preparation.
  • User Interaction: Minimal user involvement; users typically press a button to select their preferred drink.

Efficiency: Well-suited for high-traffic areas with a consistent demand for hot beverages.


Choosing Between Semi-Automatic and Fully Automatic

Consider the level of user interaction preferred in your office. Semi-automatic machines provide a more hands-on experience, allowing users to tailor their drinks, while fully automatic machines prioritise efficiency and convenience.

 


Bean-To-Cup vs Instant Offerings Within Hot Drink Machines

Once you’ve determined the automation level, the next crucial decision revolves around the type of coffee or hot beverage these machines can deliver. The primary contenders here are Bean to Cup and Instant offerings, each with its unique characteristics.


Bean to Cup Hot Drink Machines

Bean to Cup machines are designed to deliver a freshly brewed cup of coffee using whole coffee beans. These machines typically come equipped with a grinder, ensuring a high-quality and aromatic beverage.

  • Quality: Replicates the quality of coffee from speciality cafes by using freshly ground coffee beans.
  • Variety: Offers a range of coffee options, from espresso to cappuccino, catering to diverse preferences.

Freshness: The grinding process happens just before brewing, ensuring maximum flavour.


Instant Hot Drink Machines

Instant machines, on the other hand, prioritise speed and convenience. They use pre-packaged instant coffee granules to provide a quick and consistent cup of coffee.

  • Speed: Near-instantaneous delivery, perfect for high-traffic settings with time constraints.
  • Consistency: Ensures a consistent flavour with every cup, eliminating variations.

Space Efficiency: Usually more compact and takes up less space than a full-service coffee station. This makes them suitable for smaller offices and workplaces.


Choosing Between Bean to Cup and Instant coffee machines

Consider the preferences of your office staff. Bean to Cup machines appeal to those who savour the nuances of freshly ground coffee, while Instant machines cater to those who prioritise speed and consistency.


Coffee Solution for Your Office

Explore a curated selection of office coffee solutions tailored to meet your unique preferences:

  • Embark on the journey of superior coffee with our bean-to-cup machines, featuring standout options such as COFFEETEK NEO Q, COFFEETEK NEO, and more. Alternatively, indulge in the cutting-edge Aqua Libre illi for an instant hot boiling water solution with premium aesthetics. For those intrigued by the power of three, our diverse range has you covered.
  • If you’re targeting a daily production of 150 cups and prioritising durability, the COFFEETEK VITRO X3 can be your robust coffee solution.
  • The choice between a 9-oz cup and a 12-oz cup is pivotal, but the heart of your coffee experience lies in the quality of your brewer. Enter the LARHEA VARIPLUS GRANDE 2 PREMIUM—a remarkable hot drink machine. With its adept and versatile brewer, it effortlessly caters to larger drink sizes, ensuring a consistently satisfying coffee experience, irrespective of the cup size. Elevate your coffee ritual with perfection in every cup.

 

In the realm of coffee, Moka and Aeropress yield only three cups, while the Vitro X3 reigns supreme, crafting a staggering 150 daily! Its prowess extends beyond quantity; maintenance is effortless. Both semi-automatic and automatic machines offer user-friendly upkeep, ensuring a seamless coffee experience. Ideal for workplaces with 30+ employees, these machines balance practicality and flavour effortlessly, making the Vitro X3 the undisputed champion in the caffeinated symphony.

 

Let’s drill deeper into the different types of coffee options you can use in your workplace.


TRADITIONAL DRIP COFFEE MACHINES

You’d probably recognise drip coffee machines from films – they’re the glass jars with large black handles that waitresses do the rounds with, in American cinema. They are known for their simplicity and ease of use in office environments, as well as in restaurants and cafes.

Perfect for: office environments with basic requirements, particularly those with regular visitors

 

STRENGTHS
Simplicity: Easy to use, with minimal maintenance.

Capacity: Can brew large batches of coffee to cater to a sizable workforce.

Cost-effective: Generally, these machines are budget-friendly.

 

WEAKNESSES
Quality: Coffee quality can vary, with potential for over-brewing or under-brewing.

Variety: Limited to the basics – fine if all you’re after is a straightforward black coffee.

Freshness: Coffee can become stale if left on a hot plate for too long.

TIPS FOR PERFECT COFFEE

– Freshly Ground Beans: Use freshly ground coffee beans for the best flavour.

Precise Ratio: Measure the coffee-to-water ratio precisely to avoid over-brewing or under-brewing.

Clean Machine: Clean the machine regularly to prevent any buildup affecting the taste.


POD COFFEE MACHINES

Pod coffee machines have gained popularity due to their convenience and variety of beverage options. These machines use pre-packaged coffee pods and make brewing a fresh coffee as simple as popping a pod into the machine and pressing a couple of buttons.

 

Perfect for: Startups and small businesses where demand for coffee is low, but drink quality is important

 

STRENGTHS

Variety: Offers a reasonable range of options depending on pod availability.

Convenience: Quick and easy to use, with minimal cleanup.

Freshness: Coffee pods maintain freshness until use.

 

WEAKNESSES

Environmental Impact: Though now recyclable, pods can still be bad for the environment if disposed of incorrectly.

Cost: Coffee pods can be more expensive per cup compared to other methods.

Limited Capacity: May not be suitable for offices with high coffee consumption.

 

TIPS FOR PERFECT COFFEE

Experiment: Experiment with different pod brands to find the one that suits your taste.

Water-only Cycle: Run a water-only cycle before making your first cup to ensure freshness.

Dark Storage Space: Store coffee pods in a dark space to maintain flavour.


ESPRESSO MACHINES/COMMERCIAL COFFEE MACHINES

Espresso machines bring a touch of luxury to the office and cater to those who prefer strong, high quality coffee beverages like lattes, cappuccinos, and espressos. They come in various configurations to suit different sizes of businesses, and different drink requirements.

 

Bean to cup office coffee machines are one of the most popular office coffee machine configurations, with an increasing number of offices now opting for fresh milk options, too.

 

Perfect for: Medium and large sized businesses who want to offer great quality coffee and variety of drinks

 

STRENGTHS

Quality: Produces high-quality coffee with rich flavours and crema.

Variety: Allows for a wide range of espresso-based beverages, both with and without milk.

Customisation: Gives employees the flexibility to adjust the strength, size and even syrup flavouring of their coffee.

 

WEAKNESSES

Complexity: More complex than smaller, simpler machines, so requires expert maintenance.

Space: These machines are often larger than other types of machines, with some floor standing machines needing dedicated space in an office kitchen.

Utility requirements: Most larger office coffee machines are designed to be plumbed in, which can be a drawback for businesses that don’t have water and waste plumbing already in place.


TIPS FOR PERFECT COFFEE

Fresh Roasted Beans: Invest in premium, freshly roasted coffee beans for an authentic taste.

Prevent Buildup: Regularly clean and descale the machine to prevent any buildup affecting the quality.

Proper Tamping: Ensure proper tamping of the coffee grounds for a consistent extraction.


POUR-OVER COFFEE MAKER

The pour-over coffee maker is a manual brewing method offering a hands-on and customisable approach to preparing coffee for work. It involves pouring hot water evenly over coffee grounds, allowing for precise control over the brewing process. 

Perfect for: offices and businesses that appreciate a more artful and personalised cup of coffee for the offices. The individuals have the time to engage in such coffee brewing methods. 

STRENGTHS 

– Customisation: Pour-over coffee makers provide complete control over factors like water temperature, pour rate, and bloom time, allowing coffee enthusiasts to tailor their brew to perfection.

– Flavour Profiling: The pour-over method enables the extraction of nuanced flavours based on the characteristics of the coffee beans, delivering a rich and aromatic cup.

– Simple Equipment: With minimal equipment required, pour-over coffee makers are a cost-effective choice, making them accessible for both beginners and experienced users. 

WEAKNESSES

– Time-Consuming: Pour-over coffee making can be time-consuming compared to automated methods, as it requires careful attention to achieve the desired results for workplace coffee. 

– Skill Dependent: Achieving the perfect cup of pour-over coffee may require practice and a certain level of skill in mastering pouring techniques.

– Not Suitable for Large Quantities: Pour-over coffee makers may not be as efficient for those looking to make larger quantities.

Tips For Perfect Coffee 

– Quality Beans: Start with high-quality, freshly ground coffee beans for the best flavour.

Pre-wet Filter: Eliminate any paper taste and residues by pre-wetting the coffee filter before brewing.

Experiment with Techniques: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different pouring techniques to find the one that suits your taste preferences.


FRENCH PRESS COFFEE MAKER

The French press, also known as a press pot or plunger pot, stands as a timeless and uncomplicated method for brewing coffee that results in a strong and full-bodied cup, ideal for the workplace. This coffee maker provides an easy yet efficient approach to savouring a vibrant and rich coffee experience, making it a superb option for individuals who value the hands-on ritual of brewing.

Perfect for mid-sized offices and enterprises that prioritise creativity and relish a robust coffee profile. It caters to those who favour a straightforward yet powerful manual brewing process.

 

STRENGTHS

Bold Flavour: The French press extracts oils and flavours from coffee grounds, resulting in a strong and aromatic cup.

Ease of Use: With minimal parts and a simple design, the French press is user-friendly and requires no electricity.

Versatility: It can also be used to brew loose-leaf tea, providing versatility for those who enjoy different hot beverages.

WEAKNESSES

Heat Retention: Many French press coffee makers are not designed to keep coffee hot for an extended period. 

Limited Brewing Control: While it offers control over steeping time, it may not provide the same precision in temperature and pour rate as some other methods.

Glass Fragility: French press carafes are typically made of glass, which can be fragile and susceptible to breakage.

Tips for Perfect Coffee 

– Utilise a Coarse Grind: Achieve flavorful coffee using a coarse grind in the French Press.

Adjust Brewing Time: Fine-tune the brewing time to achieve the finest cup of coffee. Experiment for 4 to 6 minutes and observe the most favourable results. Your efforts will yield a delightful coffee experience at the workplace!

– Pre-Heating: Maintain the optimal temperature by preheating the French Press with hot water before initiating the brewing process.


COLD BREW COFFEE MAKER

The cold brew coffee maker is a chic solution for office coffee enthusiasts. Steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water produces a smooth, low-acid concentrate—ideal for a refreshing workday pick-me-up. 

Perfect for the office in warmer weather, offering a milder, less acidic coffee experience for a productive day at work.

STRENGTHS

Smooth Flavor Profile: Cold brew coffee is known for its smooth, mellow flavour with lower acidity, making it a favourite among those who prefer a less bitter taste.

High Caffeine Content: The cold brewing process extracts a higher concentration of caffeine, providing a potent and energising coffee concentrate as compared to ice coffee. 

Versatility: The cold brew concentrate can be diluted with water, milk, or alternative milk options, allowing for a customisable and versatile coffee experience.

WEAKNESSES

Brewing Time: Cold brew coffee requires a longer brewing time, typically ranging from 12 to 24 hours. This extended steeping period may not be suitable for those seeking a quick cup of coffee.

Storage Space: Cold brew coffee concentrate needs to be stored in the refrigerator, occupying valuable space, which might be a consideration in smaller office refrigerators.

Limited Temperature Options: Reheating the cold brew coffee for work is not a practical option. It can lead to an unpleasant taste. 

Tips For Perfect Coffee

Coarse Grind: Use a coarse grind to prevent over-extraction and bitterness.

Brewing Time Experimentation: Adjust the brewing time to find the desired strength. Longer steeping times result in a stronger concentration.

Dilution Ratio: Dilute the cold brew concentrate with water or milk based on personal taste preferences.


SIPHON COFFEE MAKER

The siphon coffee maker, also known as a vacuum pot or syphon, is an intriguing and theatrical brewing method that creates a smooth and aromatic cup of coffee for work. The unique visual appeal of the siphon brewing process adds a touch of sophistication to the coffee-making experience.

Perfect for: small to medium-sized creative office spaces and businesses where a captivating and visually engaging coffee preparation method is appreciated in the break room. Ideal for those who enjoy a complex and aromatic cup of coffee and are willing to invest a bit more time in ways to brew coffee. 

STRENGTHS

Visual Spectacle: The siphon coffee maker offers a captivating and theatrical brewing display, making it an excellent choice for offices that value aesthetics and enjoy a coffee-making spectacle.

Aromatic Coffee: The vacuum brewing process enhances the extraction of flavours, resulting in a coffee with a full-bodied and aromatic profile.

Taste: Siphon-brewed coffee delivers a robust and full-bodied taste with complex flavour notes, offering a rich and aromatic experience that captivates the palate.

WEAKNESSES

Complexity: The siphon coffee maker involves a more intricate brewing process, which may require a learning curve for beginners. 

Fragility: Some siphon components, particularly the glass chambers, can be delicate and prone to breakage if mishandled, making it important to handle with care.

Limited Quantity: Siphon coffee makers are often designed to brew smaller quantities, making them less suitable for offices with high coffee consumption.

Tips For Perfect Coffee

Grind Consistency: Use a medium grind to ensure proper immersion and extraction.

Water-to-Coffee Ratio: Experiment with the ratio to find the balance between strength and flavour.

Filter Water: Use clean and filtered water to brew siphon coffee.


INSTANT COFFEE MACHINES

Instant coffee machines offer unparalleled speed and convenience in brewing coffee, making them a popular choice for offices and businesses with a need for instant gratification. These machines use pre-packaged instant coffee granules to deliver a quick and consistent cup of coffee with minimal effort.

Perfect for: High-traffic offices or businesses where time efficiency is crucial and individuals seek a rapid and fuss-free coffee solution. Ideal for those who prioritise convenience over the intricate brewing process.

STRENGTHS

Instant Gratification: Instant coffee machines provide a near-instantaneous cup of coffee, requiring no grinding, brewing, or waiting time.

Consistency: These machines ensure a consistent flavour with every cup, eliminating the variations that can occur with traditional brewing methods.

Low Maintenance: Instant coffee machines are generally low-maintenance, requiring minimal cleaning and upkeep compared to more complex brewing devices.

WEAKNESSES

Limited Variety: While some instant coffee machines offer variations like cappuccino or latte, the overall variety is limited compared to other brewing methods.

Quality Perception: Instant coffee may not meet the taste expectations of coffee enthusiasts who appreciate the nuances of freshly brewed coffee.

Environmental Impact: Instant coffee often comes in single-use packaging, contributing to environmental concerns. However, some brands are now introducing more sustainable packaging options.

Tips For Perfect Coffee

Water Temperature: Ensure the water temperature is within the recommended range for optimal dissolving of the instant coffee granules.

Stir Thoroughly: To achieve a consistent flavour, stir the coffee thoroughly to dissolve the granules evenly.

Experiment with Additives: Instant coffee can be customised with additives like sugar, cream, or flavoured syrups to enhance the taste based on individual preferences.

 

Choosing the right coffee solution for your office environment depends on various factors, including office size, budget, and the preferences of your employees. Traditional drip coffee machines are cost-effective and straightforward, while single-serve machines offer convenience and variety. Espresso machines provide a premium coffee experience but may require more maintenance and space.

 

We’d recommend incorporating employee preferences into your decision-making process, as this can lead to improved morale and job satisfaction. Offering a range of coffee options, including premium selections, is a surefire way to keep your workforce motivated and energised throughout the workday, with many businesses now offering coffee free for all staff because of the added value it gives employees.

 

Ultimately, the ideal coffee solution for your office will strike a balance between convenience, quality, and variety, ensuring that everyone can find their perfect cup of coffee at work.

 

If you’re unsure where to start when buying an office coffee machine, why not reach out to our friendly sales team? We’re here to help you get the ball rolling, and will work to understand your challenges and aims before recommending a solution that meets your requirements.

We’ve got more than 25 years of experience working with businesses to deliver best-in-class coffee solutions, and our consultative approach means you’ll never receive a proposal for a machine that we don’t believe is the best option.

 

You can call us on 01865 341011 or send us an enquiry – we’d love to hear from you!