a cat sitting on a table next to some takeaway iced coffees in plastic cups

My Coffee Journey – Tiffany Mitchell.

My Coffee Journey returns after a break, with some comments from our new Marketing Manager, Tiffany Mitchell.

What was your first experience of coffee?

My first job was in a sandwich shop when I was 17. Before this, I didn’t drink coffee. It wasn’t a conscious choice, just something I never thought about. It was when I started to get to know the coffee machine they had in the shop and began making mochas and cappuccinos for customers that my appreciation grew. I really enjoyed both making and drinking the coffee from that point onwards.

What’s your favourite coffee?

I’m on the cappuccino hype at the minute! Before that it was mochas, but there’s nothing like a white Americano in the morning. I love salted caramel and coffee frappuccinos and have a coffee press at home, which is where I first tried the Change Please blends.

In your experience at Connect, what’s the best coffee and which machine did it come from?

We have a Coffeetek Neo downstairs which is a new addition and I’m loving the flat white from there. Just have to remember not to add full strength on the coffee! Just a tiny bit extra makes all the difference. I like that you can either dispense a cup or bring your own as well – and it will make the specific drink I want straight away if I have the code.

What role does coffee play in your life?

Coffee used to be pivotal for me. I guess it still is, but I do limit myself to only a couple per day now and a treat on the weekend. I did reach the point of drinking so much coffee that the effect wore off! So that’s why I regulate it a bit more now and only drink quality blends.

What’s the single most important element that makes a good coffee?

For me it’s the bean, strength and freshness. I enjoy quite strong coffee, but getting the blend and flavour right is so important.

Do you feel that workplace food and beverage solutions are becoming more experience-based and aligned to workers’ lifestyles?

As a newbie to the industry at the moment, I’m finding the industry is a lot more nuanced than I first thought.

From speaking to many customers in the last couple of months, it’s clear that the solutions they are looking for are based in quality, variety and the expectation of excellent service.

They’re not against spending money if it means a really great experience for their staff and visitors that enables everyone to connect on breaks and during the working day. That’s a priority that in my opinion stems from the effects of COVID-19, with the desire to bring people back together and invest in that experience.

How important is it for organisations to have water solutions alongside their coffee machines?

It’s super important. Not only is it vital for wellbeing to have a water solution available and encourage healthy habits – but overall coffee sales can actually increase when you add water into the mix.

The water market is so much more innovative than I expected. Thanks to COVID, there are a variety of touch-free solutions and a real drive on the health and wellbeing side.

We have suppliers that offer standard hot and cold instant taps as well as sparkling water, which is dramatically increasing in popularity. Flavoured sparkling is also available, both from taps and in cans for vending and even wholesale. My favourite currently are mint and cucumber type flavours, they’re so refreshing. Sparkling water is definitely a healthy alternative to fizzy drinks.











If there was one piece of advice you could give to businesses looking at buying coffee machines, what would it be?

When you’re looking at the options, try to think from the perspective of a long-term solution. The last thing you want to do is end up spending money twice because the first solution doesn’t fit.

A good supplier will listen and advise based on your specific needs, but do ensure that you consider and ask about factors such as capacity – purchasing a coffee solution capable of fulfilling your organisation’s day-to-day needs. A coffee machine under constant use will need to stay heated, so a smaller capacity may not be right for you.

Maintenance is also important. For example, fresh milk coffee machines need a daily clean to avoid hygiene issues. Is this something you’re happy with and have the resources for?

Lastly, does the supplier offer taste tests? This can help you find out which coffees your employees prefer, to maximise uptake when it’s installed.