Coffee is an essential part of daily life. In the UK alone, British Coffee Association reports that in 2018, coffee consumption has soared to 95 million cups a day! This is compared to only 70 million cups per day in 2008 which just shows how important this beverage has become.
The same survey, conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research which polled 2,000 adults in the UK, also found this interesting fact:
Only 10% of coffee in the UK is consumed in shops, bars and restaurants, which means 90% is drunk at home, at work or while studying.
This is potentially why coffee machines have become indispensable either at home or in the office. So whether you need a home brewer or an office coffee machine, it is important to understand the different types to be able to make an informed buying decision.
Here are the five most popular types.
A pod machine is a type of single serve coffee machine that uses coffee pods or capsules to create one cup of coffee. The pod contains ground coffee and can easily be inserted into the machine which will automatically produce a cup of espresso.
Although this type of machine can be quite pricey as the capsules tend to be more expensive than ground or instant coffee, it has still become popular for use in homes and hotels due to its no hassle and no mess feature. In fact, recent research has found that 17% of Brits own a coffee pod machine.
Convenience and speed are the top two reasons why coffee pod machines are gaining popularity. If you are rushed in the mornings but you want to get your caffeine fix at home, all you need to do is insert the pod and you get your cup of joe without the need to measure or assemble anything else. These coffee machines also come in compact versions so if you have limited space, this can be a suitable choice.
One downside is that each brand of machine usually has its own dedicated range of coffee capsules, so you are limited to the coffee flavours that brand offers. But this is perfect if the people you live with have a different coffee bean preference as you can choose the coffee flavour at every cup.
As mentioned, coffee pods tend to be more expensive per cup of coffee so if you are thinking of buying this for office use, it will only be practical if you have a small team of less than 5 people. The portable design can also make it convenient to bring to meetings as well as small events.
Coffee pump machines are more traditional espresso makers. Since most coffee variations use espresso as a base, you can prepare a cup of a silky espresso and manually make a latte, Americano, or a cappuccino.
The quality of the coffee produced by pump machines are lauded by espresso purists, however, these are not very easy to operate. Depending on the brand of the machine you buy, you would need to know how to operate it properly to avoid costly repair fees. Once you have been trained, it can get easier, but not necessarily quicker. Although there are already automatic types, these tend to be extra expensive.
Because of this, a pump machine may not be ideal for an office setting because the training and time involved can be an inconvenience, especially since employees only have short office coffee breaks. This is more suited for knowledgeable coffee enthusiasts who want to brew their own cup at home or for a specialty coffee shop service.
Bean to cup machines are a popular choice especially for office use. They are very user-friendly and you don’t need to train your staff to use these machines making them perfect for office coffee breaks. All the users need to do is to place their cup on the designated cup holder and with a push of a button, the machine will do all the work.
These machines are also designed to dispense a large volume of coffee in a short period of time. This means that there’s no need for your employees to queue and wait because they can have their caffeine fix almost instantly. The time-saving aspect makes it very attractive to business owners because since employees don’t need to manually brew their cup or go to the coffee shops, office productivity is maximised as a result.
Another great advantage of this type of machine is that it can make different variants of coffee. You can have the classic espresso, latte, cappuccino, black coffee and other coffee creations that will surely delight employees.
This machine can also be perfect for dorms, diners and even small restaurants because you get barista style coffee without the required expertise of being one.
If you want to provide coffee to a high traffic area like universities, hospitals, offices, or business centres, free standing coffee machines are more suitable for your needs.
This type of machine also uses coffee beans to dispense different customisable coffee recipes. You can have the option to make the coffee free if you’re providing it to employees or you can install a payment system to sell a cup.
One common misconception is that it is very expensive to have this type of machine. While buying outright can be a substantial expense, you can actually have the option to rent or lease the machine. There are flexible coffee vending machine rent or lease options which comes with installation, supply of fair trade coffee beans and other managed services to ensure that the machine is always in tip-top shape and well-stocked.
This is a popular coffee maker in the USA because, as you might have guessed already, it only dispenses black or American coffee. If the coffee drinkers in your home or office prefer simple, zero hassle coffee then this is a good affordable option.
Generally, you will be required to use pre-ground coffee and place it on a paper filter. It works by dripping water through the beans into the pot below. Since it only makes one type of coffee, you would need to add sugar or milk separately if you prefer.
Although this is simple to use, it has its limitations. First, you need to manually brew this which takes more time than a push-button machine. The pot also serves only a number of employees at a time which means if you have a high number of employees, this can cause a delay in the break room.
Choosing the right coffee machine is heavily dependent on your individual requirements. You have to weigh the different pros and cons of each type of machine in order to know which one is perfect for your needs.
If you are buying a machine for your personal use, decide on what features are more important to you and what would suit your lifestyle best.And if you are looking to purchase one for business, consider the size of your company and the available space you have in the office. It is also recommended to consider your employees’ preferences to ensure that you’re going to provide something that the majority will be able to appreciate.
In the end, the best decision will allow you to brew that perfect cup of coffee!