High-quality coffee is extremely accessible to the average consumer. As a result, if you serve coffee as part of your foodservice operation, you can't afford to offer anything less than great-tasting blends of professional-grade coffee.
Whether you're rounding out your office break room or supplying a commercial kitchen, you need to pick the coffee machine that suits the demand and personality of your particular environment.
To help you decide which coffee machine is right for you, we’ve highlighted some options for small, medium and large offices, as well as commercial companies.
Unlike corporations that distribute work among hundreds of employees, colleagues in a boutique business rely on each other at every step. Just one person's dip in productivity is felt throughout the office, so having coffee on demand is a must.
To help coffee drinkers work to their full potential, Bunn has created it’s Small Office Coffee Brewer Package. Featuring the VPR 12-cup pourover model, the package includes 2 decanters, paper filters, and 2 separate warmers, which means you'll always have a fresh pot ready when needed.
For employees who prefer espresso, there's no shortage of office espresso machines on the market too. Lavazza, one of the world's leading espresso bean providers, makes a low-cost machine that perfectly suits a group of around 20 or less. Their EP 850 is compact and easy to use.
Using Lavazza's unique Espresso Point capsule technology, the user must simply insert a capsule of pre-measured coffee, twist, and brew. An accompanying steam wand means everyone in the office can enjoy cappuccinos or lattes too.
Medium-sized offices have a unique problem. They have a larger workforce and therefore need a coffee machine with a higher output. However, they don't always have the space to accommodate larger models.
Fortunately, many companies make compact and easy-to-place machines that can also match the demand of groups of 20 to 50 people.
To add a touch of elegance to your coffee selection, consider the Zenius by Nespresso. A single-cup machine, the Zenius can deliver light, medium or strong doses of coffee depending on the user's preference. At only 15 inches high, it will easily fit into your existing break room or kitchen.
However, if you have a little more real estate to work with and want to offer a wider selection from a familiar brand, The Starbucks Interactive Cup Digital Brewer is a good choice.
Featuring a 3-bean hopper and different-sized cups, employees will always be able to find their desired roast and quantity. Simply program a selection into the digital interface and the machine grinds the beans, brews and fills the cup in under a minute.
For larger offices, selection and brew quality are just as important as keeping up with demand. For a group of 50 or more employees, that can be a sizeable task. However, no office is too big for consistent, on-demand coffee.
The Axiom-3 by Bunn is an automatic coffee brewer built for high-volume. Complete with three burners and a large, 200 ounce tank, you'll never run out of coffee, even in peak times.
Bunn's patented BrewLOGIC technology calculates flow rate and adjusts brewing time in order to meet the different coffee demands of different hours of the day.
To round out your coffee selection, consider adding a high-power espresso machine to the mix as well. DeLonghi's Magnifica S Cappuccino ECAM machine delivers the performance of a fully automatic espresso machine at a fraction of the size.
To streamline the process of production even more, it has a “single touch” hot milk system, which creates a latte or cappuccino at the touch of a button.
In commercial environments, you need a workhorse machine that's small enough to seamlessly integrate with the food and drink preparation happening around it.
Bunn BreWISE ThermoFresh DBC Brewer
In this scenario, the Bunn BrewWISE ThermoFresh DBC Brewer could provide the solution. Simple and unfussy, you can program this machine to brew different volumes of coffee, up to 1.5 gallons.
Using a wireless connection, the grinder and brewer can communicate to each other via a chip in the machine's portable Smart Funnel, which means they don't have to be in the same space.
For tight kitchens or prep areas with crowded counters, this feature makes the BrewWISE a highly efficient choice.
Seattle’s Best Coffee Hot Drink Center by Starbucks
For any area subject to a lot of foot traffic, you'll need to provide the best coffee with the most options. Circumstances like this may require Seattle's Best Coffee Hot Drink Center by Starbucks.
With a built-in grinder and sophisticated internal brewing system, the Drink Center calibrates the right temperature, volume of water and brew for every drink request. Meanwhile guests and customers can choose from a variety of coffee and specialty beverages.
Jura Capresso Giga 5
Alternatively, the Giga 5 by Jura Capresso offers a unique twist on the commercial coffee machine. Like other models in its category, it brews exceptional coffee on demand, but its sleek design and sophisticated features make it a good option for any establishment that wants to put their appliance on display.
The Giga 5 reduces the noise of grinding to near silence and has a pre-brew aroma system which allows for a number of pre-programmed coffee and espresso recipes. This machine also comes equipped with an internal rinsing and descaling program, guaranteeing the freshness of your water. For restaurants or other establishments that want to provide a high-end coffee experience, the Giga 5 is an excellent choice.
To get an idea of which kind of machine you should choose, we’ve explained some benefits of each type:
Employees and servers like pour-over carafes for their convenience. If everyone in your office can agree on a roast, or your restaurant relies on servers to pour coffee table-side, then choose a machine that uses carafes.
The newest trend among coffee machines is the single-serve system. Whether the manufacturer calls them pods or capsules, the small vehicles of pre-measured coffee deliver a fast, tasty beverage to the individual.
From Starbucks to Illy to Nespresso, many big-name companies want to emphasize choice and efficiency when it comes to their office and commercial machines. Using small pods arguably makes the coffee experience easier and less wasteful.
Increasingly, espresso machines work the same way as single-serve coffee machines. Using a pod, they can deliver the kind of strong coffee that espresso lovers expect.
Additionally, all of them come with a milk-heating and / or frothing option, with varying degrees of simplicity. Whether it's an adjustable wand or a connected component, espresso machines can make everyone's favorite lattes and cappuccinos.
Coffee machine prices typically vary depending on their capabilities. Utilitarian, semi-automatic office machines that make smaller batches of coffee are generally less expensive than more sophisticated machines. Small office coffee machines or subscription services start under $200.
Machines that fall into the middle range come with enhanced features and greater output. Models in the mid range typically offer greater beverage options, and produce a more refined cup of java overall.
Although they are built to serve approximately the same number of employees, prices on these machines range from a few hundred dollars for streamlined models, to nearly $1,000 for high-end, design-savvy machines.
The next step up in price for coffee machines corresponds to more volume and even more options for your employees. For quantity, you can find simple pour-over machines that heat multiple carafes at once for as low as $550.
However, if you want some flexibility with drink options and coffee strength in addition to output, more dynamic machines run between $1,000 - $1,500.
Commercial machines need to be durable and perform a variety of jobs as well. From making multiple drinks at once to automatic grinding and milk frothing, they are essentially their own baristas. This means your servers can spend less time making coffee and more time talking to customers and preparing other food.
Commercial coffee machines start around $1,500, and run up to $5,500 for advanced models.
Coffee Machine Companies
Here's an introduction to some of the most popular brands of coffee machines. To read more about each one and to visit the full supplier review, click any logo in the table below.