In recent years there has been a huge increase in demand for solutions that bring the coffee shop experience into the workplace. A bean to cup coffee machine is a system that will produce a coffee from whole beans at the touch of a button – the whole process being completely automatic. Broadly speaking there are two types of bean to cup coffee machines: those using fresh milk and those using a powdered or granulated milk to produce the milk portion of drinks such as cappuccino and latte. Kenco Local Business Service can supply both table top and floor standing bean to cup systems and in either case a wide range of speciality coffees are available, including drinks such as cappuccino, latte, espresso, café au lait and Americano. In some cases these machines will also dispense hot chocolate and water for tea. With the plethora of coffee shops serving great coffee on almost every High Street there has been a rise in expectations for the office coffee machine. Kenco Local Business Service are proud that our range of machines now allow you to bring Coffee Shop standard drinks into your workplace. We can supply the machines as well as the training, technical assistance and products that you require to complete a fantastic coffee offering in your office.
These machines are proving to be very popular at the moment but there are a number of things to consider before deciding that a bean to cup coffee machine is the right piece of equipment for you. Firstly they will require more cleaning and maintenance than other systems (such as the Kenco Singles or In Cup machines). Secondly they tend to be more expensive than simpler machines that use only soluble ingredients, the grinder that grinds the beans can be noisy if used in a quiet office environment and the dispense time is approximately 30 to 40 seconds for cappuccino or latte, making them unsuitable for a site where there may be a long queue of people waiting to use the machine. It is also imperative that in hard water areas a good quality water filter is fitted. Failure to do this will result in the water tank becoming scaled up and rubber seals and pipes being corroded. These problems can manifest themselves in various ways that will cause the machine to be less reliable than it should be.
In order to attain the “Coffee Shop” feel it may be desirable for staff to use china mugs or cups. This is a great idea but you may want to consider investing in a cup warmer in this instance. If you do not have a cup warmer and drinks are dispensed into cold cups then you may have complaints of “cold coffee”. In our experience this often has little to do with the temperature that the machine dispenses at and a lot to do with the fact the drink loses much of its heat when it hits the cold china. Lastly most will have a hot water option and there is often a temptation to use this for the production of tea. We would strongly advise you that these machines are not designed to be used to draw off large amounts of hot water. If you do insist on doing this you are likely to run into problems with tanks scaling up and machines taking time to heat water back up after it has been drawn off as well as requiring the water filter to be changed much more frequently. A much better option is to site a proper hot water boiler next to your coffee machine. These are the general points to consider but on top of these there are other issues depending upon exactly what type of bean to cup machine you use.
The fresh milk bean to cup machines that we supply are entirely of the table top variety. The beans are generally held in a bean hopper at the top of the machine. These are ground and water is filtered through them in a brewer unit under pressure to create an espresso. This espresso is then blended with water and or milk in order to produce a range of speciality coffees. This drink is dispensed into a either a disposable paper cup or a china cup if preferred.
Obviously a machine that uses whole beans and fresh milk (such as those in the Jura GIGA range) is the closest thing to the drink offered from a High Street coffee shop that you are likely to get in your office. They allow you to offer the type of drink that you might expect from a traditional espresso machine but without the need for the specialist knowledge or training of a Barista. However there are a number of things to consider before deciding whether to go for one of these. Firstly they will require a cleaning cycle to be performed on a daily basis. If this is not performed it is highly likely that the machine will develop a fault and require a visit from a technician. In this event the visit would be outside the terms of any warranty and would incur a charge, because of this it is important that you are sure the machine will be cleaned on a daily basis before opting for this option. Larger systems that use fresh milk will often have pressurised boilers that produce the steam required to make a cappuccino and as such your insurance company will demand that they are pressure tested on an annual basis. This is a fairly simple process but must be performed by a qualified technician and often an insurance company will insist that it is carried out under their supervision. Another small consideration is that generally speaking it is only the larger and more expensive fresh milk systems that will give you a hot chocolate option. The fresh milk that is used in these machines must be kept refrigerated and it is essential that you pair your machine with a milk fridge to do this. The milk will feed directly from this into your machine where it will be steamed and or frothed in order to produce you cappuccino or latte.
If you do decide that real milk is the best option for you then you still have to decide which machine best suits your needs. One golden rule that you should follow is to opt for the machine that best suits your usage. Too often we see our competitors supply machines that are simply not suitable for the level of usage on a particular site and this can lead to no end of problems in the long run and often the mistaken perception that a particular machine is “unreliable”. The reality is often that the wrong machine was recommended in the first place and simply doesn’t cope with the demand. If you are looking for a machine that will produce up to 40 coffees a day then the Jura C9 or XS90 are worth consideration. If however you require a piece of equipment to produce over 100 coffees as day then the Jura GIGA X7 or X9 would be a better bet. In either case your best course of action would be for an expert from Kenco Local Business Service to visit you in order to recommend the most appropriate machine for your needs.
There are plenty of bean to cup coffee machines that use either a powdered or granulated milk product rather than fresh milk (for example the Roma or Korinto). One big advantage to these systems is that they require less cleaning than those using fresh milk (although it should be stressed that regular cleaning is still essential). Typically the machines are slightly lower in cost both in terms of machine price as well as the warranty, and more often than not will give you a hot chocolate option. If you are happy with a granulated milk offering then you do not limit yourself to purely table top machines and can go for a floor standing vending option if you prefer. These have moved on leaps and bounds in the past few years allowing you to produce a high quality drink from a vending machine as well as allowing you to benefit from the many options available in the vending format such as an internal cup dispenser, various payment systems and potentially a wider range of drinks including tea, decaffeinated coffee and soups and there are some high quality granulated milk products on the market (such as Milfresh) that allow you to create a cappuccino that is almost as good as one made from fresh milk. Traditional thinking dictates that you cannot get a high quality fresh ground coffee from a vending machine but that is simply no longer the case as both the N & W Canto and the Crane Voce will deliver a great quality bean to cup coffee.
As with the fresh milk systems it is important to choose the right type of machine for your requirements. A Koro is ideal in a small office or meeting room where you may only require 20 to 30 coffees per day. If however you require a table top machine to cater for large numbers of people then the Kobalto is reliable, easy to use and incredibly robust. As discussed above there is also the option of a floor standing coffee vending machine such as the Canto or Voce. With these larger machines there is even the option for our operators to visit in order to fill and clean your machines for you. Either way it is important that you take the right advice from one of our experts as to what option is the best for you.
Overall it is fair to say that a system using granulated milk is probably slightly more practical in an office environment and offers a quality of drink very close to that of a machine using fresh milk. If however you have a member of staff who is happy to clean the machine on a daily basis or you are looking for a system for use in the hospitality sector where there are catering staff on hand to maintain the machine then a Jura coffee machine that uses fresh milk might be the right fit. There is no getting around the fact that there is a perception that fresh milk gives a better quality drink. We wouldn’t necessarily always agree with that but the perception persists. If you are thinking of a bean to cup coffee machine for your workplace then your best bet is to ask one of our expert sales consultants to visit in order to give you advice as to which system is the best for you. We have many years experience in the coffee industry and we keen to share this with you in order that you end up with the right coffee solution. Our base near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire ensures that we are ideally placed to offer this equipment in areas such as London, High Wycombe, Slough, Reading and Maidenhead.