Posted August 30, 2017 8:53 am by Tony Hogarth
Buying Guide for commercial coffee machines
Knowing what to look out for and the right questions to ask, this buying guide will help answer them when you are given the responsibility of sourcing a coffee machine for work, here’s a few pointers of the most common questions I get asked and those you need to be aware of when looking for a commercial coffee machine.
We need easy one-touch operation
Automatic machines take the hassle out of coffee preparation by foaming the milk for you and extracting coffee in a similar way to a barista, simply by pressing a button. Some coffee machines may use what is called a milk dial, this is moved while the milk pours to go from fine foam to froth milk.
Fresh bean coffee machines vs pod
Automatic machines such as: Jura, Frankie, and WMF all take fresh beans, and grind around 16 grams of coffee, as the machine prepares each cup. The brands I have listed above all use fresh beans and fresh milk.
If you are in a remote area or not near the machine frequently, you may wish to use fresh beans with powdered milk, take a look at the: Necta Krea vending machine
Pod machines while a popular choice due to price, are much like purchasing a colour printer, the equipment might seem cheap but refilling it will cost up to 70% more than fresh beans. Some prefer the taste of a Pod and in an office like they can choose their own flavours or purchased their own Pods for the machine.
Which ever you choose, make sure you look at total ongoing costs when purchasing or leasing a Nespresso or coffee machine
How good is the coffee from an automatic machine?
When considering the quality of coffee, a fresh bean coffee machine, that grinds the coffee into each cup will produce a much better and healthier coffee than a pod machine.
For fresh bean machines, make sure you can program different coffee strengths, along with 2-3 heat levels and desired milk volume, this allows you to refine your drinks. For those extra fussy coffee lovers, ask if the machine comes equipped with a Coffee App for individual programming on your phone.
Essentially if the coffee is extracted well and you are using fresh milk along with quality beans then you will have a coffee that is pretty close to a barista’s coffee. Finally, I suggest asking to either trial the machine for a few days or visiting a showroom and asking to have taste tests from the various options before you commit.
The Giga range by Jura comes highly recommended for its quality coffee, setting options and coffee App!
Are they easy to clean?
Most automatic coffee machines have rinse cycles that push water through the coffee spouts when not in use, however there is always some manual cleaning involved to clear the milk line at the end of each day.
Other cleaning requirements will be prompted by the machine for you to follow up, these however are not daily, such as: a full machine clean much like cleaning your dishwasher and at times you will be asked to descale or replace the filter. Here is an in-depth cleaning guide.
Know the capacity you require
Make sure you get the right capacity, 20-30 cups a day is different to 20-30 staff that maybe enjoying 2 coffees each, you don’t want to be re-filling the coffee beans or water tank too often, and you don’t want to over use a machine that was built for 20 cups a day by making 50+ coffees instead.
Should we have a water tank or plumbed in machine?
Consider if you need a plumbed model, these are attached directly to your mains water supply so refilling the tank is no longer required, however the advantage of a tanked machine is portability, being able to place it where you like as all you need is power supply.
If you are making large numbers of coffee a plumbed unit is worth asking about, as it will save you time having to re-fill, many machines will also convert and allow you to expel the waste ie: coffee grinds and water into a waste bin under the bench. WMF Commercial Machines allow for this and are ideal for high capacity areas.
Bean hopper Capacity
Bean hopper size is also important for example: 500g or 1kg? (1kg will make 80-100 cups of coffee) most coffee you buy is in 1kg bags so being able to empty the whole bag into the beans container is helpful. Some smaller capacity machines only allow for 500g and domestic machines much less again.
Keep these questions in mind as a buying guide when enquiring about the coffee machine to best fit your workplace, for more information call: 08 9330 1577 or send us a message.