Increasingly, employers are realizing the benefits of providing great coffee in the office.
What can you do if you need an office coffee maker but you have no idea where to get started?
Well, luckily you haven’t got too much more to think about than buying any other type of coffee machine. If you have commercial rather than residential needs in mind, you’ll need to make sure the machine you have lined up is capable of withstanding the use it will get. This will obviously vary depending on the size of your workforce.
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If you want a machine for work but you don’t know how to go about finding the right one, you’re in the right place. We’ll kick off today by outlining what you need to consider when you’re buying a commercial coffee machine. And as we say, this is mercifully straightforward.
Once we’re done with our brief buying guide, we’ll then highlight the leading machines ideal for commercial use.
To be clear before we launch in, today’s coffee machines are not suitable for use in a commercial setting like a coffee shop or restaurant. There’s a huge difference between the build quality you need for an office coffee machine and one that will be used day in and day out.
So, what should you be looking out for specifically?
I. Our Top Picks for Office Coffee Makers
|Products & Features||Image & Price|
Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker Our #1 Pick
|DeLonghi America Lattissima Pro|
|DeLonghi Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine|
|Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System|
|Breville Barista Touch Espresso Maker|
Keurig K155 Office Pro Commercial Coffee Maker
BUNN GRB Velocity Brew Coffee Maker
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew
II. What Type of Coffee Maker is Suitable for the Office?
Here are some of the core elements you should think about when it’s time to assemble a shortlist of coffee machines capable of serving a turn in the workplace:
- Type of Machine
- How Many People Will You Be Serving?
- Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance
- Overall Quality
- Cost and Running Costs
Type of Machine
The first and most critical decision to get right involves the type of machine.
As you’ll know if you’re a coffee fan, you can choose from a staggering array of coffee makers, but for the purposes of making coffee at work, we’d suggest the following options…
- Bean-to-cup machine: You’ll get the benefits of making coffee with freshly-ground beans without needing a third-party grinder further cluttering the office kitchen. On the flipside, this type of machine takes a little bit longer since you’ll be grinding your beans before brewing. Buying whole beans in bulk is a great way to save money while also enjoying your coffee at its finest
- Barista-grade machine: If you roll with something fancy like a semi-automatic espresso machine, you’ll get undeniably great results. You’ll also need to train staff in using the machine which will cost you time and money. For the vast bulk of offices, a machine like this really doesn’t make much sense
- Filter or drip coffee maker: Cheap and easy to use, you’ll typically get a carafe which can keep your coffee warm for hours. These machines generate drinkable coffee and you’ll be able to save money by buying fresh coffee in bulk
- Pod-based machine: A pod-based machine gives you unbeatable convenience. Simply top up the water tank, slide in a pod or capsule and hit a button. Coffee is served in minutes flat. The drawback of these machines is needing to make sure you always have supplies of pods. These are costly and also environmentally damaging
In addition to these types of machine, you can also find hybrid machines. These allow you to make fresh drip coffee or pod-based coffee giving you maximum versatility in a single appliance.
If you fail to properly consider how many people you’ll be serving with the machine, you’re likely to end up with something unfit for purpose.
The size of your workforce and the frequency with which the machine will be used will dictate the size of machine you should consider.
If you have a high-volume office kitchen, you should shoot for a machine with a generously-sized water reservoir and a large carafe. You could also consider a single-serve machine since these get the job done so quickly with no wastage at all.
If, on the other hand, you have only a handful of workers in your office, you won’t need to place such a premium on capacity.
All that counts here is matching your needs with the various sizes of machine available. There’s no right or wrong answer.
One of the primary factors to focus on with an office coffee machine is whether it’s rugged enough to stand up to the amount of use it will get.
Basing a decision like this purely on the bottom line is unwise. Shop motivated entirely by price without factoring in durability could lead you to buying a machine that will let you down in months rather than years.
Look for solid build and precision-engineered components. Steer clear of any models with user reviews mentioning shoddy build.
Ease of use is also critical. This becomes doubly important if you have a high staff turnover and you don’t want to constantly instruct newcomers how to use the coffee machine.
Most of the best examples we feature today are push-button in their simplicity. New employees won’t need an instruction manual or any guidance and can start enjoying gourmet coffee from the moment they arrive.
If you’re aiming to encourage workers to remain in the office rather than heading out for coffee, you need to make sure the machine you provide is a pleasure to use. Install something tasky and it won’t get a lot of use.
Tied to this user-friendliness is the next pointer you should consider…
Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance
The last thing you need in the office kitchen is an appliance that ends up a hassle to clean and maintain.
We’ve deliberately chosen coffee makers today that are equally easy to use and clean.
To reiterate, you should be viewing this purchase as an investment and not an expense. If you start down the buying trail with the sole intention of getting the cheapest coffee machine you can find, you’re highly likely to end up making an expensive mistake.
Take price/performance ratio into account rather than obsessing over the bottom line. Often, spending a little more off the bat returns better value. If you’re ending up with a machine that lasts 4 or 5 years rather than 6 months, clearly it pays to dig slightly deeper.
You should also think about the quality of the coffee you’ll be producing. If the machine yields drinks little better than instant, you’ll end up disappointed. Think about your workers and their tastes and buy accordingly.
The final thing to ponder is how much you’re prepared to spend restocking coffee.
Pod-based machines are convenient but you’ll end up spending much more over time replacing the pods.
Get the best value by using fresh coffee and buying in bulk.
Do You Need to Consider Anything Else?
Have you considered leasing a commercial coffee machine?
This might not be the first approach that springs to mind but leasing a machine might prove cost-effective for your operation depending on your needs.
With that groundwork in place, you should have a clear idea of what to focus on when you’re searching for an office coffee machine.
We’ll now break down the finest options at your disposal if you’re looking for coffee shop quality coffee in the office without spending a fortune…
III. The Best 9 Office Coffee Makers
1. Our #1 Pick: Keurig K-Elite
The classic Keurig K-Elite epitomizes single-serve convenience and makes a great choice for an office coffee machine. Why is that?
Off the bat, you’ll get a water reservoir giving you enough for 8 or 10 cups of joe before needing to top up the tank.
Pod-driven convenience is a flat-out winner in the office. Make sure, though, you think about the cost and logistics of ongoing replacements.
In addition to giving you great coffee in seconds, pod-based machines like the K-Elite are a breeze to clean and maintain, too. Spend more time doing what you do best and less time fussing around in the kitchen.
Another key selling point for the K-Elite in an office backdrop is the quiet operation. There’s nothing worse than machinery and appliances kicking off an annoying hum.
When everyone is ready to head home for the night, the K-Elite accommodates taller travel mugs. Set everyone up for their daily commute and you won’t return tomorrow to any messy clean-up.
2. DeLonghi America Lattissima Pro
If you’ve got a slightly more fluid budget, why not consider DeLonghi? They have a deep bench of highly effective coffee machines and the Lattissima Pro is especially good if you need a machine for work.
For organizations with multiple premises, why not take advantage of the multi-pack discount? You can buy up to 5 machines with the price per unit dropping the more you buy.
This machine uses Nespresso capsules so make sure you’re OK with the ongoing cost of these. The pressure generated is sufficient to make serviceable espresso while the onboard frother gives you the scope to make longer and creamier drinks, too.
The milk frother is dishwasher safe so you won’t be stuck with any tasky clean-up job if you love your latte and cappuccino.
3. DeLonghi Super-Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
Another DeLonghi up next in the form of this powerful super-automatic beast. Where does this unit stand and fall as an office coffee machine, then?
The wide variety of drinks delivered by this machine means there’s something for everyone in the office.
A bean-to-cup machine, the burr grinder onboard means you won’t need yet another piece of equipment cluttering up the kitchen.
If you have a busy office and you want to minimize time wasted making coffee, the speed of delivery of this DeLonghi means that it makes a smart investment even if you need to stretch your budget.
4. Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System
The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System gives you a wide range of choices when you’re brewing coffee at work.
Alongside a bunch of specialty coffees, you can also brew loose leaf tea or other infusions. Keep everyone at work happy with a single versatile machine.
The thermal carafe is a neat touch in an office. Leave some coffee warming and it will stay drinkable for hours.
Given the pricing and build quality, this might not make the neatest fit if you have a high traffic office with drinks being made all day long. For offices with lighter use, you should experience no issues and an upsurge in the quality of drinks on offer.
5. Breville Barista Touch Espresso Maker
The Breville Barista Touch Espresso Maker is costly but, if you’re buying this for an office, you should consider it a sound investment rather than an unwanted expense. What do you get for your money, then?
Bean-to-cup brewing at its finest, that’s what. All you need to do is decide on the strength of your coffee and the temperature and consistency of your milk. Hit a button and enjoy first-class coffee without needing to constantly hustle to Starbucks.
The super-swift heat-up time means you won’t end up losing time with people hanging around the office kitchen waiting for a sluggish drip brewer to do its work. Coffee will be ready in less than a minute.
6. Keurig K155 Office Pro Commercial Coffee Maker
While Keurig specialize in single-serve coffee machines for residential use, this commercial-grade Office Pro is well worth popping on your shortlist if you’re hunting for the best office coffee maker.
The push-button simplicity of single-serve machines make them a smart choice for commercial settings. No need for complicated instructions and no time wasted making coffee or cleaning up. Despite the cost of pods (both financially and environmentally), when viewed as a business decision, using this type of coffee machine makes perfect sense.
You should note that, despite claims by the manufacturer, this machine is not capable of a direct line hook-up.
7. BUNN GRB Velocity Brew Coffee Maker
The BUNN GRB is a slender yet deceptively powerful coffee maker that makes a neat choice for use in an office. Why is that?
The space-saving dimensions are perfect when space is at a premium and the budget pricing means this machine is well within anyone’s reach.
Use freshly-ground coffee to brew a full carafe in no more than 10 minutes.
Extraction is consistent and rounded. The flat-bottomed filter and funnel ensure there’s ample activity between the water and coffee grounds so you’ll get coffee to suit most tastes at the push of a button.
8. Hamilton Beach FlexBrew
As the name suggests, the FlexBrew from Hamilton Beach is all about choice. On one side of the machine, embrace the ease of K-Cup pods. On the other, you get the economy and wider choice of using freshly-ground coffee instead. Why choose between brewing methods when you can have both?
Ease of use makes this machine a great fit in the workplace. You won’t be constantly teaching new staff how to use the machine as it couldn’t be easier.
Make up to 12 cups in the carafe so you’ll have ample supplies for the whole office. When you’re brewing single-serve with this machine, you’ll have your coffee in minutes flat.
9. Keurig K-Classic
Last but certainly not least in our quest for the best office coffee maker is the ubiquitous Keurig K-Classic.
Small but perfectly formed, you’ll get all the ease of use that comes with single-serve coffee but you’ll need to make provision for the cost of replacement pods.
Navigating this machine is as simple as filling up the water reservoir, inserting a K-Cup and pushing a button. Flick between brew types and brew sizes to suit.
While this machine is not designed to be hammered day and night, if you’re looking for a consistent and reliable way to make coffee for the masses, why not give the K-Classic a shot?
We trust by now you’re much better placed to decide on the best office coffee maker for your needs. As with any coffee machine, the lion’s share of your time should be spent determining your needs and preferences.
If you’re buying a machine for work, the number of people you’re catering for will dictate to a large extent the kind of machine that will make the best fit.
The decision of whether to use freshly-ground coffee or pods will also play a significant part in which machine is most appropriate. We’ve also included a multi-purpose offering giving you the best of both worlds.
If you pay close attention to the hints we serve up, there’s no reason that buying a great office coffee machine needs to take too much time or effort. When it comes to money, you should budget for the best machine you can afford without overextending yourself. Let’s face it, there’s no point trying to pick up a bargain if you end up with a shoddy machine that lets you down.
Bookmark La Mano for all your coffee needs and come back soon as we’re continually updating our content to bring you everything you need for that golden cup of coffee.