How to Buy a Commercial Coffee Machine
18th June 2019
When it comes to coffee, we are always on the lookout for speciality coffee beverages sold by cafes, hotels and coffee shops worldwide.
This means we often spend the majority of our time queuing in large chain coffee shops, for our morning coffee, to avoid facing the dull, uninteresting office coffee at work.
This will no longer be the case if you consider buying a commercial coffee machine outright for your office staff. Most coffee machines are efficient, energy-saving and improve productivity levels significantly in the workplace. They are an investment worth making. To avoid being let down by an outdated, poor performing coffee machine, we have created a guide for you on things to consider when buying the right machine and a list of the top three recommended coffee machines we sell, that could change your workplace culture for the better.
The equipment you use to produce high quality shops of espresso and craft your own range of speciality beverages is crucial to the success of your business especially if you are aiming to impress anyone that walks through your door. In the long-term, your new commercial coffee machine will prove a cost-effective solution for your workplace.
Things to Consider When Buying A Commercial Coffee Machine
The Volume of Your Business
The size, scope and volume of your business will determine the capacity of the machine that you need. You will need to estimate the number of employees you have and how many cups a day you plan on being able to provide with your new coffee machine. Bean to cup machines provide up to 50 cups of coffee a day, which is ideal for a small office environment, with each employee set to have between 1-3 cups during the course of the day.
Commercial coffee machines, come with either two, three or four group heads and capable of producing up to eight drinks at a time, but are more suited to coffee shops or restaurants, where you have a qualified barista to make your coffee for you and your customers.
Determining the size and nature of your business can help you make an informed decision about the type of coffee machine that is suited to your needs. Commercial coffee machines that require a barista to operate are great for driving simultaneous use and maximising the amount of drinks that can be produced each hour, but are better suited in high pressured environments with regular customer footfall. Bean to cup machines, on the other hand, are perfect for self-service environments, where efficiency and ease of performance is key.
Your Financial Budget
Once you have determined the type of machine best suited to your working environment, the next step is to ensure you have an accurate budget in mind. The price of a machine will vary according to certain factors including the brand name, features, mechanics and any other additional diagnostic features. If you have a mid-level coffee shop, for example, you may choose to invest in a machine with three group heads. For a large scale coffee business, a machine with four group heads or more would be encouraged.
The cost of individual equipment can vary from £2,500 to £3,700 and it is important to make a selection that sits comfortably within your budget, while also targeting features that can help improve your brand value. With this in mind, you can invest in a coffee machine that is cost-effective, within budget and capable of meeting the demands of your business.
Consider Your Commercial Needs
You cannot successfully choose a coffee machine without understanding first the precise needs of your business. The best way to measure your needs is to work out how many cups of coffee you will serve on average each day.
A cup is usually measured as an eight-ounce serving. Low capacity machines are ideal if you intend to serve 50 cups per day, whereas medium volume products can deliver anywhere between 150 and 200. This equation will enable you to select a cost-effective machine that delivers excellent value and a suitable ROI. When it comes to delivering barista-quality cappuccinos, lattes and espressos for your employees or customers, you will want a heavy-duty machine that is built to last.
The Importance of Machine Cleaning and Maintenance
When it comes to knowing which machine to purchase, another factor to consider is how often you will need to clean and maintain your machine. You will need to plan your cleaning routines and techniques in accordance with the machine you buy so you can achieve the best possible results and have a machine that stays with you for life.
Once you have chosen your machine, your supplier will inform you on the correct procedures for cleaning your coffee machine. If you invest in a commercial coffee machine with group heads, you will need to regularly clean after every cup of coffee you produce. If it is a bean to cup machine, you will need to operate a daily cleaning cycle at the end of each working day as well as refilling the coffee grinder and swapping over the milk.
Utilising the best techniques will extend the life of your machine to prevent residue from clogging up your filters enabling you to maintain the quality and consistency of your beverages. Each machine will come with its own manual, so you can figure out the best way of managing the cleaning and maintenance of your machine.
Consider Running Costs
Running costs are an important factor to consider when it comes to choosing the right machine. If you are wanting to keep your machine for a number of years then its efficiency will have a real impact on your energy bills. Compare the running costs of different machines and consider the amount of electricity each machine consumes.
You should further consider how much it costs to make a single cup of coffee and find out what the servicing costs are, if there are any, to learn how much it would cost to repair the machine. Many of the most recent models of coffee machines are super energy-efficient and will save you a fortune on energy bills in comparison to older models.
Altering the Strength and Temperature of Your Coffee
Commercial coffee machines are classified in groups with single group machines typically low-volume products and two or three group options capable of producing numerous beverages in high volume. Your choice will impact on the level of control that you have over the strength and temperature quality of your beverages.
Some machines come with automatic, in-built milk frothing and coffee making systems, most popular in bean to cup machines. They also have numerous control and diagnostic features and in-built cleaning cycles. Other commercial coffee machines allow you to fine-tune elements of the machine manually, from controlling the steam temperature and boiler output to strength of each individual beverage.
Top 4 Commercial Coffee Machines
We have compiled a list of three of the most popular commercial coffee machines for high-demanding coffee shop environments and self-service office environments, giving you a choice of machine, depending on your business needs.
This machine sets a new level of excellence for a busy office environment and is a fully functional bean to cup machine, hosting up to three large product canisters and the option of fresh milk. It even has up to five beverage selections including coffee, hot chocolate and mocha, so your employees can be creative with their drinks options throughout the working day. Find out more here.
The Vitro S1 is a small, compact bean to cup machine designed to deliver high quality espresso based drinks. This machine is ideal for any workplace location that consumes less than 60 cups of coffee a day. It has an easy button selection menu functionality, high bean hopper capacity and 2 height cup stand to cater for all sizes of cup.
Schaerer Coffee Soul
A space-saving machine designed to be used in self-service environments, with intuitive user guidance and a choice of up to 12 beverages. This machine is stylish and can create an impressive 250 beverages a day, serving your employees all day long without hassle.
Schaerer Coffee Club
This is the ultimate bean to cup machine, ideal for busy workplace environments including restaurants and hotels. It is easy to operate and clean, with an integrated user interface and modern, robust design.
We hope this guide has helped you to make an informed decision about the type of coffee machine you wish to invest in. Whether you are opening your first coffee shop or continuing a chain to expand your office business venture, we can help you achieve your business goals.