To Bean or Not to Bean: The Pros and Cons of a Bean to cup vs. Traditional Espresso Machine

Being a coffee lover isn’t always enough when it comes to knowing all the various types of coffee machines. It is important to weigh up the pros and cons of a bean to cup machine and a traditional machine so you can make the right choice for your business.

Bean to cup coffee machines have the capacity to grind whole coffee beans and can automatically prepare a freshly made espresso, macchiato, a flat white and more in less than 20-25 seconds. With a bean to cup machine, you can enjoy delicious freshly ground coffee on demand and the best thing is, you don’t even need to have any barista-level qualifications to make a professional coffee.

Most bean to cup machines are completely automatic meaning all you have to do is add water, pour milk and throw coffee beans into the hopper. To operate a bean-to-cup machine, little experience is needed apart from a simple demonstration from our engineers to show you how to operate and clean the machine regularly.

Cafetouch 4600 machine in Volkswagen Ipswich

The Pros and Cons of a Bean to Cup Machine

A bean to cup machine is user-friendly, fast and offers a top quality self-service solution for office environments, who are looking to serve their employees.

As far as convenience goes, bean to cup machines offer speciality drinks at the touch of a button and have a speedy drink delivery between 20 – 60 seconds. With this process you can also choose between a fresh milk or granulated milk machine depending on your requirements. Bean to cup machines are also very energy saving when they enter eco-mode and ideal if you are wanting to be more environmentally friendly.

The bean to cup machine does however, have its drawbacks. It requires regular attention and cleaning to prevent breakdowns and must be cleaned everyday, more so if it the machine has a fresh milk operating system. Overall, bean to cup machines have their many perks and suit working environments for staff and employee use.

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The main competitor when it comes to quality is the traditional espresso machine. A traditional machine is more than often used in a coffee shop or in the catering industry by professional baristas.

A traditional espresso machine will come with a group head and portafilter, that brings hot, pressurised water into contact with your coffee. Commercial espresso machines deliver consistent, delicious coffee to any fast-paced working environment.

The Pros and Cons of a Traditional Espresso Machine

Traditional espresso machines are reliable, have greater versatility and a longer lifespan. They also have built-in milk frothers so you can make the ultimate latte or cappuccino yourself. They also have a better extraction process, due to the traditional machine having group handles that have a greater surface area of contact during the infusion process.

The advantages of a traditional espresso machine is that they allow you to fully customise your coffee including choosing the amount of water, or milk you want in each cup, which is great when serving customers. You can also control functions and settings including patented steam warming systems, boiler and pump pressure controls and proportioned dose settings.

Traditional espresso machines can respond to high-volume demands for coffee and are ideal for coffee shops and restaurants. They can be used by a professional, and require the user to grind the coffee beans properly and prepare the espresso to perfection by hand.

Liquidline showroom with traditional espresso machine

Weighing Up Your Options

Quality of the Coffee

A traditional coffee machine would win on this occasion, especially if you have a well-trained Barista to help prepare your coffee. However, if you are in a working office environment, you will benefit greatly from a bean to cup machine, as it does all the hard work for you. A traditional coffee machine is recommended for a busy coffee shop, catering or retail environment.

How Easy it is to Use

A bean to cup machine is much easier to use, and at the press of a button you have a coffee ready made for you. Whereas, with a traditional coffee machine, you will need to learn how to use it, at least once and will need to be professionally trained.

Consistency of Quality

Bean to cup machines are very consistent, so long as you allow time to clean and maintain them regularly. The traditional espresso machine relies on the abilities of your barista.

Ease of Cleaning

Both types of machine will need to be cleaned regularly. With traditional espresso machines there is a specific daily process of cleaning, while for bean to cup machines, it will rely on you to regularly clean the milk system, and replace the coffee beans. This however, can be done without any necessary training, whereas with a traditional machine, you need to be professionally trained.

Suitability for Self-Service Environment

A bean to cup coffee machine is the ultimate winner when it comes to its suitability for the self-service environment, especially in offices, car showrooms, gyms and other facilities. The machine can be used by staff and employees without the need for a professional. Traditional machines however, often serve their purpose in coffee shops, the retail and catering industry where they are often used by Barista’s to serve customers premium quality coffee.

Still unsure of what machine will be most beneficial for you? Get in touch with us or check out our range of traditional and bean to cup machines to find out more.

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