How to Pick the Right Coffee Machine and Equipment for Your Office
We're like Match.com for offices and coffee machines. No matter your office's shape, size or zodiac sign, we'll match you with coffee equipment you'll love. Just follow our 400 question, step-by-step personality exam below to understand what you're looking for!
Okay, so we've definitely taken this whole online dating metaphor a little too far... in actuality, our philosophy for finding the right coffee equipment for your office is actually pretty straightforward. Let's dive in :)
In the world of Office Coffee Services (or "OCS", which is what the insiders call it. Now we’re all insiders!), Crafty likes to breakdown coffee machine options into four primary groups:
- Automatic bean-to-cup espresso machines
- Drip coffee machines
- Pod coffee machines
- Commercial espresso machines (for in-office cafes)
We’ll break each one down so you know what works best for you and your space!
Automatic Bean-To-Cup Espresso Machines for the Office
Automatic bean-to-cup espresso machines have a touchscreen that creates a simple and intuitive self-serve experience. With just one or two clicks, whole beans are freshly ground and within less than a minute, you'll be drinking a delicious specialty espresso drink. We’re talkin’ lattes of any flavor, cappuccinos light as air, hot cocoa for those cold wintery days, even macchiatos!
Each machine's menu can be customized to what your office likes the most. The most common menu items are Espressos (single and double), Americanos, Cappuccinos, Lattes, Mochas, and Hot Chocolates.
Because we have preferred equipment brands that we work with, the most significant criteria used in selecting the right automatic bean-to-cup espresso machine for your office is the milk type: fresh milk or powdered milk.
If budget were not an issue, fresh milk would be the easy choice, but fresh milk espresso machines are roughly 4-5x the price than their powdered milk buddies.
The other factor to keep in mind is cabinetry and counter location. Every machine has a different profile, and some are intentionally designed to accommodate cabinetry above them.
The primary automatic bean-to-cup espresso machines that we currently offer are:
Automatic bean-to-cup espresso machines require daily rinse cycles, weekly deep cleans, and monthly descaling routines in order to maintain proper working condition and sanitary levels.
That's what our Field Operations team is for! We'll build and execute a daily preventative maintenance plan for each machine in your office so that you don't have to. We’d love to be like Oprah with these bad boys (“You get a bean to cup! And you get a bean to cup! And you and you and you!), but we know from experience that if our team is not able to service the machine daily, the experience isn’t a great one.
Drip Coffee Machines
If automatic bean-to-cup espresso machines are the Cadillacs of the office coffee world, then drip coffee machines are the Toyotas. Drip coffee machines will be consistent workhorses for your standard brewed coffee consumption.
If you can have a whole bean grinder on-site, it's awesome to have freshly ground drip coffee; however, if a grinder is not in the cards, frac packs are a convenient alternative, and Crafty has an awesome selection of frac packs from local roasters in every market.
Frac packs refer to fractional packs of pre-ground coffee beans, which are pre-portioned for brews such that one or two can be opened and poured into your brewer without needing to grind or measure.
Because we have preferred equipment brands that we work with, the most significant criteria used in selecting the right drip coffee machine for your office is capacity.
The other key criteria is electrical, because Twin units require a 208V outlet, which can be a hurdle for some locations. The other models are all dual voltage.
The primary drip coffee machines that we currently offer are:
- Bunn-o-Matic Infusion Coffee Brewer - Twin Tall
- Bunn-o-Matic Infusion Coffee Brewer - Single Tall
- Bunn-o-Matic Infusion Coffee Brewer - Twin Short
- Bunn-o-Matic Axiom TWIN-APS
- Bunn-o-Matic Axiom Airpot System - Single (DV-APS)
While maintenance is much simpler with these machines, drip coffee machines still require daily rinses, weekly deep cleans, and monthly descaling routines in order to maintain proper working condition and sanitary levels.
Fret not! As mentioned above, that's what our Field Operations team is for!
Pod Coffee Machines
Keurigs are not cool, and even their inventor admits it.
That said, pod machines are cleaner than dealing with ground coffee and easy, fast, and intuitive for the user.
Nespresso has a Professional line of machines that can support more volume than the residential machines you've seen out and around. The key question to ask: how many people are going to hit this machine everyday?
Commercial Espresso Machines
These machines are most typically found in the in-office cafe programs we operate. Our Barista team is comprised of trained and certified individuals who know how to operate commercial espresso machines.
Because we have preferred equipment brands that we work with, the most significant criteria used in selecting the right commercial espresso machine for your in-office cafe is the number of groupheads or groups: two-group or three-group.
The grouphead is the final stop for water as it moves through an espresso machine and lands in your cup. In the above image, our lovely Crafty Barista is holding the portafilter, which is a component of the group.
The machine in the above image is a three-group machine. For in-office cafes that are serving 300 people or more, we recommend using a three-group machine, which will enable two Crafty baristas enough machine capacity to serve the morning rush, even if one group goes down (which happens!). For in-office cafes serving fewer than 300 people, we can get away with a two-group machine, which will allow for some cost savings.
The primary commercial espresso machines that we currently offer are:
We don't provide this equipment to offices outside of our in-office cafe program, because these machines require a high degree of knowledge and training.