The easy guide to choosing your next office coffee machine

The coffee experience is consistently ranked as one of the most important aspects of the office, so it’s vital to get it right. As well as being an expected perk for the modern employee, ensuring your team have access to top-quality coffee on site can help enhance the workplace experience, show your team you value them and can have a myriad of health benefits. But with a world of options to choose from, it can be tricky to know where to start.

Benefits of a premium office coffee machine

Types of office coffee machine

What to look for

Best office coffee machine

Benefits of a premium office coffee machine

  • Collaboration - A strategically-placed coffee machine can lead to increased collaboration and interaction as colleagues catch up over a coffee.

  • Productivity - As well as caffeine increasing productivity and focus, it has been proven that when people feel their efforts are recognised and acknowledged, such as through the provision of a top-quality coffee offering in the office, they are more likely to work harder. 

  • Wellbeing - Three quarters of office workers believe that a premium, high-quality coffee experience at work shows that their company cares about their wellbeing.

  • Employee Engagement - With coffee and beverage facilities consistently ranked amongst the most important aspects of the workplace, ensuring your team have access to a top-quality coffee at work is a surefire way of enhancing the office experience and improving engagement.

  • Health - Coffee is full of antioxidants, and can lessen the effects of Parkinson’s Disease and reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. If that’s not enough, coffee can lower your risk of heart disease and reduce stress. Perfect for keeping your team happy and healthy!

  • Creativity - It’s well researched that inspiration and creativity often come most easily when your brain has some downtime, for example when driving, sleeping, or, of course, taking a break to grab a cup of coffee. Those few minutes away from your desk can be vital in helping with creativity, problem solving and productivity.

A strategically placed coffee machine is a fantastic tool for promoting creativity and collaboration

Image showing matte black TopBrewer with deluxe iPad holder and two people chatting next to it

Types of office coffee machine

The first thing to consider when choosing your next office coffee machine is the type of coffee machine you need. In the past, coffee pod machines and traditional, tabletop coffee machines have been popular, but as the modern consumer becomes more interested in the coffee they drink, and more aware of their environmental footprint, a new era in coffee service is beginning. 

  • Pod coffee machine - Thanks to an endorsement by a certain Hollywood A-Lister, pod coffee machines were the “in” thing a few years ago. They’re often compact and can serve an espresso in just a few seconds, but with the modern consumer being ever more eco-conscious, the inability to recycle most pods has led to many businesses moving away from this type of coffee machine. It’s also vital to consider the cost per cup when choosing your office coffee machine, as the pods used in these machines are significantly more expensive than using fresh beans.
  • Traditional espresso machine - There will always be the question of barista vs machine, and a traditional espresso machine is one that requires a barista to use. Whilst this can result in a great tasting coffee, these machines require a large amount of space and of course the additional expense of needing a barista on site.
  • Instant coffee machine - These coffee machines serve a beverage at the touch of a button, but as the name suggests, the drinks are made using instant coffee granules and powdered milk. So whilst they’re often cheap to run, they will no longer make the cut in the modern workplace, where employees expect a top-quality coffee.
  • Bean-to-cup coffee machine - Similar to an instant coffee machine, a bean-to-cup coffee machine dispenses a drink at the touch of a button, but unlike an instant coffee machine, it uses coffee beans and fresh milk. This means they can offer a good cup of coffee, but with technology changing at such a rapid rate, traditional coffee machines can be obsolete within a few months of installation. This leads to businesses needing to constantly upgrade and replace, with the old models being added to the colossal amount of e-waste sent to landfill each year. 
  • Super automatic bean-to-cup coffee machine - This new era of coffee machines is paving the way for the future of coffee, offering a premium, barista-quality beverage at the touch of a button. Opting for a super automatic coffee machine over a traditional machine and a barista can actually help improve consistency and deliver top-quality drinks every time, and with no concerns over staff turnover it may be a better choice for your business.

Choosing the best office coffee machine - what to look for

When deciding on the best office coffee machine for you, there are several things to consider.

  • Capacity - The location of your coffee machine will have a big impact on the capacity it needs to be able to cope with. If it will be located in a remote meeting room, you may be able to get away with a small machine capable of a handful of drinks each day, but if you are looking for a coffee machine for your breakout spaces, lounge, café, or staff kitchen you need to be confident that it can consistently keep up with demand.
  • Space - Size matters when it comes to your coffee machine. It’s important to think about how much space you have available and how your coffee machine will fit into the space. A traditional tabletop coffee machine will need a large area on your countertop, whereas a fully integrated coffee machine like TopBrewer would need much less.
  • Choice - We all have different tastes, why would we all want the same coffee? If you have lots of people on-site, you need to make sure you are catering for all tastes and dietary requirements. Can your coffee machine offer dairy-free alternatives to milk, or a decaf option? Is the end user able to customise their drink, or does your machine only offer a “one size fits all” beverage? These are all important questions for any business, particularly one where the coffee machine will see a lot of use.
  • Design - A traditional tabletop coffee machine is commonly situated in a corner of a room or against a wall, its bulky design not allowing for much else. In the past, where the office was often a bland space, this wasn’t an issue, but nowadays companies are seeing the merit in investing in the design of their space. Not only as a tool to entice their team to work from the office, but also as a way to enhance the experience, improve wellbeing and increase productivity. When you’re investing heavily in designing the perfect space for your team the last thing you want is to ruin it with a bulky, unsightly coffee machine. What if your coffee machine could add value to the design of your space?
  • Environmental impact - If sustainability is on your agenda, you consider the eco credentials of the coffee machine you buy. How is it made, and with what? Does it use lots of energy or need harmful chemicals to keep it clean? Was it designed and built to last? If not, you risk adding it to the ever-growing piles of harmful e-waste we send to landfill each year. But it’s not only the machine itself you need to take into account, do you know where your coffee beans come from?
  • Technology - From motion sensor lighting to app-controlled appliances, smart technology is used throughout the modern office to keep things running smoothly, enhance the experience and improve efficiencies. With this in mind, you may want to consider how your coffee machine will fit in with your smart tech. An IoT enabled coffee machine will really take things to the next level, but simply being able to use technology to enhance the user experience or improve the life of your facilities team will make a huge difference. A coffee machine that can, for example, send an alert when the beans are running low will ensure your team aren’t wasting time running back and forth to check coffee & milk levels.
  • Ease of use - As well as ensuring you choose a coffee machine that is simple and easy for the end user, you need to consider who will be cleaning and maintaining it. Whether it’s a job for your cleaning staff or perhaps a facilities management or catering company will be taking control, a complicated machine will make their life harder, and quite possibly yours too. Take into account how frequently the coffee beans and milk need to be replenished, as well as how long it takes to clean. If your machine is out of action for a long time each day due to break downs or clean cycles, your team won’t be best impressed!

The best office coffee machine - TopBrewer

In the TopBrewer, we could see the best combination of everything we were looking for in a coffee system.

Ceri Jones, Regional Estates Manager, Shoosmiths

Image showing a matte black TopBrewer coffee machine with a reusable coffee cup under the swan neck and the TopBrewer app on an iPhone

Be your own barista and use the app to customise your drink

Take your coffee offering to the next level with TopBrewer

Close up of  TopBrewer commercial coffee machine in the Hilton London Metropole executive lounge

TopBrewer gives you everything you could need and more from a coffee machine. Smart, sustainable design, consistent and reliable barista-quality coffee and total customer control over the beverage. 

Capable of serving up to 400 barista-quality drinks per day, with no-down time needed between drinks, TopBrewer is the perfect choice for busy areas, and was designed for the consumer to be able to take their coffee experience into their own hands. The simple app allows the end user to customise their drink to meet their exact taste, with the ability to choose from two types of coffee, including decaf, and also the ability to opt for a milk alternative, depending on the machine specification chosen. What’s more, it can also dispense luxurious hot chocolate, steaming water for tea, and even chilled still and sparkling water - all from the same sleek swan neck.

The unique under-counter design means that only the sleek swan neck is visible, with the brew unit hidden discretely below in a standard sized cupboard unit. This not only clears clutter from the countertop, but also allows for it to be seamlessly integrated into almost any design to deliver barista-quality coffee “on tap” without compromising the aesthetics of the space. In fact, some TopBrewer customers have chosen to make it the focal point of their design. 

TopBrewer was designed to be durable and long-lasting, and its digitally-driven platform allows for remote, over-the-air updates that mean your coffee machine can grow with your business, avoiding the need to replace it every time a new model is released. The market-leading cloud management system, CoffeeCloud, also forms part of the TopBrewer experience. It gives real-time data and insights about your whole TopBrewer fleet, from drink trends to when the machine was last cleaned, and can be set up to send notifications and alerts to the relevant team for issues such as the coffee beans running low. CoffeeCloud also allows our technical team to make remote adjustments to prevent unnecessary visits and keep the coffee flowing.

High performance

Space saving

CoffeeCloud cloud management system

TopBrewer cleans automaticly

Easy to clean

Consistent quality

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