Coffee is an obvious remedy for lack of energy and drowsiness, plus it’s a deliciously addicting drink that surely boosts productivity. Studies reveal that small amounts of caffeine help increase alertness and mental performance. This is why coffee makers should be the cornerstone of any office pantry – it’s not a luxury anymore but a necessity.
Whether your workplace is made up of few employees or a hundred, it’s best to provide the top rated coffee makers for the office for everyone’s satisfaction. You do want your employees happy and contented with your company, right?
Deciding on what coffee maker to get for the office includes these factors:
- Budget – How much are you willing to spend on a coffee maker? There are coffee makers that are so affordable at around $10, but there are exquisitely expensive ones that costs more than $500.
- Frequency of use – How many are your employees who are going to be using it? How often? Some people don’t even drink coffee (but why?) and some are so dependent on coffee that without it they have no capacity to do anything.
- Kitchen/pantry facilities – What does your kitchen look like? What size of coffee maker fits just right into the space available? Keep in mind that some methods of coffee brewing needs a microwave and/or stovetop.
- Preference – How do your employees like their coffee? Different machines produce different tastes.
Here are the kinds of coffee makers that suits the working environment:
1. Single serve coffee maker
One of the most common options for small offices is the single serve coffee brewer. This type of coffee machine allows everyone to make a cup of coffee on their own taste and preferences. Many people choose this because of the convenience of brewing just one cup of coffee at a time without too much effort and too much time waiting around for a full pot of coffee to brew. Everyone gets a fresh cup – no one would be unfortunately stuck with the hours-old last drip and no coffee would be wasted after you guys call it a day.
If there are employees who like their coffee decaf while some love it dark roasted, or if some are fans of cappuccinos and lattes while some prefer espresso, the single serve coffee maker is perfect for your office. Also, it would be the best option if people at your office have different schedules wherein they come at the office at various times.
This machine could provide nice coffee for most, but for some people with a sharp taste for coffee, they might feel that single serve machines sacrifice quality. Others would not rather use the disposable cups (either or both because they care for the environment and they love their pretty porcelain cups).
2. Bean-to-cup coffee maker
For offices with a taste for gourmet coffee, the bean-to-cup coffee machines would provide your mates the freshest coffee you can get, straight from the bean. If your office badly needs high-quality coffee but a dedicated espresso machine is not a good option, then the bean-to-cup coffee maker is best for you.
Bean-to-cup coffee machines are user-friendly, fast and efficient – perfect for the self-service environment in the office kitchen. You simply need to fill the grinder with fresh coffee beans, then add milk to the appropriate inlet, and the automatic machine will take care of creating your coffee. This is more easy to use that a typical espresso machine, but it can give you the coffee with almost the same taste and quality. These are perfect for making lattes, cappuccinos and other specialty hot drinks.
But with great quality comes with great price. This type of coffee maker is one of the most expensive options in the market. Also, it’s more difficult to move compared to most machines, so better think carefully where to place it best if you want to buy one.
3. Airpot/thermal pot coffee maker
The airpot or thermal pot machine makes coffee for a group of people, keeping the supply going all day long while keeping it warm. Coffee, when left on a warming plate for hours, becomes burnt and tastes bitter. But with a thermal pot or airpot, you can keep your coffee hot without ruining its flavor because they don’t need warming plates. They are drip coffee makers that have specially designed carafe with double wall insulation, which ensures heat does not escape. They have stainless steel exteriors and a vacuum seal, which makes them look like a typical thermos.
This type of brewer is a good choice for offices who would like a portable coffee maker that doesn’t take up much space. Since you don’t need a warmer with this one, it can save room in your office pantry. It’s also great for those who take coffee in groups, like during meetings or as employees come at exactly 9AM and they need their caffeine boost the first thing when they get to the office.
On the flip side, since the carafe is not transparent, there’s no way to tell how much coffee is left unless you open it. You also need to be careful in following instructions for use and make sure that the carafe is placed correctly to avoid spillage. For some people, especially those with arthritis, handling the lid of the carafe to dispense coffee is difficult and tedious.
4. Espresso coffee maker
If you want the best quality of coffee for the employees, you can opt for an espresso machine – with extra cost of course. There are different kinds of espresso machines, but they are all designed to satisfy users with the best-tasting coffee they can make.
One disadvantage is that it is more expensive than other coffee maker types. By investing in an espresso machine, you may consider opening up a small coffee shop just for your employees. A coffee shop inside the company premises is a great perk already, but this is a great option only if most of them are really fans of specialty coffee. Nevertheless, it can lessen your employees’ trips to Starbucks or Seattle’s Best, making them more productive at work.
But if your office is too cool, you may hire a barista or assign a skilled employee who knows how to use the machine and provide premium coffee for your employees for free. This might not work for an office with many employees having the same schedule, but if they would learn the standard process of using the machine, it would not be difficult to repeat.
With all that considerations said, the espresso machine is not the most viable option, but there are some offices who would love to have one of these big boys in their kitchens.
5. Traditional coffee pots
When it comes to convenience with good coffee quality, many offices pick a more traditional style coffeemakers, which can also be seen in most homes. Also called decanters, the coffee pots is what people know and are used to. You will have less to no problems such as coffee spilling or machine malfunctioning (unless some of the users are clumsy or naïve) because it is so easy to use. You can easily add coffee grounds and water to brew anywhere from two to 14 cups of coffee. Plus, the transparency of the pot makes it easy to see how much coffee is left.
It is best to only brew just the right amount of coffee you would consume immediately with this type of coffee maker since it doesn’t retain heat for so long. If there are some coffee left, you may need to continually apply heat, but it affects the coffee flavor, making it bitter. But there are some coffee brewers that has a warmer and an automatic shut-off feature.
If you’re employees are not that much caffeine-hungry, or if you only have few employees, the traditional, home-style coffee pots is already a good option. If you think your coffee maker would see a lot of traffic, then choose something more of an investment piece that can withstand heavy use. Sometimes, buying cheap and basic would lead to breakage and more spending.
If you haven’t decided on what coffee maker to get for the office, you may also read our Guide to Picking the Best Coffee Maker for You for more tips and recommendations.