The first decision is, which type of coffee machine, automatic or manual, will suit your needs. If you are looking for an office coffee machine for staff use an automatic machine is generally the best option. No training is required to operate the machine and they produce a good consistent quality coffee. If your office has a catering division with trained baristas and you are wanting to serve a cafe quality coffee to clients a manual machine may be the best option.
Below are the major benefits of each machine type:
Automatic Coffee Machines
Ease of use - No training required. Bean to Cup - Place a cup and press a button.
Speed - Coffee in (40 - 60) sec depending on the model.
Drink quality - The coffee quality is high and consistent. It is not dependent on barista training or experience.
Drink choice - Some automatic machines also make chocolates and mochas for non coffee drinkers.
Flexibility - Coffee strength, milk type and quantity can be adjusted cup by cup. Milk temperature is programmed.
Milk choice - Limited to 3 types of milk unless the model has a manual steam wand option.
Waste - There is no wasted coffee or milk
Mess - No cleaning is required through the day.
Cleaning - An automatic clean is performed at the end of the day (2 min).
Plumbing - Automatic machines can operate from a built-in water tank so plumbing / drainage is not required.
Manual Coffee Machines
Ease of use - Barista training and practice required.
Speed - Coffee in 60 - 120 seconds depending on experience.
Drink quality - The coffee quality can be very high depending on the barista skills and experience of the operator.
Drink choice - Chocolates and mochas can be made manually.
Flexibility - Coffee strength, milk type, milk quantity and temperature are all adjustable to suit preference.
Milk choice - Unlimited using a manual steam wand.
Waste - Some coffee and milk will usually be left over.
Mess - Some spilt coffee grounds and left over milk will need to be cleaned up after each coffee.
Cleaning - The machine is back flushed at the end of the day (2 min).
Plumbing - Connection to plumbing and drainage is required.
Each office coffee machine in our range is rated in terms of the number of staff it is suitable for. The staff rating ensures the machine has enough capacity to meet demand and will be reliable over its recommended life span.
If you are looking for a machine for general staff usage, select a model that has a staff rating greater than the number of staff you currently have and expect to have over the next 3 - 5 years. If staff numbers grow unexpectedly, upgrading the machine is always an option. This calculation allows for coffee you make for clients. If you are looking for a machine for clients and visitors only, estimate the average number of cups you will make per working day and use this number to determine suitable models.
If you have a large number of staff or you have multiple coffee points available, you may want to consider getting more than one machine. This has the advantage of speeding up coffee delivery in peek times, such as mornings and lunch times, and ensures there is a machine available during cleaning and servicing. Simply divide the the total staff number by the number of machines you are looking.
3. Steam wand or Automatic milk system
A steam wand allows you to steam milk cafe style in a jug. Manually steaming milk requires some training however it gives you the flexibility to steam any type of milk, regular, lite, soy almond etc and you have complete control over foam level and temperature.
An automatic milk system draws milk directly from the milk fridge, heats the milk, adds air for foam and dispenses it directly into the cup. There is no noise, mess or waste however you are limited to a max of three types of milk if you have a milk fridge with milk lances. The milk lance system allows you to open the fridge and plug into the your prefer option without pulling tubes out of the milk. There is space inside the fridge for 2 x 2 litre cartons, full cream and lite, and a 1 litre UHT carton for soy etc.
The WMF 1100S and 1500S provide a steam wand and automatic milk system. With both options available staff can simply press a button for a fully automatic coffee or chocolate or they can let the machine make the espresso while they steam their choice of milk.
4. Chocolates & Mochas
Do you need a machine at makes automatic chocolates? The WMF range all make fully automatic chocolates. To make a chocolate on a Jura automatic or manual machine add 2 - 3 tea spoons of drinking chocolate to some hot water and stir until dissolved. Use the machine to add the milk, either the automatic milk system on a Jura or the steam wand on a manual machine.
5. Water tank or plumbed in
Some models operate from a built-in water tank only, some models must be connected to plumbing / drainage and some models provide the option of both. Connecting the machine to plumbing and drainage reduces machine maintenance thought the course of the day as the water tank does not need to be filled and the drip tray does not need to be emptied. The water filtration system also eliminates the need to descale the machine. Please note descaling can also be eliminated by using in tank water filters on tank water machines. If plumbing and drainage are not available in the location you wish to position the machine a water tank model is the best option. There is also a plumbing cost associated with connecting the machine to mains water / drainage and the mains water models are more expensive.
6. Space requirements
Check that you have enough bench width and height above the bench top to suit the machine. In the specifications tab for each machine you will find the bench width required for the machine by itself and for the machine with a milk cooler / fridge. You will also see the height clearance required above the bench top. If you have overhead cupboards or shelves measure the distance between the bench top and the bottom of the cupboard / self.