There are an enormous variety of office coffee machines available these days. They come in all shapes and sizes, serving a wide variety of hot and cold beverages at many different budget levels.
Management really need to consider their options and it can be a difficult decision how to best serve their staff and visitors with a decent cup of tea or coffee.
This article is about the humble pour and serve coffee brewer, a simple, cheap and often overlooked way of solving corporate beverage needs.
The pour and serve coffee brewer, or sometimes called a pour over coffee machine have been around for as long as offices have. Put a filter paper in the basket, add fresh coffee and pour a jug of fresh cold water in the machine and away you go. Five minutes later you have a jug of delicious fresh brewed coffee available to thirsty staff.
Although you can pick up one of these types of machines for as little as £20, the best choice is to go for a ‘proper’ commercial quality machine typically in the region of £200 or more. These machines are usually made of stainless steel, have two jugs, two hotplates and a more powerful boiler. They usually stand alone and do not require any plumbing.
The good news is that most coffee companies provide commercial coffee brewers to companies and organisations on a FREE LOAN basis so there is usually no capital outlay whatsoever.
In addition technical service is provided free of charge together with free delivery of coffee and ancillary supplies. The only commitment in these types of offers is to purchase the coffee used in the machine from the supplier. Sometimes the company will insist of a minimum purchase of coffee supplies per month to make it worth their while, but even this small commitment is not always the case.
Coffee is usually supplied in cases of 40, 50 or even 80 sachets of portion controlled coffee with the filter papers included in the box. Just open the sachet and empty the whole contents into the filter basket – it couldn’t be simpler.
Most coffee companies will also offer to supply ancillary items such as cream pots, sugar sticks, plastic cups, stirrers, biscuits and other items as well as a large choice of different coffees to choose from including decaffeinated.
Perhaps the biggest drawback of such a system is that you can only serve coffee. Staff or visitors that prefer tea or chocolate will go disappointed or have to revert to the kettle. However it is possible to brew a jug of hot water through the machine and keep hot on the hotplate for tea drinkers to use, but practically this can prove difficult as the filter basket has to be washed thoroughly between brews which can prove prohibitive in a busy office.
For the open plan office the traditional pour over coffee brewer can be an excellent and surprisingly low cost option. With perhaps one machine for every 10-15 staff in their own little area of the office the humble coffee brewer is often an important and cherished addition to the working environment.
Copyright (c) 2007 Fenton Wayne