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Thread: Best machine for small office?

  1. #1
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    Best machine for small office?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi everyone, Im new here and I would like to ask a question. I run a small office (2-3 staff on any one day). The office has no plumbing. At the moment we get our coffees downstairs at the cafe (excellent coffee), but this is expensive over time and inconvenient when we have clients who would like a coffee. Its also a pain when I am about to have a late night and I cant get a coffee after 4pm, because the barista is cleaning the machine.

    I love my coffee and tend to have doppio espresso or piccolo latte. The cafe downstairs uses Schibello coffee, but I prefer The Coffee Roaster (used by my wifes cafe, and those run by two brothers).

    So I am thinking of a machine for the office. Trouble is, with no plumbing and limited bench space, we cant be dealing with grounds and cleaning all day. Also, when my secretary needs to make many coffees at once for a meeting, the machine cannot be one that requires intimate knowledge of its moods or be otherwise temperamental.

    Ease of use and cleanliness are hugely important. We have no sink to wash in. We have to take washing out to a kitchenette shared by all businesses on the floor. We get water from a water cooler in our "kitchen" area.

    My questions to all you coffee snobs:

    1. Should I get a manual or an automatic?

    2. Can we stay clean with a manual, given no sink for washing?

    3. Which machines would you recommend and why?

    4. If the answer is manual, which grinder should I get? (Emphasis on no mess!)

    5. If the answer is auto, does anyone have good experiences with Nespresso (which is extremely easy to use and very clean). My experience has been mixed. My brother-in-law made me a decent coffee with his little manual De Longhi Nespresso machine, but the Nespresso shop made me a terrible, bitter coffee, with a more expensive machine.

    6. If Nespresso is not recommended (which I assume is the case) which autos are best and for what reasons?

    I should also add that I am not that fussy about steaming ability. The shots are what counts. I find the Nespresso milk frother makes a reasonable milk for lattes, and is very neat and quiet. I am really only interested in good shots at this stage.

    Sorry about the length of the post, but I though that more detail would be better than less.

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Best machine for small office?

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by 28393E2B3C38253A253F2625394A0 link=1235197287/0#0 date=1235197287
    the Nespresso shop made me a terrible, bitter coffee, with a more expensive machine.
    Enough said.

    Not having a sink shouldnt be a problem.
    A damp cloth will do for wiping the steam wand and filling the water tank by carrying water in a jug from the water cooler will work.

    Dont underestimate the secretarys abilities (and coffee machines arent rocket science).

    Quote Originally Posted by 28393E2B3C38253A253F2625394A0 link=1235197287/0#0 date=1235197287
    we cant be dealing with grounds and cleaning all day
    Coffee machines and grinders dont throw grounds about behind your back (they arent as messy as you insinuate).

    You havent stated a budget.

    Spend up on a grinder, the taste difference is worth it.

    Talk with the site sponsors (see the list and email address on the left of the page).

  3. #3
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    Re: Best machine for small office?

    Hi and welcome,

    It sounds to me that you are after a better result than an auto can provide. (I havent met too many people drinking doppio espressos out of an auto ...)

    Look at the Heat exchanger or twin boiler machines and pair with a grinder such as the Mini Mazzer E or Macap M4D for a low fuss, high quality result setup.

    Let me know if you need more info - Id put more info but Im out the door to a wedding :)

    charlie

  4. #4
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    Re: Best machine for small office?

    Whoops,

    just used my "test" login "jitterbug" by mistake.

    charlie

  5. #5
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    Re: Best machine for small office?

    Thanks to everyone for the advice. *It sounds like we can take advantage of the better quality of a manual. *Thanks also for teh suggestions re the grinder. *I will look at them. *


    Now, what would you suggest for the espresso machine? *Keep in mind we want superb shots and ease of use. *We dont care that much about frothing ability. *Use will not be heavy - probably a total of 6 cups a day, with the occasional extra for client meetings. *

    I didnt give a budget because I am flexible. *I will spend the minimum I can for adequate quality. *I am not interested in bells and whistles or shiny surfaces. *This does not have to decorate a home kitchen - it is hidden away in the back of an office. *

    I find that with most products I shop for, having established certain minimum specs, there is a "sweet spot" where the value is right. *At the sweet spot, the quality is not the best in the world, for which you usually pay through the nose, but the quality is very good, the product you are buying is at the head of the pack and the value is excellent. *

    Which espresso machines would you nominate as being in the "sweet spot", given what I do, and do not, require?

  6. #6
    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: Best machine for small office?

    Hi bk,

    As Charlie said above, what about a HX or twin boiler machine that is built to last. A cheaper single boiler machine in an office may result in someone not re-priming the boiler after steaming and cooking the element. A super-auto may provide ease of use but high maintenance (sponsors Cosmorex and Gilkatho have Juras if you want to talk to them about this option). How about one of these:

    http://www.talkcoffee.com.au/equipment/coffee-machine-diadema-elettronica.php

    Beautiful, well made heat exchanger machine, and volumetric controls for easier use.

    And a good quality grinder (essential) - timed doserless as per Charlies 2 recommendations may be less mess and mucking around. (And, of course, fresh good quality beans!!! And, I suppose, a lesson or 2 for whoever is going to be making the coffee?)

    You should, however, get in touch with a local sponsor and try out the various options for yourself.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Re: Best machine for small office?

    hey bk

    it sounds like quality of the shot is important to you so autos out of the question, something like a silvia (compact but mostly commercial quality components) would safice. grinder wise anything with a doser (like a mazzer mini, if you can afford one?) will produce constant grinds with minimal mess. as said above spend up on a good grinder!

    CE



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