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Thread: Machine for small office

  1. #1
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    Machine for small office

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    This started because I enquired about a manual machine in the workplace and it was starting to get off topic so I thought I would open a new topic for the experts.

    I used to have a Saeco automatic years ago and thought it was great until I moved to a VBM super-lever (from a site sponser of course) a few years ago. Now I want a machine for work in a small office, funded by me not work so obviously price is an issue but either way i am not going to buy rubbish.

    The general consensus is that a manual machine may not be the best way to go in this environment given the complexity of getting good coffee from them (Took me about 8 months to get consistently good coffee) but my experience with automatics was average coffee,* this was some 8 years ago and perhaps automatic technology has changed since then.

    I would like to get peoples opinions on Auto verses manual in this environment not a discussion on auto verses manual in general as I bet that has already been beaten to death before.

    If I was to go manual I probably would not consider anything other than an E61 model but i have no idea on autos, what is a good automatic machine for a small office that still produces good coffee.

    Barry

  2. #2
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Re: Machine for small office

    This is a tough one, I work in a fairly big govn office, we have auto machines on each floor (Delonghi Magnifica), they are domestic, and really not suitable for the work load they get. (50-100 a day). The poor things constantly have "descale" flashing on their displays. No one maintains them and the beans that work supplies for the machines are terrible.

    I bought a new grinder for home, so I took my old grinder (sunbeam EM0480) to work. I take my own beans and grind on-demand at work, dosing the auto machines through the pre-ground chute.

    The milk attachment on all the machines is busted, so I have to nuke a cup of milk if I want a milk drink, then brew my pre-ground in to the nuked milk. Its really not that pleasant.

    I also grind up for a few blokes at work, and hit em up for 50c per grind. It covers the cost of the beans.

    As the machines are constantly breaking down, Ive seriously considered buying a cheapish machine for work, perhaps a sunbeam EM6910 or similar. The problem is, as you mentioned, it will be abused, left filthy, and operated by people that have no clue what they are doing. As it is, I keep my grinder in a cupboard, or at my desk so no one uses it.

    I thought about taking in a machine and putting a sign on it. Something that says people are welcome to use it as long as they know what they are doing and keep it clean. But still, I dunno.

    At times when the machine is broken, or there are too many people surrounding it, I bust out my clever coffee dripper, and grind a suitable roast for that instead, let it brew at my desk and enjoy, although I must admit, I drink milk coffees (or espresso) more than black.

    I would never put an E61 machine at work, it will get thrashed, abused, destroyed. Or perhaps the others at work are smart enough to not touch something they dont know about... *ponder*... nah. good luck

  3. #3
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    Re: Machine for small office

    It is a small office with about 5 coffee drinkers including me, they are all intelligent people so abuse is not really an issue so I am not concerned about the E61 rather the will I end up being the office Barista" because the cant work out how to use it.

    I will maintain the machine every Friday, the area is high security swipe card access so no-one can just wander in from other areas and use it, plus the kitchen is close to my office so i can keep an eye on things.

    Barry

  4. #4
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Re: Machine for small office

    It sounds like its a go then. Get a decent machine, put it in the office, train the others how to use it, Im sure they can get it running with a 15 min training session. Focusing on cleaning of course :)

    Ultimately, a good E61 machine will handle abuse much more than a cheapy. So long as they give it a clean after each use, you can do the rest!

    Id do it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member fivegallon's Avatar
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    Re: Machine for small office

    and get them to dob in for beans also, maybe that will inspire them more to help look after it and learn to use it properly...

  6. #6
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Machine for small office

    I too have worked (and do work now) in a restricted area and with intelligent people.

    I went with a Presso and a manual grinder, so only those dedicated fools willing to work for their coffee actually get an espresso. This is still working a year on.

    As far as cleaning goes, we have a dishwasher and yet people still leave their dirty dishes in the sink, and their mess on the benches! >:(

    Good luck.

    Greg

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    Re: Machine for small office

    Cleanliness is a personal thing.

    How much of your week can you afford to spend mucking about with coffee?

    I work with a group of people keen on plungers.

    I am the only one who washes my plunger after use.

    Every body else leaves the old coffee in the plunger until they want to use it next time. :-X

  8. #8
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    Re: Machine for small office

    I self-funded a Nuova Simonelli Oscar & Gino Rossi for the small office I work in.* There are only 4 regular coffee drinkers which varies as staff come and go. The Oscar is a very robust machine with a 2L boiler and bucket loads of steaming power. The grinder is a full commercial one capable of handling a heck of a lot more than the work load it is given.

    Initially I tried training the others and encouraged them to use the machine, most had little to no experience so were apprehensive about using it.* In the end I found the best approach was to ask if anyone wanted a coffee when I was about to make one for myself.*

    So now I pretty much take care of everything but also have complete control over my equipment.* I turn the machine on when I come in, make coffees at around 9:30am then the machine is off again by 10am.* I then turn it on again at around 2pm and do the rounds again.

    After the last round the machine gets a water back flush and I clean the bench where it all sits.* Every second Friday I do a chemical backflush and give the machine, grinder, accessories and bench a thorough clean (takes around 30min).

    I found when people were making their own they would do all sorts of annoying things like grinding 10X more coffee than needed, leaving the portafilter locked in with the puck and LOTS OF MESS.* Every time I heard someone making a coffee I would wait for them to leave the room then go to check what theyíd done wrong.*

    Obviously this only works well in a small office, one person canít expect to be making coffees for 10-20 people.* I worked as a scientist most of my life and so worked with a lot of very intelligent people.* In the places I worked with common coffee machines, including a couple with full commercial set ups, no one ever respected the equipment or did the right thing.* Itís just human nature.*

    Realistically a rented superautomatic machine where the company comes and performs the maintenance on a regular basis will probably be a more practical solution .* The coffee will be crap but Iíve seen lots of intelligent idiots (oxymoron I know) make some pretty horrendous coffee on very expensive commercial machines.

  9. #9
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    Re: Machine for small office

    I went thru this same thought process a few years back.
    We ended up buying a Saeco Cappuccino Royal, its fully auto, twin thermoblock and takes beans or pre ground. Its definitely the best full-auto steam wand Ive seen around but also has a venturi style milk frother attachment separate to the steam wand (I dont think many other machines have both) for those uncapable/unwilling to texture themselves.
    The first one we bought did 12,000 shots well before its first birthday so when our office relocated we left it behind and bought a second one. The only unscheduled maintenance issues were related to people not cleaning it properly or misuse.
    We use CS Espresso Wow and (with some grinder tweaking/modification) makes an enjoyable latte/cappa.

    A full-auto will never produce cafe/prosumer quality coffee, but for a push a button and coffee comes out solution, this machine does a pretty good job.

    My thoughts anyway.




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    Re: Machine for small office

    I ended up getting a Wega Mini and electronic grinder. The grinder I setup for a single portafilter so they can only make one cup at a time only, the grinder puts in the correct amount every time so the grind/tamp process is simple for them.

    So far all is good just gotta get them texturing the milk properly but the ones I expected to be OK are fine and give it a go, the others just stand back and watch me, if they aint doing it themselves by Friday they can go buy their coffee.

    Now all I gotta do is work out how much 1 cup of coffe costs so i can setup a money jar to cover the costs.


    Barry

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    Re: Machine for small office

    1kg of coffee = approx $30 which makes approx 100 coffees so say 30c per coffee as an estimation on the cost of beans. Plus say 250ml per coffee of milk so youre looking at 50-80c per coffee total cost i would think

  12. #12
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Machine for small office

    Quote Originally Posted by 5D7963737871100 link=1303517809/10#10 date=1304394058
    1kg of coffee = approx $30 which makes approx 100 coffees

    Depending on how big the single basket was and $30 for beans is on the cheaper side.

    If it was 10gram single and there was absolutely no wastage then you could get 100 shots from a kilo of beans but I cant see that happening.

    Better to budget for say 80 shots to a kilo.
    250mls is a lot of milk for a single shot but as a budgeting figure it would be good to err on the side of caution, to help cover other costs.

    Add in wear and tear if you want, caffetto, new burrs, new group seals etc.

    Have you got filtered (soft) water to run through the machine?

    I reckon $1 a coffee might cover your costs but $2 would be fair, considering you have a few thousand dollars worth of capital tied up in it.


  13. #13
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    Re: Machine for small office

    hit em $2 and start a snack food bar as well :)

    i took over the "snacks box" when a Secretary moved on in a place i worked once.

    grab stuff on special at coles etc and mark it back up to "normal price" use the profits to pay for better stuff for the office like beers and friday cake etc :)

    when i made changes it went from making about $10 a week to more like $200 profit and three floors of staff where coming to get stuff.

    the cheap ass massively big global miner i was working for even made me chip in to help the xmas party out with the funds.....

  14. #14
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    Re: Machine for small office

    Good comments, I was thinking $2, reasonable cost that may cover some servicing, I need to get a filter (currently using 10L water from supermarket) but that looks like a nightmare to sort, I cant modify the plumbing so I will need an external filter of some sort but its very confusing which one too use.

    $30 a Kg is cheap, I use morgans coffee beans and they now run out at $50/Kg, I could get Vittoria I guess but I use the Morgans at home and the roaster is just down the road from me.

    Barry

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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: Machine for small office

    Your supermarket water might still have a fair bit of calcium in it. Send Everpure or Bombora (both have links on the left <---) an email and ask what they may be able to do for you, I seem to recall that Bombora has a filter that you can slip over the end of a tap, fill your supermarket jugs with that.

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    Re: Machine for small office

    Quote Originally Posted by 4046515A40475F5D340 link=1303517809/14#14 date=1304420138
    Your supermarket water might still have a fair bit of calcium in it. Send Everpure or Bombora (both have links on the left <---) an email and ask what they may be able to do for you, I seem to recall that Bombora has a filter that you can slip over the end of a tap, fill your supermarket jugs with that.
    Sorry, should have been clear, I got a water bottle from the supermarket because I needed a container (The Wega mini does not have an internal reservoir) and filled it up from my filter at home, this is not a long term solution though.

    I looked at the sites you mentioned and they have everything I need but I have just purchased a machine and a filter for another $400.00 is probably gonna have to wait, Guess I will have to get a 2 liter bottle in the short term and fill it up at home to replenish the bottle at work :-(

    Barry

  17. #17
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    Re: Machine for small office

    I would think $1.00 or more there will be other costs eventually even if it is only a new machine in 5 years time.

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    Re: Machine for small office

    an easy plumb in option would be to use the john guest push fit parts. Sign up with bombora for a trade account, and everything is very cheap. Put a pushfit adaptor under the sink, run the cheap small plastic hoses around to the coffee machine and then have an adaptor from push fit to a regular fitting that your wega uses. Of course youd add a water filter in the middle, but the whole set-up would cost you under $150 and you wouldnt have to call a plumber or drill any holes.

  19. #19
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    Re: Machine for small office

    heres the link to the push fit parts i was talking about. Theyre very reasonably priced and easy to use. If you have a trade account with bombora (which you would, since its for an office), other accessories (knock boxes, tampers etc) are far cheaper than anywhere else too :)

    http://www.clean-machine.com.au/JOHN_GUEST_PARTS/

  20. #20
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Re: Machine for small office

    Myself and three others enjoy espresso from my machine which I brought in to work (Gaggia Classic). Work provides milk to everyone here.

    Im providing the machine, a grinder, and my home-roasted coffee, and charging 50c a cup. Includes me actually making the coffees. Ive had others ask me if they can join this "club", but Ive refused as it would take up too much of my time.

    Theres a sign on the machine saying that its not for general use, I keep the portafilter locked in my desk draw.

    The shitty Delonghi Magnifica is back from repair, most people just use that. Goes nicely with the awful beans they are buying from a wholesaler (which are shipped from italy of all places). Its just not good.

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    Re: Machine for small office

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 163D31392F115C0 link=1303517809/19#19 date=1304576250
    I keep the portafilter locked in my desk draw.
    A simple but elegant solution :)



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