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Thread: Need office machine under $3k - 30 cups per day

  1. #1
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    Need office machine under $3k - 30 cups per day

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    My office has finally gotten sick of the junk machine in our kitchen and I've been given a $3000 budget to get a new machine. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions, with the following criteria in mind:
    Must be under 51cm high, under 51cm deep, under 61cm wide
    Must be able to cope with 30ish cups per day
    Must foam milk (not necessarily at same time as making coffee)
    Easy to use

    Pref: 2 cups at once, not require plumbing, not a messy process, not overly noisy

    I've had a quick look around and I was leaning towards a pod machine since it's quick and clean and very easy to use. There has been some concerns that if we got a grinder and grouphead combo some of our staff wouldn't be able to use it. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    TC
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    Welcome Meliphicent,

    With your brief I'd be suggesting a good volumetric machine (buttons to choose a single or double) and a grinder which can offer a timed dose.

    There are plenty of alternatives, but a good start point for your research might be something like a LaSpaziale mini-Vivaldi II and Compak K3 Touch grinder.

    Feel most welcome to make contact if I can further assist.

    Chris

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    It all depends on who will end up cleaning and caring for the machine. At my last "office" job, we visited the same question. We went down the path of a second hand commercial machine and grinder. It was a refurbished unit in the low $1k range, plus grinder. A service was booked in every three months, and we had the machine plumbed in, as no one could be relied upon to fill a water tank. It worked (and still does) well, with many using it for hot water for tea as well. A brief course on how to use it was done with all staff, and a basic guide was printed up and posted above it. Beans were purchased online via a subscription service with a reputable supplier, but they are not sponsors, so will not mention them. This ensured no one would bring in cheap stale supermarket beans. Cleaning was spread amongst a few. To be honest, it is rare to find this system working well in an office environment, unless you have a few die hard coffeesnobs present. Most people are too lazy to bother to make the effort.

    For ease of use there are good quality commercial pod machines that use the ESE pods. You can buy very good quality coffee in these pods, and they work very well in an office environment. They are easy machines to use, and keep clean. I am not talking about the pod machines available in department stores. "Spinel" make very good units that will last a long time, and are common in many offices. Google them for more information. They are about $1200. They also come with a steam wand.
    I have tasted good coffee from these machines and it is a lot better than stale coffee, made on a HX machine. In an office, you may find a couple of people who are keen to use the machine suggested in the post above, but others will feel intimidated. You may also find no one willing to clean up, and the cleaners at the end of the day will certainly not do anything more than wipe and dust. Commercial pod machines are becoming very common and are a good step up from instant coffee and the domestic pod machine. Good quality super auto machines for offices are over $10k.

    Hope this helps.
    Fresh_Coffee likes this.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosco_Lever View Post

    For ease of use there are good quality commercial pod machines that use the ESE pods. You can buy very good quality coffee in these pods, and they work very well in an office environment. .
    Bosco.
    I agree that a pod machine is probably the best compromise for a multi user /office set up, but i would question how you believe.. "good quality coffee" .. can be found in these pods..ESE or any other. ?
    No pod is likely to be within a few months of roasting & grinding, and by common agreement ,there is no way known to commercially preserve the "Quality" of ground coffee for any useful period. Realisticly though, only the obsessive coffee nut is going to complain, and you have to strike a compromise somewhere.
    The significant disadvantage of any pod system though is the cost per cup is significantly more than buying beans. That could be a serious factor ..depending on who pays the bills !

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    It would help to know Meliphicents location. I have a number of very professional colleagues in the various capital cities who I can recommend, that specialise in the area of "office coffee" including my own business which services the Canberra and surrounding districts area. Office coffee is a specialised field.

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    I'm in Notting Hill (South East Melbourne). It looks like a grinder and portafilter/grouphead combo is out of the question as concerns were raised about cleaning, and as expected some staff complained it would be too hard to use
    Thanks for the input guys!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    Bosco.
    I agree that a pod machine is probably the best compromise for a multi user /office set up, but i would question how you believe.. "good quality coffee" .. can be found in these pods..ESE or any other. ?
    No pod is likely to be within a few months of roasting & grinding, and by common agreement ,there is no way known to commercially preserve the "Quality" of ground coffee for any useful period. Realisticly though, only the obsessive coffee nut is going to complain, and you have to strike a compromise somewhere.
    The significant disadvantage of any pod system though is the cost per cup is significantly more than buying beans. That could be a serious factor ..depending on who pays the bills !
    Blend52,
    In response to your question about quality. I can send you more information if you require, via PM. I know of at least one roaster in Melbourne who sends off freshly roasted coffee to be packed into the ESE pods. The quality of his product is very high, hence my description of the coffee packed into the pod. I buy his roasted coffee from time to time, and am very impressed with it. The company packing the pods has a quick turnaround time back to the roaster. They are then delivered quickly to many an office. The coffee can be around one week old, certainly less than your assumption of a few months. The imported pods may be several months old, but I was referring to a local product. Some offices have a very large turnover of these pods, and receive regular deliveries. I have tasted coffee from this system and it produces a reasonable brew. It was better than what many cafes serve. As with all coffee there are many variables, including stock control. As to the preservation of the quality of ground coffee, I will leave this to the roasters who specialise in the area of "office coffee" to comment. I have not researched in depth this area, nor do I want to. I have tasted the product, and was skeptical at first. Having been served far worse in professional establishments, I was pleasantly surprised.
    The cost of the pods varies from 50 to 80 cents, relevant to volume ordered. Many medium to large offices do not view the cost of the pods as significant. What is important is ease of use, ease of cleaning, and a host of other factors. It is very specialised. Staff who waste time by seeking a better brew than instant, by leaving an office, are seen to cost the business a lot more than the pods. Office coffee is usually about the provision of a service, not the cost of pods in comparison to beans, and has numerous variables.
    Fresh_Coffee likes this.

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    Meliphicent.

    I have information for you and have tried to send you a PM, but after several failed attempts have given it away (what's with the nonsence error messages Mods?).

    If you would like to know what it's about just email contact@cosmorexcoffee.com.au , it will be forwarded to me, and I will come back to you.

    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor.

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    Bosco,
    As i said, Pods are a practical compromise for an office.
    ,,but i would never rank them as a "Quality" coffee experience.
    Like you, i am happy to let others comment on the comparison of week old ( at best) ground coffee vs fresh ground..
    And whilst i am sure that there are companies that can ignore the cost of office services , i am equally sure that most will be highly aware of thier budgets and if they could halve (or more) the expenditure on coffee, they would find it hard to overlook in the current financial climate. ( been through that !)

  10. #10
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee View Post
    (what's with the nonsence error messages Mods?).
    (what's with the random reporting of a nonsense error message without including the actual error message site sponsor?)

    ..as always, send me an email anytime with the actual error and I will have a far better chance of seeing, understanding and maybe even fixing it.
    :-)

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    hehehehehe....so you do read random messages inserted into bodies of text on topic ! Way to go Andy.

    Yeah that was last night and I was over it. I'll see if I can duplicate the nonsence this morning and if so, will send you a private email!

    ***************

    Having spent spent considerable time working professionally with a great number of working office places, I have found that real quality has not much to do wth anything and it is more to do with convenience and individual's pet ideas (however misguided) and their pet suppliers. Office Coffee is a specialised field that suffers greatly from interference from individuals within the workplace, working against the services that have been provided for them either by the employers or their social cliubs, to the point where the practices of individuals can and do sabotage the service being provided including the equipment and the supplier. This causes all sorts of un needed, un warranted problems that place undue unnecessary stress on those that are trying for better or worse, to provide the service, with individuals pulling their providers from pillar to post with their (expert not) demands. This kind of interference can and does cause irretrievable breakdown of the relationship between the employer and the service provier / supplier.

    Office coffee is about management and convenience. There is a budget, a piece of resulting equipment of whatever kind, there are countless individuals all working against eachother and the service providers to get what they as individuals want in their office, there is the blame game when they dont get what they want OR the equipment is not delivering what is expected (usually because of the interference and resulting equipment MISmanagement - very very common), there is usually no one that will clean up after themselves, more stress, and frankly, there is a lot of horse poo surrounding the whole subject.

    All because an employer has decided to manage the problem of people exiting the building to buy coffee, wasting work time.

    Coffee is "the new smoking", where if you dont place a coffee workstation in the office, employees exit the building & you lose productivity.

    All of that said, many of the problems are caused by people initially being cheap with the equipment, going it alone and buying domestic machines from department stores which are under rated for the task and have no back up service etc., often under the mistaken idea that to consult with and buy from a professional in the field, somehow rips them off or results in them getting a sub standard coffee. Consultants and suppliers exist for a reason, usually because their services are required and clients see value in the service. For every 10 people that can go it alone, there may well be another 300 people that require the services of professional people that specialise in the field (of office coffee).

    Again the fact is, this has very little to do with the coffee quality and whether its someone's opinion of fresh or not, it is management and convenience. Only the minutest proportion of the general coffee drinking public are "CoffeeSnobs", exemplified very frequently by people that bring a pack of their favourite stale coffee in to use, been sitting on a supermarket shelf for atleast 3 months and imported from Italy before that, but they love the brand (its all about the brand) and are bringing extreme pressure to bear to get the whole office changed over to it...... The lack of understanding of all these principles causes a lot of trouble, and people dont go to work to be unproductive playing pretend baristas with conventional espresso machines and grinders. They are in most cases not suited to the task.

    Hope that helps.
    Bosco_Lever and DavidW1960 like this.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    We have a very different approach to office coffee. For the past 10 years we have had a relationship with a local charity that helps people with minor disabilities. We purchased and plumbed in a 2nd hand commercial machine (in good nick) and grinder which are serviced regularly. Two young adults from the charity were trained to make reasonable coffee from fresh beans (well they are now fresh), and from 9.30-11.30am each day they do just that (a supervisor drops round once a week). I'm not sure what we pay on a regular basis, but there is some subsidisation from disability services. It's not an approach that would work (or even be possible) for everyone, but for some large-ish organisations it might be worth having a think about. Been a very positive experience for us, and I believe for the young people involved. The portafilters are locked away outside the hours of operation, and we've had no trouble with errant staff playing weekend barista games. Again....this is only relevant to some organisations, but worth a thought.
    Cheers
    BOSW.



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