With so many options for brewing coffee in the workplace, it can be difficult to choose which coffee solution is the best for your office. Traditional drip brewers are still widely used in many break rooms but single-cup machines are a very popular choice as well.
WHY CHOOSE SINGLE-CUP BREWERS?
Traditional drip brewers are an economical way to provide a pot of coffee for employees, but there are some limitations. Most offices only provide one blend of coffee for their drip brewers. Coffee brewed into pots can taste burnt if it sits on the warming plate for a long period of time, and coffee brewed into thermal carafes will eventually cool down, leading to a lukewarm cup of coffee later in the day.
Single-cup machines address some of the limitations of traditional drip brewers and may elevate the perceived value offered to your employees and guests. A single cup machine allows the user to select their blend, brewing it fresh and piping hot at their convenience. In addition to a variety of popular coffee blends, different teas and hot chocolate may be offered. While traditional brewers require the coffee grounds to be poured into the brew basket fitted with a filter, single-cup machines use a sealed K-Cup, pod, or packet that is simply placed into the machine. This eliminates the coffee grounds on the countertop that can plague offices that use drip brewers. Single-cup coffees may be a bit more expensive when compared to drip brew coffee, but there are labor savings. With single-cup brewers, you can eliminate the need for someone to brew the coffee, wash and clean the counters, coffee pots, and brew baskets, plus dispose of coffee that has gone cold or stale.
Three of the most popular single-cup machines available are the well-known Keurig K-Cup machines, the Bunn Pod machines, and the Flavia packet brewers. While they all offer a convenient, great-tasting cup of coffee brewed just for you, there are some differences between these machines.
KEURIG COFFEE BREWERS
Keurig machines have become a staple in many offices and lend themselves to an air of professionalism and quality in your breakroom. K-Cups are plastic, single-use cups that are placed into the machine’s brew chamber. To brew a cup, you simply clamp the handle down. The machine secures the K-Cup in place while puncturing a hole in the top and the bottom of the plastic cup for the hot water to flow through and saturate the grounds. On certain models, lift the handle up and the used K-Cup ejects into a bin eliminating the need to touch it. K-Cups, however, can be a bit difficult to recycle. Check the bottom of your K-Cups for a recycling symbol, and If they are recyclable, Keurig offers these instructions on their website regarding recycling.
In addition to the ease of use, Keurig is well known for the wide variety of different blends and popular brands to choose from. The sheer variety of K-Cup options will allow your employees to find something suitable to their taste whether they want coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and now – cold drinks. Keurig machines are available in several sizes which means they can fit comfortably in your busy breakroom or discretely in your conference room. Like traditional drip-brewers, Keurig machines can be plumbed into a water source for additional convenience or they can be set up as a pour-over machine if a water source is unavailable. Due to its popularity, Keurig machines can be found both in the office place and in many people’s homes as well. The Keurig machine, however, may not be the best choice if there is a concern of K-Cups leaving the office for home use.
BUNN POD COFFEE BREWERS
The Bunn Pod machine is a popular coffee solution found in many breakrooms as well. Like the Keurig machine, pod machines brew a single cup of fresh coffee for each user. Unlike K-cups, pods consist of only the ground coffee or tea packed into a circular paper filter and are entirely biodegradable. This makes a pod machine a great option for an eco-conscious office. In preparation for brewing, the coffee pod is placed into the holder and tamped down by the user prior to closing the brew chamber. While there are different blends of coffees and teas available, the selection is more limited when compared to Keurig. Coffee pods, however, are a more economical single-cup option and may be a good solution for offices wanting to offer great coffee for their employees at a lower price point than Keurig. The pod brewer may also be a consideration for offices concerned with the possibility of theft since these brewers are typically not found at home. Like other single-cup machines, pod machines can be easily used in both large or small break rooms, but it can only work connected to a water source.
LAVAZZA/ FLAVIA COFFEE BREWERS
Once again, this brewer also makes a great cup of coffee and offers well-known brands like Peets, LaColombe, and Starbucks with extensive blend offerings. This operates similar to a K-Cup but with a packet that gets inserted into the brew chamber. Again, holes are punctured in the pouch to allow the hot water to flow through and brew the coffee. Add a chiller and this unit can also make a variety of cold drinks or use dual packets to create drinks like mochas, latte’s and cappuccinos. The packets are not recyclable, but since this is strictly a commercial unit, packets can’t be used with other home units.
Deciding which coffee brewers to use in your breakroom can take some thought. It is important to consider your budget, the needs of your employees, your company’s green initiatives, and the areas you would like to install these brewers. If you contact A.H. Office Coffee Services, one of our representatives will gladly help you through this process. Their background and experience will assist you in finding the best solution for your office’s needs.