U-Select Buying Guides: Bean to Cup Coffee Machines

By Phil Scoble

Bean to Cup Coffee Machines are becoming increasingly popular in the world of catering, cafes and pubs because of their convenience and consistency. But how do you decide if one is right for you?

1: Barista or Bean to Cup Machine? 

If you are thinking about investing in a bean to cup machine, then you need to answer a very simple question: Do you want your coffee to be the reason people visit your business? 

If so, then you need to buy a barista machine instead and will need to invest either in training for you, training for your staff, or you need to hire a trained barista. There’s no other way to the very top quality coffee you’re going to need to attract customers in the current market, which is moving towards saturation and therefore high quality. 

But, if you want people to come for your bacon sandwiches and your cake, then perhaps your coffee can be good quality, rather than great, in which case a bean to cup machine will be perfect. 

Bean to cup coffee machines can actually be more expensive than a barista machine, but this is because they do the work of a person – giving you consistent, good quality coffee time and time again. You can also set the levels within the machine to create your own, distinctive coffees. 

2: Fresh Milk or Powdered? 

It’s also vital that you consider if you want a machine that prepares coffee with fresh milk. 

A lot of bean to cup coffee machines use powdered milk to create their drinks, and this SERIOUSLY affects the taste of the coffee they produce. 

If, however, you want to create drinks with fresh milk, then you will need to invest in a separate cooler – which can add significantly to the cost. But it will add significantly to the quality of the coffee you produce. 

3: Take the time to clean your machine

If you DO buy a bean to cup machine, make sure you follow the cleaning procedures set out in the machine’s training manual. Clean the machine as the manufacturer advises, using the correct chemicals. If you don’t, your coffee will start to taste rancid and the machine will also soon break. If you haven’t been cleaning it, you can invalidate your warranty too.

Our Advice

Consider carefully before you invest in a bean to cup coffee machine because it’s a big investment.

If you want to have coffee to write home about, buy a barista machine. If you want to go for a bean to cup, and want to use fresh milk, make sure you buy a cooler too, and factor the cost into your planning. Finally, if you DO buy a bean to cup coffee machine, spend time learning how to clean and maintain it. And always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines so you don’t invalidate the warranty! 

Merrychef Eikon e2s
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