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single cup machines - looking for office recommendations
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Friendly
Senior Member
Friendly
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 132
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013, 1:47pm
Subject: single cup machines - looking for office recommendations
 

heyo, my bosses are expanding our office space and we're getting a staff room (finally) and have been told they'll buy us a coffee machine.

There are about 10 of us in the office and mebe 6 of us drink coffee, but we've got vast differences in taste...some like it weak, some like it strong etc etc etc.

I was asked to provide some recommendations. I was thinking a Tassimo/Nespresso/Keurig, but perhaps something on the more commercial side of things. Only about 10 - 15 cups a day will be made, so the machine won't be stressed out making us drinks.

I would like an option that gives us custom cups. I buy fresh roasted coffee each week and use my Baratza Vario at home...I'll buy the Virtuoso Precisio for work.

What would you recommend we consider?

Thank you all! :0
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JKalpin
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JKalpin
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 790
Location: Thornhill, Ontario Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Aerobie Aeropress
Grinder: Baratza Maestro Plus
Vac Pot: Yama 5-Cup
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, BraZen
Roaster: Freshroast+8, Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013, 2:22pm
Subject: Re: single cup machines - looking for office recommendations
 

Your question is complicated.

If you want 'custom cups' your best bet would be a pod machine.  However, pods can be $1.00 each, much more expensive than premium coffee.  

My BraZen brewer fills to 1.2 litres of water, and I probably net out 1.1 litres (37 fl oz) …or roughly 4- 8 oz mugs per brew.  So, with 6 drinkers you're into 2 batches.  Maybe  a commercial setup with 2 glass carafes side-by-side is a better bet.

But you get no 'custom cups'.  Everyone gets the same.

How about this:  Buy everyone their own Aeropress and install a hot water urn for the office.  That way, everyone makes their own and cleans up and everyone gets what they like.

 
Jerry
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barkingburro
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barkingburro
Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 178
Location: Irvine, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Vac Pot: Trifecta MB, CafeSolo,...
Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013, 4:45pm
Subject: Re: single cup machines - looking for office recommendations
 

Some assumptions have to be made:

1) Most people won't expect to have to measure anything, apart from scooping coffee grounds until the filter "looks full" and filling the H2O reservoir until the water reaches "the line".

2) Most people won't want to use a grinder.

3) Most people won't want to use manual timing.

So I hope the suggestion to get everyone an AeroPress was an attempt at humor.  ;)


My Knee Jerk Recommendation

I would favor Nespresso over any other type of machine, based on comparative feedback from others.  You can always make a weaker cup, but Keurig won't produce a strong enough cup for many people.  The Starbucks brand machine might even be a better choice than Keurig, but in one comparative review I read, the Nespresso still came out on top for taste.  Also, research the various levels of quality in a Nespresso machine--find the one with the best maintainability and options, plus ease of use.  However, a Nespresso may not lend itself well to custom pods--I have no idea.  And if you really want excellent coffee, you should look elsewhere...


My Real Recommendation

If you're not squeamish about slovenly users not cleaning up after themselves, and enough people don't mind taking the minor effort to measure their grounds somewhat accurately and then wash out the brew chamber after each use, I would recommend my favorite (of course): the Bunn Trifecta MB.  You will not get a super concentrated espresso drink, but you will get the best coffee on the planet, assuming you use the best beans.  It's like giving everyone an AeroPress, but instead of learning how to use it and sweating over the manual press-down while avoiding an accident, you just press a button.

Honestly, for single serve office convenience + high quality result, this is (almost) a no-brainer.


Lowest Uncommon Denominator Effect

There is one caveat, however: for those who insist on using comparatively stale and/or poorly roasted coffee, the end result could be disappointing, in that the strongest flavor components (sharp, bitter, grassy, ash, etc.) will be highlighted.  Cheapsters buying their preground coffee in bulk may not actually notice, but don't count on it.

 
- Michael
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Friendly
Senior Member
Friendly
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 132
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013, 5:01pm
Subject: Re: single cup machines - looking for office recommendations
 

hey Everyone. taking a look at the Trifecta now, but being coffee isn't part of my bosses habits, I'm not sure they'll splurge for that much. they were looking at the $150 Keurig Platinum from Costco's. maybe if I put some $$$ into it, they'd buy the Trifecta... :P

essentially though, I want a machine that will brew everyone's preferred coffee. most of my workmates are heathens and will be fine with the selection of pods that are available to choose from. I, on the other hand, not so much. The grinder will mostly for me. hell, I bet I will bring my small Chemex to work. I don't use it at home anymore, too small when I have company. I use my AeroPress at home, so not taking it to work. I had mentioned the 'custom cup' so I could use freshly ground beans in the machine and hope it gets the water temperature right.

I'd likely only drink 2 or 3 cups a day...same for my boss...everyone else is likely to be much less, so about 15 or so cups a day would be made. not heavy use, but higher than average, for sure.

thanks for the Bunn recommendation, I had totally forgotten about that model. I'll see what the management has to say! :)
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013, 9:39pm
Subject: Re: single cup machines - looking for office recommendations
 

I kind of went all over the place when I read your question. First, half way through it, I thought pod machine and at the end I was thinking Aeropress or pod machine.

At work I use my Aeropress nearly all the time but I do have a Curtis pour over drip and a Curtis bulk grinder, like you see at Costco or the local Supermarket for grinding the stale bulk coffee in the plastic tubes (that are not sealed and let in all that nice light!)

For you, I really think Aeropress, you know how to use it, it is forgiving to grind and water temp, brews a single cup at a time and is easy to clean up. An inexpensive electric water kettle can be used by someone who may want hot cocoa or tea as well as coffee, heck even a cup of instant soup.

The pod machine for the masses. This lets you enjoy fresh properly brewed/ground coffee with only the expense of another Aeropress.

In general when a noob asks about an office coffee setup I go to the pod machines and the super auto if they want espresso type drinks. The huge majority of folks out there in the big world are not coffee geeks and the results from the pod/SA machine checks all their boxes, choice of beverage, easy to use, no or minimal input on the behalf of the user.

On the other hand, you appreciate the better cup that a little attention to prep will get you and in an office setup Aeropress or V60 is an easy answer if you have a grinder to use. It need not be "high end" the Solis 166, Maestro etc will easily fill the bill.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Bogiesan
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Posted Fri Dec 20, 2013, 2:48pm
Subject: Re: single cup machines - looking for office recommendations
 

Kenneth Davids recommends the Nespresso system because it is the only single cup machine that delivers water hot enough to brew coffee. When he wrote his comparison of similar units, though, the Keurig Vue had been announced but not yet available to review. The best way to buy Nespresso capsules seems to be in bulk online since they are difficult to locate outside of larger markets.

 
I play go. I use Macintosh,. Of course I ride a recumbent.
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Friendly
Senior Member
Friendly
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 132
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Dec 23, 2013, 2:47pm
Subject: Re: single cup machines - looking for office recommendations
 

well, the Trifecta is a bit out of budget, so we're going to take a look at the BUNN MCU now. Bit more money up here in Canada...but being it heats the water up to 200F before doing the brew, I'm game as are the bosses.

Anyone know anything about the MCU?
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jbviau
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jbviau
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
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Location: Pembroke Pines, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Preciso / LIDOs
Drip: Trifecta MB / Eva Solo...
Posted Tue Dec 24, 2013, 8:38pm
Subject: Re: single cup machines - looking for office recommendations
 

See here, for example, re: the MCU: "Bunn MCU, opinions?"
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luvcappa
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Joined: 28 Apr 2005
Posts: 23
Location: new york
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Simonelli MCF
Posted Sat Dec 28, 2013, 11:17am
Subject: Re: single cup machines - looking for office recommendations
 

Ok, I just bought a MCU for a family member xmas. My opinion so far is mixed - neg. point, it makes a rather weak cup. However aft., reading the info posted by jbviau i see some members grind a bit finer to increase contact time to balance out the short contact time of water in this machine. That may seem like a solution, but I have not tasted/tested it out cause I no longer have it. Maybe b/c I am espresso/cap drinker and use to stronger brews too. However, another family member thought it made a rather strong brew, so, your taste is what matters. Positive side - it made a very balanced cup, no bitters, burnt taste ( as I exp. with Nespresso Kcups) or too acidic, very smooth (consensus of everyone), with fresh beans from Counter Culture Apollo (Ethiopian SO).
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paulnewport
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Joined: 1 Jan 2014
Posts: 5
Location: Anaheim,CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jan 10, 2014, 4:05am
Subject: Re: single cup machines - looking for office recommendations
 

While looking at pod coffee makers, don't forget the Delonghi Dolce Gusto. I hope your management is taking into consideration the cost of pods versus ground coffee. Here's a great website where you can compare different coffee machines and check out the dolce gusto Click Here (www.dailycuppacoffee.com)  At Daily Cuppa Coffee, you'll get any coffee need met so I hope you find a good fit for your break room.
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