When thinking about contracting a business coffee service and beverage service for your business or if you’re just starting to take a look at the available options in your market, you should understand that a true high quality service provides much more than just packaged coffee. Your office coffee service provider should be able to offer a large variety of products and services for your office kitchen; from coffee machines and vending to pure water, sugar, soups, teas, cocoa and all the necessary paper products you’ll need in your coffee break room. Basically, here are several of the main categories of products you should expect your service provider to both supply and service.

Business Coffee Makers

First, you’ll need a high quality commercial coffee maker. Note that this is not a machine made for home use. Think about how many cups of coffee the typical home machine is meant to make, then multiply it by the number of people in your office. In short order without a coffee maker designed for high volume coffee making, you’ll soon find the coffee won’t taste as good and wear out quickly. In addition, home coffee brewers are not really made to be serviced, but rather eventually thrown away.

Your business coffee maker provider should be able to offer you a wide variety of machines designed to fit your specific requirements. You may have a conference room that only needs coffee from time to time. Here is where air pot thermal carafe coffee makers are most appropriate. Often a company’s front foyer is also a good location for a thermal carafe.

As long as you are offered a high quality brand the important choice is most related to the volume and needs of your employees. Size is one issue, where you will want to consider whether you need a one pot, two pot or three pot coffee maker. You may need a low profile unit that fits under overhead cabinets. An additional hot water faucet is another consideration for making tea, soups and other beverages. Other options include espresso machines, single serve

If your staff are coffee enthusiasts, then they will prefer a fresh roasted gourmet style from a local coffee company. This type of coffee will be packaged in one pot pouches to preserve freshness and come in several different levels of strength from medium roast to a dark French roast.

For convenience, some prefer single serve coffee makers where each employee can choose his or her own specific type of coffee. Often the single serve systems offer sweet flavored coffees where that gourmet taste is less important. Popular single-service units include Keurig, Senseo and Flavia. The opposite need is where very large organizations and churches find that a large double cafeteria style brewer is the best way to make a lot of coffee fast. Professionally installed business coffee machines will be plumbed directly with water so that no pouring or filling is needed. Even better is to supply filtered water so that any chlorine and bacteria from the tap water is removed before brewing.

Your investment in your coffee maker is directly related to the volume you’ll be making and the kind of coffee machine you require to meet your office needs. You’ll find that typically a package deal is the best route where you have a low monthly fee that gets adjusted depending on the volume of coffee you use. Most companies will want a full service product, while others may just want to lease the equipment and ensure that it is serviced and maintained.

Business Coffee Selections

Another benefit of a good business coffee service is having a reliable vendor who will continually maintain your equipment on a regular basis and quickly take care of emergencies, as well as deliver product when you are running short without having to wait for the next scheduled delivery.

Coffee is delivered in several different types of packages. The most common are the one-pot pouches for pour-over drip machines which keep the coffee fresh until used. For single-service machines the coffee comes in pods (k-cups, etc.). These are also pre-measured vacuum packed and made for individual cups, so that you have a bit more trash, but might use a bit less coffee.

Teas, Fruit Juice and Soups

Of course a full service vendor will also offer teas, juices, cocoa, soups and even water. This is where the hot water spout on many business coffee machines comes in very handy. These products often include: Bigelow Tea, Tazo Tea, Celestial Seasonings, Lipton Teas, Welch’s, V-8, Crystal Lite, Swiss Miss, Carnation, Nestle, Kayo and Lipton Soups.

Coffee Makers and Vending

The number one criteria is, of course, service. What do you do if your machine breaks down or your glass carafe gets dropped and breaks? What if you have a water leak and need immediate attention? Some vendors only service on a regular schedule. This is where a locally owned company usually has the advantage and will come immediately when an issue occurs. A service contract should include cleaning and replacement parts like filters on a regular schedule, as well as emergency care by the same company, not contracted out to who knows who.

If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find a local company who is a one-stop supplier. Look for a company that supplies: coffee makers, filtered drinking water, fresh locally roasted coffee, water coolers, teas, cocoa, soups, sweeteners and creamers, paper products like cups, stir sticks, napkins, forks, spoons, knives, plates, paper towels and anything else you may need in your office kitchen.

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