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We have gone through a couple different coffee machines, here at work, none of which are sufficient. We started with a normal brew machine (doesn't make enough) and worked our way up to a percolator (eventually broke down) and now we have decided that it might be worth an investment.

What we want is a machine that we can simply plug a water line into, fill it with beans and press a button to brew either an individual cup or perhaps a pitcher we don't care just as long as its easy, quick and somewhat hands-off. The catch is we aren't looking for a thousand dollar machine, any ideas?

  • One more question, how much capacity do you need exactly? How many people / cups at a time? – JJJ May 17 at 15:39
  • @JJJ In the morning we have about 6 guys who all have a cup so at least 7 cups.. if I had to guess that's about 1.6-1.7 liters or so? – Rob May 17 at 16:05
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+50

Recommendation

Since you want a bean-to-cup brew machine, you're limiting yourself quite a bit in terms of choice. That can be a good thing as it narrows down your options.

When to bean-to-cup brew machines I'd recommend the Breville Grind Control™. It's not a commercial-size machine, but with only 6 people that would probably make it needlessly expensive.

Since I have no first hand experience with the machine, I recommend watching this YouTube video, again by SCG, to get a good impression of the machine. Should you have machine-specific questions then I recommend asking those as a separate question.

As for price, it's advertised at around 300$ on Breville's website.

As for capacity, it's 60 oz (1.77L) machine. That means you can get 7 decent cups (250 mL / 8.45 oz) out of it.

You have some control on strength (in practice, more or less coffee going in) and grind size (finer or coarser grind). Furthermore, the can is insulated so your coffee keeps warm longer as opposed to machines that keep the can at a certain temperature (which eventually impacts taste).

The only criterium it doesn't meet is the ability to connect it to your water line. You might be able to make it work somehow, but it's not a feature of this machine (as opposed to others which are designed to be built into a kitchen or something).

For non-Americans: note that the machine is rated for 110-120 volts. It may not work in places with higher voltages and I'm not sure if there's a higher voltage version of this machine. Just something to consider before buying.


My answer consists of three parts. The first is an on-topic advice. The second is an option to get more information to better inform you which could be used to edit / ask a new question that is more refined. The last part is more of a comment which you should take note of in a purchasing situation.

Advice

Without knowing any more specifics, I understand that you don't want to spend a lot of money and that brew machines worked in the past but lacked capacity. I'm going to suggest getting multiple consumer-grade-ish brew machines, possibly with some fancier options (e.g. programmable turn on and off times). Since these features are so general, I cannot recommend a specific machine, but you can easily find some based on those criteria.

Info on commercial grade

Seattle Coffee Gear has a playlist on YouTube dedicated to coffee makers for commercial use. With your description, it's hard to give good advice, but I think you can get pretty far by going through all the videos (I am not affiliated with them, I just know they make good videos).

I suggest watching those videos to either settle on one of those options or to refine your criteria and post them here. Things you may want to specify:

  • Price (range)

  • Energy consumption

  • Brew versus espresso-based

Comment on cleaning and maintenance

As for cleaning, you're going to have to do some level of cleaning with any coffee machine. Can you minimise or automatise it? Yes, but never forget that it's there.

Also note that machines do sometimes break down or go out of the running because of maintenance. The best way to avoid that impacting your workflow too much would be to have multiple smaller machines (though that's not your question now).

  • Energy consumption is not important. We are looking for a brew machine and I gave a price range 0-$1000. – Rob May 17 at 15:30
  • @Rob I see, though you might want to put them more explicitly in your post. Are you really asking for a specific machine? If so, I guess I could use prices online on US-based websites? Should I account for taxes or anything? (I am not from the US, so I don't know how that works over there exactly ;p) – JJJ May 17 at 15:34
  • Na it wouldn't matter to me where I am purchasing from so long as with or without taxes the price is bellow 1k... I really just dont have time to go scouring the internet. – Rob May 17 at 15:36
  • @Rob I updated my answer. Hope it helps. :) – JJJ May 17 at 16:23

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