East London Coffee Company / Brewing  / Choosing the Right Coffee Machine

Choosing the Right Coffee Machine

A traditional espresso machine or an automatic bean-to-cup?

This is often a dilemma for restaurants, accommodation establishments and corporate offices. We hope to help you make the decision.

From our roaster: “Undoubtedly, the traditional machine extracts the dissolvable solids from the ground coffee more efficiently than most bean-to-cups. This said, the Jura range of machines are now so advanced, there is little in between the two, but still some.”   

Cost of the coffee machines

After everything is factored in, the cost per cup favours the automatic machine. The initial price of the bean-to-cup is usually lower (with some exceptions), as are the ongoing costs. Not specifically the machine itself but with the traditional machine, you will need: Piped water; drainage; a trained barista; at least one coffee grinder, and accessories such as a tamper; knock box; frothing jugs and a mat.  The grinder at approximately R10 000 could be a deal changer as can the ongoing costs of a barista.

Specialist coffee shop

Do you have a choice? Many discerning customers EXPECT to see a beautiful and shiny espresso machine on your shelf – it’s part of the atmosphere, and your opposition nearby has one. Think twice before not going traditional.

An office environment

You’re looking for one-button simplicity. You really don’t want to employ or train a dedicated barista, and you want your staff team to get good quality coffee as quickly as possible and at the push of a button. An automatic coffee machine is the way to go.

Your staff compliment

It really doesn’t matter, a small contingent only needs one small machine, a large multi-story office can have a large capacity machine on each floor or in each department.

Long term investments

The traditional machines tick the box with this consideration. We have machines that have been around for decades and are still going strong. Provided that you look after this beauty, it will surely become an heirloom. Like any machine, you should service this at least once yearly and practice good housekeeping daily. The Jura automatic machines are commercial machines and you can expect years of reliable service. Grinders do not last forever (but neither will your traditional grinder) but be this as it may, the longevity on a traditional machine has proven itself.  

A restaurant where coffee is a sideline

For example, a pizza joint that is busier at night; a superior restaurant where clients are drinking good wine.

This choice could go either way, but leans toward an automatic machine. This said, you are employing bar staff anyway, so they might as well double up as baristas. The margins on coffee are very good indeed, a traditional machine in a good spot might help you grow coffee sales.   

Accommodation establishments

For a small establishment of twelve rooms or less, go straight for the bean-to-cup. For your conference centre, clients demand coffee as soon as they break, look at commercial filter units or bulk-brewing systems.

Your customers expect and demand good coffee if you are a four-star establishment or better. Tear-packet is simply no longer an acceptable option. You need at least a commercial bean-to-cup in your breakfast room and, if you do operate a restaurant, perhaps another one. It’s your call if you’d like to go up a notch…there are a high-level bean-to-cup machines available, and as mentioned, what about the wow factor of a traditional machine.

At home

Automatic is the way. A traditional machine can take 15 minutes and more to warm up or you have to leave it in. You need a grinder; this all takes up space and hey, do you have time for this on your way to school and work?

Take a look at the E6 now.