Best Office Espresso/Coffee Machines

Even the most dedicated employees in an office experience ups and downs throughout their days. Sometimes, they have bursts of energy that allow them to quickly accomplish their work. At other times, they might feel a little more tired or distracted, making it harder to focus.

This is why it’s a great idea for every office to offer their employees access to a coffee or espresso machine as a perk. Not only does it give your employees something to look forward to, but it can give them a much-needed boost of energy to get through the day.

Choosing the perfect coffee and espresso machine can be tough, though. There are so many options out there, and technical terminology can muddy the decision process as you look. That’s why we’ve created this buyer’s guide to the best office espresso and coffee machines.

We’ll be covering a range of topics to ensure you make an informed decision:

  • The different types of coffee and espresso machines
  • What sorts of considerations you should make before choosing one
  • Our choices for the top coffee and espresso machines for your office

Let’s begin…

Quick Summary

If you’re in a rush, take a look at our quick summary list of some of the best espresso machines on this list:

 

 

  • Top Bean to Cup/Self-Serve Espresso/Coffee Machine: Franke A1000 FM CM - It’s user-friendly, easy to navigate, and offers users a variety of drinks to choose from.
  • Top Espresso/Coffee Machine for Large Offices: La Cimbali S30 – It has a customizable interface and a companion app that allows you to order drinks from a distance.
  • Top Espresso/Coffee Machine with Pods or Pouches: Unic Pony2  – Eliminates the need to buy an espresso grinder, has an internal waste compartment, and six programmable volume buttons.
  • Top Espresso/Coffee Machine with a Grinder: Franke A1000 FM CM – It has three built-in grinders and hoppers, so you can have up to three types of coffee inside it.

Different Types of Office Coffee and Espresso Machines 

You’re going to run into a whole coffee-related lexicon as you look at potential machines for your office. Unless you have experience with espresso machines, these terms can be confusing.

Let’s look at the different types of machines you’ll encounter, and how those types vary from each other. Most coffee and espresso machines can be divided into the following types:

  • Manual
  • Semiautomatic
  • Automatic
  • Super Automatic
  • Pod/Pouch Machines

Manual 

These days, true manual espresso machines are a little rare. This type of espresso machine is very hands-on; baristas must typically pull a lever down to generate the pressure for extraction, then release the lever as they finish brewing.

If you want to get points for style, a manual espresso machine is the way to do it. However, we don’t recommend these machines for most commercial establishments unless the employees using them have a high level of espresso-making skill.

For that reason, we wouldn’t really suggest getting a manual machine for your office. The obvious exception is if your employees in general have experience using such machines and don’t mind the extra work it takes.

Semiautomatic

Sometimes, semiautomatic espresso machines get called manual machines because of the amount of user input it takes to operate one. However, semiautomatic machines are slightly easier than true manual ones since you don’t need to pull down a lever.

Instead, users will place their portafilter of espresso in the machine, then push a switch or a button to begin the brew cycle. When you’re finished brewing, simply return the switch or button to its off position to end the extraction.

This does mean you’ll need to time the duration of the brew step carefully. It takes practice to learn exactly when to stop the machine.

In general, semiautomatic machines are best for specialty coffee shops and restaurants in which employees will have plenty of training in properly brewing espresso. We would suggest considering something even more simple to use in an office setting.

Automatic 

Automatic machines are the next step up in terms of user-friendliness. On an automatic espresso machine, baristas will need to start the brew cycle, but the machine will end it automatically based on programmed dose settings.

In other words, you can almost just set them and forget them. They’ll stop for you as soon as a full shot of espresso has been brewed, freeing you up to focus on other things such as steaming milk or talking to coworkers.

You’ll have the ability to program doses into the machine yourself, but this is something employees in general don’t need to mess with. Once dose amounts for single and double shots are programmed in, brewing consistent shots is as easy as putting the portafilter on and pressing a button.

Super Automatic 

If you think an automatic espresso machine sounds easy to learn, you’ll be even more impressed by a super automatic one. On an automatic espresso machine, employees still need to grind espresso and steam milk for milk-based drinks such as lattes.

The timing of the dosing is handled for you, but it will still take practice for beginners to learn how to properly grind espresso, tamp the grounds, and steam the milk. A super automatic espresso machine, on the other hand, will address all those steps for you.

Super automatics generally have hoppers and grinders built right into them. They offer menus in buttons or touchscreens with various drinks to choose from. All you need to do is choose the drink you want, adjust any applicable settings, and the machine will make it for you, including grinding the beans and foaming milk.

It’s important to mention that there are one-step or two-step super automatic machines. One-step machines, as their name implies, truly do everything in one step. At the push of a button, your drink will be built completely for you, including mixing the milk and espresso together.

Two-step super automatic machines are a little different. They will still do everything for you, but they foam the milk separately, so you will need to add the milk to your espresso at the end.

Pod/Pouch Machines 

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of having to grind your own espresso, you’ll want to look for a pod or pouch machine. In this type of machine, rather than having freshly ground espresso, you can use espresso available in conveniently pre-ground and sealed packets.

Coffee machines like Keurig and Nespresso are most well-known for utilizing this method. You can also purchase more traditional espresso machines that are compatible with pods, allowing you to brew espresso and foam your milk on one machine.

Pod machines are quite simple to use, but there is one major drawback: you’re not getting the guarantee of fresh espresso. If you want the most potent flavor and aroma, it’s generally better to grind the beans yourself moments before brewing with them.

What to Consider When Buying a Machine for an Office 

Now that you know a little more about machine types, it’s time to discuss how you can pinpoint the best machine for your office. We feel there are a handful of important factors to consider:

  • Employee proficiency
  • Business layout
  • Cost
  • Available plumbing options
  • Drink Preferences and volume

We’ll discuss each of these considerations and how they’ll impact you in more detail below…

Employee Proficiency 

Too many people get caught up on fancy terminology when they look at a new appliance and forget the most important consideration: how it will feel to use the appliance on a regular basis. A good starting point to think about is how comfortable the people in your office are with espresso machines.

Is yours a small office filled with coffee enthusiasts who know how to brew on an espresso machine already or are willing to learn? Then you may benefit from a slightly more flexible and challenging machine like a semiautomatic.

On the other hand, if you have a particularly large office or your employees don’t have much (if any) experience with espresso machines, you’ll want something as simple to use as possible. In this case, it’s important that your espresso machine doesn’t take up much of your employees’ time.

This is where automatic and super automatic machines excel. Super automatic machines are especially beginner-friendly, as most of them make crafting drinks as effortless as choosing one on the menu.

If you want your employees to enjoy the more tactile sensation of having a hand in the creation of their drinks while still providing an easy experience, you may want a pod machine. Employees won’t need to worry about grinding and tamping their espresso, but they’ll still have to foam their own milk.

Business Layout 

You can’t purchase any appliance without giving some thought to where it’s going to go. You wouldn’t want to invest in an espresso machine, only to find once it arrived that it was too large for your location or looked incredibly out of place.

After thinking about your employees’ skill level, factor in the layout of your office. Do you have large, spacious counters to put your espresso machine on? Is it more important you have a compact machine that can squeeze in between small spaces?

You’ll also want to take this time to think about plumbing. Espresso machines can either be pour-over machines that you must add water to by hand or direct-connect models that hook up to your water line.

If you don’t have the ability to connect an espresso machine to your water line, you’ll want a pour-over one. As long as they have access to an outlet, you can put them pretty much anywhere.

Cost 

In any office, budgeting is a crucial consideration to make for all major purchases. An espresso machine can be quite an investment, so you’ll want to think about the kind of budget your office has for one in order to ensure you pick one that’s the best fit.

Fortunately, espresso machines come in all shapes, sizes, and price points. Regardless of what kind of budget you’re working with, there’s an option out there that’s perfect for your office.

Drink Preferences and Volume 

Aside from skill level, there’s another employee-related aspect for you to think about: how much espresso they’ll be consuming, and what their drink preferences are. Lattes are certainly one of the most popular coffee shop-style drinks, but they’re far from the only one.

If you’re not entirely sure what kinds of drinks your employees like, consider sending out an office-wide email polling them on their favorite beverages. A semiautomatic or automatic machine will be able to make most coffee shop drinks, but if you’re leaning towards a super automatic machine, the menu can vary. Be sure to check the menu of any super automatic machine prior to purchase so you know exactly which drinks it can prepare for your employees.

As we mentioned above, you’ll have to think about volume, too. Espresso machines have different levels of output depending on several qualities. Their boiler types, number of group heads, and plumbing setup can all affect the speed and output capacity of a given machine.

Faster machines will have multiple group heads and boilers that can support simultaneous brewing and steaming. We’d recommend such machines for larger offices, as they will be able to quickly meet the coffee demands of more people.

However, smaller offices with as little as several people don’t necessarily need that three-group espresso machine with dual boilers. In fact, getting that machine might just be an unnecessary expense when you can get a more affordable single-group machine that will meet your needs perfectly well.

Best Espresso/Coffee Machines for Office Use 

Franke A1000 FM CM

 Franke A1000 FM CM

The king of user-friendliness in espresso machines is a super automatic like the Franke A1000 FM CM. We’ve seen machines like this one used in chains and large coffee shops, so we’re confident it can meet the demands of your average office.

The best thing about this machine is that it’s so easy to use, you can literally set it out on the counter as a self-serve machine. Your employees can choose which drink they want from the menu, then wait as the machine prepares it for them.

There’s no room for confusion. Each drink on the menu is illustrated with a full-color picture so you’ll always know exactly what you’re getting in advance.

You can even add a flavor station to the machine for some extra customization. That way, employees can add popular flavors to their drinks, such as vanilla or hazelnut.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $18,899
  • Machine Type: Super automatic
  • Plumbing: Plumbed-in
  • Groups: 1
  • Touchscreen Controls: The machine is operated with simple touch-based controls, just like any smartphone.
  • FoamMaster System: An in-depth foaming system allows employees to customize the milk added to their drinks, including adjusting consistency or thickness to suit a range of preferences.
  • CleanMaster System: Through the use of cleaning cartridges, the A1000 can clean itself at the touch of a button, saving you time on maintenance.
  • Powder Containers: It has two built-in powder containers that you can use for things such as hot chocolate mixes or powdered milk.
  • Three Hoppers and Grinders: You can have up to three different types of coffee in the machine, thanks to its triple hopper and grinder design.

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Nuova Simonelli Prontobar Touch

 Nuova Simonelli Prontobar Touch

Franke has some of the best touchscreen super automatic espresso machines we’ve ever seen, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only company that makes them. Nuova Simonelli, one of the most well-known names in the industry, has their own entry in the world of touchscreen super automatics: the Prontobar Touch.

This is another machine that’s perfect for busy offices in which employees won’t have time to learn to operate a more manual model. All they need to do is tap the screen to choose which drink they want and wait while the Prontobar Touch prepares it for them.

Every aspect of the machine is automated, including when it turns on or off. By simply programming the on and off times in advance, you ensure that it will be ready and warmed up by the time the office opens. This also means no one can accidentally forget to turn it off, reducing the potential for energy waste.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $12,600
  • Machine Type: Super automatic
  • Plumbing: Plumbed-in
  • Groups: 1
  • Customizable Menu Display: You can sort the drinks on the menu, moving more popular drinks to the front for easier access.
  • Quiet Pump: The pump in the machine is designed to be quiet, so it won’t distract everyone from their work.
  • Automatic Washing Program: Save time on upkeep by using the machine’s automatic washing program to keep it tidy.
  • Specialized Steel Grinding Burrs: With a special steel construction, the burrs in the machine are made to last even longer, preventing the need for frequent replacements.

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Nuova Simonelli Musica

 Nuova Simonelli Musica

So far, we’ve only shown you espresso machines that would fit well in larger establishments with a lot of employees. What if you need something more compact?

That’s where we think machines like the Nuova Simonelli Musica excel. This is one of the best-looking compact espresso machines we can find. Aside from its sleek metal exterior, there’s the Lux configuration of this machine that comes with built-in LED edges.

You also have the option of getting the Musica with either pour-over or direct-connect plumbing. This gives you some flexibility, since you may not have the layout to support a machine connected to a water line.

As an automatic machine, it’s not difficult to learn to use the Musica, either. Users can just press the single or double shot button, then foam their milk while the machine brews their espresso.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $2,245-3,240
  • Machine Type: Automatic
  • Plumbing: Plumbed-in or Pour-over
  • Groups: 1
  • Programmable Hot Water Nozzle: Not only can you program single or double doses into the machine, but you can program a specific amount of hot water to come from the hot water nozzle. That way, employees can make consistent Americanos or teas at the touch of a button.
  • Indicator Lights: Lights built into the Musica will tell you when it’s heating up or when it needs more water, making maintenance easy to remember.
  • Insulated Boiler: Because the boiler is insulated, the machine doesn’t need to use as much energy staying up to temperature.
  • Articulating Steam Wand: Users can reposition the steam wand to whichever angle is most comfortable for them while frothing milk.

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Victoria Arduino E1 Prima

 Victoria Arduino E1 Prima

Victoria Arduino also offers you plenty of potential choices in the arena of compact espresso machines. One of the most intriguing options is their new E1 Prima, which is the smaller version of the Eagle One we’ll be talking about later on in this guide.

The E1 Prima was designed to give you all the flourishes and advanced features of a larger espresso machine, but in a smaller package. For instance, it has integrated lighting to promote workplace safety and ensure you can see what you’re doing while you make espresso.

It also has a cool-touch steam wand. On other espresso machines, there’s always a risk of burns because the steam wands will get terribly hot during use. This won’t be the case with the E1 Prima, so you won’t have to worry about employees getting burnt while they make their drinks.

Another benefit to the E1 Prima is that it can be used as a pour-over or plumbed-in machine. If you don’t have the ability to connect it to a water line, then you can just use it as a pour-over machine that you’ll need to add water to periodically.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $5,990
  • Plumbing: Plumbed-in or pour-over
  • Groups: 1
  • Integrated Lighting: It doesn’t matter how well-lit your breakroom or kitchen is – employees will still be able to make drinks on the E1 Prima because of its built-in lighting.
  • Cool-Touch Steam Wand: Because the wand won’t get too hot, you won’t need to deal with the hassle of cleaning burnt milk off of it.
  • Color Options: The E1 Prima can be purchased in a small range of colors, allowing you to find one that visually complements your office.
  • Insulated Boiler: Boiler insulation helps stabilize the temperature of the machine, preventing temperature fluctuations from affecting the flavor of your drinks.
  • Auto-Purge: The Prima will purge its own group head after brewing, giving it an automatic quick clean for you.

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La Cimbali S30

 La Cimbali S30

The La Cimbali S30 is another super automatic machine with an easy-to-navigate touchscreen menu. We included it on this list because it has a few features that truly set it apart from its competition, though.

First, the way you can customize the S30 is unbelievable. It has built-in lighting that you can change the color of, and you can completely rearrange the menu however you wish. If you notice your employees are making certain drinks more often, you can simply move those drinks all to the top of the menu so they can find their favorites quickly.

Another interesting aspect is the S30’s compatibility with La Cimbali’s app, Cup4You. Through the app, users can place orders and customize drink recipes. That means employees could potentially make a drink from their desk, then go pick it up at the office coffee machine when it’s ready.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $23,300
  • Machine Type: Super automatic
  • Plumbing: Plumbed-in
  • Groups: 1
  • Cup4You: The machine can connect to La Cimbali’s app, Cup4You, which makes it possible to orders drinks from a distance.
  • Customizable Menu: You can arrange and customize the display however you wish, making it easier for employees to navigate.
  • Perfect Grinding System: The S30 will sense environmental factors and adjust the grind fineness accordingly on its own.
  • Hot and Cold Frothed Milk: Want a refreshing iced drink? The S30 can produce both hot and cold frothed milk, so employees aren’t stuck with just hot drinks.

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Victoria Arduino Eagle One

 Victoria Arduino Eagle One

Is yours a trendy office on the cutting-edge of technology when it comes to eco-friendliness? Do you just want to ensure you have equipment that helps reduce your utility expenses as much as possible?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, one of the best options for you on this list will be the Victoria Arduino Eagle One. As we mentioned before, this is the larger version of the E1 Prima, with the addition of a focus on environmentally friendly concepts.

For example, its engine has been redesigned for ultimate optimization. Rather than keeping the water throughout the machine up to perfect temperature, the Eagle One heats the water prior to it entering the group head, letting it save energy.

Another nifty feature is its thermal energy recovery system. Instead of just tossing water out, the Eagle One recycles discarded water, using it to preheat incoming water.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $16,650-19,350
  • Machine Type: Automatic
  • Plumbing: Plumbed-in
  • Groups: 2-3
  • New Engine Optimization: The engine in the Eagle One was redesigned to ensure it’s more energy-efficient, decreasing the cost of operating it.
  • Thermal Energy Recovery System: Recycles discarded water and uses it to heat incoming water to lower water waste.
  • EasyCream System: Makes frothing milk consistently easy enough for users of all skill levels.
  • Ghost Display: The Eagle One’s dosing buttons are hidden in sleek ghost displays on the group heads. You can program three different doses into them.

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Franke A800 Fresh Brew

 Franke A800 Fresh Brew

Not everyone wants a sophisticated espresso drink. For many, the pinnacle of coffee is a simple black coffee fresh from the brewer.

If that’s more your speed, then the Franke A800 Fresh Brew is the machine for you. It’s the perfect super automatic machine for those who just want a basic black coffee, since its menu is populated with either black coffee or espresso.

You’ll still get all the benefits of a super automatic system, though. It has integrated grinders and hoppers, for instance, so you can keep up to three different blends on hand in the machine.

It also has an effortless touchscreen display panel. You can just tap the screen to choose the drink you want and wait while the Franke pours it out for you.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $11,280
  • Machine Type: Super automatic
  • Plumbing: Plumbed-in
  • Groups: 1
  • Black Coffee Drink Menu: Although you can purchase optional add-ons to make it so this Franke can produce milk-based drinks, its main focus is classic black coffees.
  • Triple Grinder and Hopper Design: You can keep up to three different types of coffee inside the machine.
  • Adjustable Beverage Spout: The spout’s height can be adjusted to accommodate cups ranging from large to small sizes.
  • Touchscreen Display: If you know how to use a tablet, you can easily navigate the touchscreen menu on the Franke A800.

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Nuova Simonelli Talento

 Nuova Simonelli Talento

If the Nuova Simonelli Talento were a person, that person would undoubtedly be a perfectionist. This machine is designed to produce consistently high-quality drinks no matter who’s using it.

One example of this is its double tamping design. The machine will guarantee each shot of espresso is properly tamped, leading to a more balanced extraction every time. The position of the infusion chamber is even controlled by an encoder, which helps guarantee your coffee grounds are dry prior to extraction.

And should you ever have any technical issues with the Talento, it’s likely the machine will even tell you what the issue is. It has a self-diagnosing system that will keep you from having to deal with the frustration of guessing what’s wrong.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $16,250-17,100
  • Machine Type: Super automatic
  • Plumbing: Plumbed-in
  • Groups: 1
  • Self-Diagnostic System: The Talento will diagnose its own technical issues and tell what’s going on if it encounters a problem.
  • Thermo-Compensated Brew Group: For greater thermal stability, the brew group is made from thermo-compensated steel.
  • Auto On/Off: By programming when the machine will turn on and off, you guarantee that no one can forget to turn it off at the end of the day.
  • Automatic Washing Program: No need to deal with cleaning it up, because the Talento will clean itself for you.

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Victoria Arduino Theresia

 Victoria Arduino Theresia

Looking for a gorgeous espresso machine to complement the sleekest settings? Look no further than the Victoria Arduino Theresia.

The angled front panels of this machine were designed to imitate the facets on a diamond. Combined with the soaring eagle on top, the overall effect of the Theresia is one that’s impressive. It would tie together a high-tech room or add a touch of elegance to any space.

Looks aside, this is an excellent machine for making easy espressos consistently. Its soft infusion system will help eliminate human errors in tamping, and its automatic dosing will time the duration of each shot for you.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $8,091
  • Machine Type: Automatic
  • Plumbing: Plumbed-in
  • Groups: 1
  • Beautiful Design: With a faceted, gemstone-like look, the Theresia is a machine that everyone in the office will admire.
  • Built-In Shelving: The top of the Theresia pops open to reveal hidden cup storage. You can keep your favorite mugs right inside the machine.
  • Soft Infusion System: By gently soaking espresso grounds right before extraction, the Theresia smooths out any abnormalities from poor tamping technique.
  • Cool-Touch Steam Wand: The Theresia’s steam wand will never burn your employees.

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Unic Pony2 Pod Machine

 Unic Pony2

One issue with automatic espresso machines is that they still require you to grind your own espresso. This means that you have the additional expense of having to buy a good espresso grinder. Another drawback to this, though, is that it also means your employees will need to learn how to grind and tamp their own espresso.

That can be surprisingly challenging. However, you can bypass these challenges with a pod machine like the Unic Pony2. It uses ESE pods, which are pods containing pre-ground and measured servings of espresso.

Simply drop a pod into the loading port on top, then choose the amount you need. When the machine is done brewing with the pod, it will eject the used pod into a built-in waste container that you can empty periodically.

  • Majesty Coffee Price: $7,363
  • Machine Type: Automatic
  • Plumbing: Plumbed-in
  • Groups: 1
  • Pod Compatibility: Since it can use espresso pods, it saves you the hassle of having to buy a separate grinder and teach employees how to grind espresso.
  • Internal Waste Container: You won’t have to have a place to dump out used espresso – the machine will capture the used pods internally. Just make sure you empty the waste container every so often.
  • Cup Warmer: The top of the machine functions as cup shelf and warmer that will preheat your mugs for you.
  • Rotary Pump: It uses a quiet rotary pump that won’t interrupt everyone at work in the office.

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Wrap Up 

Gone are the days when “office coffee machine” meant a basic drip coffee maker that brewed pots of black coffee. Now, with machines like the ones we included in this list, office coffee can be as good as anything you’d get from that coffee shop nearby. As a result, employees will actually look forward to coming into the office to enjoy quality espresso.

Still looking for an office espresso machine that’s a perfect fit for your business? Feel free to peruse more options in the list below. You can also reach out to us over the phone at 888-978-5224 or through our store live chat for advice on picking the right espresso machine.