Best office coffee maker?


We need a new coffee maker for the office. The one we have is something you might see in a Denny's and the stuff that it produces tastes like liquid rubber.

Interested to hear what is working in the rest of your offices, or maybe more relevant, what you would rather have.

About us: 25 architects. Designing towers. Use coffee for individual use throughout the day and in large quantities for client meetings. Bay area = we have high standards for single cup quality. Budget = $$ - $$$.

Photos appreciated, experiences besought

Oct 21, 10 11:49 am

Oct 21, 10 12:13 pm

a coffee maker is only as good as the coffee beans you brew with good water. remember, BUNN has it all..

Oct 21, 10 12:47 pm

We have those Kuerig Cup maker things.... It's rather stupid....And the coffee doesn't really taste all that good.

Oct 21, 10 12:53 pm
Justin Ather Maud

Our coffeemaker is Guatamalen. She was born in 1981, I think.

Oct 21, 10 1:33 pm

We have peets and starbucks beans.
Has anyone seen Nespresso work in an office environment?

Oct 21, 10 2:01 pm

Peets and a commercial Bunn....also in Bay area.

Oct 21, 10 2:12 pm

peets, ok
starbucks, burnt
groundwork, much better than the previous two

nespresso!? sorry my friend, i feel like disclaming my earlier suggestions at this point... might as well go instant (sometimes i like, via military technology..)
in a mid size office environment, any 'coffee by the cup' gizmo will break down in the same afternoon it was brought in.

Oct 21, 10 2:19 pm
Distant Unicorn

You all do realize that startbucks has like 27 blends of coffee.

They run the gamut to very, very light [breakfast blend] to very, very burnt [italian roast].

A part of the problem with coffee drinkers is that everyone immediately wants the strongest, blackest cup of coffee. That's a pretty bad way to drink coffee.

If you want strong coffee without the burnt taste, get a lighter roasted coffee and use twice the amount of grinds at a higher temperature setting. Bold and Extra bold roast coffees should only really be used in french presses, cuban pots, turkish pots (special grinding), cold brew and esspresso machines.

If you're going to use an over-roasted coffee in a drip, use the standard two scoops on a low temperature setting. That being said, most people who buy coffee tend to grab french or Columbia (which are two pretty heavy roasted coffees) to begin with. In which case, you should really look at a Mexican/Ethiopian coffee because those two are generally the best kind of coffee to abuse.

Oct 21, 10 2:32 pm
Distant Unicorn

I tend to prefer the lightest roast of coffee possible (using three times the amount of grinds) because the light coffees tend more caffeine in them. Even moreso with robusta beans... but they taste like shit.

I haven't used a nespresso but Keurig is fuckin' boss.

Oct 21, 10 2:38 pm

So true, quality of coffee is directly related to its roasting process. You can destroy delicious beans from Yemen or Ethiopia (or from elsewhere) if you don't roast them just right. It is really an art form which separates the great coffee from well advertised posers. Growing up in a place where coffee roasting, making, and drinking is a big part of life, I can go on and on, but really, get a BUNN and spring water and grind your own beans for added freshness. Acid content is important too.
Recently I have been brewing inexpensive Trader Joe's brand French roast @ 3.99 a can. Very good, considering most retailers burn the French roast to an undrinkable taste.. I like my coffee strong but not burnt black.
If you have good coffee to brew, you can almost make cowboy coffee and it comes out good. (cowboy coffee; few spoons of good coffee add boiling water on top and wait few minutes.)

Oct 21, 10 3:36 pm

One of my wife's jobs is coffee equipment review. We have about $8k worth of coffee makers at our place right now. The unit I just shipped back this week was a $2500 model. Ethically, she's not supposed to keep any item worth more than $100, but these companies get very cranky if you tell them you are sending them their stuff back.

The best unit in the house right now? I'm staring at Jura impressa espresso machine. It looks like a dell workstation and it makes all kinds of coffee drinks, and it does it well. There is a milk frother in the machine too. Internal water filter, etc... As stated previously, quality of beans you put into it will determine the quality of brew. At just over $3k I wouldn't want the laziest slob out of any group of 20 to fuck around this machine. You do need to watch the accompanying DVD before touching any buttons. It will knock the socks off your clients if they like a near professional cup of cappuccino, espresso, or americano. Well worth the price IMO.

When it comes to just the drip coffee makers, they all (by definition) kind of suck.

I took some photos of the unit I just shipped back. Jura Capresso. Not as good as the one I mentioned above, but still pretty awesome (and cheaper)

Oct 21, 10 3:39 pm

Orhan: (cowboy coffee; few spoons of good coffee add boiling water on top and wait few minutes.)

Sounds like Turkish coffee in reverse. The trick is to have the beans really finely ground. You do need a proper vessel for it. I've made Turkish coffee for my friends many times to rave reviews.

Oct 21, 10 3:53 pm

I was a barista for a year, if you hire me I'd love the opportunity to apply my skills

Oct 21, 10 4:41 pm

The architecture of Turkish cowboys...

Oct 21, 10 7:20 pm

I worked as a barista for 8 years to pay for my 4-yr arch degree. So hire me, I can make an excellent double soy no-foam latte, and I also know AutoCAD, SketchUp, 3DS...

Oct 21, 10 8:29 pm

give every employee on of these for their desk...

make sure that you use a rough grind on the bean

provide water at aprox 207 degrees

Oct 22, 10 1:27 am
Oct 22, 10 1:29 am

will set you back about $20k....if you can get Starbucks to sell you one

Oct 22, 10 1:30 am

Never liked press pots, even on the coarsest setting you'd still end up with a bunch of coffee grounds in your cup. The manual drip coffee maker above probably works better.

But what do I know, I still think regular coffee tastes like dirt mixed with hot water.

Oct 22, 10 1:40 am
Distant Unicorn

don't forget the vacuum coffee pot!

Oct 22, 10 2:15 am
...for serious coffee drinkers only....the tower

Oct 22, 10 4:05 am
Distant Unicorn

Like Keurig, Nespresso is currently a vector of huge amounts of waste requiring between 12 to 18 grams of aluminum to brew what equates to a "pot of coffee."

The marginal difference between Nespresso and Keurig is that Keurig at least allows you to use reusable coffee filters. This is the one thing that amazes me about conscious professionals. We can go all LEED AP but every time we take a sip of a drink... we almost completely negate any good in the world.

Neither Keurig nor Nespresso capsules can be recycled. And they're not even incineration-able either.

These days, I'm actually a cold brew kind of guy. It's a long process and requires some chemical finesse (softening or even hardening your water by hand-- I use cream of tartar with a pinch of baking soda afterwards). But you can easily make a gallon of super concentrated coffee that can either be watered down or added to skim milk.

Oct 22, 10 4:15 am
Distant Unicorn

I also like the cold brew process because it does not encourage the formation of potential carcinogens.

Oct 22, 10 4:15 am

red bull like a boss.

Oct 22, 10 8:10 am

My office uses the WMF Presto. I like it because it's fast, easy and makes a nicely foamed cappuccino at the touch of a button!

Oct 22, 10 10:37 am
prairie school drop out

i personally love my french press, though it's a pain to clean (mke08, i never get grounds in my coffee, so maybe in addition to a coarser grind, you need to make sure the screen/filter/press thingy is screwed on tight enough so it doesn't wobble and let stuff through? it's worth it!)

i used to date a guy who would scoff at anything not made in one of those chemex doodads. he'd still drink what i would make, but i'd hear complaints!

i love cold brew! too bad it's too cold most of the year here to not want something hot in the morning. i've converted non-coffee drinkers into coldbrew lovers.

Oct 22, 10 11:15 am

Bonjour indeed.. Plunger of the press just about the go down. I like the coffee patina (read stain) it has., shows use.. I even like the occasional coffee grounds to chew on. Though, I am glad I am not smoking cigarettes anymore.

Oct 22, 10 12:05 pm


Oct 22, 10 3:19 pm

Ok - I am LEED acredidated professional - if one is going to damage ones body with speed - enjoy it!

The tower....

It's different - foil not the big alum things
tower folk pick up the spoil + recycle
on/off on demand - w/brain so shuts down on it's own - filtering system - remember! I am a european now. Dopio the call of the day
tower has pay sensor so in an office of 25 - makes sense or cents
and clooney!

Oct 22, 10 7:05 pm

I want some of that European moonshine you've been slamming down TED :)

Oct 22, 10 7:16 pm

so sweet! :)

Oct 22, 10 7:30 pm

Huh?! - You have a $13K machine in your office? I don't buy it.
You could easily afford dfowler and milwaukee's services.

Also - the beans are fine. Additionally, I like Cafe Milano's House blend, "the Berkeley special" from some place near Solano, and Bauhaus coffee from Seattle.

Anyone have a combo machine - for drip + espresso?

Anything will be burnt from sitting on a warming plate for over 3 hours.

Oct 23, 10 1:08 am

you should get some Top Pot doughnuts to go with your Bauhaus coffee

Oct 23, 10 1:51 am

$40 coffee press + $40 coffee

Bodum Brazil French Press + Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee

coarse ground and spring water that comes from my tap (plus some chlorine)

I do have a $4 option of coffee as well - that has a clarity and taste that can compare with some of the best

Oct 25, 10 1:16 am

Don't forget to keep your pots clean. We had huge build up in our and the coffee was tasting like ass. After I scrubbed off all the build up the coffee tasted a lot better.

Oct 25, 10 11:44 am

@untested_city -- i didn't notice the price until you mentioned it but, yes, i suppose my office does have a $13K coffee machine. woo-hoo!

(it's an unusual office)

Oct 25, 10 12:06 pm

I like how huh's office pays more for one coffee machine than my annual wage working as a barista 5 days a week. *sigh*

Oct 25, 10 7:56 pm

huh, where are you pulling these all nighters?

Oct 26, 10 10:39 am

french press

Oct 26, 10 11:33 am

Nespresso here... but company pays for the capsules.

Oct 26, 10 4:19 pm

How do you like everyone addicted to several shots a day?
and...can you estimate the cost of doing that per/month? What is the subscription price?

Oct 26, 10 5:06 pm

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