Best Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machines
Best Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machines : A Quick Overview
By this stage, we are all very much aware that our best, top-of-the-range coffee machines are Bean-to-Cup. If you procure fresh coffee beans, grind them up in your machine and add some premium water- you are pretty much guaranteed an exceptional cup of coffee every time. The real question here lies in your choice of Bean-to-Cup machines. What’s to follow might aide in helping you with that decision.
Saeco, Bravilor, DeLonghi, Severin, Miele – the list goes on. As ye olde Shakespeare wrote “What is in a name? That, which we call a rose by any other name, is still a rose”. So really, what is it that sets these brands and models apart, other than their price tag? Exactly that; the price tag’s reasoning and contents. I will select one high-end, one middle range and one entry-level Bean-to-Cup machine and go through the effecting factors, pro’s and con’s. Grab some instant coffee (for now) and let’s go through this.
Let’s just first start off by saying you should probably only read this section if you’re in control of the staff-welfare budget at a large corporate, or basically Rockafella. You’re going to be looking at an estimated R49 000.00 outright purchase price for a Miele machine. Then also, all the maintenance and repairs become your burden. However, most of these machines come with an average two year-warranty and a minimum of 15-bar standard pressure. They also normally have built-in grinders and can hold a considerably large bean capacity (up to 350g in some cases). Value-added extra’s such as a cup sensor are no far stretch of the imagination in these types of machines. However, if you look at renting a coffee machine of this kind for your office space, it can bear some considerably tasty rewards. The freshest (and quickest) cup of real coffee for a large amount of people to cater to, while still being “budget friendly” (in terms of consumable input pricing.) The average pack of coffee beans comes in packages of 250g – 1kg and can cost, depending on brand, anything from R50 – R200. Keep in mind the origin of your coffee beans in respect of taste and roast level, but in general these costs are staggeringly lower than other coffee products.
You’ll be glad to know you won’t be compromising on after-sales backup with most middle-range Bean-to-Cup machines, as they come with an average one-year warranty. With the likes of brands in this range such as Jura and Rhea Vendor, your outright purchase or rental would provide you with an all-round product and consumable satisfaction. Your options in this case are similar in that you can choose to rent the machine, thus “buying” yourself back-up and insuring that if anything goes awry with the machine – you have the after-sales repairs team at our service. It also allows you the freedom to “trial run” a machine, giving you leeway to change it if it leaves you unsatisfied. However, an outright purchase may give you the upper hand in that, firstly, the machine is entirely yours and you are not “bound” by a contract for an indefinite amount of time. You can use as much or as little consumable product as your heart desires. The negative in this is that any issues that may arise will incur you costs out of your own pocket. Given this, if you are already 101% certain of the machine you want and have no issues in having it “out of service” for also an indefinite amount of time (if you have to send it in for repairs that is) – then yes, outright purchase may be best for you. If the idea of (almost) 24/7 backup puts you at ease, or if you are undecided on the machine you ultimately want, renting a machine is suggested. Straight-out purchases can also reach into ranges of up to R20 000.00 per machine, but on a rental basis you would look at paying a median of R1 500.00 per month, excluding your consumables. This is something to consider as you will need to add your fresh milk and sugar afterwards. Brands range vast and wide in this category.
Here, we are looking at your regular, home-based Bean-to-Cup coffee machines. The DeLonghi ECAM 23.210 carries a price tag of R6 000 for outright purchase, with rentals being substantially lower per month. They are equipped with a manual adjustable cappuccino device to easily prepare a great cappuccino or hot milk, long coffee button, cup holder and water filter. Outright purchase in this range is not a bad idea, as it does carry a warranty period of one year. Rentals always carry the backup service feature, so if you are using this as a benchmarking tool for testing out Bean-to-Cup machines, perhaps consider renting first.
This little option would be ideal for a home, or perhaps even an office of less than 10 people. It would also be suggested that, if you are a first time user or buyer, whether you are going for a high-end, middle class or entry-level coffee machine, you try out one of these beforehand. It will provide you with the chance to test each roast at a minimal fee and ready you for a level of convenience associated with the higher-range machines.
A Bean-to-Cup solution affords you the choice of almost any coffee bean type; roast level, origin etc. No lock-in or tie-downs. You can produce, in a simple few steps, café-quality coffee with the greatest of ease. If you are familiar with a specific machine and know that your after-sales service needs are minimal, combined with a large amount of people consuming product daily- I would most definitely suggest a high-end machine. For those of us who are less technically minded and prefer the peace of mind, knowing that if anything goes awry, you have backup – perhaps a middle- class machine on rental will suit your lifestyle best. As mentioned under the entry-class post above, I would always suggest trying out the entry-level Bean-to-Cup coffee machine first to establish your needs and preferences. Something to always bear in mind when comparing pricing on coffee machines is the country of origin, warranty period associated therewith and the running costs of said machine. Input and output requirements will always be major factors. Most major brands can be sourced from leading retail stores in South Africa, such as Makro. Other web-based stores such as takealot.com can prove to be of assistance, along with any renowned coffee specialists, who can guide you through your options once your needs and preferences have been established. Either way, good coffee isn’t out of reach anymore and as long as your machine serves your needs, the objective will have been met.