wrong coffee machine

Is a Coffee Vending Machine the Best Option for your Company?

Why a Coffee Vending Machine Might Not Be the Right Option for You

Coffee vending machines are one of the most popular types of coffee machines used in offices today. But although they are a great option for many companies, vending machines might not be the right solution for you. Like all coffee machines, vending machines do have their pros and cons. We have listed the benefits and problems of coffee vending machines as well as which type of customers we feel vending machines aren’t the best fit for.

What is a coffee vending machine?:

For most people, when they picture a vending machine, they are typically picturing something like the below machine in their heads.

This old classic was called the Nescafe Lioness and was found in 100’s of petrol stations and offices throughout Southern Africa in the 1990s

Nescafe Lioness

Vending machines have come a long way since the Lioness and today they look more like these guys:

fancy vending

WMF Vending

Bravilor Esprecious

Bravilor Esprecious


A vending machine is essentially any push button coffee machine which usually uses powder milk and either coffee beans or instant coffee to make a variety of drinks from cappuccino to hot chocolate to ordinary old black coffee.

Coffee Vending Machine Benefits:

  • Self Service Coffee Machine – Easy to operate for first time users and therefore can be used in a self-service environment
  • Drink variety – Vending machines typically have the most drink options of all coffee machines and mostly contain hot chocolate, espresso, coffee, white coffee, cappuccino, latte and mocachinos.
  • No Water Source Required – Vending machines used to require a water but these days one only needs a plug for power. All vending machines can now be operated with a pump and drum mechanism
  • Large output – Vending machines are built for rigorous everyday use. Automatic machines usually can only withstand up to 80 cups of coffee per day whereas vending are built to have a capacity of closer to the 200 mark
  • Speed – Vending machines are also known for their speed. An instant vending machine makes a cup of coffee in less than 10 seconds whereas the bean variety takes around the 20 second mark. Comparing this to an automatic machine which takes about 45 seconds to get going, vending machines are real speed machines.

Coffee Vending Machine Problems:

  • Powder Milk – Powder milk has some benefits in the form of cost saving but it isn’t everyone’s taste. Powder milk does come in pure milk and creamer varieties but neither taste exactly like the real thing.
  • Size – Vending machines are primarily built for commercial use and for this reason they are fitted with industrial grade parts which are expensive. If you have an office with fewer than 5 people and you expect to makes less than 10 cups of coffee per day then a vending machine might not be your best option in terms of price and space constraints.
  • Aesthetics – Automatic coffee machines are made to look beautiful whereas vending machines are made to do a job. If looks and impression is what you are after, vending machines are probably not your best bet.

Who is a vending coffee machine NOT the best option for?

1)      Small companies of under 5 people

2)      Restaurants

3)      Coffee Shops

4)      Coffee Connoisseurs

5)      High End Showrooms

If you fall into one of the above groups and want to look at automatic coffee options instead you can read one of our most popular articles:

Vending vs Automatic Coffee Machines

If you do think a vending machine could be a good fit for your business then we still suggest trying one out before you commit to buying or renting one. If you want to begin your one month trial please complete the form below!



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