Vending vs Automatic Coffee Machines

Vending vs Automatic Coffee Machines

My co-workers have no sense of acceptable decibel levels, or maybe I was just eaves dropping,“I was at Ford, they have an awesome coffee vending machine, to which the reply was; Oh yeah, well I ALSO have an automatic coffee machine at home”I didn’t butt in, but I should of. Two reasons, there is a big difference between the two machines, and secondly, I was trying to work and such loud ignorant people make me upset. In this post I will try to explain everything there is to know between Vending vs Automatic Coffee Machines.

Granted the two coffee machines might seem similar, appearing to produce similar beverages all at the touch of a button -They are about as comparable as Radio Shack is to a Bang and Olufsen concept store. Both machines have their place in our world, and both most certainly have their target markets. Perhaps an even better analogy would be the coffee vending machine, as your all you can eat buffet, and your automatic coffee machine, your 4 star Michelin restaurant.

I am not saying one is better, they both serve their purpose. Your vending coffee machines will be typically found in canteens, company kitchens, waiting areas– you general access public high traffic areas.

Your automatic coffee machine, which if we being pedantic, should be referred to as a super automatic machine, I will show you just how super they are. Would be found in non –public areas, ie the boss’s office, the boardroom and if you privileged enough your own kitchen.

The innate difference is the “what ingredients” the two different machines use. Once again to stress think Laurel and Hardy, both funny both great, but different

A vending machine will use instant products for everything, not always albeit there are very few exceptions. Instant coffee, instant milk (being powdered) and of course instant sugar (I know the sugar one is silly unless you know of another form). The ingredients are placed in canisters, which uses a gravity feed to dispense them.

The other ingredient which makes the vending machines so popular is your hot chocolate, many a salesperson of ours has earned their commission by just mentioning this, the power of chocolate never ceases to amaze. For this reason I am naming the vending machine Hardy, he is the fat one but you probably googled that already.

With these ingredients you can make up a massive selection of drinks – think cappuccino, latte, long black as well as range of chocolate based ones choccachino, moccachino etc. You see there’s that word chocolate again.

Now the Super Automatic coffee machine uses BEANS. They are super because they grind your beans; froths your fresh milk and produces a range of coffee drinks all at the touch of a button.

Although it might seem instantaneous, none of the ingredients are. All decent automatic coffee machines will have at least 15 bars of pressure, which in turn will “force water through beans after they have been ground”. With super automatic machines, you will be capable of making an espresso, cappuccino, Americano and latte; All of restaurant quality, another reason why they are super.

Super automatic coffee machines might not be for the hard-core coffee snob. “Super-automatic machines take away the ability to manually tamp and grind the coffee, which may affect the quality of the espresso”. If that doesn’t make much sense to you, I wouldn’t worry about it, as they do turn out a delicious range of beverages with minimum fuss.

Price of Automatic Coffee Machines  vs Coffee Vending Machines

With vending coffee machines, the options are not as varied as you might think. Generally pricing would range from R 20 000 to about R 30 000. I did mention in the start about a few exceptions of vending coffee machines, using fresh ingredients, and typically the price is a bit higher with these.

There is also the China route, the pricing will be quite a bit lower, I have even come across some for as low as R 5000 but you might find yourself buying a  new machine once a month.

The super automatic coffee machine, have a more varied range of products.

It would be kind of aligned to if someone asks you “what’s the price of a car”

Most decent ones would typically start around the R 8000 mark, and for the Rolls Royce model, of super automatic anywhere upwards of R 70 000(yes you read that correctly).

My two Cents

It’s all about the environment, the people who are going to be using the machine, and the image that’s wants to be conveyed. And seeing I only have two cents, I will just have to be drinking my coffee in boss’s office through his super automatic coffee machine.



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