Do coffee machines have a place in bars?

Coffee machines are typically found in offices, hotels and coffee shops, and this begs the question; do they belong in a bar? The short answer is yes. Not only are coffee machines required to satiate the growing demand for coffee by caffeine addicts, but they can also be utilised in mixology to make coffee-based cocktails and drinks. 

What differentiates office coffee machines from the machines used in bars mainly has to do with the adequate capacity the coffee machine must cater for. It can be argued that surely bar coffee machines would be required to make fewer cups of coffee than one in an office – as coffee is often referred to as the work man’s fuel. However, as bars generally get varied footfall day by day, on average, a bar coffee machine will end up making more cups of coffee than one in an office. 

The numbers

Survey results have shown that hospitality operators increasingly realise the importance of coffee in their businesses. The results showed that national pub chains now sell more cups of coffee as a beverage than their coffee shop neighbours on the high street. 

ALMR figures British pubs is now the number one seller in the country of coffee with 3.6m cups sold. The survey results lead to the conclusion that national pub chains sold more cups of coffee than their coffee shop neighbours. The hospitality industry has increasingly realised the importance of coffee in their businesses. So whether you are a bespoke novelty bar or the local dive bar, investing in a coffee machine will open up new avenues for you to cater to your customers. 

What is the best coffee machine for bars?

Traditional espresso coffee machines are the natural choice for bars that want to serve artisanal coffee and give that high-quality coffee experience. However, if you are looking for something more efficient, requires less time and staff training, then a bean to cup coffee is more suitable. 

It wasn’t that long ago when instant coffee served from a jar was acceptable, but as the coffee culture boomed, high-quality coffee became the norm. Espressos, flat whites, lattes and cappuccinos have exploded in popularity over the last couple of decades. So your coffee machine would need to be able to make all these different types of coffee, for you and your customers to benefit most from the machine. 

We discuss the difference between traditional espresso machines and bean-to-cup machines:

  • Espresso coffee machines

This type of coffee machines allows you to create beautiful high-quality espresso-based coffees. They work by using a pump to force highly pressurised hot water through tampered coffee grounds. This creates a much higher concentrated shot of coffee, which can either be mixed in with foamed milk or drunk by itself – depending on the type of coffee you are trying to make. 

Using traditional coffee machines to make coffee is often considered both an art and as a science, due to the customisation of each element to adjust it to personal preferences.  

Espresso machines are typically more aesthetically pleasing and can make for a great addition to your bar countertop. Depending on the overall ambience and interior of your bar, a gleaming espresso machine will look more impressive in the eyes of your customer.

  • Bean to cup coffee machine

This type of coffee machine is easier to operate, as it is fully automated. This means that untrained staff can produce consistent cups of coffee quickly. The goal of a bean-to-cup coffee machine is to make creamy, fresh and aromatic coffees, quickly and conveniently. 

Bean to cup machines does the work of a grinder, a coffee machine and a barista in the touch of a button. As the coffee beans are ground “on-demand” it makes the coffee tastes better, as once the coffee bean is ground, it starts to lose oils, making it less aromatic and fresh.

Traditional coffee machines still have the edge when it comes to quality, on the other hand, bean to cup machines are progressively becoming more and more sophisticated which allows them to control certain elements such as temperature and extraction time. 

So whether your customers are looking for a late-night pick me up, a sophisticated coffee martini, or simply a nice cup of something warm to drink during their meeting; investing in a coffee machine for your bar will allow you to expand your drinks menu, and cater for the coffee demand. 

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