The #1 beverage consumed in the workplace is coffee. Even more than water, employees and customers flock to the coffee maker for their daily jolt of hot, steamy coffee.
The single-cup coffee maker has become the new water cooler of the 2010s. In fact, the single-cup coffee brewers have begun to outpace the traditional drip coffee maker in terms of sales and popularity. Even commercial coffee stations, with industrial fittings like water lines and high-grade water heaters are being replaced by low-maintenance K-Cup machines.
Why Businesses are Switching to Single-Cup Coffee:
Traditional drip machines still have their downsides which make them unpopular in today’s gourmet coffee world where flavor and price are the top considerations for businesses who provide free coffee for employees and customers.
1. ”Last-Cup” Syndrome: Even the commercial-grade machines that brew drip coffeeinto a standard coffee pot suffer from the dreaded “last cup” syndrome. Nobody seems to want to take the last cup of coffee from the pot so it sits for hours. Over time, the coffee turns to a sludge-like consistency and becomes bitter. Only the die-hard desperate person will make the effort to discard this last bit of coffee and get another pot started.
2. Long Brewing Time: The bigger the coffee pot the longer it will take to brew. When brewed into a pot, the coffee cannot be poured until the entire pot is ready. Often times the coffee doesn’t get made because of the long delay.
3. Waste: With regard to the aforementioned “Last Cup Syndrome,” coffee is frequently poured down the drain. If no one wants the last 1/8th of a pot of coffee it can sit until it’s too bitter to drink. Or, if someone makes a pot at 4:30 but only 1 or 2 people drink it, the remaining coffee is wasted. With coffee prices continuing to rise, this kind of waste will hurt the bottom line.
Many businesses are switching to single-serve coffee brewers such as the Keurig or Tassimo lines. Both brands utilize a pre-measured coffee pod that dispenses one cup of coffee at a time in under a minute.
Benefits to Switching to a Single-Cup Coffee Brewer:
1. Speed: When you’re walking into a meeting with a client you don’t want to wait for your – or your guest’s – cup of coffee. The single-cup machines can give you a hot cup in less than a minute.
2. Flavor Choices: One of the most popular reasons why companies switch to a single-cup system is the wide variety of choices. In times past, only the person brewing the pot could decide what flavor to make – IF your company even provides multiple flavors. With the one-cup systems, each person can decide for themself which coffee flavor they want.
3. Cost: The coffee prices are actually quite comparable to the big packets of ground coffee for drip makers. That being said, there is far less waste with a cup brewer because there is no stale coffee sitting in the pot, only to be dumped out later.
4. Easy Cleanup: The lack of coffee filters and loose coffee means no more grounds and wet filters to make the break room untidy. Single-cup machines keep the waste contained inside a waste bin for easy disposal.
With any new technology there is bound to be something that needs to be tweaked and this is no exception. The ultra-popular K-Cups are a fantastic design; they make great tasting coffee and are easily discarded but that’s the problem. They MUST be discarded.
While Keurig is working on designing a recyclable version, that option is not yet available. Because the plastic cups contain a metallic lining, the cups cannot be recycled. Keurig is aware of this flaw and promises a solution soon.
The single-cup coffee brewer is here to stay. Many business owners are choosing to offer this much-appreciated yet inexpensive perk to their employees and customers. There is virtually no maintenance or cleanup for the store owner or the break room manager, and the coffee drinkers will be thrilled to choose their own flavors.