by Richard Lowry

A quick guide to coffee machines: traditional vs bean-to-cup

A quick guide to coffee machines: traditional vs bean-to-cup
So in today’s blog, I plan to tackle a question that has been puzzling buyers of a new coffee machine since the goat ate the beans: Traditional Machine or Bean-to-Cup machine?

And I’m afraid to say “There isn’t a simple answer” but I can hopefully dispel some myths and help with your decision.

Here goes…


“Bean to cup machines are quicker!”

Certainly not true…..most bean to cup machine make a coffee in roughly 35 to 45 seconds and with a traditional 2 group machine you can make up to 4 cups of coffee at once, within 60 to 90 seconds.


“Bean to cup machines don’t make a very good cup of coffee!”

Again not true. Bean to cup machines will give you a quality, consistent cups of coffee every time. It doesn’t leave space for human error, once the engineer has agreed the settings and measures with you on your bean to cup machine, it will make that exact drink every time.


“Bean to cup machines are easier to look after.”

Noooooo!!!!! All coffee equipment should be cleaned every single day without fail and should be part of the daily cleaning regime. When you have fresh milk going through equipment, it is extremely important that you clean it every day and when the machine highlights the need.


“Traditional machines are more expensive.”

Like most things in the world, you get what you pay for and all machines have budget and high end ranges. My advice would be look around, look on the high street to see who uses what equipment and how busy they are. Visit the manufacturer’s showrooms if possible. A coffee machine is a big investment but an investment that will pay for itself in no time at all. Even if you chose the high end ones.


“I need more staff with a traditional machine.”

Mmmm!!! In most cases, yes you do! Traditional machine can be tying until you have made the coffee that has been ordered, whereas bean to cup machine can make the coffee whilst you go and get anything else the customer needs.


“I can make a wider range of drinks with a traditional machine.”

Yes! You certainly can. In today’s market customer are requesting a different and large range of substitute milks and a traditional machine makes life easier in this market, although some of the higher end bean to cup machines now have a two compartment fridge and a built in syrup station. But a double fridge would still limit your milk options.


Did I make your choice easier?

Hopefully, but probably not a lot. So in summary here’s few points for both:

Look at your operation and talk to people with a similar set up, look at the coffees you want to sell, how many staff you have and, most importantly, how many coffees you sell per day and at peak times.


Things you need to do, no matter what machine you have (In my opinion)

  • Warranties – They seem expensive, but when you look at what you get for your money and how much profit you could lose if your machine is down, warranties are worth every penny.
  • Staff training – This is obviously the most important part when making coffee, but it is also very important for cleaning and looking after your coffee machine. A coffee machine is a big investment… make sure you look after it and it will return you a profit for many years.


Coffee your way provides you with an extensive range of coffee solutions. Our specialist team can help you make the right decision when it comes to coffee in your business from the right product range and equipment to the support you need to get started.

Click here to take a look at Coffee your way and how we can help you serve a fantastic cup of coffee every time.

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