How to choose coffee beans for the office

Posted by Richard Gray on 24-May-2016 15:42:19
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You’ve chosen a stylish new drinks machine for your office, but what about the beans? The right beans, handled correctly, will help you get the best out of your machine - delighting staff and customers with great tasting coffee all day, every day.

Here’s a few key things to think about which will set you on the right track:

  • taste preferences
  • budget
  • freshness
  • machine set-up

Taste preferences

You should consider your audience and what their taste preferences might be.  Acidity and body are two key factors, when it comes to the coffee taste, as well as the way in which the green beans have been roasted. Brazilian beans for example, have a creamy body and low acidity which makes them really popular for everyday drinking.

It is worth remembering that your bean to cup machine is there to deliver coffee all day long. Your colleagues might like a really strong, full-bodied coffee, to kick-start the day, but they are unlikely to want to drink strong coffee all day!

One sure-fire way to make sure everyone will enjoy the taste is to try different options. Once your machine is installed, you can ask your office drinks supplier to try a number of different coffees. Ask your colleagues to vote for their favourite and get them involved in the decision.  At Roast & Ground, we run a number of coffee tasting sessions throughout the year, enquire today to find out more.


In our view, if your company is showing its appreciation for its staff by investing in a fabulous new bean to cup machine, then freshly roasted coffee is a must. If the coffee is stale you’ll lose the subtle flavours and aromas.  Any beans that have been in the hopper for 4-5 days must be discarded.

To keep your coffee beans at their best, check your supplier doesn’t store them for too long. If they are vague, ask if there is a roasting or best before date on the pack, so that you know how fresh the beans are.  Don’t order too much at a time.  At Roast & Ground, we encourage our customers to order frequently every two weeks or maximum once per month, to keep the coffee beans as fresh as possible.  Be careful how you store your beans .  They will keep fresher for longer if you can find a cool, dark place to keep them.  

To check the quality and freshness of your beans, make an espresso.  Hopefully it will have a good crema – a slight rich dark coloured foam on the top.  This seals in the aromas, therefore once you break the crema, you should smell the coffee’s aroma.


You may well have a monthly budget for staff drinks, so it is worth doing the maths to make sure you don't overspend.  The starting point is to work out the amount of cups per person, per day. Don't forget to factor in whether colleagues are predominantly in the office or not.  And bare in mind an allocation for visitors, if they'll also be offered refreshments.  The other options available will also have an impact on the demand on your bean to cup machine - for example whether there is filter coffee on offer during meetings.  Having established the estimated cups per day, then your office coffee supplier will be able to advise you on the number of cups per bag of beans, and the price per bag.

Machine set-up

It is really important that your machine is set-up, or calibrated, for your chosen beans and taste preferences. How much coffee is needed in grams for every grind, the time allowed for extraction and the amount of water added, will all affect the taste. If you change your beans, these settings will need to change as well, as every coffee is different. We recommend that you choose a supplier with their own engineers, who are experts in the machines they supply. This way, you'll benefit from their expertise in setting up the machine to maximise the taste for every cup.

It may seem like a lot of effort, but it is worth it… great tasting coffee really can fuel your working day. By talking to an expert in bean to cup machines for the office you can certainly short cut the decision making process. But at the end of the day the proof is in the drinking. When your coffee machines are first installed, insist on getting the drink taste you and your colleagues really enjoy. Settings sometimes do need further adjustment, so talk to your office drinks supplier if over time you think the quality is not what it first was.

I hope you find these pointers useful and that it will help you get the most from your bean to cup machine(s).  If you have any specific queries regarding choosing the perfect beans for your office drinks machine, or perhaps you would like some free samples, please do get in touch.

If you are looking for a new office drinks machine(s), then you might find our eGuide – Sourcing the right drinks machines for your office space – a good starting point.

read the guide

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Topics: Coffee beans, Office Coffee Machines

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