How do coffee vending machines work?

It is by no means unusual to look at a piece of machinery and wonder how it works. Coffee vending machines are now almost everywhere and so naturally there is a curiosity about their inner workings. Thanks to evolutions in vending machine technology, coffee vending machines for offices can now dispense a number of different drinks that would previously have been impossible to produce by a hot drinks machine alone without a the help of a human. An office hot drinks machine can produce various drinks from tea and hot chocolate, to complicated drinks orders such as a cappuccino with perfectly foamed top; an espresso with a long lasting crema; or a latte with a choice of milk options.

The process of brewing a perfect cup from commercial coffee vending machines.

There are several types of coffee and tea vending machines, with varying levels of product choice and functionality. Before you look into coffee machines for businesses, you want to consider which level of functionality will best suit your needs and the tastes of your employees and other potential users. The basic procedure is the same for many drinks, with variations appearing in the more technologically advanced professional espresso machines. Tea and hot chocolate are made by adding hot water or milk to the tea bag or powdered chocolate, mixing, and leaving it. Most coffee vending machines have a few more steps.

  • For a basic cup, instant coffee granules are mixed with hot water and poured into a cup.
  • A step above machines using instant granules are commercial coffee vending machines which use ground coffee. Generally speaking, coffee beans that have been simply roasted and ground can be said to have a richer depth and complexity of flavour than the instant kind, though it is also possible that a ground coffee machine will be more expensive. The coffee grinds are inserted into the machine for each cup or batch, either in a machine specific cartridge or by spoon from a container. Hot water is strained through the coffee grinds by the machine and the resulting liquid is collected in a cup or coffee pot.
  • For espresso coffee, the water is forced through the tightly packed coffee grinds under pressure. It is this pressure that gives an espresso its distinct texture and strong flavour. There are many small coffee vending machines that will produce only an espresso and can be quite suitable for an office with limited space.
  • For the foam that tops a cappuccino, steam is forced through cold milk to whip it into a hot froth and this is then dispensed onto the cup of coffee.
  • Various other coffee drinks, such as an Americano, require more water than a regular cup.  No matter whether a consumer opts for a macchiato or a flavoured coffee, modern office coffee vending machines have an onboard computer that will simply adjust the ingredients automatically to make the requested beverage.

Doesn’t it take industrial vending machines and a trained barista to make most of the complicated drinks?

As mentioned earlier, modern coffee machines are so sophisticated that they can make a cup of coffee as well as a trained barista. Whether you would like to hire a coffee vending machine or buy one for your office, you can use our main site to request a free quote and some more information from suppliers whose products match your specific needs.

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