Jumpstart Workplace Morale by Upgrading Your Office Coffee

August 8, 2013

By Samantha Joyce

Office CoffeeI raised a few eyebrows at the airport recently when I flew with a Chemex coffee maker, Bonavita variable temperature goose neck kettle and a bag of El Salvador Natamaya single origin coffee in my carry-on. There’s one core question behind this decision. You may ask yourself the same question at work. Do you make the effort to enjoy a great cup of coffee or do cost and expediency win?

There’s a time and a place for every coffee. I love Chemex pour over coffee, I have the time to make it at home and on vacation. But in the workplace it is time-consuming and doesn’t yield enough for my department. There are other great caffeinated options though. No matter what size your office is and what size your budget is, there is a way for you to upgrade your current coffee situation.

Before I launch into coffee beans and machines there is one universal truth to share. Coffee is 98%+ water. Anyone can improve the taste of their chosen beverage by starting with fresh filtered water. Use a water filter pitcher, an in-tank water filter or line filtration system if your machine is plumbed. Boom! Instant upgrade.

Airport Coffee

Next up, before you send requisition forms to the purchasing department, have you considered cleaning your current coffee device? I have talked with coffee and espresso machine repair technicians who tell horror stories about mold, ants, cockroaches and other unsavory additions hiding inside a brewer that is used daily. Gross! Find the user manual, take it apart and scrub it, or send it in for service. A little effort in cleaning can yield a big return in taste. Win-win!

Employee expectations are rising due to something called the Starbucks effect. No longer can a sludge-filled pot of swill scorching on a warming plate pass as coffee. Improve morale and productivity in the workplace by investing in the real deal.

Sample Set-ups for any Size Office

  • Are you a solo sipper? If your preference for a quality cup of coffee is not shared by your office mates it can garner unwanted attention and judgment from the uninitiated. If this is the case, keep your coffee craving on the down-low with a stealth French press travel mug. This all-in-one device is the James Bond of incognito coffee and the portability is a bonus.
  • For a small office, conference room or lobby nothing beats a grind and brew superautomatic machine like the Swiss-made Jura Ena Micro 1. One look and you know it means business! With your favorite fresh whole bean coffee in the hopper, press a button and receive your drink in under a minute. Ease of use and low maintenance requirements make this a small office all-star.
  • Drip coffee in the workplace gets a bad rap but if you have a coffee maker certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America, your results can be tastier than an average brewer. A typical carafe of coffee serves up to six coworkers. Make sure to grind your coffee fresh, use filtered water and by all means clean it on a regular basis for peak performance.
  • A large office requires some next level brewing ideas. Sure you want to have enough delicious coffee brewed, however freshness still matters. If the coffee sits around in a stainless steel thermal carafe there is the quantity you need, now what about quality? Self-serve options like the Rancilio Egro One commercial superautomatic machine require a large capital investment, but are still less expensive than hiring a trained barista. Speaking of which, if you have a corporate cafe at your headquarters, a trained barista is a fantastic upgrade for everyone.

These are but a few ideas, some are free and some cost thousands of dollars. The important thing to remember though is that it all boils down to a simple choice. There is a creative caffeinated solution for every size office and every size budget. Commit to specialty coffee in the workplace!

Samantha Joyce is a writer for Seattle Coffee Gear and enjoys sharing her love of all things coffee. Samantha lives in West Seattle within walking distance of Puget Sound. Her brew method of choice at home (and on vacation!) is a Chemex. At work she uses a Technivorm Moccamaster KBG741. Yes, she always uses filtered water. Sometimes she even cleans and descales the coffee maker for her lucky coworkers.

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