When was the last time you gave any thought to the hot beverage options available in your building or workplace? If you’re like most busy individuals the answer is probably the same – it’s been awhile. And that’s okay. Not every office or building is the same, so some hot beverage offerings might not work across the board. The point is to raise awareness of the products you do offer, and help your employees, tenants, or guests create the customized hot beverage - especially where coffee is concerned - they might not have even known was available.
Emulating Coffeehouse Flavor and Experience
For the past 18 years, the number of daily specialty coffee drinkers has significantly increased. If we look at coffee consumption statistics since 2001, we find that weekly consumption of gourmet coffee has risen to 53%, 46% of that consumed outside of the home. Daily drinkers consume about 3 cups a day. What does this mean? The people in your building and office are not only coffee drinkers but are loyal to the gourmet experience. They want options, and they want the convenience of accessing gourmet coffee right where they work, or spend their days.
Today’s coffee drinker is a lot like today’s craft beer drinker: it’s all about the experience, and the education that accompanies the genre. And the demographic is changing right along with people’s palates. Think of the profound impact the single cup brewing systems have had, perhaps even in your building or office. And, it's still relevant today. Initially marketed for office coffee solutions in 1998, the original single-serve brewer and coffee pod manufacturing company, Keurig, introduced its home brewing machines in 2004. The one-cup brewing system is still wildly popular for a few reasons:
- You can brew one cup at a time
- It’s very efficient
- There are endless beverage options available, including coffee, tea, cider, hot chocolate, and cold beverages.
Bean-to-Cup; The Barista-less, Handcrafted Coffee
The coffee industry has long said that bean-to-cup is best because the freshness and flavor of just-ground beans make for the ultimate coffee experience. That might be true, though decades of innovation and convenience has offered coffee experiences with less hands-on work. When coffee beans are ground, they release the flavorsome oils. The longer those grounds take to meet water in the brewing process, the more of those oils are evaporated. Today's coffee trends request and focus back on immediate freshness. There are several kinds of coffee machines that can be placed in offices and buildings to bring that fresh coffee experience to the building’s occupants.
Unlike a traditional coffee counter in a convenience store or perhaps an automotive dealer featuring a lineup of pre-brewed coffee in air pots, bean-to-cup machines grind the beans – there is a “hopper” right on top of the machine. You can see the beans. These machines then brew the coffee and add the customization components. So, while the end result is a handcrafted coffee drink that tastes a lot like it came from a coffee shop, it’s not a barista making the coffee, it’s the machine. Just as you would tell the barista extra hazelnut and non-fat milk, you can customize your handcrafted beverage order with a bean-to-cup machine that handles the same add-on requests.
So, the next time you find yourself in your building's break room, kitchen, or employee lounge, take a minute to consider the hot beverage options you have available for employees or residents. After all, research shows that 89 percent of employees say a good cup of coffee can make an entire work-day better.