Ever since the 19th Century tea has been the most widely consumed hot beverage in the world, and is synonymous with the British way of life. In recent years the popularity for herbal and fruit teas has increased as people become concerned about the effects of caffeine and more aware of the benefits of herbal teas i.e. peppermint tea aids digestion.
This shift away from the traditional ‘builders’ tea is exacerbated by the increasing popularity of coffee in Britain. The opening of Starbucks in the early 1970’s, gave rise to the “coffee shop culture,” that started out in North America and gradually translated across the pond to the extent that in 2010 British coffee house – Costa Coffee, had overtaken Starbucks in the U.K.
The “coffee shop culture” has developed the British publics’ taste for coffee. People are more aware of roasts, blends and strengths and enjoy indulgent Cappuccinos and Lattes. This increased coffee knowledge and the desire to recreate the coffee shop experience at home has even permeated to the household. Freeze-dried coffee brands, such as Nescafe now produce specialist coffee ranges including Colombia and Green Blend – designed to taste more like the origins coffee in coffee houses and to contain more antioxidants which scientists believe can reduce the risk of Cancer.
If the tastes of the British public have changed regarding the hot drinks the consume, and we are changing our shopping habits along with our culture, why are these changing tastes not reflected in the hot drinks provision we have at work.
Manufacturing sites may not require sophisticated coffee, it is more likely that these employees just want the same quality of tea and coffee they have at home. But does the vending machine on site provide even that basic choice? Many older vending machines only serve a basic coffee from a household brand, not even serving a tea that they enjoy drinking.
Some offices feel that hot drinks machines are an unnecessary expense and prefer to supply a kettle along with household products or in some cases supplies are brought in by the staff themselves. This basic provision is ideal for sites where coffee breaks are a social situation, where staff can catch up whist waiting for the kettle to boil. However if an office is looking to reduce their energy consumption or time spent cleaning the kitchen areas each day, then an office coffee machine may be the most suitable alternative for them.
There are a number of state of the art hot drink machines available that have been designed specifically for these office sites. Effective insulation of water in the tank means they are more energy efficient than a kettle and serve a wide range of hot drinks including tea, coffees, hot chocolate and indulgent drinks that are more popular with the majority of office staff.
The U.K.’s most popular office coffee machine is the Flavia Creation 400 which serves a range of 25 coffee shop style hot drinks.
Larger companies and offices require a robust hot drinks vending machine to serve consistent quality beverages throughout the workday. Consistency and quality need not mean that workers can’t have the diverse range they have come to expect from coffee shops. Traditional hot drinks vending machines served very poor quality beverages and people would rather go without than drink brown water or vending machine tea.
The modern hot drinks vending machines are now able to serve coffee shop quality hot drinks in 12oz (Costa Small) cups with a sip lid. Their beverages are made using real milk and Fairtrade or freshly ground coffee.
Along with this innovation hot drinks vending machines are now typically built to an A++ energy efficiency rating. Meaning there is no better time to improve the beverages available at work and provide your staff with a facility they will really appreciate.