A single serve coffee for the Christmas season.

As we all gear up for Christmas, buying presents and food, preparing for the party season, a caffiene kick is needed to keep us warm and spur us on, out into the cold.

What is called for is a luxurious speciality coffee that is full of the rich and indulgent flavours of Christmas.

A Mars Hazelnut Latte, served from a Flavia Coffee Machine, hits all the right notes. Hazelnut coffee from Alterra Coffee Roasters, exclusively for the FLAVIA Creation 400 single serve coffee machine, is a luxurious blend of medium roasted coffee beans and continental and Christmassy flavour of Hazelnut.

The indlugent drinks for Flavia function allows the Hazelnut Coffee to be blended with the Mars Swirl for a Caramel Latte Twist.

Hazelnut Mars Latte from Flavia Coffee Machine

Try adding Flavia's Mars Swirl to the Hazelnut Coffee from Alterra Coffee Roasters for a Christmas Indelugent Coffee.



10 Reasons your Office needs a Hot Drinks Vending Machine.

Why have a vending machine? Many businesses believe they have no requirement for a vending machine this list gives ten reasons why they do!

  1. Vending machines can provide constantly high quality refreshment throughout the day. The choice of hot drinks, ease of use and consistency often make vending machines a hassle free solution to providing hot drinks. No more complaining about the way your colleague makes your cup of tea or going without if you work late and the canteen is closed.
  2. Typically communal kitchen areas become untidy and staff can argue about whose turn it is to tidy it. Whose responsibility is it to buy the tea and coffee supplies in your office? Who has to go out for milk? Many table top hot drinks machines can come with an operating agreement to ensure they are regularly cleaned by a service operator who also fills the ingredients etc.
  3. When using a kettle staff can take can take an average of 5 minutes per hot drink, across a week this is an average of an hour spent each week making hot drinks, rather than working? What impact does this lost time have on your business’ productivity? Is your company losing money with this wasted time?
  4. A number of offices opt for using kettles to provide their refreshments however they are not designed for consistent, heavy duty use. As a result the heating element breaks after a few months and it has to be replaced. Service agreements on table top hot drinks machines ensure they are guaranteed to be fixed by a trained engineer, minimising the time your staff are left without a drinks facility.
  5. The amount of energy consumed by a kettle could be used to power a fridge for a week! Have you ever thought about how much money your office spends on energy bills and the simple steps you could take to reduce this? Modern vending machines have an A++ energy efficiency rating. Saving you money on energy bills and contributing to CSR goals.
  6. Your business may provide a subsidised refreshment facility on site for staff to use. Did you know the average operating costs of a bank of vending machines are up to 90% lower than that of a manned canteen?
  7. Staff appreciates when a company improves the facilities for them. By improving the quality of the hot drinks on offer can boost morale and thereby improve productivity.
  8. Visitors to a business find the provisions of high quality refreshments a professional and preferable alternative to the traditional basic tea and coffee made by the receptionist in a mug.
  9. Companies looking to enhance their corporate image often provide their staff with vending machines branded in the company colour scheme. This promotes the corporate identity whilst providing a relaxing environment to meet, spend a lunch break and socialise.
  10. Many vending machines are available at NIL COST and a good vending company will go through all payment options available to ensure you receive the most cost effective solution. Therefor providing beverage facilities need not increase company expenditure.

How to Guide ~ Volume 1

LTT Vending’s How to Guide to fix simple errors with your Flavia Creation 400 Office Coffee Machine.

LTT Vending’s How-to-Guide for the Flavia Creation 400 guides you through the simple steps to solving the typical Flavia Creation 400 coffee machine errors, so you can get your office coffee machine up and running in just a few minutes.

ERROR 328 ~ Pack Eject Timeout and ERROR 321 ~ Pack Inject Timeout

Flavia Creation 400 front with sachet

Flavia Creation 400 Machine with door open and drink sachet within

These errors mean a Flavia Drinks Sachet is stuck in the machine – here’s how you can remove the sachet and test your machine.

1. Place your palm on the front of the machine door with your fingers cupped underneath.  Brace the machine with your other hand and pull the door towards you with a sharp tug! It is designed to come off – you will NOT break it! You will hear a satisfying noise…

Flavia Creation 400 with the Front Off

Flavia Creation 400 coffee machine with the Front Off

2. Now the door is off you can look inside the machine for the rogue sachet… it may be attached to something that looks like a fork. The fork moves so wiggle the sachet to release it, you can also trim it with scissors if you prefer. If the Pin is still stuck in the sachet switch the machine off and on, this will reset the machine; the Pin will retract and drop the sachet.

Flavia Machine Sachet Fork

Flavia Machine Sachet Fork

3. Take a damp cloth and wipe inside the machine to remove any residue. Then slide the door back in.

4. Finally switch the machine

off and on to reset – and the machine is now operational again.

What Hot Drink Do You Prefer? Things to consider before investing in hot drinks facilities.

When deciding to invest in an office coffee machine, it is important to first understand the requirements and tastes of those who will be using it, namely your staff and visitors.

In recent years extensive consumer research has identified the hot drinks preferences of the U.K.’s workplace consumers. By understanding the results of this research, you will ensure the facilities you provide will be cost-effective and fulfill the needs of your staff.

Coffees are a balance between the level of Roast – developing the acidity or intensity of flavours from the coffee bean, and Taste – the combination of flavours, textures and sensations that stimulate the taste buds. Research has shown that 42% of workplace coffee consumers prefer the refreshing, sweet and clean taste of Light & Smooth coffees. Whereas only 8% enjoy the dark roasted intensity and full-bodied flavours of Dark and Intense coffees from areas such as Sumatra.

The other 50% of workplace consumers prefer a Medium roasted coffee, however these can be further subcatagorised by their taste sensation. 29% prefer a Medium and Balanced coffee like those from Colombia, for their distinctive rounded flavours . Whilst 21% prefer the Bright taste experience and fruity aromas found in coffees from Papua New Guinea for example.

Before investing in a hot drinks vending machine it’s worth considering if it will provide the quality and choice of drinks your staff demand. In the U.K. many people start the day with a cup of tea, and almost half of them will drink 2-3 cups of tea per day. Many hot drinks machines, particularly bean to cup coffee machines, do not offer a tea option or serve tea of such poor quality that many tea drinkers won’t even try it.

Although traditional Black Teas are the U.K.’s favourite – almost half of tea drinkers require a choice to satisfy their tastes including green, decaffeinated and  herbal teas. Of course with all teas a hot drinks machine needs to brew them properly to serve a high quality hot drinks staff will enjoy.

The growth of  “coffee shop culture” in the U.K.  has increased the popularity of luxury “speciality drinks” including Cappuccino, Latte and Hot Chocolate. Even though these drinks are typically cost more than standard hot drinks, many office consumers will pay extra for a beverage of similar quality to their favourite from a coffee shop.

When preparing to install a hot drinks machine it is worthwhile researching the  taste preferences of your staff, scheduling a “Tasting Demonstration” to sample the quality of the beverages and ensure the needs of the staff are met and the facility is as cost-effective as possible.

Bean to Cup Coffee Machines; dispelling the myths.

Bean to cup coffee machines

If you speak to any self confessed “coffee connisseur” they will explicate the virtues of bean to cup coffee machines to produce true barista style – coffee shop quality hot drinks. Many businesses will install a bean to cup coffee machine into their offices, believing they enhance the corporate image. However this is a fallacy! Find out the reality of bean to cup coffee.

 1 – “Bean to Cup produces the freshest quality coffee”

Reality –  Coffee beans begin to go stale after just 3 days! Therefore if you fill up your bean hopper on Monday morning and dont drink it all before Wednesday, your coffee will lose it’s freshness and subsequent drinks will taste bitter. Coffee beans themsleves can also vary in quality reducing the consistancy of the taste of coffee produced.

 2 – “Bean to Cup is the only way to get an authentic espresso and coffee shop style specialty drinks.”

Reality – True espresso needs to have water passed through the ground coffee at 9 bar pressure – this is what creates the crema. Most bean to cup coffee machines do not use 9 bar pressure, instead the water is drip fed through the coffee in much the same way a filter coffee machine does.

Most bean to cup machines are only able to use 2 types of beans max. therefore not offering a complete range to cover individual taste preferences. Eventhough they may use fresk milk to make Cappuccinos and other speciality drinks most don’t offer Tea (and if they do it’s usually instant tea which is of very low quality.)

 3 – “Bean to Cup Coffee Machines are a stylish and cost effective addition to our office?”

Bean to cup coffee machines are noisy and can be quite cumbersome due the the amount of moving parts inside, the bean hopper, grinder, brewer etc.  The more moving parts a machine has the more chance there is of something going wrong. The average bean to cup machine breaks down and requires a call out 4 times a year. This unreliability increases the cost of service cover per machine.

The number of service calls has a direct relationship to the overall maintenance of the machine. The moving parts within a bean to cup machine all require a weekly deep clean to remove the build up of coffee grounds and residue, and prevent the contaminantion of the drinks. A leased machine should have the deep clean treatment incorporated into the rental costs as general maintenance. If not this cost is usually recouped through a lack of quality service and subsequent machine failures and service callouts.

Why not check you machine? Run a rinse cycle and the water should come out crystal clear! If not that water is going into your drinks!

Of course there will always be those who wish to have a bean to cup machine dispite the realities and practicalities. However it is now possible to get the range and quality of coffee shop drinks, using freshly ground ingredients, from a single-serve coffee machine designed for commercial environments.

Before investing in a coffee machine for your office, it’s worthwhile to have demonstration and even taste test of a modern single serve machine, find out how they compare to bean to cup.

How to: Save money on coffee facilities and keep staff happy.

With the U.K. economy on a virtual plateau, and the Government spending cuts beginning to take effect in the public sector. Private businesses are undertaking major cost cutting exercises and improving efficiencies in a bid to whether the financial storm.

Facilities and office managers have difficulty striking a balance between providing adequate coffee facilities for staff and customers, on a shrinking budget, whilst keeping an eye on corporate social responsibility and ecological issues.

Many facilities management companies outsource refreshment provision to specialist vending companies to provide the vending machines and maintenance on their behalf. As a result a business may not be receiving the most appropriate facilities for their needs, and the costs may be higher than if dealing with the vending companies direct.

Vending machines have come a long way in the past 50 years. It is now possible to serve a complete range of meals from a virtual restaurant. These machines are the ideal canteen replacement offering a quick, convenient, 24 hour service, without the need for additional catering staff; potentially saving businesses up to 90% of their catering budget without compromising on facilities.

Modern coffee machines are more energy efficient than traditional kettles and water boilers and in most cases serve beverages in under 30 seconds. The best modern coffee machines will serve a range of coffee shop favourite drinks such as Cappuccino, Latte and Espresso; the ingredients of which come from sustainable and even Rainforest Alliance Certified sources.

By using specialist companies to provide bespoke facilities, managers can ensure a hassle-free provision, serving the range of high quality coffee shop style refreshments staff and customers have come to expect.