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.