10 Office Coffee Solution Hacks You May Not Know!

Office Coffee Solutions

Fresh, gourmet coffee for offices is a great way to skyrocket productivity.

office coffee

It’s no big surprise that coffee gives us a boost of energy. And more energy equals more work, right?

The studies that support this are numerous and easy to find, but we hardly need science to back this one up. If you’re a coffee drinker, you know this from personal experience.

The flavours, the rituals, and even the culture of coffee are fantastic benefits. But let’s face it, that much-needed morning or mid-afternoon energy lift? Some workdays, it’s everything.

(Although! Here’s a surprising stat: did you know that most people drink coffee for the taste and not necessarily for the energy boost? More on this later.)

Let’s dig a little deeper to uncover some interesting links between gourmet office coffee and productivity at work.

When you ingest caffeine, it sets off a domino-like series of benefits that directly help productivity. It looks like this: caffeine > alertness > cognitive performance > RESULTS.   

Caffeine speeds up the messaging between our brain and body. Another way of saying this is caffeine stimulates the activity of our brain and nervous system. This makes us feel more awake, and it happens fairly quickly after drinking (5-30 minutes.)

A heightened state of alertness means our higher cognitive functions are slightly enhanced. Problem-solving and decision-making are positively affected, something your boss will love to hear.

What about memory?

Turns out there are studies that suggest caffeine can have positive effects on retention, too. Office coffee, done right (see more as you scroll down) can help turn you into a wide-awake, smart-thinking, quick-learning, results-oriented productivity machine.

Like Goldilocks though, to get coffee’s optimal effect, your caffeine intake needs to be just right. The right amount of caffeine means you’re alert without being jittery, and your attention is focused instead of scattered. The magic amount differs from person to person, and it can vary from one cup to six cups a day. Experiment a little to find the right amount for you.

Hit that sweet spot, and productivity goes up.

Serve the best coast to coast coffee to help your staff feel valued and appreciated.

coast to coast coffee

Do you feel valued at work? 

It’s a simple question, often without a simple answer. There’s a wide range of variables to consider. In some areas of your work life you may feel more valued than others. Also, some people want or need that feeling of appreciation more than others do.

One thing we can say for sure: the more valued you feel, the more loyal you are to your workplace and the more invested you are in the overall success of your company or department. Feeling valued contributes to long-term commitment

When employees feel truly appreciated, there follows a host of other benefits too:

  • Performance levels go up
  • Productivity levels increase
  • Employees feel empowered to develop professionally
  • Communication improves
  • Engagement goes up

Turns out, coffee is a great way to show staff members how much they’re valued. While free coffee at work is an employee perk, freshly roasted gourmet coffee is a highly valued perk that contributes significantly to feelings of being appreciated.

The more time and care taken with providing gourmet office coffee at work, the more appreciated staff members feel. Here are some factors to consider when choosing an office coffee solution that will dramatically increase how appreciated staff feels:

  • Coffee beans. Are they arabica, freshly roasted, ethically sourced? Are there a variety of roasts of coffee and blends to choose from? Did you know that most people drink coffee for the taste, and not for the energy boost? Freshness matters.
  • Brewing methods. Many people are concerned with how to have fresh coffee and lattes at the office, and this is where brewing methods come in. Are you opting for a one-size-fits-all single-cup brewer that produces meh coffee? Or are you providing more specialty brewing methods that staff members can use to create personalized coffees? (Keep reading for more info on this.)
  • Sweeteners and alternative milks. More and more people are looking for healthy sweeteners and milk options.
  • Pantry items. Are you choosing with care? Are you providing locally made, healthy options?
  • Other drinks. Are you providing quality tea options, or other drinks such as canned cold brew?

When your staff knows that they have the best coast-to-coast coffee provided to them at work, they are far more likely to feel appreciated.

Use the right coffee office machines to create an engaging coffee culture.

office coffee machine

Why encourage coffee culture at work?

Sounds like something that will take valuable time, energy, and focus away from work. Is that a good thing? The answer is a resounding yes.

Coffee can become an entertaining, benefits-driven distraction from work, which is increasingly necessary to fostering a productive and healthy workplace. Coffee culture encourages micro-breaks which often consist of short social interactions. The act of brewing, choosing snack items, etc are all part of the coffee break.

These micro-breaks help people recharge and refocus.

Micro breaks centered around coffee can become a social function of the workplace, and help foster positive employee relationships. Indirectly, short social chats can also ignite creative thinking and problem-solving, and often lead to increased levels of cooperation and collaboration.

The answers to these questions will dictate your coffee culture:

  • How do you make coffee in an office coffee maker?
  • Do you have an office coffee machine that requires some training to use and maintain?
  • Is one person in charge of making coffee?
  • Is everyone involved in maintaining and cleaning the brewers? Do you have a scheduled rotation for these tasks?

This is where choosing the right coffee machines for an office becomes important.

As the boss or the person in charge of the coffee station, your first concerns may be convenience and cost. If that’s the case, you’ll likely end up choosing a brewing method that works against coffee culture. (There’s nothing inherently wrong with tried-and-true pour-over drip coffee makers, as long as you provide one that makes fantastic coffee.)

Try switching your perspective to what your staff might enjoy.

They may be less concerned with convenience and cost, and instead prioritize flavour and freshness. Alongside the pour-over machine, you might consider providing some single-brew options for those who want to take a bit more time with brewing their coffee. (Aeropress or French Press, for example.)

Or, you might provide a cold coffee brewer and provide information on how to make your own cold brew at the office.

If you really want to create a valuable coffee culture, you might also consider a small manual espresso machine, or also provide tools like milk frothers that create foam for lattes or cappuccinos.

Whatever your choices are, keep in mind that the costs of creating an office coffee culture are always much lower than the long-term economic benefits your workplace will enjoy. More on this later.

How to make coffee a soul-nourishing ritual at work.

coffee health benefits

Forward-thinking owners and managers know how important balance is, and actively encourage employees to be in balance with their life and work. Although you might not think of work as a place to experience a calming ritual, think again.

Calming rituals can be any soothing, repetitive task, and will:

  • help curb anxiety
  • soothe turbulent emotions
  • help focus
  • result in more effective and productive work

In the large picture, small moments of peace and inner calm, even or especially at work, help us be happier and more balanced people. We can learn to be more chill, more relaxed, more serene, more able to navigate the pressures of work.

Calming rituals are part of a mindfulness practice which can be experienced anywhere, anytime. They don’t require a yoga mat or meditation music. Quiet moments, and the accompanying sense of inner peace and calm, can be practiced while doing just about any mindless task, including making and drinking coffee at work.

It may seem paradoxical that the simple acts of making coffee and drinking coffee can have calming effects. After all, coffee is energizing, right? Read on.

Like the zen of tea rituals, coffee-making and coffee-drinking can be a moving meditation, bringing focus and attention to the moment. It requires nothing more than your undivided attention. Brewing office coffee, and savoring your coffee, are activities that can actually reduce anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed when performed with simple, concentrated attention.

There are numerous studies that suggest a discontinuity between focus and anxiety. Focus (the kind of concentration involved in small, repetitive rituals) helps reduce anxiety, and vice versa – high levels of anxiety often makes focus difficult.

Like any focus practice, you may not “feel” anything the first few times you practice mindfulness while making coffee at work. The benefits accrue and become noticeable over time. Rituals are all about repetition. Many of Cupper’s customers tell us how pleasurable their coffee routine has become.(BTW, the energy you get from coffee is a physiological boost, not to be mistaken for psychological anxiety. The two are very different.)

Our master roaster at Cupper’s Coffee says that he often goes into “the zone”when roasting our coffee. Have you ever felt “in the flow?” Same thing. “In essence, flow is characterized by the complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting transformation in one’s sense of time.” (Flow, psychology)

When you can, take a break at work; brew coffee; focus on the process; savour your beverage; enjoy the ritual of it; and feel calmer and more balanced for it.

Specialty coffee and its health benefits.

specialty coffee

The most important thing to consider re: health benefits of coffee is the quality of your beans.

For the best health benefits, go for Specialty Coffee – which means high-quality arabica beans that have a higher balance of healthy compounds than lower grade robusta beans.

So! Let’s start off by assuming your office coffee is made from freshly roasted arabica beans. (You may want to double-check the quality of your office coffee. A lot of commercial-grade office coffee is made from robusta beans, which can’t compare for quality and flavour and, it turns out, health benefits.)

By the way, while coffee bean roasting has a small effect on those healthy compounds, one roast level is not significantly better than another. For example, lighter roasts contain slightly higher levels of antioxidants, while darker roasts restore antioxidants such as red blood cell Vitamin E and glutathione. When considering health, species of bean is priority.

The more research done on coffee and health, the more benefits become apparent. Recent studies indicate a positive relationship between coffee consumption and:

  • Lower risks of some kinds of cancer, particularly colon cancer
  • Lower risks of liver conditions
  • Lower risks of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
  • Increased metabolic rates
  • Lower risks of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Lower risks of stroke and heart disease
  • Stronger DNA (yup, it’s a thing)

There’s also studies that cite coffee as an effective treatment for headaches.

Given all these health benefits, why wouldn’t you drink Specialty Coffee? When considering your office coffee solutions, keep these health benefits in mind!

Gourmet coffee beans and avoiding heartburn and an upset stomach.

gourmet coffee beans

As you see from the above section, the health benefits of specialty coffee are numerous. But there’s also the day-to-day benefits of drinking gourmet quality coffee to consider. The right coffee beans can make an immediate difference in how you feel when you drink coffee.

Folks who experience unpleasant side effects from drinking coffee may think they are making mistakes. They ask questions such as:

  • How to make better office coffe?
  • How many tablespoons of coffee per cup?
  • What is the correct ration of coffee to water?

How to make better office coffee:

Start with the best beans you can buy. If you begin with gourmet, freshly roasted specialty coffee, you can clear up most coffee-related digestive issues.

How many tablespoons of coffee per cup?

Honestly, this is mostly a question of personal taste. No matter how strong or intense your coffee maybe, if you’re using freshly roasted coffee beans from a great office coffee service, you will experience less heartburn and stomach upset.

What is the correct ratio of coffee to water?

Again, there is no “correct” ratio.

Some coffee experts would like to say there is, but as roasters who have been providing excellent specialty coffee for 28 years, we at Cupper’s understand that how “strong” you like your coffee is a matter of taste.

The quality of the bean is a far more important consideration when it comes to coffee-related digestive issues.

Gourmet or specialty coffee, particularly Indonesian coffees (see Cupper’s Indian Mysore or Sumatra Mandheling) and to a lesser extent, coffees from Brazil (see Cupper’s Brazil Santos) are much easier on your digestive system.

At Cupper’s, when a customer tells us that coffee sometimes upsets their stomach or they get heartburn after drinking coffee, we steer them towards these naturally low acid coffees.

Fuel your team with gourmet coffee beans that don’t have the side-effects that often come with poor quality coffee pods or cheap one-cup single-serve coffee options.

Grinding coffee vs pre-ground coffee. Keep it simple.

grinding coffee

We’re all about the best possible office coffee, in the easiest possible ways. In this section we’ll look at issues that, once upon a time, may have stopped owners or managers from offering their employees the best:

  • Grinding and storage for coffee
  • Brewing
  • Cleaning and maintaining equipment
  • Ordering

Grinding coffee and coffee bean storage: beans vs pre-ground, and storing for freshness.

If grinding coffee at work seems like a hassle, rest assured you can order your coffee pre-ground and still get great tasting coffee. The important factors are the quality of the beans, how recently was the coffee roasted, and how you are storing it.

Look for office coffee solutions that take these factors seriously.

Cupper’s office coffee service, for example, just takes all those considerations off your plate. We roast daily, grind just before packaging, and ship immediately. Our vented, resealable zip bags are perfect for storage, and your coffee will stay deliciously fresh for 4-6 weeks, with very little flavour degradation.

Brewing made easy: purchasing your own machines vs using office service machines.

When it comes to great office coffee, you may think you have to sacrifice quality for convenience.

 Not so. Purchasing your own office coffee machines has HUGE benefits.  The truth is, there are office coffee solutions that do not require expensive machines that break down and/or produce lousy coffee, and which are relatively inexpensive and easy to clean and maintain.

The biggest factor here is how much coffee you need to brew. Are you brewing for a large group? Or do you have a smaller office and brewing for only a few people at a time? Even for large offices, pour-over machines can be less expensive than you think. And do not forget the even simpler options such as the French Press, Chemex or Aeropress.

Cleaning and maintaining office coffee equipment made easy.

When you purchase your own equipment, put cleaning and maintaining on the office schedule of tasks. Choose an office coffee provider that has your back by providing training, cleaning products, and instant troubleshooting back-up when required.

You may have one extremely interested and dedicated person who will become the office expert. Or, you may have a shared “rotation” of tasks, which adds to your office coffee culture. Either way works! It’s all about scheduling and following through. Easy to do.

Easy ordering your coffee.

Your office coffee provider can make ordering easy for you.

Look for online ordering, where you can simply duplicate your last order or easily choose new coffees and pantry items.

Find an office coffee service that will allow you to have a standing order. Look for an office coffee provider that has real, live people answering phones to answer questions you may have.

coffee supplies

Office coffee supplies and saving money.

Every employer or manager is concerned with costs.

At first glance, it might seem like a “cheap” office coffee solution checks all the economic boxes. However, when you dig a bit deeper, you see that an office coffee solution that provides your workplace with freshly roasted coffee can save you money – even when your office purchases its own brewing equipment.

How much per cup – or what your actual cost is per coffee – should take into account the following factors.

Coffee breaks are cost-effective.

There’s no question, breaks that help employees disengage from work for short periods are very beneficial to focus and overall productivity. Add the “perk” of gourmet office coffee, and the benefits really add up over time.

Even coffee breaks that are longer (for extra brewing and prep time) are cost-effective when measured against the benefits delivered.

“Coffee run” breaks – where someone runs out of the office to grab to-go coffees from the nearest coffee bar – don’t have the same productivity benefits.

Usually, it’s only one or two people (picking up coffees for everyone) who leave the office and get a real break. Also, to-go coffee is more expensive and likely paid for personally by the employee purchasing it.

As mentioned in a previous section, the increase in morale and loyalty can be measured in economic terms. Lower employee turnover and increased engagement are very real, measurable benefits when you provide your employees with premium, gourmet office coffee solutions.

 

office coffee service

The best office coffee service will always have your back.

When choosing your office coffee solution, look for a service-focused approach.

For example, these days it’s a rare treat to call a company that has a real, live person answering the phone.

Person-to-person is the best kind of customer service you can get, and any good office coffee solution provider will always have someone you can actually speak to. You should always be able to talk to an expert about:

  • Coffee choices and product options
  • Ordering options
  • How to brew
  • How to clean
  • Accounts and billing

Another important consideration: training matters.This is how your office coffee solutions goes from good to great. 

Training also adds to the overall coffee culture of the workplace. Will your office coffee providers take the time you need to learn about brewing the best coffee and cleaning machines? Will they provide all the training you need?

Beyond that, look for good old-fashioned customer service. Is your office coffee provider friendly? Reliable? Can you depend on them to do what they say they will do? Will they fill your orders correctly and promptly?

Look for reviews and testimonials. The best office coffee companies have customers who are happy to give good reviews.

Supporting an office coffee Canada roaster, like Cupper's, supports a wider community.

coffee roaster Canada

When choosing even small office coffee solutions, make sure you’re being a good “coffee citizen.”

For example, anytime you choose a local and/or Canadian coffee roaster, you’re helping your local Canadian community with your valuable economic support.

Go green!

Choose an office coffee provider that takes environmental concerns seriously. Single-serve coffee pods are notoriously bad for the environment. Ask companies what specifically they are doing to be greener. Anytime you choose a greener coffee roaster with more sustainable options, you’re part of the solution and not the problem.

What about the roasted coffees themselves? Does your office coffee provider roast ethically sourced coffees? Do they care about organic certifications and green growing practices? Do they deliberately buy coffee from small cooperatives and family-owned farms? These decisions matter.

Corporate coffee providers will often buy the least expensive coffee that is not fairly traded or organically grown. All of us can, and should, be better coffee citizens whenever possible.