Moving into a new office is an exciting event in itself with a million and one things to consider: where does everyone sit, where do we go on our breaks, how much money do we spend on decorating, and, most importantly of all, what type of coffee machine should we get to give us the shots of hot caffeine at our Brainio startup?
Well, we scratched our first idea of buying a random, cheap machine straight out of the gate. Coffee wasn’t something you could just draw straws on and hope for the best.
So, we wracked our brains. There had to be some method we could use that would lead us to a machine that ticked all the right boxes and set the office off on the footing it deserved. Therefore, we began to look at the problem more analytically. We used similar methods to our marketing strategies and came up with a series of questions:
1. What problem does the coffee machine solve?
Well, surveys prove that happiness inside the team improves if you have access to a decent cup of joe. On top of this small perks like a good coffee machine go a long way to making team members feel valued. In fact, surveys have found that 37% of employees actually prefer free, good quality coffee.
Access to good coffee has been shown to encourage people to collaborate and as a result, produce better and innovative results faster. A breakout area where people can chill out and drink a warm cup of joe whilst chewing the fat is a good way to promote brainstorming. Moreover, it creates a cross office ethos of discussion and working together.
And then there are the obvious benefits that a little bit of caffeine has on keeping staff alert and on task. Nobody wants a lazy or lethargic workplace. Good cup of coffee will, at the end of the day, benefit creativity and productivity.
2. Who is the target audience for the coffee machine?
Our office at Brainio is full of developers who tend to be picky, lazy and hate cleaning anything. Because of this, the machine needs to be efficient, easy to maintain and reachable with little to no effort. In addition, the picky nature of our team dictates that the machine needs to create great coffee but at the same time the machine had to be easy to use and require little maintenance. Simple? No.
3. What it needs to do?
After brainstorming it became apparent that we would need the machine to make the coffee with the push of a button. No having to put coffee into receptacles or froth milk in a frother. Push the button and within a few seconds, a perfect cappuccino or latte would be in our hands without the need to clean anything.
4. What limitations did we have?
As a startup the only real limitation we had was money. Therefore, our limit for coffee machine was $1000.
5. So, what were our options?
There are many, many coffee machines out there you can buy for your startup:
- manual espresso machines,
- pod machines,
- filter coffee machines, or
- bean to cup machines.
With so many to choose from we decided to weigh up the pros and cons of each type:
- Manual espresso machines make damn good coffee but are a hassle to use. You have to grind the coffee beans, steam your own milk and then repeat the process for every cup.
- Pod or capsule machines offer decent coffee that’s easy to make and leaves little mess but they are very environmentally unfriendly and can cost quite a lot of money on a per cup basis.
- Filter coffee machines make good black coffee and are useful if you have a lot of staff but all the coffee is the same. No lattes, no cappuccinos, just black coffee.
- Bean-to-cup machines make a good cup of coffee at the press of a button. They are easy to clean but you generally need to buy a machine with extras to make a range of coffees.
And the winner is…
After weighing up all the alternatives, the team settled on a bean to cup machine that included a milk frother so we could create every type of coffee our startup team would need at a price that was affordable to us.
In short, our choice at Brainio was clear - Krups Latt’Espress:
Disclaimer: We were not financially compensated for this post.