As consumers develop more sophisticated tastes in coffee, manufacturers have kept pace, with a bean-to-cup machine for every niche. Amanda Marcus rounds up the latest contenders.
The recent upsurge in bean-to-cup coffee demand has been answered by equipment suppliers with several new bean-to-cup machines appearing on the market for a wide range of applications.
Paul Hopkins, managing director of Melitta System Service in the UK, says that quality is now the driving factor in the coffee machine market. "You need to be able to hold less and brew faster," he says, which is why the Melitta 4000 holds only eight litres of coffee despite its high capacity. The Melitta 4000 is a new self-service filter coffee machine capable of serving 1,000 cups per hour using ground coffee from two separate hoppers.
N&W Global Vending's retro-style Colibri was reportedly the first beverage system specifically developed for small office locations. Launched last year, demand has been so great, says N&W, that a dedicated factory has just opened in Italy to cope with it.
FryersAzkoyen has launched the new CA360 bean-to-cup system, which is fully self-auditing and can handle 360 cups an hour. The machine has two separate bean hoppers, each with its own grinder. New features include the facility to fit a 16oz cup easily under the dispensers, and a self-cleaning frother.
New from Hobart is the Viva Café au Lait with smart technology that can produce up to 300 cups of cappuccino per hour and 34 different drinks. Features include a 3kg hopper that can be divided into three, and a refrigerated milk compartment.
First Choice Coffee has introduced Arte, a fully-automatic espresso machine with a retro design in glass and chrome, aimed especially at modern bars and chic hotels and restaurants. Features include a foot-operated steam wand to speed up service.
Café du Monde is marketing the Animo Bulk Brewer with removable urns. The package includes free loan of insulated coffee jugs and a purchase offer (subject to status) whereby the company will refund the monthly cost of equipment if caterers buy their coffee from Café du Monde.
Marco-TSE Catering Equipment has redesigned its MaxiBrew range of bulk filter coffee brewers, now available in stainless steel or black finish. The single-urn machine has a brew capacity of 11.4 litres (80 cups) with a half-brew facility and a separate hot water tap for tea. The smaller QwikBrew will be launched later this year with a capacity of 50 cups and half-brew facility.
The new RLX series from Bravilor has a choice of three brewing systems: glass decanter, airpot or two-litre insulated container. Touch-button controls and a digital display enable the RLX to be programmed for the exact number of cups to be made, and an audible "coffee ready" alert sounds when the process is complete.
Douwe Egberts has launched Contenta, a smaller version of its Cafitesse machine. The system works with a deep-frozen bag-in-box pack that holds up to 200 cups of fresh coffee. It's aimed at hotel reception areas, offices, meeting rooms, sports centre bars and staff rooms requiring minimum storage.
As consumers' coffee palates grow more sophisticated, many are coming to expect a decent choice of coffees in pubs, according to Tchibo. Longer opening hours and growing sales of pub food mean a greater demand for coffee.
And it's not a bad choice: Tchibo says that publicans can make about double the profit margin on a coffee compared with a
pint of bitter or lager. To help them compete with the high street, Tchibo has launched the Cof-fino machine, which makes five different coffees, a hot chocolate and a cappuccino choco. It is designed specifically for pubs serving from 20 cups of coffee a day.