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Are you Struggling to Recruit or Retain Baristas?

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Dean Cartwright

24th Aug 2021

5 minutes for reading

With a skilled barista in charge, there is no doubt that espresso machines produce the best espresso based coffees. But if most of your baristas are in training or your best people keep jumping ship, a bean to cup machine could be a smart investment.

Three reasons why a bean to cup machine could be the solution

Benefit #1 – Consistency

The number one reason that I recommend bean to cup machines over espresso machines in certain situations is consistency. This includes both drink quality and temperature.

A true barista is someone skilled in the art of making coffee. It is rare for a coffee shop, restaurant or cafe to be blessed with a team of baristas. In reality, you might have one barista and the rest of the team are either in training or able to pull an average shot at best.

With such a set up, a bean to cup machine will deliver more consistency. You won’t be wowing one customer only to disappoint the next because your barista happens to be on their break.

Even one bad experience can harm your brand, especially if the disappointed customer is someone who likes to kick up a fuss on social media.

I find that there are many trainee baristas out there who can produce a great tasting coffee but spoil it by serving it cooler than it should be. And believe me, it doesn’t matter how delicious the brew is – if it turns up cold, your customers will be upset (especially if the trainee then comes up with excuses about high temperatures burning the coffee!)

Here’s a typical amateur barista error. First, they fail to heat the cup on the machine. Second, they leave the stone cold portafilter in the machine. Then they might have poor heat tolerance in their hands which they then use to judge the temperature of the milk (a barista will use a thermometer). All of this adds up to a cold drink.

Now, a good bean to cup machine uses soluble milk. This comes straight out of the machine at around 92 degrees. It wouldn’t matter if the cup was cold, the customer gets a hot drink which is very close in quality to a shot pulled by a barista from an espresso machine. Every single time!

Benefit #2 – Easy Cleaning

Second, cleaning an espresso machine is time intensive, especially when you have put trainees in charge. With a bean to cup machine, you need only add detergent and press a button to start the cleaning cycle. In the meantime, your staff can be collecting glasses, wiping down tables, cashing up, etc.

Benefit #3 – Space Saving

Third, a bean to cup machine has a relatively small footprint. At around half the width of an average espresso machine, you get a coffee machine, grinder and canisters for milk and chocolate.

I would recommend you still have a separate boiler for making teas. I will go into the reasons for this in a separate blog post.

More benefits of installing a bean to cup machine

I mentioned in the previous section that bean to cup machines include canisters for chocolate. This is another bonus because each of your staff can produce both espresso based coffees and mochaccinos, hot chocolates, etc.

You can also serve decaf options, which are definitely on the rise, through a bean to cup machine. Most machines can be set up to deliver decaffeinated options for all of the coffees you serve. The beans are kept separate in the one hopper, taking away the need for a separate grinder.

What you should look out for in a bean to cup machine

Once you’ve decided that a bean to cup machine is the way forward,  the next step is to decide on the features you need.

One of the main features I would recommend is a rotary pump, similar to an espresso machine. Unlike a vibratory pump, this will quickly bring the machine up to a working pressure.

While many features come as standard in most bean to cup coffee machines (e.g. the ability to set brewing parameters), some of the advanced models have some fantastic features including:

  • turning fresh milk into micro foam at the push of a button. Your staff will be able to create a variety of drinks – such as a cappuccino or latte macchiato – perfectly, even as a double product.
  • the option of using a steam wand to foam the milk yourself – like a barista – or setting the machine to monitor the temperature and foam the milk for you.
  • Interfaces for connecting to multiple payment systems (e.g. contactless credit card readers or pay by phone).
  • Touch screen menu navigation for simple and efficient selection from a large number of drink options.
  • Data analysis and processing, allowing you to optimise processes, reduce servicing costs and to use meaningful analyses of sales peaks per product to identify trends and seasonal offers and thus increase sales.
  • App-based contactless ordering.
  • Metal coffee brewers that can dose 20g of coffee into one drink for the takeaway market

Cartwright Coffee can offer different options for low, medium and high volume coffee providers. We can also set up a convenient full service option which includes servicing, maintenance and warranty protection.

For more information and prices, please visit our dedicated bean to cup coffee machine page or contact us directly.