You may have heard about ways you can use coffee in your compost pile or recycle it in other ways, but with pod machines this is a lot more difficult. K-cups and other single serve coffee pods are an increasingly popular type of home machine, as they allow the user to brew one single cup at a time. The convenience of these machines comes at a price, though, because all those used coffee pods are thrown in the trash to add to the amount of waste incurred by each person. You may not realize that you can recycle used coffee pods and the grounds inside them. A few simple steps can reduce the damaging environmental impact and still grant you the convenience offered by brewing one cup at a time.
- What Are Pod Machines?
If you aren’t already aware, a pod machine is a type of coffee maker that uses a tank of readily heated water to brew coffee one cup at a time. The tank holds the water and the user places a “pod” with just enough coffee for a single serving into a special reservoir, then closes the lid. The lid pierces the pod with a small needle and the hot water is sucked up through a mechanism and pushed through the grounds in the pod. The machine sits with the water ready to use at any time so all you have to do to brew your coffee is put a pod in the reservoir and press a button. This is especially convenient in a home where several people like different kinds of coffee. One person can have their bold blend and the next can have a light decaf without having to brew an entire pot of each.
- The Ugly Side of Coffee Pods
Many will argue that the convenience of single serve coffee pods is not worth the damage they have on our environment. The different kinds of pods are made of paper and plastic but instead of recycling the grounds and the pods, most people throw them out. With millions of people brewing more than one cup of coffee using their pod machines every day, that’s a lot of recyclable material being thrown in the trash. There’s a way to fix this! A few extra steps keeps the convenience of your favorite home machine alive without putting extra guilt on your conscience.
- Recycle Your Coffee Pods
You can recycle the used coffee grounds in the coffee pods you use in many of the same ways you’d recycle coffee grounds that come out of a regular filter. Instead of throwing out the coffee pods when you’re finished with them, you can open them up and remove the grounds. Recycle the empty pod in the proper receptacle and then use the grounds as you see fit. You can use them in compost piles, to enrich soil, and in several other ways. You don’t have to sacrifice your single serve convenience or your love for the environment. With these extra simple steps, you can have the best of both worlds.
- Encourage Others
Once you’ve implemented coffee pod recycling in your own home, you can encourage others to do the same in order to further diminish the damaging impact that pods can have on the environment. If your office uses pod machines, talk to your supervisor or higher ups to find out about making recycling a priority when it comes to coffee waste. If there is a community gardening or compost program, the used grounds can be brought there on a daily basis. If everyone pitches in and does their part, implementing these recycling measures will be easy and before you know it, opening up used pods to empty them for recycling will become second nature.
Many coffee connoisseurs are adverse to pod machines because they believe that the water goes through the grounds too quickly and valuable flavors are lost in the process. In addition to environmental impact, these people are of the opinion that the bad outweighs the good when it comes to these machines. If you’ve decided to share this opinion, there are alternatives to pod machines that still offer convenience. You can find a cappuccino machine or espresso machine in the fully automatic variety that will deliver gourmet beverages to the most enthusiastic of coffee lovers.
Environmental impact and convenience aren’t the only considerations to be thought about when purchasing a home machine. Cleaning and maintenance offer their own issues in both of these areas. For most pod machines, you only need to refill the water tank, wipe the outside of the machine, and put clear hot water or another solution through the machine once in awhile to clean the system out. However, if you don’t use the machine often enough, you’ll be wasting water because you have to throw out what sits in the tank too long and if you use the machine too much, you’ll be flushing the system to clean it often enough to waste a lot of water as well. A fully automatic cappuccino or espresso machine may need more maintenance than a pod machine because it has more complicated parts and often uses more ingredients. Take these things into consideration when you’re making a purchase and you’ll find the perfect machine for you!
Social Media Awareness
Knowing the environmental impact of pod machines and combating the damage on your own is wonderful, but there is a power in social media that allows you to spread the word quickly and to many different kinds of people. Be positive in your posts and share your own experiences with recycling your coffee pods to show how easy it can be for others to do at home. With a little effort and a lot of love for coffee and the environment, you can make a big difference.
Your Favorite Beverage
The latte that you love can start to burn a hole in your budget, and that’s what leads many coffee lovers to buy a premium home machine and learn to make their favorite beverages in their own kitchens. There are many barista’s that argue that this is a great way to ruin the café experience that originally offered you the delights of espresso and foamed milk. They believe that the average person simply doesn’t know about all the subtleties that make each beverage wonderful and so the products they make at home are subpar. Learn about what these subtleties are and if you’re really aware of how to make the best latte possible using the machine you’ve chosen for your kitchen.
- Pull a Shot
An espresso machine with milk steamers included is the best piece of equipment you can use to make a latte. In order to get a professional grade beverage, you first need to start off with a good shot of espresso. This is the basic building block of every premium beverage you can make with your home machine. It may take some trial and error, but make sure you can do this effortlessly before you move on to another component. If you have this part wrong, you’ll likely to be disappointed with the finished product.
- Know Your Machine
If you’re having trouble pulling a shot, learn more about how your home machine works so you can find out where the difficulties really are. You may be packing the portafilter too tightly or not tightly enough or you may have accidentally adjusted the water pressure or temperature to something that is not ideal. All of these components contribute to pulling a shot that creates a delicious beverage. Learn how each works and you’ll always be able to fix the problems that occur.
- Building Your Beverage
After you have your espresso, it’s time to add the rest of the pieces that will give you the latte you’re craving. It’s likely your espresso machine has steamers or you can purchase a separate steamer to achieve the correct foam consistency. While there are other ways to steam milk besides using a steamer wand, these ways are what give you a subpar product, strengthening the argument from baristas that you can’t get a good latte from a home machine. There are specific recipes concerning flavor additions like spices and syrups. Learning these recipes will better help you to make your own creations without diminishing the natural flavors and strength of the espresso itself.
- Dos and Don’ts
There are some things that the professionals will always frown upon, like pouring shots over ice or overloading it with sugar and flavorings. These may seem like things that you’d enjoy but what most baristas will tell you is that they shock, strangle, or otherwise diminish the best parts of your beverage. When you use a home machine, you aren’t operating off of a menu. There are no restrictions to what you can do with your drink and in some cases that can be a bad thing. Make sure your getting gourmet quality beans, that you’re grinding them into uniform pieces, and that the other ingredients you are using are top quality. When you’re creating a beverage, give yourself the time to do it right. Even with a fully automatic machine, you have to make sure you’re putting the ingredients together correctly before you start to brew your beverage.
- The Ambiance of It All
One of the biggest ways that a home machine may ruin the café experience for you is that you’ll be enjoying your beverage at home instead of amongst the art, music, and people of a café. It’s true that you won’t have a smiling face delivering your order and you won’t get the change of scenery offered by going out to a coffee shop. However, the ambiance of your home could be enough or even better than what you’d find in a café. You can put together your own art and music, catered to your tastes and you can create a little café right in your kitchen.
- Social Aspects
A very popular meeting place for dates, gatherings with friends, study groups, and work colleagues is at coffee shops and cafes. When you have a home machine, this experience can either be enhanced or diminished, depending on what you do and how you set the scene. Your home café setup can be more comfortable for the people with whom you want to associate, giving you the social aspects of a safe and trendy meeting place without having to go out to a café. If you’ve mastered the arts of creating premium espresso beverages, the people who meet at your home will never know the difference and you won’t have to wait on lines or hope you can find a table.
Pros and Cons
There are good parts and bad parts to both ways of doing things. A home machine allows you the convenience of having a premium espresso beverage whenever you’d like but you’re the one responsible for cleaning up when you’re done as well as cleaning and maintaining the machine. At a café, someone else is responsible for these things and they make your drink perfect every time, and if they don’t they’ll fix the issue post haste. In your home, there is comfort and the convenience of having your familiar things around you but at a café, you don’t have to worry about the kitchen looking spotless or inviting people you don’t know to your house. A barista is a professional coffee connoisseur but there are ways you can learn similar techniques and be just as good with your home machine. The choice is yours! If you’re looking to purchase a machine of your own, it has to be something you want so do your research, weigh these pros and cons for yourself, and enjoy your premium espresso beverages in the way that’s right for you.
Give it a Shot
When you think of “shots” it’s likely that you’re not imagining tiny cups of dark roast, concentrated coffee unless you’re around some big espresso enthusiasts. Now, mention to them that these shots will be coming from your stove top or other machine instead of an espresso machine and you’ll incite a debate with which you’ll never be able to keep up! You might be thinking, “What’s the big deal? It’s just coffee.” As you think this thought, millions of baristas around the world know and have made a collective gasp. Before you try the alternatives, go to your local coffee shop and order a straight shot of espresso. Sample a few varieties of the good stuff made with a professional machine by someone who knows how to use it. This will be your baseline for seeing what the alternatives taste like and if they’ll work for you.
- What is Espresso?
For those of you who are still wondering what the big deal is about espresso, it may be that you don’t know exactly what is espresso. The classification is not in the type of coffee that is being brewed but in the method. The parts on an espresso machine make it a lot easier for this method to be executed and deliver you a gourmet shot of espresso the way you’re expecting it to turn out. Each piece is responsible for a different function. The portafilter holds tightly packed grounds and is attached to the machine in such a way to hold it in place while water of a specific temperature is pressurized and pushed through the grounds. Duplicating this process is difficult without a machine but there are methods that have been attempted.
- Look for the Crema
Any well brewed, high quality coffee will have a thin layer of “crema” on the top, which is a fine foam that looks a little like many bubbles. When brewed with an espresso machine, the coffee’s crema layer will be thicker than when brewed with a regular machine or through other methods. This is the mark of good espresso! If you try any of the alternative methods of brewing, look for the crema on top of the espresso once it’s brewed. This will tell you that you have a high quality shot.
- Steamers and Milk
You can purchase a machine that has only milk steamers on it or a cappuccino machine with attached steamers. The wands on the steamers emit hot, pressurized air that steams milk into foam. There are some alternative methods of brewing espresso that suggest you can use steamer wands to brew espresso similar to the way an espresso machine would do it but these methods appear to be very dangerous. Do some research on your own if you’d like to try it but it is not recommended for safe espresso brewing.
- Coffee Strength
Any espresso machine users will tell you that you need premium and strong coffee beans in order to get the best product. While this may be true, there are others that suggest brewing strong coffee with alternative methods including pressurized steam without a machine can yield the same results. You can try making your lattes or other espresso drinks with a super bold blend of coffee beans but the fact is that probably won’t be the same. Strong coffee is not a substitute for espresso.
- Other Machines
After you’ve tried the alternatives, you may come to the conclusion that there is no substitute for the espresso machine. However, you should also consider how often you want to brew espresso and if it’s necessary to have a machine at home at all. There are fully automatic varieties, cappuccino machines, pod machines, and others that may all suit your home brewing needs better than something you’re not sure how to use. Look through all of your options. Talk to people that own the different machines and find out what will be required of you to operate, clean, and maintain the machine. You may find that you love espresso so much that you have to have a way to brew it at home whenever you want it but you should also take into account that you’ll have to learn to operate the machine expertly before you can get the beverage you desire.
- Researching Your Options
There’s a lot of information out there that makes learning about all your options overwhelming. Limit your search to the types of machines that will get you the beverages you want and research those. Ask yourself “Will I be able to use these features properly?” If you don’t think you can, then move on to the next options and ask yourself the same question. If you try to research all of the different kinds of espresso machines, cappuccino machines, pod machines, and others all at once, you’ll get overwhelmed fast and you might end up purchasing something that is not at all satisfactory or that you can’t learn to use.
The original question we were asking is “Do I really need an espresso machine?” If you’re looking to make quality espresso at home or lattes and other beverages that require espresso then yes, you do need a machine. The alternative methods may work to produce a beverage of lesser quality but many of them are unsafe and while an espresso machine may be costly, it will allow you to brew the drinks you want safely and with a lot less hassle and cleanup. The choice is yours in the end, because other machines can still give you a premium coffee beverage but to get that really good shot of espresso, the kind you’ll find in a coffee shop that will satisfy your taste buds and deliver the jolt you’re looking for, an espresso machine is the way to go.
Those of you who work in non-profit organizations helping others and creating a better world often do so with little to no gratitude coming your way and yet you continue to do your work. Happy people are better at making others happy and what better way to make yourself and those that work with you happy than by adding a premium espresso machine to the beverage station at your offices? Give everyone the energy and positive mood to do the good they came to do.
- It All Starts At Home
Getting an espresso machine added to the beverage station at your non-profit’s offices could take awhile and even be logistically difficult. Start with your home machine and upgrade to something that delivers a gourmet beverage. A good cup of coffee in the morning can elevate your mood and make difficult situations easier to deal with throughout the day and gourmet coffee has the taste and aesthetics to give you the extra boost you need. You probably have a coffee machine in your home now and it’s likely that you also stop at the local café to get a premium beverage during the day. When you use a home machine, you can skip that step and start out with the best.
- Share Your Love of Coffee
A premium home machine is able to handle more than the standard coffee maker. With the right machine, you can brew enough to bring a treat to share with everyone on those mornings when you know it will be a long day. The happy surprise will give everyone around you the elevated mood to handle tough problems with a positive attitude and keep things running smoothly. Let everyone have the drive and motivation to start the day right and power through with beautiful coffee.
- Become Your Own Barista
Using an espresso machine is not something that everyone simply knows how to do and it’s not the same as using a standard coffee maker. The idea of using the steamers on the machine to foam milk is an education in itself. You can learn these things easily, though, and with a little practice you’ll be your own barista and able to make gourmet beverages even better than they do at the café. You can be the beneficiary of these skills on your own or choose to share what you learn via social media or by making drinks for the people you know.
- Sustainable Coffee
One of the reasons that many non-profit offices choose to opt out of a premium espresso machine or other gourmet treats is because they cause more trash that needs to be cleaned and handled. Coffee can be extremely recyclable if the right practices are employed and you can use washable mugs or have everyone bring their own cups that they wash for use with the machine. Show your organization how you can use coffee in sustainable and economical ways and they’ll be more inclined to believe that a new machine is beneficial to everyone.
- Commercial Machines
Depending on how many people your espresso machine will service, the option to install a commercial machine might be a good idea. They’re more expensive, but in the long run you won’t be paying for a new machine a short time after you purchase one since the commercial machine will be able to handle all the use it will undergo. In a non-profit office, things can get hectic fast so a lot of people could be using this machine all day. The last thing you need is for it to stop working due to sheer exhaustion.
- Outside Help
Installing a premium espresso machine at your non-profit offices may only be the first step. These machines need cleaning, maintenance, and to be operated properly in order to get good use out of them. In many cases, getting outside help to keep the machine operating well is necessary. This is also a good option if you want to offer premium beverages to people that come into the offices for help or to partners and colleagues that come in for meetings. You’ll have someone else there to make the beverages so you don’t have to waste time doing it yourself.
- Other Options
If you’d like to spruce up the beverage station at your non-profit offices and give the people you work with the perk they deserve, there are other options besides a premium espresso machine that may be less expensive and take up less space. Depending on the funds available, you can also consider pod machines or a fully automatic cappuccino machine. These options are also a bit more user friendly so the people in the office can use them more easily without having to worry about hiring outside help. You’ll also still be able to offer premium beverages to colleagues and clients when they come into your offices.
Donate Gourmet Beverages
If you know of a non-profit organization that can benefit from a premium espresso machine, you can find ways to donate the machine! Many of these organizations are operating on very limited funds so anything gourmet is out of the question unless they’re using their own money to make it happen. Your community can find a way to pool money together to purchase a gourmet machine to your favorite organization and give the people that work there something that makes them feel appreciated and lets them do more without spending more. This holiday season, when you’re deciding on gifts for friends and family, consider including your local non-profit in your list and see if others are willing to donate a little bit to give them the gift of beautiful coffee. You’d be surprised what a little treat can do for them all year round!
The Perfect Cup
When you wake up in the morning, what aromas do wish you could smell before you even walked into the kitchen? Rich coffee, fresh foamed milk, just the right taste waiting for you and all you had to do was set a timer via an application on your smartphone. This is the way smart home setups are making our dreams come true and you don’t need to spend tons of money redoing your entire home to get the benefits. A fully automatic home machine and a smart outlet are all you need to have the perfect cup of coffee waiting for you when you wake up in the morning.
- Explore Your Options
The idea of starting your coffee maker automatically on a timer every morning has been around for a very long time. It’s not a new idea but the advances that have been made allow you to have more than just a cup of coffee. Fully automatic machines can give you cappuccino, lattes, and other gourmet options that a regular coffee maker can’t. Smart home technology is still fairly new but smart outlets are low cost options that let you plug in any appliance and control how and when it is operated via Bluetooth. The advantage there is that even if you forget to set a timer, you can still start the coffee maker from your bed when you wake up in the morning. Finding out if your home machine is compatible with these devices is as easy as looking into the user manual and making a couple of inquiries with the smart outlet manufacturer you’re looking into. Learn which devices and appliances work together and in no time you’ll be on the way to including a machine that starts your gourmet beverage before you get out of bed.
- The Decision to Change
Have you made the decision to hop on the smart home bandwagon or are you in deliberation? If you’re still wondering, it’s a good idea to look into how your fully automatic coffee maker will fit into your new smart home setup. Does the coffee make you have now work with what you’d like to do or will you need a new one? Making the decision to change your home is not a simple one even if the decision is to simplify the way your home works. Consider the machines you use, how you use them, and if this is viable option before you go changing everything. A fully automatic home machine might be all you need to update your kitchen instead of introducing it to a system you can run remotely.
- Do the Research
Your home machine has to work for you at the end of the day, whether it’s hooked up to your smart home system or not. Consider the types of drinks you like to make and if a fully automatic machine is really right for you at all. If you’re looking to upgrade your machine, you may want to move to something that gives you gourmet drinks that an automatic option can’t provide. Look into all the machines available to you and learn about what their functions are before you make your decision. You want something that will deliver the beautiful coffee you love and that is worth a few extra steps if that’s what you have to do.
- Consult Friends
If you’re thinking about adding a fully automatic home machine to your smart home setup, it’s likely you got the idea from someone you know. Ask them about how they made the switch and what pros and cons they’ve encountered about their smart home. You’ll gain valuable information about how to convert your own home and incorporate your coffee maker into the setup and learn to avoid mistakes that will make the changes more difficult. A little bit of input can go a very long way so don’t discount the opinions and experiences of others. Find as many stories as you can from real people who have tried the same thing you’re looking to do.
- Talk to Professionals
After you’ve done your research and gathered your testimonials, you’ll know what to ask a professional that might help you set up your smart home. This gives you the know how you need to incorporate your fully automatic home machine so that your coffee desires are not overlooked during your smart home transformation. As you learn and gather information, make up your own designs about how you want your home to work and what you expect out of the coffee maker you’ll be using within the new setup. Cleaning and maintenance must also be considered with all machines involved. Make sure you’ll be able to remove your coffee maker to clean and maintain it properly so you’ll be able to enjoy gourmet beverages at the touch of a button or even through the application that runs your smart home for many years to come.
Add Your Own Style
A smart home setup brings more convenience to everything you do in your house, including using your home machine but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice any of your personal style. As you convert your home to this new technology, make sure you get to add personal touches that make the house yours. Conversion to a new technology is an opportunity to update the styles in each room and create something that blends modern applications with the things you love. Look through magazines and online photos to find different styles you enjoy and put them together with what you already have and what you plan to add. You’ll end up with a home that is not only more convenient but also beautifully designed in all the ways that make you happy.
A Profound Love of Coffee
You have to really love the art of brewing and coffee itself to want to know what it’s made up of but if you do and if you’re a true enthusiast, then this exploration can open up all kinds of new avenues for you and your espresso machine. When you learn about how coffee behaves chemically with other substances, you can make new beverages and better versions of the ones you already enjoy. Not only will the taste be something different, but the presentation and effect on your energy can also be exponentially improved with this knowledge.
- The Basics
Do a little experimentation with the ingredients you already have. Pull a shot from your espresso machine and take note of how it looks when it pours, how fluid the stream is into the cup, and what kind of density it has when it’s done brewing. Use a glass mug and you’ll be able to see what sugar looks like when it’s added and the clouds that form from different kinds of milk. Let yourself get particular about these details and learn from them. Knowing how each ingredient reacts will show you how you layer, mix, and flavor your beverages to create better ones.
- Steamers and Milk
Milk steamers go hand in hand with your espresso machine because steamed milk is so often added to espresso. Using the steamer wands on your own machine can be tricky, requiring a lot of trial and error, but if you explore how the process happens a little bit further, you might be able to do it yourself with more flourish. It’s a pretty simple concept that’s precise and so that makes it a little more difficult to do right. Hot air is added to the milk, bringing it to a state that’s part steam and part solid. If you add too much or at too high a temperature, it will cook but if you don’t add enough, the milk will remain thin. Start with very cold milk in a cold cup and you’ll see how much faster and easier it is to get the consistency you desire with flawless moves every time.
Different sweeteners will mix with your beverages in different ways depending on what they’re made up of and the temperature of the beverage to which you add them. You’ll notice that granulated sugars and other sweeteners don’t mix well in cold beverages and some taste strange when mixed into hot beverages. If the sweetener you normally use isn’t mixing well, try adding it to your beverage at a different temperature. For instance, you could try mixing sugar into your espresso before adding milk or sweeten coffee before mixing it up with ice. There are more complicate ways to explore this avenue, like using liquid stevia or agave syrup after pulling a shot from your espresso machine. If you’ve never tried these options, though, be prepared for something you may not like. Don’t give up after one taste. The mixture may need some other additions before it’s exactly the way you like it.
Grinders play a big role in your espresso machine’s finished product and they’re the first step in getting the best brew. Many people neglect the way the portafilter is packed and that can be the first and biggest mistake when making an espresso drink. Burr grinders deliver a particle that is uniform and will pack into the portafilter more closely. The grounds won’t have little spaces that allow air and water to flow through without going through grounds first, which gives you an espresso shot that is richer and has a fuller flavor profile than if you used grounds from a blade grinder. Try it and you’ll see the difference on the first brew!
An espresso machine is a precise piece of equipment in itself. Every part of it works together to put perfectly pressurized and heated water through grounds and into your cup. If the machine is not top notch, one of these components may not work as it should and you’ll get a sub par shot instead of what you expect. In addition to purchasing a professional quality machine, always make sure that the parts are cleaned and well maintained. You can consult the user manual for this or call customer service. The manufacturer’s website may also have videos, tutorials, or an extra help section that will give you step-by-step instructions about how to get the most out of your machine. It’s not enough for the equipment to look good. The shiny machine you bought on sale at the local big box store might look beautiful but that doesn’t mean it works well. Do your research and find out about the parts and use before you decide on which machine will grace your kitchen counter. This is important to the rest of the chemistry of your brew because if you’re pulling a shot that’s not good to start off with, you’ll be working off a base that doesn’t work.
Share and Listen
These are just a few tips about the chemistry of your brew and how to use it to get the best beverage from your espresso machine. The real chemistry is a lot more complicated and, frankly, only of interest to the most enthusiastic. That’s not to say that it won’t be of interest to you or your friends. Share what you learn using social media, photos, and videos. Use tags and other tools to try and find others who are exploring coffee the same ways that you are and they’ll be able to learn from you and teach at the same time. You may be surprised about what and who you’ll find!
If you’re a parent, you know all about the energy it takes to care for children on a daily basis. Now imagine you multiplied the amount of children you were looking after by about fifteen. In most cases, this is what teachers are dealing with all the time and many of them do not have the benefit of a good cup of coffee in the teacher’s lounge. If there is free coffee, it’s often from a regular coffee pot that the teachers have to provide grounds for themselves. Adding a cappuccino machine to the teacher’s lounge could give the teachers that work there more motivation and energy to stay positive and focused as they teach throughout the day.
- A Redesign Opportunity
The consideration to add a cappuccino machine to the teacher’s lounge could also be an opportunity to redesign things in order to fit in the new appliance. Check the kitchen area for space and make sure there’s enough room to safely connect to a power source, clean the parts, and put together cappuccino drinks with extras. Take some time to brighten up the room in other ways. You can add a coat of paint in a cheery color, put up some wall art, or otherwise brighten up the area. Your teachers will be amazed by the changes and feel appreciated by the effort.
- Fueling Education
Aside from a little extra pep in their step, a good cup of coffee can be the fuel your teachers need to do better no matter what time of day it is. Teachers have the woeful job of getting kids to start learning as soon as they walk in the room at the early morning hours when school starts. Kids shouldn’t have a peak learning time just before or after lunch or at any other time of the day. They should be able to get motivated every minute that they’re in class. A cappuccino machine in the teacher’s lounge can be exactly the thing your teachers need to fuel education and keep their own energy up as they’re showing their kids to do the same.
- Time Constraints
Of course, not every teacher may be able to make it to the teacher’s lounge whenever they’re starting to feel a little tired during the day. Everyone’s thresh hold for caffeine is different and that’s why pod machines in the classroom for teachers could also be beneficial. If some teachers have particularly busy class schedules or like to do extra work when they’re kids are not around between classes, they could be allowed to bring a pod machine to their classroom for on demand coffee that they never have to leave the room to enjoy.
- Higher Education
College professors often have the benefit of high-end coffee shops or access to coffee carts on campus but they still have to pay for their premium beverage. A cappuccino machine in the lounge or pod machines in their offices or classrooms could be an excellent way to show appreciation and keep them teaching at the level to which all of their students are accustomed. Give them premium fuel for motivation and every lecture could be one that each student is hanging on the edge of their seats to hear.
- Solving The Student Dilemma
Many schools have done away with offering coffee for teachers in the cafeteria or premium coffee beverages at the school bookstore for fear that students will also have access to caffeine they shouldn’t be drinking. When you put the cappuccino machine in the teacher’s lounge instead of somewhere more accessible to students, you’re solving this dilemma and still giving teachers the coffee they want without making them have to leave the building on their lunch breaks.
- Environmental Effects
If teachers need to go to a café to get a latte or cappuccino, it’s a very likely chance they’ll be bringing that drink back in a paper cup that will later be thrown away. Reduce the waste in your school when you provide a cappuccino machine in the teacher’s lounge that teachers can use with ceramic mugs instead. The mugs can be washed at the sink and reused so there is less going into the trash without sacrificing their coffee breaks.
- Encouraging Teamwork
In order to keep the teacher’s lounge cappuccino machine up and running properly, the teachers that use it will have to work together to make sure that it’s cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. Encourage a schedule that switches the job off in a cycle so that everyone has to share the job of cleaning up and maintaining the machine. A regular coffee machine may not be that encouraging to clean since they’re cheap and easily acquired if they go into disrepair. A high-end cappuccino machine is much more difficult to replace and they’ll be happy to work together to make sure that occurrence never happens.
Give the Gift of Beautiful Coffee
After you’ve reviewed the benefits and made the decision to add a cappuccino machine to your teacher’s lounge, you’ll have to start researching the different models and price them out. Don’t go with a cheap machine that is sure to break. Instead, give your teachers a gift they’ll truly appreciate. If you know that parents or other school supporters are planning to get a gift for the teachers at a holiday time or end of the year, consider asking them to pool their money for a new machine that the entire staff will enjoy. The cost does not have to be daunting and the benefits will far outweigh what you spend. When teachers are motivated, students will learn better and their parents will be much happier. This is a gift that will benefit more than just the staff, so make sure that it’s one that will last.
Aside from espresso actually perking up your employees, there are several other benefits to introducing a new espresso machine to your office at this time of year. The weather is getting colder and storms are rolling in. The days are shorter and the nights come faster. These are all factors that contribute to lowered morale in the office. No one wants to make a trip to the local café when there’s torrential rain pouring down along with cold winds. Instead of your employees and partners having to do without their afternoon (or morning or evening) pickup, introduce a solution that means they don’t have to leave the building.
- No Gaps in Productivity
When people have to go without their coffee, it can be more than an inconvenience for them. Working in an office often creates a routine for everyone involved and when that routine is interrupted, their whole day can feel wrong. An office espresso machine stops these gaps in productivity from happening whether it’s raining out, the line at the local coffee shop was too long, or people are simply running late. They’ll never have to give up this part of their routine because the espresso they want will be right there in the office when they arrive.
- Aesthetic Appeal
The old coffee maker in the break room might be sputtering and a little decrepit with all the use it takes to keep every employee happily caffeinated. Set up a whole new beverage station with a shiny espresso machine as the focal point. A simple tablecloth under the machine and a couple of stylish containers for extras close by will complete the station and make it look as good as the coffee that comes from it will taste.
- Encourage Creativity
Any new addition to the office can spur creativity but an espresso machine is an excellent incentive to encourage even more. Example: give out tickets for specialty additions or for permission to use the espresso machine at all. When an employee provides exemplary support, they can get extra tickets. There are other games you can play along this line like a voting box for a “drink of the week” where people can try to come up with new recipes that everyone will enjoy or getting the biggest coffee enthusiasts of the office together to choose new beans for the machine each month. These little ideas and games give people something extra to look forward to at the office and gives them a reason to use critical thinking skills that will benefit them in other areas of their work.
- Positive Reinforcement
Your office espresso machine will need to be cleaned and maintained. You can create a schedule that gives the job to a new person each week. The person before him or her will have to show them how to do it and people will have to hold themselves accountable for getting the job done. Provide positive reinforcement to the person who does this job every week by letting them leave an hour early on the Friday they’re in charge of cleaning and maintenance or some other recognition. This gives employees a job to do that benefits everyone else and a reason to support each other for doing it.
- Benefits for the Non-Coffee Drinkers
An espresso machine in the office is still beneficial for those who don’t drink coffee, especially in these increasingly cold weather months. These people can use the hot water spout to instantly have hot water for tea or hot chocolate. They can also enjoy the use of the milk steamers on the machine for tea lattes or a delicious topping to other hot beverages. They may not want the perks of caffeine but they’ll still be happy to have the means to warm up after coming in from the cold.
- Benefits for Clients
Your employees aren’t the only ones who are dealing with cold and storms as the season turns. Comfort your clients when they come to your office for meetings and give them a happy surprise that makes their day a little better. Instead of having to talk to clients agitated by the difficulties that come with cold and rain, you’ll be talking to clients who are made content by the hospitality your office will provide. Not only will they leave feeling good about their time spent with you but they’ll likely tell friends and acquaintances about their experience, which brings you even more business.
- Late Night Coffee
In this day and age, it’s a frequent occurrence to stay in the office after hours, especially for senior staff or while working on big projects. Make these late nights a lot better with an espresso machine to keep you feeling refreshed as you work. You’ll get more done and possible even leave a lot earlier than you imagined you would and even if you don’t, you’ll never have to worry about the local coffee shop being closed when you need a pick-me-up.
Invest in Espresso
Your research when deciding on the right espresso machine for the office might make you wonder if the expense is actually worth it. Take a moment to understand how much time is lost when people leave the office to get coffee from the local shop, how much is spent on office latte runs if you’re the one picking up the tab, and how much productivity is lost when there’s no time to make these trips at all. If you’re not willing to take the time and extra expense to clean and maintain the machine, a fully automatic model might make this decision a little easier. Either way, the positives are likely to outweigh the costs and your employees, partners, and clients will thank you for investing in espresso.
The kitchen is often considered the hearth of the home, where we entertain and serve our guests. This is not the only place we can entertain, though, and as you get older, remodel, and see that you have more space, you can learn how to decorate in ways that make entertaining simpler and adds more flair. One of the ways you can accomplish this is to add a cappuccino machine to the home bar setup or entertainment area in your home.
- Your Personal Love of Coffee
Don’t purchase a cappuccino machine for your home bar setup just to impress friends and family that you entertain. Your own personal love of coffee should be one of your reasons for adding a home machine so that you can use it all the time and not just when you have guests. If you already have a machine in your kitchen, you can still use your new machine for a fun night in or as a backup to the machine in your kitchen.
- Choosing Your New Machine
Your home bar setup can be creative, eclectic, nostalgic, or very simple. This choice is all up to you, the space you have, and the money you’re willing to spend to create your home bar setup. If coffee is your ultimate love within this endeavor, center the decoration around your new machine. Consider how often you’ll be using it and what kinds of drinks you want to make. If you’re planning to use your machine heavily, an industrial model might make sense but if the machine in your home bar setup won’t see a lot of traffic, a fully automatic model makes more sense. Think about how you’d like to use your machine before you begin searching for the perfect one.
- Design Your Space
A separate room is not necessary to create a home bar setup where you can entertain. If there is space in your living room, parlor, or dining room, you can add the components that make up a home bar and then add your cappuccino machine to complete the picture. The important parts of the setup will include a long table where you can set up drinks, electrical outlets to plug in appliances like your home machine or a blender, and a spot for extras like cocktail napkins, toothpicks, garnishes, and other things. The rest depends on the space you have and how much money you’re willing to spend. An entire room for entertaining could give you the opportunity to add in accent table or a real bar with stools and a larger space in the dining room can mean you get to add a mini fridge or racks for specialty glasses. Whatever you decide to do, make this space yours. Your guests will feel at home and they’ll love the personal touches you add that show them a little more about you.
- Don’t Neglect Safety
It’s fun to entertain at home and even more fun to do so in your own home bar setup, but don’t forget to keep things safe! The appliances you use should have adequate space and you should make sure that all chords are neat and orderly. You may have liquids splash or spill and people who aren’t that careful around the bar when they get excited and these things should be considered while you’re creating your design. You don’t have to sacrifice style for safety. Try hiding chords behind the bar or tape them to the leg of a table and the floor on the way to their outlets. Use a spill mat at the place you’ll prepare drinks to avoid liquids ending up on the floor. When you take these things into consideration before you install permanent fixtures, you won’t have to worry about remodeling later. A little thought will go a long way.
- Use a Theme
The home machine that you choose can go with a theme for your home bar setup or other entertainment area. The color schemes and decorations you decide on can enhance the sleek and shiny machine that tops off the beverage statement in your home bar. Try adding a chalkboard to the wall behind the bar where you write specials for the event or framing pictures of past events you’ve hosted using your setup. Not only will this add to the décor but it will also remind your friends and family of the fun times they’ve had with you and the times to come.
- Ask For Help
The choices you’ll encounter when designing your home bar setup and deciding on a cappuccino machine or other home machine can become overwhelming. This does not have to be a problem. Ask a friend who’s created a setup before to help you make decisions or give you a second opinion on what you’re thinking about. Utilize social media tools to get ideas about your own home bar setup or entertainment area. You can put the question out there or look up pictures of what other people did. Either way, the end result should be about what you love and the opinions and ideas you get from others can spark your imagination.
Maintain Your Setup
Of course, you’ll clean the counters and make sure that the extras and glassware in your home bar setup are organized and well maintained, but you should also be doing the same for your home machine. Whether you decide to keep the machine out on the bar or beverage station or you only take it out when it’s needed, clean it after each use and make sure that the parts are working correctly. Your user manual will have the information you need for your specific machine but if you’re ever confused, don’t hesitate to call customer service. With this regular maintenance, you’ll be able to enjoy your new machine in your home bar setup for several years.