Here at Office Barista, we are constantly reviewing the market for office coffee machines, to make sure that our range continues to provide the best quality, choice and value for your coffee cup, whatever your specific business requirements.
As the Sales Manager, I am frequently asked ’How does this hot drinks machine compare with a Nespresso?', which isn’t surprising given the impressive brand awareness that Nespresso has achieved in the domestic coffee machine market.
The short answer is that our coffee pod machines offer more choice and better value, saving you roughly 50%.
The long answer depends on:
- which of our range we are discussing at the time - as the Nespresso machines are pod-based, we are usually comparing with one of our most popular coffee pod machines - a Keurig K150P, or the Flavia Creation 600
- which of the Nespresso Business Solutions machines we compare with - the range includes the Aguila, Zenius and Gemini CS Pro machines; and
- which factors are most important to that specific customer in choosing their office coffee and tea machine - we tend to come back to the three key factors I mentioned above - quality, choice and value.
I’m not going to dwell on this one for long - from what I have seen of the Nespresso Business Solutions machines, they seem to be of similar quality and offer similar features to their counterparts in the Keurig machine and Flavia ranges that we stock.
On the drinks side, the Nespresso Grand Cru pods offer different blends of arabica and robusta beans. Both the Keurig K Cups and Flavia coffee ranges use 100% arabica beans, which are generally considered better quality. Robusta beans are roughly half the price of arabica beans, so you could argue that the Nespresso capsules include cheaper, lower quality ingredients when compared with Keurig K Cups or Flavia drinks.
Verdict - Too close to call - if I’m honest I quite like the Nespresso drinks so perhaps a touch of robusta shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
This is where it gets interesting. The Nespresso Business machines offer a range of 11 Nespresso pods, including 2 decaf options - but there are no flavoured coffees, no hot chocolate, and no teas.
Up to 40% of the hot drinks consumed in an office will be tea. The great range of teas offered in Keurig K Cups and Flavia Freshpacks are one of the reasons our Keurig and Flavia pod machines sell so well against our bean to cup machines, which like the Nespresso, are very coffee-focussed.
The Keurig K Cups range includes Barista Prima coffees, a Green Mountain French Vanilla, and an excellent Barista Prima decaf. There are also Twinings tea K Cups, and a hot chocolate option.
In the Flavia drinks range, you have all of your favourite Lavazza coffees including Qualita rossa, Qualita Oro, Espresso Italiano and Crema E Gusto. When you are in need of a treat you can have a delicious Cadbury's hot chocolate. Teas are from the Bright Tea Co which includes green and herbal teas! The Nespresso cant do that.
Where the new Flavia Creation 600 really shines is its ability to make your barista favourites. With its fresh milk frother it can froth any milk you choose, including non dairy, all in cup so there is no mess or need to clean mill tubes.
Out of fresh milk but want a cappuccino, latte, flat white or mocha in your coffee cup? Keep the new Flavia Indulgence sachets on hand to enjoy now using only one sachet! If you are a Flavia traditionalist and prefer the two pack Real Milk Froth don't worry.....its still available.
Verdict - Tea’s too important to ignore - in my opinion, the lack of any tea or chocolate options in Nespresso pods is one of the areas that highlights that this is essentially a domestic system that has been adapted for the workplace, as opposed to a coffee machine designed for the office, like the Keurig and Flavia machines. I always caution buyers to think twice about putting in a ‘hot drinks machine’ that still sees 40% of staff and visitors waiting for the kettle to boil, and leaving their tea-bags on the side of the sink.
At the end of the day, all of our buyers are up against the bottom line - you want to provide high quality hot drinks for staff and visitors, but you need to ensure you are getting the best possible value.
As with the hot drinks machines we sell, Nespresso Aguila, Zenius and Gemini CS Pro machines are available under a variety of purchase models.
For simplicity, I’ll assume you are buying the machine outright in which case the prices are likely to be as follows:
|Drink Size (Max)
|Grams of Coffee
|Price / Gram
|Price / Cup (220ml)
|Keurig K Cup
As you can see, whilst the headline price for a Nespresso pod is competitive, once you take into account the smaller amount of coffee in the pod, and the fact that the largest drink is only 110ml, it quickly gets expensive:
- The reality is that hardly anybody considers 110ml ‘a drink’.
- The smallest drink sold in a high street cafe is usually 240ml, with a ‘regular’ coming in at 360ml.
- If you put a Nespresso machine in your office, your staff will probably use at least 2 pods each time.
- 2 Nespresso pods is still only 220ml - at a cup cost of 58p.
- This compares very badly to a 360ml mug of Keurig at 32p or 266ml of Flavia coffee at 33p.
- To get close to the Keurig serving, and fill up their favourite mug, staff may even use 3 Nespresso pods at a cost to you of 87p!
If you take into account the prices that Nespresso charge for ancilliaries such as paper cups, milk, sugar and stirrers, the price differential is likely to be even greater.
Verdict: Nespresso is likely to cost you roughly twice the price of Keurig coffee machines or Flavia. If you prefer to pay a more competitive price for your office hot drinks, and offer your staff and guests a wider choice of coffees, teas and hot chocolate, please do get in touch to discuss the best alternatives to Nespresso and Lavazza Coffee bean to cup coffee machines or ask about our easy coffee machine hire and leasing options!
All the best,
Business Development Manager
* We are an authorised Keurig UK distributor