Research suggests that small amounts of caffeine (about one to two cups of coffee worth) aid alertness and mental performance, especially in individuals who are feeling tired. Another study claims that coffee can reduce workplace accidents. And there’s a link between improved memory and caffeine consumption. It seems coffee isn’t just a workplace luxury — it’s a necessity.
Thus, a good coffee maker should be the cornerstone of any office kitchen. Though some may be okay downing copious amounts of mediocre brew, others — like us — want a little more substance in our morning cup of Joe. Ideally, an office coffee machine should brew top-notch coffee without sacrificing quantity and user friendliness. These seven fit that bill.
Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741
Best Drip Machine: Technivorm’s handmade coffee makers not only look fantastic, they also make some of the best drip coffee around (and, impressively, Technivorm is one of only six brewers to be certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America). What’s more, the Moccamaster puts out 10 cups of high-quality coffee in six minutes, so coffee should not be in short supply, even in larger offices. The thermal carafe, though it may be less stylish than the glass version, keeps coffee warm for six hours without scorching it with a hotplate.
Bodum Chambord 51 Ounce
Best French Press: With no paper filter to soak up essential oils from your grind, a French press can brew some pretty flavorful coffee. Furthermore, there’s something to be said about a ritual of pushing down the plunger and seeing your brew steep. With a whopping 51 ounces of capacity, the largest version of Bodum’s classic Chambord press will make plenty of coffee for you and your colleagues without sacrificing the sense of occasion when using a French press.
Chemex Handblown Series 13 Cup
Best Pour-Over: Chemex has more or less become synonymous with the pour-over method. Pour-over coffee is seemingly simple, but inspires honing technique to get the best possible batch. Thus, like the French press, there’s a ritual to it that makes for a great break during the work day. Chemex’s 13-cup handblown pot will make enough coffee to satisfy your drowsy colleagues and you’ll be the hero of the office for making them all one hell of a brew.
Neither the pour-over nor French press methods produce their own hot water, so you’ll need a good kettle. The Breville BKE820XL ($130) is not only large enough to accommodate the needs of the larger-capacity brewers we recommend, it has temperature settings that allow you to under-boil your water — perfect, considering coffee brews best in French presses and pour-over when water is 200 degrees.
Bunn My Cafe MCU
Best K-Cup Machine: Admittedly, we aren’t huge fans of K-Cup coffee, but if catering to a vast amount of officemates’ coffee tastes is important, having the right variety of pod machine is helpful. Keureg’s machines have built a reputation for sub-par quality when faced with heavy usage, but Bunn’s outstanding durability should hold up to regular abuse. The My Cafe MCU will also brew grounds, soft coffee pods and tea, making it one of the most versatile machines out there.
Best Nespresso Machine: Proof that pod coffee doesn’t have to be mediocre, Nespresso machines inject the K-Cup idea through espresso rather than just coffee. The Nespresso VertuoLine is the top-of-the-line machine that makes small shots of espresso as well as large cups of coffee. It also includes a milk frother if you’re into cappuccinos and lattes.
KitchenAide Siphon Brewer
Best Siphon: Siphon brewers are equal parts coffee science and art. Traditional ones look fantastic, but with an open flame and complex pieces of glass, they can be too difficult to use in the office. KitchenAide’s take on the Siphon makes it more accessible, with an electric heating element and a magnetic seal that gives the machine the airtightness it needs to brew, but makes it easy to break down for cleaning.
Rocket Espresso Giotto Evoluzione V2
Best Espresso Machine: If nothing but the best will do for you and your coworkers, take the plunge and get a good espresso machine. Rocket Espresso machines are made in Milan, and not only look fantastic but are top-notch quality. The Giotto Evo V2 has a 2.9-liter tank, but also has the ability to be plumbed directly to your office’s water source. Most notably, the Giotto uses an E61 brew group, which has been heralded in coffee and espresso circles for making incredible shots. The only downside? On top of the already high price, you’ll need to get a grinder, as well.