In this article, we compare up-to-date coffee machines and ingredients, to give you guidance on bean-to-cup fresh milk or powdered milk coffee machines.
A Bit Of Background
As the standards of coffee served in cafes and hotels has increased in recent years, so has that within offices and businesses. The abundant availability of push button coffee machines of all shapes and sizes is great news for productivity and for coffee lovers but how can you navigate the multiple options out there?
Among the fundamental questions that come up is: ‘I want a coffee bean machine that offers cappuccino and caffe latte, but should I go for a powder milk or fresh milk one?’
So just what are the factors that have influence over this decision? Please read on for some of the facts and ins and outs of which type of coffee machine is best for you.
The Drink Costs Compared
With speciality coffees like flat white, caffe latte, and cappuccino made in a push button bean-to-cup coffee machine, there is the coffee cost as a constant and the milk element being as shown below:
- Coffee beans cost assuming Crema coffee beans: 9.1p – for 7g of coffee
- Cost of powdered granulated Mook milk: 19p approx.
- Cost of fresh milk semi-skimmed @ 43p/litre: 10.8p approx.
From our research we can say that using a top-quality freeze-dried granulated powdered milk the total cost of a cappuccino is around 28p and with fresh semi-skimmed milk it would be 20p per cup.
There are lower cost powdered milks and cappuccino topping products that are typically around 70% dried milk plus whey powder. For the sake of this costing with a 250ml / 9oz cup we have used a premium powder milk called Mook that will give a good taste comparison to fresh milk.
Coffee Machine Cleaning
Are the fresh milk frothers on automatic bean to cup coffee machines harder to clean than the whipper bowls and milk or chocolate tubes on powdered milk bean-to-cup coffee machines?
In the overall probably yes.
With any milk, hygiene is vitally important, but more so with fresh milk than powdered milk and the comparatively small venturi parts in many fresh milk frothers soon won’t give the desired foaming and texturing if they are less than clean.
There are such a variety of bean-to-cup coffee machines that this is not easy to pin down as on the more expensive models – for example on the Franke A600 FM EasyClean bean-to-cup machine – there is a fully integrated fresh milk cleaning system where you just follow on-screen instructions.
This isn’t hard to do but then this is a high specification heavy duty Swiss coffee machine for serving up to 300 cups per day of speciality coffees, with a price to match. With lower-cost coffee machines, the fresh milk foamer cleaning involves more components being dismounted and cleaned.
It is important though to note that, with powdered milk bean-to-cup coffee machines like the Necta Krea Touch, cleaning is important and still involves taking out and rinsing whipper bowls and pipes as you can see in this Necta coffee machine cleaning video:
So – to get decent caffe latte or cappuccino from an office coffee machine you still have some cleaning to do and in the overall a little less with a powdered milk coffee machine.
Space For Storage Of Ingredients
This can be a considerable factor with storage and worktop space being important factors in offices. A fresh milk coffee machine will often be on a wider footprint due to needing a milk fridge on one side.
Obviously, you will not need a fridge to store powdered milk and if the coffee machine with fresh milk becomes popular you need a lot of fridge space to keep up! Overall, coffee machines like the Necta Koro Max will take up less space on the worktop and need less space for the milk and coffee beans storage.
Consider also that many powder milk coffee machines also have hot chocolate so there is another ingredient to store in the equation for which you must find cupboard space.
Convenience And Shelf Life
By its nature, fresh semi-skimmed milk must be bought in regularly and has a short shelf life, whereas freeze-dried powdered milk with perhaps a year of shelf life can be a monthly purchase.
This is undoubtedly a plus for the powdered milk class of coffee machines.
Taste Of The Drinks
Fresh milk wins here, the true taste of a caffe latte or flat white made by a Jura Giga, Gaggia La Radiosa, or Franke A300 is unmistakeable!
But granulated milks do now make drink taste a close call.
Impressive achievements in freeze-drying technology with vending and baby’s formula milk mean that products like Mook at in fact now made from 100% skimmed milk and the taste is great.
Although not quite as good as a drink made with fresh milk we think.
Powdered milk has come a very long way in recent years with breakthroughs in manufacture helping greatly in taste quality and performance, making it a great option to consider.
Manufacturers of fresh milk coffee machines have of course not been idle! In the past decade milk cleaning has become generally easier, the drinks hotter, and the quality more consistent.
It’s probably best to visit one of our coffee machines showrooms to fully appreciate the differences in performance, dimensions, cleaning process, and taste; why not call on 01324 617618 to discuss your needs or arrange a WhatsApp video call demonstration?