With the UK coffee industry currently booming, commercial coffee machines are a highly sought after investment for many different business sectors. Whether a serviced or self-service environment, there is a commercial coffee machine to suit all requirements, the difficult part is knowing which one to choose. Nowadays the focus is very much on bean to cup – machines which deliver quality freshly ground coffee from whole beans, in seconds. Compact, quick, convenient and consistent, easy to operate and simple to maintain, they are the obvious choice for many companies. A stumbling block when selecting a commercial coffee machine for your business however, is whether to go the fresh milk or powdered milk route. In this post we look at the pros and cons of both variations to enable you to make an informed decision.
Fresh milk combined with high quality, well-extracted espresso produces an exceptional quality drink; of that there is no doubt. The taste is, in most coffee connoisseur’s opinions, unbeatable. However, when running a business you have to be critical of all aspects to ensure you make the right investment to ultimately boost your margins. We’ve established that fresh milk provides great flavour however there are other elements to consider such as cost per cup, storage, wastage and hygiene.
A litre of milk will make around four 12oz lattes or cappuccinos. An average litre is priced at £1.00, which equates to 25p per serving for milk alone.
Storage can also be an issue with fresh milk; serving 100 drinks per day would require 25 litres, 250 drinks would use around 62.5 litres. This can be an issue for businesses with limited space, for example small cafes and delicatessens who don’t have the luxury of walk-in fridges. Wastage should also be considered. Throwing away litres of milk at the end of each week will have an adverse effect on your profits.
Rigorous cleaning of fresh milk machines is essential to maintain professional hygiene standards. All parts that come into contact with milk must be stripped and sterilised daily, using a specially formulated cleaning fluid. High-end machines will have automatic cleaning cycles however a certain level of stripping down and sanitising will still be required. Daily cleaning takes anywhere between 20-30 minutes and is imperative to ensure smooth operation of the equipment.
There has been a vast improvement in powdered milk products in recent years. The introduction of granulated skimmed milk has seen ‘creamer’ and ‘whitener’ fast become a thing of the past. Coupled with a good coffee machine, the granulated product provides thick velvety milk with exceptional flavour. It’s the closest thing to fresh milk you’re going to get. Added benefits are that it’s less than 1% fat, contains no additives or preservatives and is lactose free.
A 500g sachet of granulated skimmed milk yields around thirty-three 12oz drinks. The average 500g sachet costs around £4.20, which equates to only 12p per serving, less than half the cost per cup of fresh milk.
A case of granulated skimmed milk is simple to store, contains ten 500g sachets and yields approximately 330 drinks. To make the equivalent amount using fresh milk, around 82.5 litres would be required.
There is zero wastage associated with granulated milk products as they have an average shelf life of 18 months.
Equipment cleaning time is greatly reduced when using granulated products. A daily clean, usually taking around five minutes, is required at the end of each day. A longer cycle is required once each week to clean the brewer unit, taking approximately ten minutes.
In conclusion, fresh milk provides the ultimate taste but is not without its cons in terms of storage, wastage and hygiene. Granulated milk products cost less than half per serving of their fresh counter part, are simple to store, have a generous shelf life and reduce cleaning times considerably. The final decision is of course, up to you.
At rijo42, we have a great range of fresh milk and powdered milk commercial coffee machines. To book a free demonstration please call free on 0800 023 4242 or email [email protected].