Seth Mills is MistoBox’s Director of Coffee. He has worked in coffee for over 10 years as a roaster, barista, trainer, coffee educator, and competitor. We’re bringing you “Ask Seth,” his essential tips for common coffee questions from the MistoBox community.
I work at an office where everyone shares a kitchen, and I just can’t take the Keurig anymore! What’s the best way to brew good coffee for our office? Help!
Jon ‘No More Pods’ Peterson
People ask us all of the time the best way to brew coffee for your office. Pod brewers like Keurig and Nespresso machines are certainly convenient, and I’m a fan of convenience for limited space like an office kitchen. These pod style brewers take all of the mess and fuss out of coffee brewing, which is why they are so dang popular. However, in this case, you end up paying a premium to experience that kind of convenience.
There are two major drawbacks to these types of brewers that usually fail to get my seal of approval. The coffee they put in those pods are generally some of the lowest quality coffees around, which means that while it may be super easy to brew, the resulting coffee is never going to taste fantastic. Even though the coffee is on the low end of coffee quality, the price per pod can be incredibly expensive, costing an average of $35 – $55 per pound (and it’s not even the good stuff!).
Another setback to these brewers is the plastic pods used for brewing, which cannot be recycled or reused. Over time this adds up to a catastrophic amount of waste that builds up in landfills and will take millions of years to degrade. It’s true that you can buy the reusable pods for these brewers, but you’ll need your own coffee and grinder anyways, so in my opinion it’s better to buy a great brewer that everyone can share.
Suffice it to say, I’d say ditch the pod brewers and look for alternative solutions for brewing coffee in your office!
If you want to take your coffee to the next level in your office, the name of the game is still finding an easy, convenient solution that isn’t too fussy or too expensive, but still makes really damn tasty coffee. In my experience the best way to do this is to buy a great grinder and all around solid Automatic Drip Brewer. Sure, we could recommend a Chemex brewer or other pourover method, which are great for brewing coffee at home, but this is an office and ain’t nobody got time for that.
There are pretty drastic differences in the quality of equipment out there, so it’s essential to get the right gear that will grind and brew the coffee perfectly every time. For the grinder – grab a Baratza Encore burr grinder. This grinder is affordably priced and will do a great job handling regular use in your office.
As for an office brewer, I highly recommend the Bonavita BV 1900TS. At around $130, this is no more expensive than the entry level pod brewer will cost, and in many cases, much cheaper! I hear you, there are a ton of drip brewers out there that you can grab for $50 or less, so why this brewer? Automatic Drip brewers require good internal components, like a heating element that can get the water hot enough to brew properly and a well designed spray head that makes sure all of the coffee gets saturated during brewing. This brewer has all of those things, plus a no fuss interface that works by simply pressing the button “on” and letting it work it’s magic. This version also has stainless steel lined thermal carafe that will keep the coffee well insulated and hot, another bonus for a busy office.
The last thing your office will need is access to great coffee – but you already know where to find that!
If you have a question about coffee, send your coffee questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Ask Seth.”