Coffee Vending Machines

Sometimes traditional coffee brewing methods just won’t cut it at your place of business. If you’re dealing with a large number of people, inadequate facilities, diverse tastes, and a budget that doesn’t allow for providing free coffee to everyone, consider a coffee vending machine. These machines offer ease of use with no (or very little) cleaning or maintenance on your part, while providing multiple beverage choices for consumers. These machines are intended for large groups of people. Vendors offering these machines to companies will help you figure out your needs and work with you on a proper refill schedule that keeps the machine stocked and ready to go, no matter how many employees or customers are working their way through your premises.

The Skinny on Coffee Vending Machines

What should you know about coffee vending machines? Typically, these machines can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars, if you’re looking to purchase the machine and stock it on your own. You can also rent a machine and have it stocked through a vendor. Many of these machines need to be plugged into a water supply line in order to operate, so your machine will need to be located near a water line. (A vendor will assist you with this process.)
If you’re looking for a machine to speed up the coffee-making process with less effort on your part, these machines, which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and features, can be a great way to serve large groups of people and provide quality coffee. A variety of choices won’t hurt either! Vending machine drink options can include:

  • Coffee.
  • Espresso beverages including with lattes, espressos and cappuccinos.
  • Tea.
  • Hot chocolate.
  • Soups.


Types of Coffee Vending Machines

Let’s take a look at some of the vending machine varieties available:


We’ve all seen these large machines located in and around hospitals, plants, schools and reception halls. Simply insert your cash in the machine and get a hot, ready-to-drink coffee in a location where there may not be a nearby coffee shop. Add cream, sugar and a straw and–voila!–piping hot coffee to go.
Due to their sheer size and versatility, freestanding machines can usually make a variety of hot drinks: hot chocolate, coffee and sometimes even soups and more. They are able to handle even the most high-traffic areas and offer a large number of drinks for consumers.
If you’re interested in buying and stocking the machine yourself, you’ll need hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the initial purchase. Otherwise, you can go through a supplier/vendor that places the machines, restocks and maintains products, completes repairs and more. In many cases, the vendor may work out a deal with you, offering your business a small percentage of profits from the machine (usually between five percent and 15 percent) to entice the business to work with them and not another company. However, usually this kind of deal results in slightly higher prices to the consumer.
In certain instances, high output may lead to slightly lower quality, but as technology progresses, quality is getting better and better. A freestanding vending machine is often the best option in high-traffic locations, like college buildings, hospitals and the like. But, larger corporations and businesses may also be interested in being able to serve a large number of customers or employees in a quick, efficient manner, with little or no hassle on their part.


For many offices, a tabletop model may be a better option, depending upon output needed and space allotted. While there are similarities between tabletop models and freestanding vending machines, there is one major difference: tabletop machines take up much less space. They are viable options for office kitchens, meeting rooms and beyond, as they can provide a variety of choices and space-saving designs. These smaller machines are cost-effective options for businesses and can be a great overall deal for offices looking to simplify the coffee-making process while saving money and space for other endeavors.

In-cup Machines

These machines provide all the ingredients for a piping hot beverage in a cup, ready to drink! Coffee, sugar, milk and other ingredients are all housed within the machine, mixed together and then placed in a cup provided for you. These can be the cheapest options for businesses and tend to work well in an office or business environment, allowing for easy access to coffee by both workers and customers alike, along with the simplicity of having every component in one place.

Bean to Cup Machines

Bean to cup machines offer users the chance to grind whole beans into rich cups of joe. They offer great quality along with ease of use; but, you can expect slightly higher prices in exchange for this higher quality. If you’re looking for top-quality from a vending machine, purchase whole beans from your local roaster. There, you’ll also be able to find the best tips of the trade direct from the source to help you get the best taste from your brew!

Maintenance Considerations

No matter the size of the machine you’re considering, it’s important to think about maintenance. Here are three things to consider:

    Type of Coffee Used and Supplies You May Need

    Sometimes the company offering you a particular machine will be one of the few companies (or even the only company) that offers the particular type of coffee you need to use in that machine. It may actually be difficult or impossible to purchase this coffee elsewhere.
    So, what can you do? Look for a machine that is compatible with a vast array of coffee products. By doing this, you’ll give yourself a bit more leeway in which coffee and products you can purchase, as well as allow for a wider range of potential drinks choices for customers and employees.
    Investing in a coffee vending machine can save you money in the long run–if the circumstances are right. What are the right circumstances? If you have a large facility, many employees and/or customers coming through on a daily basis or employees with eclectic tastes, these coffee vending machines can save time, money and effort while providing quality beverages.