Why the Coffee at Your Office Tastes Like Mud
Coffee—it’s what keeps us running during the workday. When you head out the door in the morning, your first cup of coffee might be the only thing keeping you from falling asleep at the wheel.
Ahhh, sweet black liquid gold. 62% of Americans drink coffee every day, and those that do consume about 3 cups.
If you dumped all the coffee Americans drink into a hole the depth of an Olympic-size swimming pool, you’d need a pool the size of Montana to hold all the coffee Americans drink yearly.
Okay, we totally made that up. Point is, Americans drink a lot of coffee.
Which brings us to the million-dollar question: if Americans drink so much coffee, why does office coffee seem sub-standard? Travel to most offices across the United States, and you’ll find a break room. Now, go into that break room, find the coffee machine, and pour yourself a Styrofoam cup of Joe.
Why is office coffee so bad? Some of it has to do with bad office coffee service supplies. That is, the beans, the coffee machine, and the cleanup and maintenance that comes with brewing consistently good coffee.
Coffee isn’t that complicated, folks. It’s just beans and water. Yet we at GOS find ourselves fighting a constant battle against bad office coffee.
The 5 Reasons Your Office Coffee is Terrible and What You Can Do About It
1. Bad Beans, Man
Behind every great man is an even greater woman. Behind every great cup of coffee are even greater beans.
There are two types of coffee beans: commodity beans and specialty beans. Commodity beans are the type you buy when you don’t care.
Specialty beans on the other hand are the good stuff. They are the select varieties with names you likely recognize: Starbucks, Peet’s, Coffee Bean, etc. They are more expensive because coffee beans aren’t cheap.
GOS produces its own brand of specialty-bean coffee. We sell our specialty beans as part of our coffee service for the office and through our online store.
For too many businesses, buying coffee beans is just another line item to add to the list of pens, pencils, and copy paper your office manager orders on a monthly basis.
But buying low-grade beans results in terrible coffee. If you want better quality coffee for the office, you’re going to need to invest in some better beans.
2. That Wimpy Coffee Maker Will Ruin Your Life
When Mr. Coffee first appeared in the 1970s, the masses were enthralled. Even baseball great Joe DiMaggio was excited about the possibility of ditching the percolator.
What the Yankee Clipper failed to realize is that automatic coffee makers meant a race to the bottom for the cheapest model.
Today, you can pick up an automatic coffeemaker for $20 at Amazon or your nearest big box store.
The problem with a cheap coffee brewer is that they don’t heat the water enough to extract the full flavor from the grounds. Instead, you end up with a luke-warm, yucky cup of coffee with grounds at the bottom.
Investing in a commercial coffee service means investing in a commercial-grade coffee maker.
3. Your Coworkers Are Filthy Monsters Who Refuse to Clean Up After Themselves
Okay, okay, we’re sure your coworkers are not filthy monsters, but when’s the last time you saw one of them cleaning out the break room microwave?
Unless you have the best cleaning crew around, it’s very unlikely that your break room appliances are getting much love in the cleaning department.
It’s difficult enough to get employees to throw away the pizza that’s been sitting in your refrigerator for the past three months. Now try to get them to clean the coffee maker.
If you’re lucky, a helpful employee might swirl some water and dish soap around in the bottom of your office coffee pot every full moon, but don’t count on it.
Even Keurigs need to be cleaned regularly. And while we’re on the subject of Keurigs, we understand the temptation, but we caution against it. Keurig coffee is weaker in flavor and caffeine content than your standard cup of coffee.
(We had to bold that last point because so many offices are making the mistake of turning to Keurig to solve their coffee woes.)
When your coffee machine isn’t cleaned properly and regularly, the leftover residue just settles on the bottom, making for one terrible cup of Joe.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to lay down the coin for an office coffee service to clean and maintain the coffee makers they install, your brew will truly be good to the last drop.
4. How Long Has That Coffee Been in the Pot?
When you go to a restaurant and order a cup of coffee, your waiter might tell you that they’re going to brew a fresh pot. Why?
Coffee tastes best right after it’s been brewed. We’re not talking about an hour after brewing. 15 minutes is the optimal amount of time for coffee to sit in the pot. This is when the aromas and flavors are at peak performance.
But wait, why do I care how my coffee smells? Because half of the taste is the smell.
Think back to your last cold. Food didn’t taste as good when you were congested, right? The same principle applies here.
When your office coffee pot has been camped on the warming plate for hours, the aromas and flavors vanish. Typically, someone at the office brews one pot of coffee in the morning, and it sits out all day.
Here’s the equation: less aromas = less flavor = bad coffee.
5. A Three-Word Profanity: Fake, Powdered Milk
Two more curse words: non-dairy creamer. Okay, two more: “sodium caseinate.” Sodium caseinate is an ingredient in non-dairy creamer. Yum!
At GOS, we cannot abide with offices using creamer substitutes. You want the real thing. When you invest in a commercial coffee service (we’ve convinced you by now, right?) your employees will never again be subjected to dairy substitutes.
Look, we get it. Milk spoils. Creamer substitutes can sit by your office coffee maker for months without going bad.
Toward a Better Cup of Coffee
Here are the tips for brewing a better cup of coffee in the office once again:
- Buy better beans
- Invest in a quality coffee maker
- Clean your coffee pot
- Throw out old coffee (you won’t hurt its feelings)
- Buy some good old-fashioned dairy creamer
The best advice we might give is to invest in a commercial coffee service (or at the very least, a company with better office coffee service supplies).