A Guide To Industrial-Grade Single Cup Brewers

single cup coffee makerLooking For a Workplace Brewer?

Today we no longer have to relegate the convenience of coffee on demand to our personal domicile. Heck, with as much time as we spend in out “second home” working 9 to 5 it pays to have a good coffeemaker that works as hard as we do! No surprise that K-cup machines are cropping up more in hotels, lounges, colleges, universities and offices to fill this need.

Are you a small business owner looking for a way to pamper your guests, colleagues or co-workers without breaking the bank? Well purchasing a single cup coffeemaker for your venue is one great way to gain a little traction in the “nicety” department. Now it is somewhat of a different ball game than when you are looking for a new brewer for your home, apartment or camper, but I have assembled the best information guide for you to proceed with.

Household Vs Commercial UL Listing

Single-serve coffeemakers, while primarily manufactured for personal and home use, are split into two different camps-the aforementioned home use only, as indicated by the UL Listing included. The models made for public workplaces carry a different “Commercial” grade UL Listing. Ordinarily, you may not be the stickler-for-rules type (I understand) but be aware that Household and Commercial units carry different terms and conditions. If any problems should arise (and you’ve registered your machine) and you are using a home-use-only coffeemaker in a public environment, it could make the terms described in the warranty null and ineffective-so you don’t want to end up down a creek without a paddle. All colorful figures of speech aside, make sure you select a coffeemaker that states in the description that it is UL listed for strictly industrial use only.

Commercial-Grade Brewers Usually Cost More

…But they’re built to last longer!

Here, the maxim “you get what you pay for” may very well be true. Frequent or consistent use among the general public means that commercial coffeemaker units have to be built to last. Heavy duty power cords with three prongs, stronger pumps, and a greater energy output means greater mojo for withstanding daily revolving-door customer action. There’s a certain weight to these machines that have more extra padding; as owners have noted whenever they compare them to their “home-only” models. Sometimes heavy-duty mechanisms can make these machines seem noisier, but not any more so than one’s dishwasher, blender, or hand mixer.

Case in point …some people said that the Keurig K145 Office Pro has some level of vibrational noise. Depending on what type of venue yours is, this may not be that big of an issue.

office coffee machines single cup
The K150 OfficePro can be plumbed directly.

Option to Connect to a Direct Water Line

A number of commercially-approved Keurig brewers also include an option to connect them to a direct water line using a “plumber’s kit” (sold separately, look for the proprietary Keurig brand compatible with your model.) Whether you are receiving municipal, well water or an independently pumped supply, this option does necessitate the use of an external water filter in accordance with the product warranty. Before you proceed, definitely check with your business or company’s building codes as this process does involve some technical skill.

The plumber’s kit described above consists of a direct feed tank that replaces the standard one included with your unit. You would also be in need of ¼” tubing, fittings, and connectors. Using a splitter, you could run the tubing through your refrigerator or ice maker line. If you know, or are a plumber by trade, you’ll be walking in high cotton! This procedure is optional by the way and not necessary for optimal functioning; however, if the industry you’re working in is one with a lot of hustle and bustle such as a restaurant-not having to endlessly refill the water reservoir can be a real boon.

As of to date the Keurig K150 and K155 will permit this special opportunity to connect the unit to a direct water feed line.

Creative Commons Image Attribution: Christopher Weible


We are living in the Information Age, and it pays to read the “fine print” and learn what a particular machine can and cannot do for us and other potential consumers. Think about your venue right now: how many coffee drinkers do you work around? Or do you already have a coffeemaker that’s on its last leg and your team has agreed that it’s time to upgrade to a newer model with better output? What about the size of your establishment as well? These are questions that only you and your collective work group can answer on the whole when deciding which model to go for. You want not just you and your teammates, but those within your milieu, to have a pleasant experience, cup after cup. Good luck!


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