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The art of the coffee break

Coffee is the juice of life. If you're like us, you can't even answer the first email of the day without a deep sip of the brown elixir. So the coffee machine in your office kitchen is of the utmost importance. We've compiled a list of all the machines so you know where you stand in the future.


The Red Flag


Actually, you can't call this first entry a coffee machine. We're talking about instant coffee, of course. Practically speaking, nothing more inhumane can happen to you. Worst case scenario, you'll still be coerced into throwing 50 cents into the coffee fund every time you make yourself a watery and tasteless serving. If you're offered a cup of granulated coffee at your next job interview: Run. If you're already trapped in an office where instant coffee is part of the standard repertoire, it's time to quit.


 

Quantity instead of quality


Compared to instant coffee, the fully automatic coffee machine is, of course, a step in the right direction. With this machine, you can have your favourite hot drink poured into your mug at the touch of a button - from latte macchiato to hot chocolate - in no time at all. With a bit of luck, your machine can even froth milk on its own. But the coffee itself is, of course, a poor compromise at best. You don't even get real filter coffee here, because the fully automatic machine doesn't have a filter system, but "presses" the water through the coffee powder. At the same time, the water pressure is not high enough to be able to speak of an espresso. But the machine is fully automated and foolproof. Even the supervisors, who normally force the student workers to make copies because they can't operate the machine themselves, will be able to make a halfway good cappuccino with the fully automatic machine.


 

Old reliable


Managerial types in white shirts will of course roll their eyes if you offer them a filter coffee, but we can't let that influence us. With filter coffee, we have a humble but hard-working coffee machine in front of us. And we have to admit that we do romanticise the good old piece. Every time the entire office is filled with the smell of freshly brewed coffee, we can't help but think of childhood Sunday afternoons at our grandparents' with coffee and cake. But the advantages of a filter machine are not only nostalgic. The machines are usually super cheap, really easy to use and you can still brew several cups at once. If you're not careful, the coffee can sometimes get a little bitter. But that only happens to beginners.


 

The barista


The portafilter is better than the rest, you can tell right away. Mostly chrome-plated, always extremely expensive. But if you can afford the price, it's hard to find a better coffee machine. Actually, the portafilter is more of an espresso machine, but with a decent espresso you have already created the basis for any coffee speciality. As a rule, you can also froth milk directly with portafilters and then prepare anything your heart desires. However, you need a certain amount of prior knowledge to be able to operate the baby. Even tamping the coffee powder in the portafilter is a science in itself. And you certainly wouldn't be the first person to be driven mad by the regular failure to froth milk. But the feeling of operating a portafilter with confidence is indescribable: while you operate the countless levers with a firm grip and conjure up the perfect milk froth, the machine hisses away with steam. Stirring instant coffee granules into a cup of lukewarm water gives a slightly different feeling, doesn't it?


 

The liberation


Emancipate yourself from the office kitchen. What's there to get in the kitchen anyway? Dry birthday cake and bad small talk. We want, but we need caffeine. Without detours. That's where the French Press is actually the only appropriate solution. A fist full of coffee powder is dumped into the pot and quickly infused with boiling water. You can escape from the kitchen again. One minute. In and out. After impatiently watching your hot beverage brew, you can simply push down the strainer and have high-quality brewed coffee on the table. The huge advantage? The pot is on your table and only on your table. Annoying colleagues realise after one look at your twitching, sweaty face that they don't even have to try to scrounge a cup. Unimpressed, you realise that you must not have blinked for five minutes, reach for the pot and shakily pour yourself your seventh cup. You have never been so awake, the colours never so bright. You hardly notice that you fall into a coma for five minutes every hour. That's the way to work.

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