Hot drink vending machines come in many shapes & sizes and are designed for different situations. The range is quite wide and I hope this guide will shed some light on the different types and their features.There are two basic types of hot drink vending machine.
- Incup machines
- Automatic machines
Incup MachinesThese are machines which dispense a cup with the ingredient already in it. They come in a range of sizes from the table top models holding as few as 150 cups with 3 selections to the full size models holding as many as 900 cups with 9 selections.
They are available as free vend only or can be fitted with a coin mechanism. Models with a coin mechanism can also be switched to free vend. Some models can also be fitted with cashless systems.
Some of the table top machines have a tank which can be filled by hand, which is good if you don't have a piped water supply available. The larger models really need to be plumbed to a water supply, but it is possible to use a pump to pump from a container.
Some advantages of incup machines are
- Relatively simple to maintain.
- Easy to clean & restock
- Relatively inexpensive to buy new
- Limited number of selections
- Fixed drink strength
- Relatively high cost per cup.
Automatic MachinesThese are machines in which the ingredient is stored in canisters and each drink is freshly made as it is selected. They come in a range of sizes from the table top models with 3 canisters to the full size models holding as many as 9 canisters.
As with incup machines they are available as free vend only or can be fitted with a coin mechanism. Models with a coin mechanism can also be switched to free vend. Some models can also be fitted with cashless systems.
Nearly all automatic machines are best when plumbed in to a water supply, but they can be operated with a pump to pump from a container.
The smaller table top machines require you to use your own cup. The full size models hold varying quantities of plastic cups but it is possible to use your own cup with some models.
Some advantages of automatic machines are
- Large number of selections
- Variable drink strength
- Realtively low cost per cup
- Fairly complex to maintain
- Time consuming to clean & restock
- Relatively expensive to buy new
For free impartial advice on which machine is most likely to suit your circumstances just ask me. Please let me know
- How many people will be using the machine
- Pay or free vend?
- Coffee or the coffee shop experience?
- The environment it will be used in.
- The space you have available