What Sort of Coffee Machine Do You Need?

Whether you want a vending machine for 5 – 500 staff in the office, a main reception area, a service counter, staff breakout area, factory floor, school or sports centre there are a host of machines now available to choose from. This page seeks to help you decide the machine that’s right for you. We have broken this down into two main areas, Hot Drinks Vending Machines and Snack and Food Vending Machines.


Hot Drinks Vending Machines – deciding what’s right for you

How much do I need to spend on a vending machine?

Your machine will need to cope with the demand required. In vending we ask the following questions to help the process of elimination of machines to find you the right machine.

  • How many people will be using the machine on average per day?
  • How many drinks will each person have from the vending machine per day?
  • Is the machine going to be free vend / will staff be paying for drinks / or is the requirement that you want the machine to do both?

Not all vending machines have the facility for pay and free vend but most do. All coin operated vending machines give you the facility to set your own prices. We also provide cashless systems and tokens for staff to use with various sets ups on re-charging staff keys etc.

Do I need a vending machine plumbed or not plumbed in?

This does depend on the demands required of the machine. We supply machines with both options. Larger machines require plumbing in. Machines built for tank fill normally supply 20-30 drinks if not plumbed in. We also supply tank and pump kits that will serve an additional 100 drinks before the need to refill thus eliminating the need for plumbing in for the small-medium sites.

What about water filters?

Having a filtration system fitted will in most cases prolong the life of your machine and improve the quality of the drink served. For bean to cup machines it is mandatory to have a filtration system fitted otherwise manufacturer warranties are invalid. Fresh Brew machines generally will serve you better with a filter fitted.

What are the options on vending:- with a cup / no cup / plastic or paper cup / china cup or mug?

This does depend on the machine you are considering. Most vending machines – if they can vend cups – offer a no-cup option thus enabling you to use your own cup / fill a jug. If you are looking at In-Cup vending machines the drink comes to you in the cup and thus would not be an option.

Are there vending machines that serve Hot and Cold drinks?

The simple answer is yes. Those that offer cold drinks as well will normally offer the option for fizzy, carbonated drinks. You will need a machine that has a chiller option.

What service and maintenance options are there and what should I consider?

Go to our Installation and Maintenance for the options open to you. Generally the more complex / expensive the machine the more it costs to maintain. Where there is no mixing of ingredients ( eg filter coffee server machines, POD / Sachet vending machines and In-cup vending machines there is no mixing of ingredients and are easier to look after and maintain. See Types of Machines Available below for more details. Any vending machine with a filter will cost more as the filters need to be replaced after a period of time.

What about the types and ranges of drinks I want from the machine?

You have now reached the stage where you need to refer to The types of vending machines available

Hot Drinks Vending Machine

Table Top Vending Machine

Incup Vending Machine with Snack Machine

Hot Drinks Vending Machines – Types of machines available

In-Cup Vending Machines

How they work: The ingredients come to you in the cup, you put the cups in the machine and that’s it. These are very hygienic and simple to maintain. Some have side pods for sugar sticks and stirrers whilst the larger machines vend sugar. The smaller machines offer optional plumbing

Drinks and drink prices: Link Vending offer most leading brands; Nescafe, PG, Tetley, Cadburys, Kenco etc. Knorr soups, cold drinks and a creamy Nescafe cappuccino also form part of the range. Prices for In-Cup drinks generally fall between ingredient machines ( less cost ) and POD / Sachet machines ( more expensive ). Expect to pay around 10p per cup or more.

Ingredient Vending Machines / Instant + Fresh Brew + Bean to Cup

How they work:The ingredient comes to you loose. You fill canisters in the machine. In most instances the more canisters the vending machine has the more drink option there are. Slightly more maintenance than in-cup vending machines although many now come with self cleaning programmes. These machines are excellent for the now popular espresso, cappuccino, mocha, latte etc.

Drinks and drink prices:The machine brochures will show you drink options. Link Vending provides you with ingredients from around 5p per cup. We offer the well known brands together with budget buy brands to help maximise your returns where applicable.

Fresh Brew Vending Machines: Still an ingredient machine the main difference here to instant machines is that the machine will serve either a freshly filtered coffee or tea or both. In many cases it is best to have a filter on the machine for a better quality of drink. With some a filter roll is used; much like filters on a filter coffee maker. These do get used up and have to be replenished. Filter coffees and teas do cost more than normal ingredient equivalents.

Bean to Cup Vending Machines: These are also known as Bean2Cup or B2C machines. As the name implies fresh ground coffee beans are available within the scope of the machine. Serving Fresh Ground Coffee brings the aroma of the coffee house to your office or workplace. These machines still have the canisters to fill as per Instant and Fresh Brew vending machines. The machine brochures will show you drink options. Fresh ground coffee bean prices start from around 8p-14p per cup depending on your chosen brand

POD and Single Serve Sachet drink systems

How they work: The drinks come to you in Pods / Sachets / Filter-packs. These are the various terminologies used to describe them. Link Vending offers the Flavia Vending Machines and Kenco Singles Machines. The sealed filter-pack contains a single portion of the finest Filter Coffee or Leaf Tea with options on cappuccino and more. The machines deliver a freshly filtered real coffee or leaf tea in a matter of seconds with a guaranteed fresh drink every time. Maintenance is very low on these machines and can help counter-act the increased price per cup. Commercial machines can serve up to 50 staff and are very popular with busy offices.

Drinks and drink prices: Serving fresh filter coffees and fresh leaf teas prices do come out more expensive than in-cup and ingredient machines. Expect to pay on average around 20p per cup

Filter Coffee Machines Machines

Where you want to fill a jug of coffee. Ideal for meeting rooms, dinner parties, cafes, restaurants and having coffee “on-the go”. Fresh coffee is filtered through a filter normally giving you 10-12 cups plus of coffee.


In-cup Vending

In-cup Vending

Instant / Fresh Brew / B2C

Instant / Fresh Brew / B2C

Sachet / Pod System

Sachet / Pod System

Filter Coffee

Filter Coffee



Snacks Cold Drinks Foods / Non-Food – deciding what’s right for you

Some general pointers to get you started – What do you want to vend?  
Snack + Can + Bottle Vending Machine

Snack + Can + Bottle Vending Machine

Fresh Foods Vending

Fresh Foods Vending

DVD Vending Machine

DVD Vending Machine

Snacks and Crisps



Plastic Bottles


Glass Bottles

Tetra Packs

Sandwiches (packed )

Fresh Fruit


Yogurts & Small Desserts

Salads in bowls / plates

Dinners ( to warm up )

Frozen Meals


Ambient Meals

DVD’s / Books

Sports equipment

Other and High Value


Information on our Snack and Food Vending Machines


Snack Machines: These can be configured to most customer requirements. For example if you wanted 6 shelves of crisps or you wanted an additional shelf of confectionary. Brochures will show standard configurations. Different to standard configurations normally mean you pay slightly more for the revised shelves as these have to be ordered and done at the manufacturers at placement of order

Chilling: Most snack machines have a model option to serve cans and plastic bottles on the bottom shelves. These shelves are often cooler than the top shelves for crisps and snacks

Dual Temperature Machines: These machines are designed to pre-packed food items – mainly sandwiches – ( that need to be chilled ) at around 5°C whilst the top half is at temperatures around 15°C ( individual brochures will provide specifics )

Can and Bottle Vendors: Many of these vending machines can vend cans and bottles in the same machine. Some of these are ideal as bottled water vending machines. Closed front machines ( no see through glass door ) financially are cheaper

Vending Glass Machines: These machines have an internal lift mechanism. You make your selection, the lift selects the item ( from anywhere within the machine) takes and drops at the selection point. These will vend just about anything on any shelf. The machines are also suggested for vending high value items.

Fresh and Frozen Food Vending Machines: As the name implies the whole unit is at a temperature of around 5°C to enable fresh foods to be served on any shelf. These machines are of the carousel type and can take plates etc with various configurations and options. Microwave housing units are useful with this option.

Ambient Food Vending Machines: These do not need to be chilled – often in quite flat boxes from the supermarket. Spirals in the machine need to work in conjunction with each other to be able to vend the products. The machjine we carry is also good for non-food items of a similar size.

Custom Vending Machines eg DVD’s – Books – Mobile Phones etc: Working with manufacturers we have a great range of machines and like to think we can vend almost any product – depending on individual requirements. Just take a look at our custom vending machines page on our website.

Combination machines for a complete vending solution: Normally more than one machine. Have a look at our custom vending page on our website for some total refreshment solution ideas.


Machines from Link Vending

Link Vending only trades with leading manufacturers thus ensuring the most reliable machines, with excellent support and back up services and of course the key ingredient – the quality of drink. These manufacturers of vending machines are proven leaders in the field who are environmentally aware. As part of our customer services charter we endeavour to highlight to our customers machines and products that improve the quality of our environment on an ongoing basis