Best Church Coffee Machines : All the options explained

Best Church Coffee Machines : All the best rental and purchase options

Whenever there are people and mornings involved, coffee is often high on the list of priorities. Churches are a perfect example of one of those places where there are often a lot of people congregating early in the mornings, looking for a warm cuppa joe to help them along. For this reason, many churches throughout South Africa rent coffee machines form us and to help new churches which don’t have coffee machines yet,  we have put this list together detailing the best church coffee machines available.

Firstly, to understand the challenges most churches face:

  • Churches typically have a lot of people at one time wanting to get coffee.
  • Most churches only have this need once a week (on Sunday mornings) and therefore although coffee consumption is usually high on this day, the rest of the week often has very low and sometimes no consumption at all.

Like in all environments, all coffee machines have their pros and cons. Below we list the benefits and problems of all the church coffee machine options.

Filter Coffee Machines Filter coffee machine

Filter coffee machines are the simplest of all coffee machines and the most common machine found in churches.

Filter Coffee Pros:

  • Cost – Filter coffee machines are the cheapest of all coffee machine options with entry level domestic filter machines costing around R399 and industrial filter machines coming in at around the R4000 mark.  Rentals on filter coffee machines are usually as low as R90 per month.
  • Ease of Use – It doesn’t really get easier than a filter coffee machine. All you need to do is lift and pour. No explanation required.
  • Speed – Filter coffee machines rely on pre-brewed coffee. This means that as long as the pots are sufficient to service the congregation the coffee is essentially on tap.

Filter Coffee Cons:

  • Taste – Filter coffee turns bitter very quickly which means you need to consume the coffee fairly quickly after it is brewed to ensure a fresh cup of coffee.
  • Options – Filter coffee only offers plain ol’ filter coffee. No option of the fancy stuff here like cappuccinos or hot chocolates.
  • Capacity – A filter coffee jug holds approximately 10 cups of coffee. Which means a double-pot filter coffee machine can give you 20 cups between fills. If you have a congregation of 100 people that means you are probably going to need 5 filter coffee machines to service everyone in one sitting


Percolators are often thought of as giant filter coffee machines but the process is actually quite different. Percolators run by continuously running water on top of the coffee which can sometimes lead to a fairly bitter brew.

Percolator Pros:

  • Size – Percolators are nothing if they are not big. Percolators typically start at 6 litres and only go up from there. This can therefore be a good solution to the problem of small filter coffee pots
  • Cost – Like filter coffee machines, percolators are fairly cheap as well as the coffee being very economical
  • Robustness – Percolators are much tougher than urns and are often seen as the unbreakable coffee machine”

Percolator Cons:

  • Taste – Like filter coffee machines, percolators have been known to make quite a bitter tasting coffee
  • Options – Also only offer percolated coffee
  • Milk and Sugar – Milk and sugar is not solved by the use of a percolator and the environments often land up quite messy with spoons and sugar lying around.

Bean to Cup Coffee MachinesAQU_Product_Automatic_03

Bean to cup coffee machines are any automatic coffee machine which use fresh milk instead of powder milk.

Bean to Cup Pros:

  • Options – Bean to cup machines give the option of espresso, coffee, cappuccino and latte
  • Quality – Bean to cup coffee is the best quality coffee of the lot
  • Milk – Bean to cup coffee machines use fresh milk and therefore give quality similar to that of a coffee shop

Bean to Cup Cons:

  • Milk – Fresh milk can be a blessing and a curse.

Vending Coffee Machinesvending coffee machine

Vending coffee machines are the most self-service machines of the lot and are the easiest to operate for a complete coffee solution

Vending Coffee Machine Pros:

  • Self Service – Vending machines operate by just “clicking and drinking”
  • Options – Vending machines have the most options of any machines ranging from espresso to hot chocolate and cappuccino
  • Ease of use – Vending machines are made to be used by first time users (people who have never seen the machine before) Everything from your sugar, milk and coffee gets mixed and stirred and dispensed into your cup at the touch of a button
  • Speed – Vending machines are the quickest solution if you are wanting your coffee, milk and sugar combined and mixed in one go. Instant vending machines take around 10 seconds for the mixing and dispensing whereas bean vending machines take closer to 20 seconds (around 1/3 the time of automatic coffee machines)

Vending Coffee Machine Cons:

  • Milk – Vending coffee machines use instant milk which is not everyone’s cup of tea
  • Cost – Coffee vending machines are not the cheapest of options. Vending machines cost around R20,000 upwards to buy and rent for around R500 per month


There are a number of options when it comes to choosing a coffee machine for a church. Which machine is right for your church depends a lot on your budget, the size of your congregation and the quality of coffee you want to offer.

For help in choosing a machine or to try a machine for 1 month, please complete the form below!