The best coffee maker for a busy home or work environment can differ in a lot of ways. Whether you need one that has a large brewing capacity, one that is easy for the general public to use, or one that is top of the range for barista-quality coffees, the one thing that connects all these things is the need for lots of lovely fresh java, quickly.
There are so many great coffee makers out there but a lot of them seem to have very small water reservoirs built-in. This means that although they can be set up anywhere, you always seem to be at the sink re-filling up the tank.
If this sounds familiar to you then you may want to consider a plumbed coffee maker. These machines are set up to draw water straight from the source so never need to be topped up. This means they can go on making fresh coffee for hours without people queueing up.
To help you out, here are 4 of the best plumbed coffee makers out there, each of them chosen to reflect a different use. I’ve also looked into some plumbing kit options for the Keurig as these are sold separately.
Have a read through and if you like the look of any of these machines then click ‘Price & Reviews’ to check current prices on Amazon.
Best Plumbed Coffee Makers Reviewed
- Best For Customer/Client Use – Keurig K155 Office Pro Commercial Coffee Maker
- Best For Home Use – Brew Express – BEC-110bs Countertop Automatic Filling Coffee System
- Best For Offices – Bunn 38700.0011 Axiom-DV-TC Dual Voltage Commercial Thermal Coffee Brewer
- Best For Restaurant/Cafe Use – La Pavoni Bar-Star Espresso Coffee Machine
Best For Customer/Client Use – Keurig K155 Office Pro Commercial Coffee Maker
- User-friendly interface
- Choice of 5 Cup Sizes
- Single-serve so can’t make large batches
- K-cup pods are bad for the environment
- Plumbing kit not included
For a quick and simple, single-serve coffee solution this Keurig K155 is ideal. It is an improved version of the earlier models, Keurig K150 and Keurig K150p.
The LCD touchscreen control panel is extremely user-friendly and perfect for use in a busy salesroom, a customer-facing work environment, or even home use. This machine can be effortlessly set to make 5 different brew sizes and the drip tray can be removed to accommodate travel mugs.
WIth quiet brewing, it won’t end up stealing the show during meetings and the energy saving, auto-off feature is very useful.
The K-cup pods this machine uses come in hundreds of flavors and varieties so you’ll be spoilt for choice. The downside with these is that they add more single-use plastic to the trash. To make this machine a bit more eco-friendly, using compostable or re-fillable pods is a good option.
It can’t brew large batches as a drip machine can so in very busy environments you may end up with a queue which isn’t ideal.
The good news is that’s it very quick to brew coffee and it can be plumbed in so you don’t have to waste time refilling the water tank. Make sure you purchase the plumbing kit alongside this machine to use this feature.
Best For Home Use – Brew Express – BEC-110bs Countertop Automatic Filling Coffee System
Brand: Brew Express
- Brew Single Serve or Carafe
- Timer Function
- Brew Pause Feature
- Carafe lock for RV use
- Water filter not included
- Can be tricky to switch brew method
If you’re looking for a coffee maker that allows you to do a lot more then this is the machine for you. The attractive, stainless steel design is compact enough to fit into any kitchen.
The inbuilt clock allows you to set the programmable timer so that the machine will brew coffee whenever you need it most. This machine is designed to hold a drip machine brew basket to make a full carafe as well as a single-cup brew basket.
Brew-pause allows you to grab a quick cup of coffee before the brew cycle is complete. Removing the carafe automatically switches off the brewer but it holds the settings so you can resume the brewing when you replace the pot. After 5 minutes of pause, the machine switches off to save power.
The beeper can be switched on or off which is a nice feature as people either love it or hate it. The filter basket comes with an optional carafe lock which holds the jug in place very securely. This makes it a perfect machine to use in an RV, caravan, or boat.
Some people report that this machine is a little bit tricky to switch between brew methods and it is the kind of machine that needs some care. The user manual is pretty thorough however so if you read this carefully then you shouldn’t face any issues. It does come with a year’s warranty for peace of mind.
The water supply inlet could use a water filter attachment to help prevent limescale buildup and this is not included when you purchase this machine.
Otherwise, it’s a very user-friendly coffee maker that wins out for functionality and versatility.
Best For Offices – Bunn 38700.0011 Axiom-DV-TC Dual Voltage Commercial Thermal Coffee Brewer
- Automatically adjusts to varying water pressure
- Controlled Coffee Extraction
- Back-to-Back Brewing
- Splash-Guard Funnel
- Coffee Server Sold Separately
- Fairly Expensive
For a busy office environment, this drip machine is a perfect choice. It’s cleverly designed to adjust the water pressure given how much lime is in your area and so always gives consistent pots of coffee.
It’s pre-programmed for controlled coffee brewing with pre-infusion, pulse brew, and digital temperature control. It has a large 5.9-liter water tank that allows back-to-back brewing to allow quick access to large volumes of coffee.
The machine has an energy-saving feature where it reduces the water tank temperature when it’s not in use. The splash guard funnel prevents accidental spills and burns when removing the carafe which is great for a busy office environment.
This drip machine is really well designed and allows hassle-free coffee making. It’s easy to use, has loads of great design features and this really helps to make it one of the best plumbed coffee machines.
The only downside is that the thermal carafe is sold separately so make sure you add one of these to your Amazon basket before you click buy!
Best For Restaurant/Cafe Use – La Pavoni Bar-Star Espresso Coffee Machine
Brand: La Pavoni
- Copper Heating Element
- Radiator Hydraulic Systems For Thermal Stability
- Steam Wand
- NSF Certified
- Very Expensive
- Commercial Coffee Maker
This espresso machine by La Pavoni is without a doubt, the only espresso maker you’ll ever need for your business. It’s a real investment so most people won’t find it very affordable for home use. As with most coffee machines, you get what you pay for, so let’s look into what you get for this pricy machine.
First up, it has programming that allows you to set 4 different brew sizes and it comes with a low-profile portafilter so you can brew straight into a 16-ounce mug. It also has continuous brew and instant stop buttons to give the barista more control. It also has pre-programmed settings for hot water dosing.
The 14-liter water reservoir is designed to brew 500-600 cups of coffee per day and plumbing this machine means this will keep itself topped up.
2 group heads and two steam wands allow continuous coffee brewing during those busy periods. Each group head has its own individual radiator hydraulic system which creates thermal stability so no burnt coffee after steaming milk.
The copper heating element transfers heat optimally, giving fast and efficient water heating. The front of this machine is designed to come away easily for repairs and the group heads are resistant to dripping.
It has an auto-shutoff safety feature and a built-in water softener for delicious tasting coffee. This machine is very user-friendly and the simple controls and programs mean any new employee will get the hang of it in no time. This, coupled with the manual over-ride makes it perfect for experienced baristas as well.
It comes fully equipped with an installation kit and for making espresso, this is one of the best-plumbed coffee makers out there.
Coffee Machine Buyers Guide
When choosing a plumbed coffee maker for your home or workspace there are a few things you need to consider.
How big do you need the machine to be? If it has to fit into a small kitchen or bar area then you need to first consider the dimensions of the machine before you buy it. It’s worth measuring up the area intended before you browse coffee makers. Remember that the machine needs to go near a water inlet as well as close to a power source.
The number and kind of servings that the coffee maker can handle also needs to be considered. If it’s for occasional client use or for the general public then you need a simple, easy to use pod machine or a drip machine. If it’s for a coffee shop then something more professional is needed.
For home use, consider how often you like to drink coffee, what type of coffee you prefer, and how many coffee drinkers live with you.
Who will be using the coffee maker?
Not everyone has barista-level skills and coffee lovers all differ in which type of machine they find the best to use. The type of machine you choose has to suit the user and there’s no point in buying a top-quality machine if it’s too complex to use.
Finally, the price has to be right. Before you set out to choose a new coffee maker it’s a good idea to set a budget beforehand otherwise things can get out of hand fairly quickly. Plumbed in coffee machines range from around $300 to upwards of $10,000 so there’s a wide price gap to cover.
Using freshly ground coffee beans can elevate your coffee game to the next level. A burr grinder is an ideal tool to produce a consistent and even grind that ensures great tasting coffee every time. A good quality coffee grinder is the perfect accompaniment for your new coffee maker.
Some brands of coffee makers come with the option of using the water tank or plumbing them in. Plumbing kits are sold to adapt these machines and can be a great tool to make your coffee machine easier to use. I’ve included some plumbing kits below so you can see if any of these suit your machine.
A plumbed coffee maker can be a bit of a nightmare when it comes to descaling. You often have to turn off the water supply and take the machine apart to fully descale it. A good solution can be to use a water filter to remove limescale at the water inlet to help minimize any issues. It’s really important to not skip the descaling process as limescale build-up can break your coffee maker.
Keurig Direct Water Line Plumb Kit Reservoir
- Allows for direct water line connection
- Works With Models K150, B150, B155, and K155
- Easy to install
- No water line or water filter included
This Keurig water plumb kit is an ideal accompaniment for the models listed above. It’s fairly easy to install as it comes with step-by-step user instructions.
It doesn’t come with the actual water pipeline so you’ll need one of these as well as a shut-off valve to allow easy machine maintenance. A water filter connection is a good idea as well.
Keurig Plumb Kit and Filter
- Compatible with B150P, K150P, K155P, K3000, K3000SE, B3000, and B3000SE Keurig Brewers
- Comes with water line included
- Valves all included
- Lifetime Warranty
- For models B150, K150, B155, K155 you will need to purchase the mechanical water tank (listed above)
Similar to the model above this plumb kit for your Keurig also comes with a water filter. This helps prevent limescale, helps achieve delicious tasting coffee, and prolongs the life of your coffee maker.
A tad more expensive but the functionality of this kit more than makes up for this.
Plumbed coffee makers are a simple solution to really help speed up and automate coffee making. They help save time and can be really convenient. Make sure you take good care of your machine and it should last a long time. I hope this article has been helpful in showing you what a plumbed coffee maker has to offer and why you should consider one for your home or workspace. Best of luck with your next coffee purchase and happy brewing!