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I'm starting next week at a company and the kitchen has only instant coffee. I'm a coffee lover and I want to bring an espresso machine to the office.

What do I need to consider before I bring a machine into the office?

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    Hi Nurne, your question was closed as not constructive as written. Since we have no way of knowing your office environment and its rules, let alone its norms, any answers here would fall under "opinion, debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion." If you want to discuss how to turn your question into something answerable by the community, please ask in Meta or Chat. Thanks! – jcmeloni May 6 '12 at 14:46
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    I can see this being a constructive question if it were about "How can I go about aquiring permission to bring in X"... – Rarity May 6 '12 at 20:04
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    FWIW, home kitchen appliances don't last very long in an office environment. A consumer-grade espresso machine at work will get beat to hell in short order if it provides a nice alternative to the drip-coffee swill! – Angelo May 7 '12 at 13:25
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    Are you donating an espresso machine to the kitchen or using it at your desk? – Monica Cellio May 7 '12 at 21:30
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    Sadly I think an important part of the actual question was missed - nespresso was replaced with espresso - nespresso is a brand name of a machine, and personally I love them. They're quiet, easy to use, and we share one in an office where it gets used about 20 times a day and it keeps soldiering on (if someone remembers to replace the water). The biggest downside is the cost of the little coffee modules. Point being it makes some of the specific answers (esp. regarding noise and wear) less meaningful. – Mark Henderson May 31 '12 at 20:38
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For what it's worth, I am a coffee lover as well. When I first got to my place of work, they only had a terrible vending coffee machine, that made disgusting coffee (socks juice as we french affectionately call it).

I work in a big open space with a little over a hundred people working around me. It was almost impossible to get my own machine without being either the outcast (coffee breaks are the main socializing points during the day) or forced to share, which, with such a high number of coworkers, would've deteriorated my machine in a matter of days.

Instead I talked about the issue to my coworkers, convinced them to chip in, and got a Lavazza espresso machine that does above-par coffee. It is not the "expensive gourmet stuff" (obligatory Pulp fiction reference) but it tastes okay, is affordable and can handle the load of dozens of coffee per day. It now sits in our corner of the office and has drastically improved the life of about 10 developers :)

My point is, you cannot assume there's a rule, and don't expect to get your answer from a website. Go to the office, find out how many coworkers will be around you, what their coffee-drinking habits will be like, and whether they'd be willing to chip in for a new machine. I'm sure a lot of people around you are bothered by the instant coffee, so it shouldn't take too much convincing.

For the permission to bring it, again, it depends on your office environment. In this particular case, I find that it's often better to ask for forgiveness than permission. A boss might say no to a cumbersome espresso machine, but far less likely to be mad once it's here, as long as he gets to enjoy better coffee as well. Very important: this is how it works at my office, don't take my word for it. Go to your office, find out what it's like, and make your decision then.

Finally, I get the impression that you're considering bringing your own machine and not sharing. I may be mistaken, but if that's the case, don't. As I mentioned before, coffee plays a very crucial role in office socializing. You do not want to be the new guy who brings his own coffee. This guy doesn't usually blend well with the rest.

  • +1, Alternatively, if one needs really good coffee and doesn't want the hassle of introducing a new "public" coffee machine, a good alternative is a "french press" or even "pour-over" setup. All this requires is a hot water source and simple supplies that you can keep at your desk. – Angelo May 8 '12 at 14:26
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As rahmu says, consider the likely wear and tear on the machine, and the social ramifications. I work in a relatively small office (20 people in my immediate work area, 100 over all) and I brought in my personal espresso machine in the first week. Since I was willing to both teach people to use the machine and share some coffee beans/have everyone chip in for coffee, it was actually a huge social bonus for me. In general, my experience has been that if you bring in some small creature comfort to the office and are generous with it, then people will be very happy that you went to some effort to make the workplace nicer.

However, know that the machine probably will take some damage. People have broken portions of mine more than once, but my coworkers have always voluntarily replaced the broken parts because they appreciated having it. If you are comfortable with the likelihood that you will take some small losses, either in wear and tear on the machine or in people using coffee they don't chip in for, then go for it. However, if you aren't going to be able to take that gracefully or don't want to share, find some less obtrusive way to have access to good coffee. I will note that there are some great tiny, relatively cheap espresso machines available like this one I have that might make risking a machine at work more viable.

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    The experience of the company I work at is people break coffee-machines all the time - they even pour water into the beans compartment. So the machine should be very fool-proof and reliable to survive. – sharptooth Jun 5 '12 at 7:42

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