Flavorful, fun and perfect for any office

It all started in the 1920s when Gregorio Bustelo arrived in Cuba and fell in love with the coffee of the island. Today, Café Bustelo® is a vibrant, passionate brand serving rich flavorful coffee that stands up to milk and sugar. Our versatile portfolio has the right format to fit any office. From specialty beverages to traditional coffee in both hot and iced varieties — Café Bustelo invites all employees to take a moment to connect and enjoy the experience.

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Be the hero at work:
Add a bit of excitement

It happens at every office: Challenging projects, complex assignments and tight deadlines combine to dull spirits and trigger the occasional need for diversion.

Help take the edge off by adding a bit of excitement to diffuse the angst. Try one or more of these five light-hearted schemes to turn the tables when tensions run high:

Drink up a new beverage service.

Chances are, your coffee service hasn't been put to the test lately. Which means it's ripe for a critical eye, or set of palates. Use this opportunity to give colleagues a break: Let them know you want their input to consider a new beverage machine or coffee service. Plan ahead by identifying a vendor who will let you use their machine on spec, or supply samples compatible with what you're using now. Most suppliers will be happy to oblige. Then all you need to do is send out an informal group survey or set out a large sketchpad and markers and ask for reviews. Everyone will have fun rating the new brews.

Savor a new snack contest.

If looking for a new coffee machine isn't your cup of tea right now, why not set up an impromptu snacks contest? The premise could be getting everyone's input on what to stock in the third-floor vending machine or downstairs micromarket. Purchase a range of snacks and cold drinks for consideration or ask your snacks service vendor to supply samples. Arrange a day or two where more people will be present, and give everyone advanced notice that you'll be seeking their reviews. Then arrange an eye-catching buffet of snacks and drinks to sample, along with a sketchbook and markers for replies.

Blind them with beverages.

If you are on the hunt for a new coffee service, it's likely there are still considerations to be weighed, such as which one of the options just tastes best. Holding a blind-folded taste test can be a fun, unexpected way to rank the options fairly and give everyone skin in the game. Block off a two- or three-hour time slot for testing and send out invites. On testing day. brew up your three options and invite everyone to try them sight unseen. You may need to stir up some serving assistance, but it's likely your colleagues will enjoy the breather from work to vote on some joe.

Short-and-sweet fete.

Who says you can't host a party on a Monday afternoon? It doesn't have to be a birthday or a holiday—you can still host a quick bash just for fun. Invite your colleagues to a 15-minute get-together for no reason at all. Add a theme if you must—maybe it's Opening day or Derby time—but plan ahead and send out invites, then have fun selecting a variety of bite-sized snacks and drinks to match the theme if you have one. Be sure to enlist your snacks and coffee service to supply samples of any new options on deck. On party day, add decorations and tunes. You'll lift everyone up before they head back to the racket.

Treat them, tray in hand.

What better, simpler way is there to add excitement to the daily grind than by showing up to a meeting with a tray of treats? Double points if you can finagle the secret for a regular or reoccurring staff meeting, especially one viewed begrudgingly by busy cohorts. Cheer them up and save the day with a specially selected assortment of small treats. Try to select items you know hold special appeal. Then sit back, relax and enjoy.

How the comforts of home
can energize work

The office isn’t home and home certainly isn’t the office, but there are some powerful arguments for bringing at least a few of the comforts of home into the workplace.

One of the most common of these homestyle elements, for example, has been and continues to be coffee. Research shows that office coffee is important to employees, and its positive effects on productivity have been documented. Take, for example, 2015 research finding from Packaged Facts, a Rockville, Maryland-based market research firm. The firm forecasted growth of 4.5% in the office coffee market for both 2015 and 2016. The firm also established a link between office coffee and positive influences on employee workday productivity, ranking it 3.9 on a 5-point scale of importance. For businesses, that helps to confirm a key benefit of office coffee and serves as strong motivation for employers to supply and pay for coffee at work.

Of course office coffee isn’t the only homestyle factor that can boost productivity at work. In fact, what’s beneficial or comforting for some employees may not be so for others. For this reason, establishing greater office comfort might be more about offering variety and freedom than it is about offering a single “more comfortable” experience.

What are some workplace changes that can add the flexibility, freedom and comforts of home? Here are three practical tactics to try:

Peace and Quiet. Some employees may occasionally relish the option of a quieter work area. So why not make it a reality by designating one or two comfortable and quiet work areas for the occasions when employees need fewer noisy distractions. It need not be limited to the traditional desk and chair either. A small office equipped with a window, door, desk or table and a comfy chair can serve as a quiet change of pace for those who need it, helping them to recharge and refocus.

Rethinking Refreshments. Sometimes, comfort in the office is, just like home, all about having a snack. You can accommodate this by taking a critical look at snack, beverage and vending machine selections in the kitchen or common areas. The goal is to be sure the choices are meeting the needs of more people, more of the time. Up the variety of hot and cold drinks by presenting multiple coffee mix-ins, pod flavors, tea bags and access to purified hot and cold water and ice. Making sure the stations are kept clean and well-stocked is another necessity.

Building Community. A collaborative culture is increasingly valued and sought out in most organizations these days. Benefits include better problem solving, more innovation, and increased levels of trust and accomplishment. And, just like home, collaboration tends to happen in common areas. If these spaces are limited, collaboration will be too.

A great way to foster productive collaboration over the long term is to develop open spaces and resources with enough room where collaboration can happen regularly: A large kitchen area or wifi-enabled breakroom with ample comfortable seating and table space; an informal conference room; an outdoor patio table; or a roomy office that anyone can use.

More Creature Comforts. All of these additions add comfort in different ways. Which is why bringing a work-from-home feel into the office setting is all about offering a variety of comforting and flexible work options. Besides making colleagues more comfortable overall, these strategies also encourage freedom of work, which is likely to result in fewer distractions, greater acceptance for all work styles, a heightened sense of focus and accomplishment, and a more collaborative culture. Which is the type of environment most colleagues will be more than happy to live with.

beyond the beans:
how to filter the coffee service options

Office coffee tends to get a bad rap. If it’s too strong, too weak, or maybe tinged with off-flavor. And while these situations may be grounds for rethinking your office coffee service, they also may be symptoms of another problem: machines not set properly for the coffee at hand.

So, if you’re in the market for a new coffee service, remember that there’s more to good coffee than just the beans, and adhering to the basics is just as important. When comparing the options, look for these coffee making fundamentals.

Is the coffee ground properly?

When considering any new coffee, particularly which bean versions, you’ll want to be sure it is ground for your machine and according to the roast to ensure the machine extracts the right balance of flavor from the grind. So ask your service provider whether your machine needs to be recalibrated for the new coffee beans to achieve the best results. Using too coarse of a grind will lead to under-extracted coffee, which often tastes sour. On the other hand, brewing coffee that’s been ground too finely leads to over-extracted coffee, which can taste too bitter.

What’s the ideal contact time?

How long the grind is in contact with the water to extract the flavor also affects coffee flavor and quality. Contact time that’s too short results in under-extracted coffee. Just like identifying the proper grind, contact time may be an adjustable setting that your coffee service provider can optimize. They also may be able to adjust contact time based on the water conditions in your area, as water hardness and alkalinity levels also have a role to play in determining optimal brew time. Scale buildup in the machine also should be checked and addressed, as this leads to inconsistent contact times and diminishing coffee quality.

How much water is added to the brew?

The coffee-to-water ratio, i.e. “the drop weight,” also can lead to off-flavors when not set correctly. Machines that use more than the recommended amount of water for a particular coffee will produce over-extracted coffee, and machines using too little water for a specific coffee create under-extracted coffee. Machine recalibration is especially important for plumbed, automated machines that use a set amount of water. The service provider should recalibrate this ratio for every new coffee product under consideration.

What is the water temperature?

The ideal brewing temperature for coffee ranges from 195°F to 205°F. Colder temperatures lead to under extraction, while hotter temperatures lead to over-extraction. When presenting a new coffee, your service provider should check and recalibrate the brewing temperature, if necessary, and alert you to any problems.

What is the ongoing maintenance?

Machine sanitation also can affect coffee flavor if the recommended maintenance procedures aren’t being followed or if they’re too cumbersome. Any coffee service under consideration should present recommendations associated with their coffee and the machines in use, as well as any added services that can simplify ongoing maintenance. For example, they may explain how and when to address scale and sediment buildup, or they may suggest options for built-in scale inhibition and filtration to increase coffee quality and consistency.

Choosing a new coffee service isn’t always easy, but these five fundamentals can help level the playing field. By understanding what it takes to make great coffee, you’ll be closer to choosing the brew service worthy of being the office’s daily grind.