In Cup or Automatic? Which drinks machine is right for me?

How to choose the right vending machine for your cup drinks machine

When you decide to install a vending machine, there are a number of things to consider.
When you begin to look around, it might well seem that there is a huge variety of hot drink vending machines, all designed for different situations.
Well, don’t panic! We can actually reduce your choice somewhat to two basic types…      In cup machines and automatic machines.

In cup Machines.

In cup vending machines dispense cups with the ingredients already inside the disposable cup, hence the name “in cup”. All the user needs to do is add the hot water. In cup machines range in size from table top models holding as few as 200 cups such as the “Mini Carousel“, all the way up to machines like the “Style 5” which can hold several hundred cups with multiple selections.

Some table top machines contain a water tank which is filled manually. Useful if there is no
plumbed water supply at hand.
Larger machines are usually plumbed in to a permanent water supply.

The “Style 5” is a good example of an in cup machine.

In cup machines are:

Extremely convenient.
Simple to maintain and restock.
Very easy to clean.
Relatively inexpensive.

In cup drink machines do have disadvantages:

Fixed drink strength.
Higher cost per cup.

Automatic Machines.

With these machines, the ingredients are stored in canisters and each drink is freshly made as required. They range in size from the table top models with 3 canisters to large machines holding multiple canisters.
These machines are invariably plumbed in to a permanent water supply.

The “Roma” is a good example of an automatic machine.

Advantages of automatic machines:

Wide range of selections.
Variable drink strength.
Relatively low cost per cup.


Complex to maintain.
Thorough cleaning takes time.
Relatively expensive.

So the basic rule of thumb is…

For total convenience and easy cleaning, choose an in cup drinks machine.

If you need more options and / or more control, go for an automatic machine. Just remember to draw up a rota for machine cleaning!

All these machines can be either free vend or fitted with a coin pay mechanism. Pay models with coin mechanisms can normally be switched to free vend. Nowadays, there is also the option of cashless systems.

This is a very brief summary of the types of hot drink vending machines available. Call or contact us for further free advice.

Finding a vending machines provider isn’t difficult, but make sure you use an established
company like Red Hot Vending, we’ve been around since 1990.

For free impartial advice on machines most likely to match your needs just call us.       0800 413559

We also sell in cup and bulk vending products you’ll need  for your in cup and automatic machine at highly competitive prices.Contact us