Noteworthy news coverage kicks off 2012

9 04 2012

We’re honored that several local and national publications have recently profiled La Marzocco and our people.

In February CEO Kent Bakke was featured in the Seattle Times in a story detailing his contribution to the coffee community in Seattle and beyond. The Seattle Times profile was complemented by a company profile of La Marzocco on Gizmodo the same week.

In  March, Seattle Magazine’s special “Best Restaurants” issue named Kent Bakke one of the 70 most powerful players in the Seattle food scene. The list includes “people and institutions who have had – and continue to have – the most substantial impact on how we eat, what we eat, and what we’ll want to eat in the future.”

And be sure to pick up the April/May issue of Barista Magazine. The cover story “Coffee Women of the Pacific Northwest” features our own Sarah Dooley, who focuses on coffee education and community engagement.

We recommend reading while enjoying a Marzocco-crafted beverage. Cheers!

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Mid Atlantic/ North East Coffee Conference- MANE

13 10 2011

Minded with mastery and no stranger to events Troy, of Cosmic Cup Coffee and Gerra, of New Harvest Coffee can add another successful gathering to their list of accomplishments.

Barista folk from all over the world gathered at a specialized 2 1/2 day event titled MANE.

According to attendees, speakers and a brief, lovely post from dear coffee i love you we’d like to offer a little recap.
With interviews from a short, but sweet DM twitter feed from an easy man to adore, Gwilym Davies and one of our very own attendee/instructor/all around cool guy, Scott Guglielmino.

Let’s start with the keynote speaker and 2009 World Barista Champion (apparently looking very good for his age according to the wikipedia definition, perhaps some shenanigans around his birth year).  If you have met Gwilym you would agree he’s probably the most approachable person in the industry; kind, knowledgeable, and a professional learner. His keynote speech summed up felt a little something like this “we just don’t know much…and it’s time to drop the ego’s.”  With an invitation like that you can imagine how the dynamic of a room can change opening up the lines of communication.
Scott G. (LM Solutions & specialized customer service tech.) came away with a similar feeling on the event. Scott spent his time doing what he does very well, explaining the intricate but very basic controls for finding great coffee; dose, grind, temperature. His message is the same whether he is here, abroad or at MANE, “…the correction extraction should also taste good.”  (Thank you www.dearcoffeeiloveyou.com for that perfect quote).  He is full of impactful one liners like that. Scott had another pretty inspiring moment that he put into these exact words,”The thirst for knowledge in the New England coffee community was refreshing.”

The event had great topics, full days of information sharing in an intimate layout which welcomed conversation and encouraged hands on learning.

Evenings were matched with a latte art competition, brew down event and what would be great fellowship leading into the wee hours of the morning.

Strada, lever machines and Marco boilers played supporting equipment roles in the production that attendees brag is the best coffee event to date!





An Espresso Analogy

2 05 2010

So I came across an article titled What Happens During an Espresso Extraction by Erin Meister of Counter Culture Coffee and Nervous Cook. It’s an excellent primer for coffee newbies on what makes an espresso an espresso. But it’s this that caught my eye:

“Espresso sure is a complicated elixir for being so small. Like Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity, a high-quality shot can be multilayered and complex: rich, sexy, sweet, but also fast and smooth—maybe even a little dangerous—with a hint of a bitter edge.”

I don’t know about you, but rich, sexy, sweet, fast, smooth, bitter, and dangerous is how I have my espresso everyday (especially the dangerous part, as it is my middle name as well). But Barbara Stanwyck and Double Indemnity? What the? Well, here’s the writeup according to Netflix:

“Smitten insurance man Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) plots the perfect murder with femme fatale client Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck): staging her husband’s “accidental” death to collect double indemnity on his life insurance and absconding with the loot. But before their scheme can pay off, the lethal duo must first get past a crafty claims investigator (Edward G. Robinson) who senses something isn’t kosher.”

While it does have a rating of 4.1 stars on Netflix, I wonder how many readers out there has even heard of this gem from 1944? Certainly not I. Erin, may I recommend this instead?





LM Out of the Box Coming to NYC

15 04 2010

UPDATED INFO ON NEWEST POST HERE





Strada Debut @SCAA

13 04 2010

This is an informational preview of the Strada debut at SCAA. No, it’s not about the iPad app, though we do have something similar to that in the works. What will be shown are stage 3 prototypes of 2 models of Strada.

You can download the information here.


TOTAL CONTROL PLUS REAL PRESSURE PROFILING

Advancing espresso brewing technology to new frontiers, La Marzocco introduces the Strada, a new machine that allows the barista, for the first time, to have absolute and direct control of pressure throughout the extraction.

DESIGNED FOR & BY BARISTAS

Strada is the first espresso machine created with continuous design involvement by the La Marzocco Street Team, comprised of the world’s top baristas and barista champions, overseeing such topics as:

  • Machine design and ergonomics
  • Extraction and quality in the cup
  • Programmability and serviceability

Combined with La Marzocco’s industry leading engineering and 6 years of R&D, Strada is for the serious barista.

REAL PRESSURE PROFILING

Pressure profiling is able to bring out different flavor components to effect the balance and body of the shot, and tends to produce a rounder, softer espresso that highlights brightness, sweetness, and delicate notes.

Strada is the only espresso machine that gives the barista direct control of pressure at any point during an extraction. This opens up infinite possibilities for varying the quality of extraction and is the most exciting advancement in espresso machines today.

Strada can record and replay the desired pressure profiles indefinitely, a key feature that allows efficiency, quality, and consistency in a busy bar environment.

2 MODELS

Strada is a completely new platform from La Marzocco, available in two versions: Mechanical Paddle and Electronic Variable Pump.

Mechanical Paddle

Direct control of water flow and pressure mechanically via an internal valve, thus allowing pressure profiling.

Electronic Variable Pump

Precise progressive pressure control via proprietary gear pumps*. Programmable and repeatable pressure profiles for infinite possibilities.

FEATURES

Design

  • Engineered based on feedback from the La Marzocco Street Team, an elite group of the world’s top baristas and barista champions
  • Low machine profile and minimalistic design
  • Stainless steel body panels with exposed groups
  • Fully articulated, lever actuated steam wands
  • Cast aluminum side panel with glass inserts

Usability

  • All new, barista-friendly & ergonomic design
  • Real time actual brew pressure gauge per group
  • Paddle controls increasing or decreasing brew pressure at any point during the extraction from 0 to 12 bar
  • Wider drain tray with adjustable height
  • Back-lit gauges and displays

Tech

  • One pump, one pre-heater, one mix valve, one coffee boiler, one PID, and one real time brew pressure gauge PER GROUP
  • Paddle controlled motor speed for variable pressure*, programmable and infinitely repeatable
  • Jog wheel programming interface
  • Internally mounted pumps
  • ETL and NSF approved




A Sneak Preview of SCAA New Products

1 04 2010

Ok, this just can’t wait for two more weeks. Here’s a sneak peak of La Marzocco’s new iPad app!!This is the first iPad program to work in concert with the forthcoming Strada, controlling functions and parameters such as: time, temp, pressure, and cup profile. Yes, you get to edit and manage your desired cup profile and import it into the app as you wish. The built-in artificial intelligence, or “AI”, (co-developed by La Marzocco, Stanford, and Apple) takes the profile and automatically adjusts other parameters to replicate the profile in the resulting cup.

The app also has analytical tools to indicate: body (in viscosity measurements), spot TDS, and coffee origin (via a built-in DNA sequencer in the grouphead). Best of all, it has a pre-configured scoring system (also controlled by the AI) that analyzes the resulting espresso on the almighty God Shot scale (out of possible 10). I mean, how else would you know you’re drinking a God Shot if it wasn’t a computer with AI telling you so?

Since the recent development of this app, we’ve been just constantly amazed at the superb quality of espressos this tool is able to produce. Forget repeatability, the La Marzocco iPad app brings you the controls over parameters never before possible.

The La Marzocco app is also built to be on the bleeding edge of Apple technology. When future versions of the iPad comes out with a built-in camera, the app’s AI is already configured to immediately take advantage of that and it will know the barista via facial recognition and automatically brew up the barista’s favorite cup profile. Connect it to an additional external camera facing the cafe, and the AI will do the same with frequent customers.

Come see the demo at SCAA!





Define: Pressure Profiling

19 02 2010

Note that given the current early adoption phase of pressure profiling technology, everybody is still learning what is possible, us included. We have, for the past year, extensively used and experimented with pressure profiling capable prototypes and modified espresso machines and thought it is time to “go on the record” with what we have learned.

What Pressure Profiling IS:

  • Provides the ability to vary and/or manipulate brewing pressure (between 0 and 9 bars, static or progressive) during the extraction process
  • An additional espresso preparation variable that, in itself, has a high degree of possible brewing parameters

What Pressure Profiling is NOT:

  • Necessarily a new machine
  • Necessarily going to make EVERY coffee taste good*
  • Capable of making bad coffee good
  • The Holy Grail

What Pressure Profiling DOES:

  • Allows you to change the “volume” (or “expression”) of different flavor components to effect the balance and body of the shot*
  • Tends to produce a rounder, softer espresso that highlights brightness, sweetness, and delicate notes to emerge from the body of the shot*

What Pressure Profiling REQUIRES:

  • A very attentive, well trained barista
  • Good palate
  • LOTS of experimentation to subject your coffee to various pressure profile curves to determine the best fit, as there is no right or wrong
  • Objective and careful reconsideration of classic espresso extraction parameters (e.g. dosage, preinfusion time, total dwell time, etc.) in conjunction with open mindedness*

*Experiments reveal that even the same pressure profile has dramatically different effects on different coffees. Some espressos do taste better when subjected to pressure profiling. Some don’t.

In summary, this post is only meant to put some thoughts on pressure profiling, given some of the questions out there. If anything, this hopes to serve to get more discussion (and experimentation) going to further espresso quality and appreciation.