Why is precision so essential for espresso machines?

Since the world’s first espresso machine was patented by Angelo Moriondo in 1884, design has come a great distance. Between changing into extra glossy and fashionable and specializing in controlling espresso extraction, know-how continues to evolve.

All through this progress, precision has all the time been a guiding focus – and this continues to be the case. Now greater than ever, espresso retailers and roasters spend money on high-quality, exact espresso machines for a variety of causes.

To search out out extra about precision in espresso machines, I spoke to 3 individuals at Levee – a premium espresso machine producer in Turkey. Learn on to be taught extra.

You may additionally like our article on how espresso machines work.

How have espresso machines modified through the years?

Over the previous 100 years, espresso machine design has developed tremendously.

Between the late-Eighteen Eighties and mid-1900s, espresso machine design was significantly extra rudimentary than now. Moriondo’s prototype espresso machine used one boiler to pressure water via a espresso puck at round 1.5 bars of strain. A second boiler would then flush the puck and end extraction.

Within the years since, machines have come to characteristic improvements comparable to strain launch valves, steam wands, and levers to enhance efficiency. Nevertheless, it wasn’t till 1961 that the primary motorised pump was put in – which actually created the espresso machine as we all know it in the present day.

Because the Nineteen Sixties, we will say that espresso machine engineering has come to concentrate on a variety of areas. These embody boiler know-how, water circulate management, automation, and common precision in design.

An growing concentrate on design

Baris Helvacioglu is the CEO of Levee. He explains how espresso machine design has modified over the previous few years.

“Lately, the design of espresso machines, in addition to efficiency, has turn out to be the primary focus of producers,” he says. “As an example, as a substitute of levers which required a sure degree of power to drag, espresso machines now have a lot smaller and extra environment friendly methods of extracting espresso.

“With rising demand for espresso, cafés and roasters want strong but exact espresso machines to make sure their drinks attain a excessive commonplace,” he provides.

Begüm Akpinar is the Chief Monetary Officer at Levee.

“Older espresso machines typically take up extra space, and embody many stainless-steel and plastic components,” she says. “This led some espresso store homeowners to put them out of sight.”

So as to minimise any bodily obstacles between baristas and clients, espresso store homeowners typically positioned espresso machines behind the bar. Nevertheless, this may imply that baristas had their backs to clients whereas utilizing the machines – impeding each workflow and customer support.

“With extra precision in espresso machine design, they are often made a lot smaller – with out sacrificing on know-how,” she provides. “Furthermore, they will look extra elegant, to allow them to be the centrepiece of a espresso store.”

Matching efficiency and design

Pinar Kabakçi is the Gross sales and Advertising and marketing Supervisor at Levee. She explains why the design of an espresso machine is so essential.

“Extracting high-quality espresso is an artwork type,” she tells me. “Due to this fact, the espresso machine that you just use additionally must be visually interesting, in addition to with the ability to carry out to a excessive commonplace.”

In step with this, Pinar explains that Levee espresso machines had been designed in partnership with Pininfarina, a luxurious Italian vehicle producer, and occasional provider Helvacıoğlu Kahve.

“The magnetic mechanism for Levee’s handmade wood panels – that are produced from Ziricote, black and white ebony, and American black walnut – was impressed by F1 pit-stops,” Baris says. “You’ll be able to simply take away and reattach inside seconds.

“Together with our companions at Pininfarina, we visited a whole lot of espresso retailers in Turin to watch barista workflow,” he provides. “Even much less skilled baristas can rapidly turn out to be snug utilizing a Levee espresso, and might set and file brewing profiles utilizing one button,” he provides.

Travel and food writer Ayhan Sicimoğlu stands next to a Levee espresso machine
Journey and meals author Ayhan Sicimoğlu stands subsequent to a Levee espresso machine.

How do espresso retailers discover an espresso machine that aligns with their branding?

Advertising and marketing is an important a part of working a profitable espresso enterprise, particularly in a customer-facing a part of the provision chain. For espresso retailers, espresso machines have come to play a key function in branding and visible identification.

Furthermore, many espresso retailers and roasters now place their espresso machines extra thoughtfully, in order to be the focus or centrepiece of their café.

Finally, which means that in addition to being extra visually interesting, the design of espresso machines additionally must be extra consistent with a espresso enterprise’ branding and advertising and marketing.

For instance, roasters and occasional retailers have to make it possible for a number of design options align with their branding, comparable to:

  • Design type (e.g. fashionable or retro)
  • Form
  • Supplies used (plastic, metallic, glass, and wooden)
  • Color scheme
  • Customisation choices, comparable to firm names and logos

“Espresso machine design must be suitable with the ambiance of a espresso store,” Pinar says. “Levee espresso machines are designed to draw consideration with their ‘fluid’ and futuristic – but additionally retro – design.”

Baris explains that utilizing completely different supplies and hues will help to steadiness a number of design kinds.

“The mix of ‘heat’ and ‘chilly’ supplies, comparable to wooden and metallic, will help your espresso machine to face out,” he says.

The form of your espresso machine may play an enormous function. For instance, sharp, exact shapes are sometimes seen as extra slick and futuristic, whereas a extra fluid and rounded design comes throughout as extra relaxed and intimate.

Pinar explains the design of Levee’s higher and decrease grids was impressed by Pininfarina’s iconic Fifties automobile design.

“We manufacture our machines utilizing six items of stainless-steel, with no screws seen from the outside,” she says.

What about customisable espresso machines?

Till just lately, espresso store and roastery homeowners had a restricted vary of colors and supplies to select from for his or her espresso machines.

Nevertheless, the rising demand for extra customisation means which you could alter or change an increasing number of parts to create an espresso machine that works to your model. At present, manufacturers can add their brand, alter colors, and even substitute inventory panels with completely different and even branded supplies.

An instance is Levee’s customisable, hand-made wood panels, which could be interchanged and fitted utilizing robust magnets. 

“Levee makes use of a particular approach to fabricate its handmade wood panels, which could be interchanged,” Pinar explains. “It takes 4 days to fabricate them to a specification which ensures that the panels can stand up to temperature fluctuation [because of the boilers].

“Apart from the panels, portafilter handles, and the color of stainless-steel and plexiglass are additionally customisable,” she provides.

Furthermore, Begüm explains that Levee machines – which acquired the 2023 German Design Award – additionally embody different options, comparable to glass toes.

“The glass toes particularly create a light-weight and nearly floating impact to the machine,” she tells me.

A double espresso being pulled on a Levee espresso machine

Why does precision matter a lot?

It’s no understatement to say {that a} high quality espresso machine needs to be the centre of each espresso store.

“An espresso machine is the facility behind each espresso store,” Begüm says. “It must be robust and strong, in addition to carry out constantly.”

In flip, an increasing number of espresso retailers and roasters are searching for extra exact espresso machines – when it comes to efficiency, in addition to design.

Successfully, having extra management over extraction variables ends in higher-quality espresso. Due to this fact, it’s vital that baristas dial in espresso so clients can expertise the complete spectrum of a espresso’s flavours.

Espresso machines designed with precision in thoughts definitely assist with attaining constantly glorious espresso. As an example, machines which permit baristas to regulate circulate price, temperature, and strain will inevitably end in higher high quality espresso.

Upkeep and spare elements

Upkeep and repairs are additionally essential, too. One of many greatest considerations for espresso store homeowners and baristas is the provision of spare elements and entry to technical help when points come up.

“Typically talking, [to avoid any interruptions to service], a espresso store may have to put in a brand new machine till their present one is mounted,” Baris explains. 

Nevertheless, receiving new elements or upkeep help can generally take up to a couple days – which could be detrimental to gross sales.

Levee ensures technical service inside 48 hours in Turkey and different nations the place we distribute our machines,” he provides. “For some other nation, Levee ensures technical service through video name inside 24 hours, and we ship spare elements to anyplace on this planet inside three days.”

What ought to espresso retailers and roasters search for?

There are many espresso machines accessible available on the market, however what try to be searching for relies upon largely in your espresso store or roastery’s standards.

There are a number of key traits to look out for when investing in a brand new machine.

In the beginning, efficiency needs to be a precedence – high-quality espresso drinks will converse for themselves. On the identical time, discovering a design and magnificence of espresso machine that aligns along with your model identification is vital.

“With a robust, elegant, exact, and barista-oriented espresso machine, baristas can do their jobs extra successfully,” Baris tells me. “Having a high-quality machine with a clear design can add extra worth to a espresso enterprise.”

Lastly, sturdiness can be important. As a lot as potential, repairs needs to be minimal – for each the inside and exterior of the machine.

Over the previous few many years, espresso machine know-how has developed to emphasize design and efficiency – and precision has been on the forefront of this evolution. Now greater than ever, it’s essential that espresso retailers and roasters spend money on machines that are each practical and visually interesting.

Finally, a extra exact espresso machine not solely signifies that espresso high quality stays excessive, however helps to enhance model fairness and consciousness amongst your clients and past.

Loved this? Then learn our article on what the long run is for espresso.

Picture credit: Levee, Onur Sozeri

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Please observe: Levee is a sponsor of Good Each day Grind.

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