A great espresso machine is the beating heart of any cafe focussed on high quality and output. But with so much choice, it can be hard to figure out exactly which machine will suit your exact needs.
Giulio is a veteran in Espresso Machine importing and sales, and is our resident expert in machine choice, installation and service. Here's what Giulio said about our range of high end Espresso Machines:
"While cafes going through 10-15kg of coffee a week will survive with a single boiler machine, a commercial machine is very important to produce good quality coffee. Machines around the $18-20,000 mark will use PID controllers and multiple boilers to give you consistency as well as programmability. You can set your exact temperature for espresso brewing, which won't budge even if you're steaming milk at the same time."
Another less considered factor is in attracting talented baristas. Our own Peter enjoys the Synesso MVP in the Darkstar Sensory Lab, and while there are a number of great machines out there, good baristas will want to work with good machines.
Victoria Arduino Black Eagle
While it may seem quite complicated, Giulio assures that the top end machines are more similar than they are different, and the decision often comes down to personal preference.
Great looks and Clean Lines
Whether it's the classic boxy design of the La Marzocco Linea, or the contemporary studio-designed Astoria Storm, looks are a big part of a coffee machine. It's not unreasonable for a cafe to spend a lot on a fitout which matches the exact look you're after, so there's nothing wrong with looking for an espresso machine which looks the way you love.
Buttons and Dials, Paddles and Programs
Another way machines differentiate is through the way your barista interfaces with them. The Synesso MVP and Hydra as well as the Slayer Steam and Espresso models use paddles atop each group head, which lend a sense of tactility to their use.
For other machines, their sheer ubiquitousness appear more traditional, but its ubiquitousness means that most experienced barista's will have the layout committed to muscle memory. The La Marzocco Linea PB is a model so popular that every experienced barista in Perth will know their way around one, and the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle is well known as the machine used in Australian and World Barista Championships.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Astoria Storm with a full colour touchscreen atop every group, allowing very easy programmability and customisation. "twenty year olds are much more familiar with screens, and this is what they gravitate to." Jokes Giulio, "But I think in a few years time a lot more machines will look like this."
Finally, Giulio says the best way to find the machine for you is to try a few out for yourself. We're lucky enough to stock and display all of the machines mentioned in this article in our new Osborne Park Headquarters. Come visit us! And in the mean time be sure to check out our Espresso Machines online.
La Marzocco Linea