The World of Coffee in Milan is the first big opportunity for the world’s coffee equipment manufacturers to show off what they’ve being working on during Covid lockdowns. On the scene to grab all the juicy details is our head of Coffee Next, Boris Georgiou to bring us the 6 most interesting new bits of coffee tech coming soon.
#1 Dalla Corte Icon
Following on the from the launch of the specialty-focussed Zero machine last year, Dalla Corte brings their signature multi-boiler technologies to a brand new industry workhorse – the Icon. Sporting a strong angular design, which reminds me of the Tesla Cybertruck, the Icon includes separate, lead-free boilers for each group along with options to add automated grinder control, milk steaming & an online control system.
Another clever touch is the rear panel, which is designed to be removed for easy customisation. Available in just about any colour you could imagine, along with wood & even leather options.
Digging beneath the surface, Dalla Corte have also just launched a brand new Online Control System (OCS), allowing remote control of a number of key functions on their machines, including programming shot volumes (volumetric doses), adjusting water temperatures, monitoring machine parts are working correctly (including the water filter) and more.
#2 La Marzocco Linea S
The La Marzocco Linea Classic is perhaps the most iconic espresso machine in the specialty coffee business. So, when they announced they were updating the 30 year old design at the show in Milan, it instantly became big news. In terms of specs, the changes with the Linea S are pretty modest, focussed mostly on improving workflow & reliability:
- The body shape has been carefully upgraded with movement in mind
- A new ½ turn steam tap
- Shot timers have been introduced for each group head
- 3 illuminated buttons - 2 volumetric, 1 continuous
- Internals upgraded, including conversion of components to 24 volt, with a new board design that allows the machine to be connected for telematics.
In short, some sensible updates to a classic…without rocking the boat.
#3 Black Eagle Maverick
First announced in late 2021, this has been my first chance to get a close look (and taste) of the new Black Eagle Maverick by Victoria Arduino. Unlike the Linea S, the Black Eagle Maverick introduces new features that we haven’t seen before – most notably, the ‘PureBrew’ function which allows the barista to brew both espresso & filter coffee from the same group head.
It works by using a new cone-shaped metal filter basket, and a clever system of mixing & bypass valves to produce a flow rate that allows the barista to make drip filter-style coffee on demand. It’s a great idea, and one that could appeal to many specialty coffee bars that want to expand their coffee offer without adding extra equipment. In terms of taste, the end result was similar to what you get from an Aeropress using a metal filter.
That is, plenty of flavour & a full mouthfeel, but lacking the clarity of a paper filtered coffee. So it’s unlikely to replace a traditional batch brewer, but could be an interesting addition for some espresso bars.
#4 AiO Shop Roaster
Following on from the success of the breakthrough Bullet roaster, the designers at Aillio are clearly looking to step things up to a bigger scale with the new AiO 2kg roaster. The AiO brings the same electric induction heating and automatic roast profiles from the smaller Bullet to a whole new audience.
Where the Bullet was popular with home roasters and for sample roasting, the AiO may well be popular with small batch roasters, as a way to feature smaller lots of coffee than their main production roaster can manage – or for cafes looking to roast their own coffee in store. And let’s be honest, the sci-fi aesthetic just looks really cool....
#5 Officine Fratelli Bambi
Officine Fratelli Bambi is the new custom machine building division of La Marzocco, delivering special commissions and custom designed versions of their range of machines - with the distinctive modern Italian flair that La Marzocco is known for.
Customising espresso machines has become more and more popular in the industry, with leaders like Specht Design in Melbourne taking equipment design to the next level – so I guess it’s not surprising that manufacturers would start to get in on the action. It’s not exclusively one-off machines, they are also offering the ‘Comet’, which is a custom version of the ever-popular Linea PB as a permanent part of the range.
#6 Arco Hand Grinder
Made by the creatively named Goat Design, the ARCO grinder is a whole new take on precision hand grinders. Besides the first-class build quality & the extremely accurate 180 step adjustment range, the stand-out feature is the ability to connect it to an electric motor base unit.
That makes it an ideal single dose option for home users with both filter and espresso setups, which then can also be taken away from the house to be used as a traditional hand grinder. Clearly, the judges like it – awarding the Arco a prestigious Red Dot design award in 2022 & the ‘best new product’ award at the show in Milan by the Specialty Coffee Association.