I am extremely delighted, honoured and happy to tell you that we will be the first in the world to recieve a La Marzocco Strada EP for testing.
The Strada is the result of the prototype machine we tested in Atlanta 2009 and finally, after a lot of feedback and trials from the LM Street Team, it was launched in London during the 2010 WBC . After Kent Bakke was finished presenting the machine he announced that we will be the first coffee shop to test the Strada EP (Electronic paddle) and our dear friends in Denmark, The Coffee Collective will be the first to test the Strada MP (Mechanical paddle)
The difference between the EP and the MP is that the EP, which stands for Electronic Paddle, has separate gear pumps for each grouphead, enabling the barista to control the brewing pressure on each group manually or to programme 4 different brew pressure profiles per group. This will give you 12 brew profiles on a 3 group machine and you can run 3 different profiles (1 on each group) at the same time. The machine also have individual boilers for each group so that you can adjust different brewing temperatures on every single group.
The MP has a rotary pump that turns on with full pressure when a group is activated. Then the barista can manually adjust the brew pressure during the extraction of a shot by opening or closing the water dispersion valve on top of the group. That means the more open the valve, the more pressure you get. Of course, the repeatability on the MP is not the same as on an EP and the group paddles were not as sensitive on the MP as on the EP.
I briefly tried both machines with Cielito Lindo Espresso during the London trade show, and I have to say that one of the shots i pulled on the EP was one of the best espressos I have ever had. The Cielito Lindo was extremely creamy, sweet, clean and super balanced. I really hope I will be able to repeat this shot once it arrives Norway.
The machine will arrive tomorrow afternoon, and we will be playing with it as soon as we come home from vacation. We are also planning on putting it on test in our bar after playing with it so that we can try it out on our customers and see how the machine works in a hectic bar.
We will post reports as soon as we have something to report, so stay tuned.