I got the chance to play around with the new La Marzocco machine today. I brought a bag of Aricha #28 and the results were stunning. The machine is basically all you want in an espresso machine. Here is what is new:
1. One boiler per group. PID controlled. More accurate than ever.
2. Individually programmable or manually controlled pressure profiling on each group. The brew water pressure is either controlled by a pre- programmed computer (you can dial it in after your desire with a lap top) or you can adjust the pressure easily by pulling the paddle controller like a throttle up or down. The pressure will follow your movements on the paddle (throttle). This means you can brew at any desired pressure. You can monitor the pressure on the pressure gague over each group head.
3. One digitally controlled integrated pump per group. The pumps are serviceable and inside the machine this time instead of outside. (Saves space) You can also run them as you like without interfering the other groups’ pressure.
Everything beautifully wrapped inside a FB80 body.
I have to say that this is by far the best espresso machine I have ever tried. All other machines on the SCAA trade show became uninteresting after playing around with this today. It really opens up a whole new world in espresso brewing.
I got to taste 4 shots of the Aricha I brewed and I did different pressure profiling on all of them. (all the other shots were handed out) They were all very good but all very different in flavour, texture and balance. It was very interesting to monitor the pressure gagues as well, because the dosing and grind setting would directly influence the pressure as well as the throttle / paddle setting. You just can’t get away with inconsistent dosing with this machine. (Especially when you have 10 baristas watching you making shots)
I guess it is going to take years before we master this new technology. Imagine all the discussions on the various forums that will occur. (For instance: What pressure to do for pre infusion, what pressure do you flush the group at in order not to ruin the dispersion screens :-), etc.
The machine will probably be for sale in a year or so. I can’t wait to try one out for a longer period of time. Congratulations on a job well done to Jacob at La Marzocco who is the brain behind this new machine. The only thing missing now is technology to programme temperature profiling, and it will all fall in to place.
Who knows, we might have to invent a whole new brewing system after that happens…