I had the opportunity to try the Strada coffee machine, which breaks our captivity about espresso. I spent two days in the La Marzocco factory on training, where I could focus mainly on this device. Before the training, I read a little bit, watched some videos and so he roughly knew what awaited me. In our store, we use a GS3 coffee machine with a paddle, which also allows you to play with the pressure a bit, but to profile the pressure, as Strada can, it's a long way off.
Strada has very interesting circumstances. As its name "Street" suggests, this coffee machine was created based on the voice of the street. This is the first time in history that a coffee machine has been designed by users themselves. La Marzocco formed a team of baristas, including WBC world champions, technicians, coffee shop owners and roasters. Based on the formulated requirements and inspired by the Origin Coffee machine, which was assembled by our friend Jacob Elul Blake in his garage in Seattle. An unparalleled coffee machine was created. A coffee machine focused on the most perfect extraction at a stable temperature, which is standard for La Marzocco coffee machines, allows the barista to change the extraction pressure in real time using a "paddle" on the head of the coffee machine. It is very easy to create a pressure profile in a program on a computer and upload it to the machine using a flash key in a few seconds. The coffee machine can remember 4 pressure profiles for each head. Separate stainless steel boilers with a capacity of 1.5 liters for each head are a matter of course and the company now installs them on request in all other models of coffee machines.
What good is pressure profiling? The latest trend in the world's cafes is to offer the customer several types of coffee in the highest quality. Various blends and single coffee. Thanks to the possibility of setting different temperatures and pressure profiles, the barista is faced with the challenge of getting the best out of every coffee. So far, he could only play with the water temperature. Now, thanks to pressure profiles, it can get the most out of coffee. Thanks to pressure profiling, you get unsuspected spectrum of flavors from coffee. Beware, this may not always be a positive impression! With a poorly chosen profile, you can get a really bad espresso. Certain principles, which Tim Windelboe defined as the Ten Commandments to achieve consistency with the Strada coffee machine, must be followed. The system also works the other way around, thanks to pressure profiling, you can get different tastes from one type of coffee into a cup and thus satisfy a number of clients. Does the gentleman prefer a more sour fruitful coffee? no problem i choose a profile and the client gets it. If he wants a sweeter coffee with low acidity, it is not a problem to choose a different profile and the client will get his own. At the same time, it is still the same coffee mixture !! I myself was surprised that coffee, which is clearly bitter during normal extraction, can taste so fruity with a certain pressure profile. Strada has incredible ways to extract coffee. Thanks to 4 presets, it can repeat profiles whenever needed. Thanks to the "feedback loop" skill, the coffee machine can repeat the pressure profile even in the event of inconsistency in weight or compaction. The coffee machine is equipped with many small details that facilitate the work of the barista and technician. Let's pay a little attention to them. New levers made of stainless steel, which provide a quick response in the event of a change in temperature and have a much longer service life. No more battered chrome. Easy to clean thanks to the materials used and the easily removable spout. New sieves made with new technology, thanks to which the extraction is 25% better than with old sieves (measured by mojo extract). The levers are equipped with an integrated stand for tamping. The steam is controlled by a massive lever via a rheostat, which opens the proportional solenoid valve. Large-diameter steam hangers for cooler steam allow better control over milk whipping. Generous drip tray easily adjustable for cups or cups. To maintain maximum pressure stability and the possibility of its profiling, each head is equipped with its own gear pump. The steam boiler is filled with an extra inlet so that the extraction pressure is not affected. The coffee machine is equipped with one rotary pump with a capacity of 200 l / h. The steam boiler can be filled with pressure from the water supply system or another separate pump. In this case, the three-lever coffee machine is equipped with a total of 5 !!! pumps. The coffee machine is very low, which was a requirement of baristas who want to see the customer while preparing his coffee. The device is easy to clean and maintain. It sounds complicated and I missed 2 electronic control units and a transformer for pumps that operate on 24V DC. To my satisfaction, I found that most of the parts are identical to the GB5, and La Marzocco has once again created a bloated coffee machine while maintaining maximum simplicity. By the way, one of the requirements of the "Street Team" was easy service.
Many personalities from the coffee industry have already commented on this coffee machine, and in most cases not in a friendly way. Many people do not see much benefit in the possibility of pressure profiling. However, the coffee machine can also be used as a standard coffee machine at a pressure of 9 BAR. I can say for myself that I was fascinated by this machine and I look forward to having one with us. The following fact testifies to the fact that I am not alone who was enthusiastic about this machine. At present, Strada accounts for 50% of the factory's production. There will probably be something on that coffee machine. :-)