Noteworthy news coverage kicks off 2012

We’re honored that several local and national publications have recently profiled La Marzocco and our people.

In February CEO Kent Bakke was featured in the Seattle Times in a story detailing his contribution to the coffee community in Seattle and beyond. The Seattle Times profile was complemented by a company profile of La Marzocco on Gizmodo the same week. Read more…

Coffee Fest Parties This Weekend

Here is your specialty coffee party directory for Coffee Fest weekend (ok, it’s not much of a “directly” as there’s only two public parties going on but, hey, it’s only Coffee Fest, not SCAA):

Coffee Fest Seattle Kick Off Party

Thursday, Oct 28, 6-10pm
Hotel Andra Ballroom
2000 4th Ave

Get your kicks at the uber trendy Hotel Andra with folks from Roast Magazine, Batdorf & Bronson, Espresso Supply, iSi, Monin, Theta Ridge, and Caffe D’Amore.

Victrola’s Brew Ha Ha

Saturday, Oct 30, 7-11pm
Victrola Coffee Roasters
310 E. Pike

Costume party + latte art competition + manual brew competition. Espresso Parts is throwing in the prizes. La Marzocco USA is providing the espresso machine and the new Marco hot water towers. Killer music sets by DJ Shvr (alt ego Kliff at Visions Espresso) and Token Folk (whose Ifthen Loki’s alt ego is Luke at LM USA). Undoubtedly, this is THE party this weekend. More party details here.

Download Token Folk’s album for free here.

[UPDATED] The partimeisters at Sprudge.com has also made their own posting about the parties this weekend. Here are a couple more:

Trabant Presents TRAINWRECK

Friday, Oct 29, 8pm-?
Trabant
602 Second Ave

“Kegs, liquor, a taco bar, some throwdown shenanigans, costume contests, and epic groovy prizes supplied by the Trabant Consortium.” Trabant-inspired 49th Parallel espresso blend, “Tunnel #20″ will also debut.

Sprudge.com Boozapalooza

Saturday, Oct 30, after Victrola’s party
Six Arms
300 E. Pike

Celebrate Sprudge’s one year anniversary with an afterparty down the street from Victrola.

Marco is Here!

UPDATED 10/21: The Uber Grinder is 110V

La Marzocco USA is excited to introduce Marco and their advanced line of coffee equipment to the USA!

Uber Boiler – You probably have heard of it before. It is the result of an engineering collaboration between James Hoffman, Anette Moldvaer, Stephen Morrissey, and Marco – a precise water delivery system designed to deliver exact volumes of water at exact temperatures to meet the needs of uncompromising manual coffee brewing. When Hoffman’s Penny University opened, it was the only piece of brewing equipment used. Download brochure here.

Uber Grinder – The other product in Marco’s Uber Project and a result of collaboration between Marco and Mahlkonig. It has the body of a Mahlkonig Tanzania but with a proprietary, unique burr set that produces an amazingly narrow grind particle distribution curve. Download brochure here (UPDATED: the Uber Grinder is 110V).

Ecosmart 10L – An electronically controlled, insulated hot water tower with a digital temperature display and programmable features. Unlike typical hot water towers that immediately displaces every cup of hot water you use with incoming cold water and thereby lowering the temperature of the entire vessel, the Ecosmart prioritizes temperature stability by controlling when and how much cold water can enter. Also features an “Ecomode” for saving energy use during off peak hours. Download brochure here.

Ecoboiler 5L and 10L – Same as Ecosmart but no digital display. Insulated and made with 95% recyclable materials. “Ecomode” available on 10L model only. Same brochure as Ecosmart.

La Marzocco USA is Marco’s exclusive distributor in the USA and can sell to Canada as well. Visit La Marzocco USA’s booth (#625, 627, right next to Barista Magazine and Espresso Parts) at Coffee Fest Seattle!

Courtesy of Marco:

Timeline: Seattle Coffee

Go to the newstands and grab an issue of Seattle Magazine! The current issue features an extensive writeup on Seattle’s past and current coffee scene, personalities, and history. While the feature is mostly on roasters and shops, it does give acknowledge credit to those in the equipment realm that helped to shape how things are:

Potraits of Seattle coffee “gearheads” in Seattle Magazine. Taken with the ghetto scanner.

Just as interesting is a Seattle coffee Monopoly game-like timeline of historical significance:

Download the PDF here.

Yeah, We’re Doing Coffee Fest

After SCAA in April and LMOOB NYC in June, we’re pretty toast for tradeshows and events for the year, especially when there’s so few of us here at LM USA. But when it’s right in your backyard, it’s hard to say no. Such is the case with Coffee Fest Seattle. So, ladies and gents, mark your calendars for:

COFFEE FEST SEATTLE
October 29-31, 2010
www.coffeefest.com

In addition to espresso machines, we will officially showcase a new line of coffee equipment. Details to come.

If you plan on attending, register for FREE by Oct 10 or save $20 thereafter by using this our complimentary invite code: 59173

Espresso Parts Restoration Services

…restores a classic La Marzocco Mondial 2 group to its old shiny self for 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters. This baby has been retrofitted with a PID temperature controller. Technical wizardry by David Ringwood. Additional pictures on Flickr.

GQ Ranks Top Cafes

GQ magazine showcases the top 10 places to get your daily fix in the U.S.

In “The Most Important Drink of Your Day“, GQ magazine hits home with the point that, “why pay $4.79 for a watery latte that was lovelessly made on a push-button machine that could be safely operated by a 4 year old?” (They’re referring to a superautomatic espresso machine, by the way)

In the “Golden Age of Coffee” (as they call it) that we now live in, “there’s now a wealth of coffee in America so rich and flavorful it’ll remind you why you originally fell in love with the stuff.”

Other than killer coffee and quality, what else do these featured coffee roasters have in common? They’re all customers of La Marzocco, of course.

Alterra
Blue Bottle
Caffe Vita
Intelligentsia
Kaldi’s
Ninth Street Espresso
Ritual
Stumptown
Verve
Zoka

Barista Round Table

Visions Espresso‘s Coffee Enhancement Lounge will be hosting the first of many Barista Round Tables. Bringing baristas and coffee geeks alike together to discuss coffee, methods, tools, machines, etc. and to build a stronger coffee community.

Mark your calendars, the first Barista Round Table will be held on October 28. PDF flyer is here:

Barista Round Table, pdf Oct.

Stumptown Producers Panel

Aleco and famers/exporters from Colombia, Kenya, and Costa Rica sitting across from baristas, shop owners, and consumers. Can the supply chain be any shorter than this?

Over the weekend, Stumptown Coffee Roasters hosted the Producers Panel, a presentation and discussion on the state of the coffee industry on the producers side. For those who have not had the opportunity to visit origin, this was a fantastic way to meet those responsible for their dedication and hard work on the other end of the supply chain. The panel took place at Seattle University, which was followed by a tasting of the coffee represented by the panelists at Stumptown’s nearby cafe & roastery. Coffees were enjoyed on the espresso machine (as single origin espressos), chemex, and pourover.

Even if you have been in the industry for some time (but haven’t visited origin yet), this has to be a sobering experience. In his own words, Ngatia, a coffee farmer from Karatina, Nyeri in Kenya, passionately spoke of how Stumptown and a small handful of other progressive coffee roasters are purchasing their coffees through the “second window” in Kenya’s coffee exchange. This enables him and his coop to receive up to twice as much for their above par quality coffees. Through their collaboration with Stumptown, Ngatia’s coop was able to increase their production by about 40% in the past couple years and is on track to almost double their current level in the coming year.

The farmers were very grateful for such progressive roasters to work with them via the direct trade model, and just as so for this opportunity to visit Portland and Seattle and meet those who enjoy their work. In fact, for most of them, this was their first trip outside of their respective countries.

This event has become an annual tradition at Stumptown. Hopefully, this will also be commonplace at other roasters as well.

What’s Next?

It’s been almost 3 years since Stumptown has opened their beautiful roasting facility and cafes in Seattle. No matter which roaster you work for or which coffee you prefer, it’s undeniable that Stumptown has had a profound influence over Seattle’s coffee scene. Without getting into who’s coffee is better and whatnot, it’s fair to say that everybody has been upping their game for sure. To that, more power to them all.

Stumptown Seattle's Mistral.
Stumptown Seattle’s Mistral.

This brings up an interesting question – with the proliferation of 3rd wave coffee, what’s next? 4th wave? What are the parameters of this next stage of evolution?

With the way things are brewing (bada bing!), direct trade and ultra attentive sourcing will result in brewing methods that highlight such extensive work. These may include single origin espresso and single origin coffees by the cup via various methods e.g. pourover, chemex, press pot, etc. Equipment-wise, this means new coffee brewers and espresso machines that enable greater control over soft preinfusion and pressure profiling. Though there has not been an entire industry consensus on merits or standards of soft preinfusion and pressure profiling (whether on a Mechanical Paddle La Marzocco, Synesso, or Slayer), things are trickling in.

Advanced soft preinfusion (soft preinfusion with pressure manipulation) in its various forms have shown what’s possible to date. It doesn’t necessarily work on all coffees and, in the end, it’s still in the tongue of the beholder. In words, it’s hella debatable! The results have been impressive for us – espressos tend to be much more softer and rounded, without sacrificing its core delicacies e.g. brightness, acidity, etc. Hopefully, as more advanced soft preinfusion machines (Mechanical Paddle La Marzoccos and Slayer) find their way onto coffee bars, a better consensus can result.

However, advanced soft preinfusion is but only an incremental step towards total control a.k.a. true pressure profiling (that is, infinitely variable pressure from zero to your desired maximum brew pressure throughout the extraction process). Whatever the technology (or the lack thereof) that will get an espresso machine there, more power to it. After all, it’s all about what’s in the cup that truly matters. Well, it’s also about reproducibility as well. It’s rather difficult to use either advanced soft preinfusion or pressure profiling to make every espresso shot in a busy cafe. It’s just not practical!

To date, no production machine has been able to truly enable true pressure profiling. To that end, La Marzocco is working on a brand new, true pressure profile machine. A prototype was shown at this year’s SCAA on a down low basis and there’s field tests/feedback going on to get maximum input and feedback from those that will ultimately use it. All we can say is, watch out for it in 2010!

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