SCAA Portland

Wow, we can hardly believe SCAA is almost here! Here are the details:

WHO/WHAT:

Specialty Coffee Association of America Exposition, La Marzocco exhibiting

WHEN:

4/20: 11-5:30pm

4/21: 11-5:30pm

4/22: 11-4pm

WHERE:

Booth #3101: Oregon Convention Center: 777 NE ML King Blvd. Portland, OR 97232

WHY:

Because we all like the opportunity to talk, taste, brew and compete with coffee!
Read more…

Calling all service technicians!

• Do you work in the US as an espresso service technician?
• Are you experienced and comfortable working on La Marzocco machines?
If you said YES to both questions, please either connect, or re-connect with us!

Email solutions@lamarzoccousa.com to get in touch with our Solutions (tech) department.

Thanks, and we hope to hear from you talented ones soon!

 

STRADA Global Debut @ Caffe Culture/WBC

Going to SCAE’s Caffe Culture next week? Be sure to check out the official unveiling of the new STRADA pressure profiling espresso machines and Vulcano grinders next Wednesday, June 23 @ 3pm at Stand K100. Presented by none other than Kent Bakke!

PRESS RELEASE

STRADA SPECS

Strada Debut @SCAA

This is an informational preview of the Strada debut at SCAA. No, it’s not about the iPad app, though we do have something similar to that in the works. What will be shown are stage 3 prototypes of 2 models of Strada.

You can download the information here.


TOTAL CONTROL PLUS REAL PRESSURE PROFILING

Advancing espresso brewing technology to new frontiers, La Marzocco introduces the Strada, a new machine that allows the barista, for the first time, to have absolute and direct control of pressure throughout the extraction.

DESIGNED FOR & BY BARISTAS

Strada is the first espresso machine created with continuous design involvement by the La Marzocco Street Team, comprised of the world’s top baristas and barista champions, overseeing such topics as:

  • Machine design and ergonomics
  • Extraction and quality in the cup
  • Programmability and serviceability

Combined with La Marzocco’s industry leading engineering and 6 years of R&D, Strada is for the serious barista.

REAL PRESSURE PROFILING

Pressure profiling is able to bring out different flavor components to effect the balance and body of the shot, and tends to produce a rounder, softer espresso that highlights brightness, sweetness, and delicate notes.

Strada is the only espresso machine that gives the barista direct control of pressure at any point during an extraction. This opens up infinite possibilities for varying the quality of extraction and is the most exciting advancement in espresso machines today.

Strada can record and replay the desired pressure profiles indefinitely, a key feature that allows efficiency, quality, and consistency in a busy bar environment.

2 MODELS

Strada is a completely new platform from La Marzocco, available in two versions: Mechanical Paddle and Electronic Variable Pump.

Mechanical Paddle

Direct control of water flow and pressure mechanically via an internal valve, thus allowing pressure profiling.

 

Electronic Variable Pump

Precise progressive pressure control via proprietary gear pumps*. Programmable and repeatable pressure profiles for infinite possibilities.

FEATURES

Design

  • Engineered based on feedback from the La Marzocco Street Team, an elite group of the world’s top baristas and barista champions
  • Low machine profile and minimalistic design
  • Stainless steel body panels with exposed groups
  • Fully articulated, lever actuated steam wands
  • Cast aluminum side panel with glass inserts

Usability

  • All new, barista-friendly & ergonomic design
  • Real time actual brew pressure gauge per group
  • Paddle controls increasing or decreasing brew pressure at any point during the extraction from 0 to 12 bar
  • Wider drain tray with adjustable height
  • Back-lit gauges and displays

Tech

  • One pump, one pre-heater, one mix valve, one coffee boiler, one PID, and one real time brew pressure gauge PER GROUP
  • Paddle controlled motor speed for variable pressure*, programmable and infinitely repeatable
  • Jog wheel programming interface
  • Internally mounted pumps
  • ETL and NSF approved

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.

Classic La Marzocco Collection

Kent keeps a large private collection of antique espresso machines, including, of course, La Marzoccos, La San Marocos, Gaggia, La Pavoni, and more. Recently, we’ve moved some of them out of storage for safekeeping in the warehouse. Some of the more interesting machines are now on display in our future showroom. Here’s a small sample:

La Marzocco Vulcano, produced 1968-80. Awarded the “Decorative and Industrial Arts” prize at the 24th Triennale di Milano exhibition.
Below: 3 group La Marzocco Mondial “2” Series, produced 1953-58.

Prof. John Blackwell, Coffea Arabica Machina 101: PID, Part 1

This was dug up from the classic archives of Prof. John Blackwell, coffea arabica machina extraordinaire. An interesting read for those not familiar with or can use a refresher on the messy mechanics of how a PID controller works.

===========

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PID AND THERMOSTATIC CONTROL SYSTEMS

by John Blackwell

In an espresso machine we have an electric heating element in water and we are trying to control a given setpoint (maximum achieved temperature).

The THERMOSTAT is an electromechanical switch trying to control the on/off cycle of the heating element in water. The thermostat can turn off the heating element at the exact setpoint, but the heating element is still hot (it can not cool instantly) and continues to heat the water causing a temperature raise above the ideal setpoint (the problem). So what to do? Position the setpoint lower so it turns off sooner then rises to the desired maximum. Oh great now, at least the water did not get too hot but it has to cool down to the lower setpoint before it will turn on. The best we can do now is to have a thermostat with a very narrow bandwidth (the difference between on and off setpoints) and hope for the best in our cycle of heating and cooling.

PID can be described as a set of rules with which precisely regulates a closed loop control system. In our heating element in water example, the PID predicts when to control the on/off setpoint, making corrections so the heating element does not under or over shoot the desired temperature.

How PID works without the math? Closed loop control system means a method in which a real time measurement of the process being controlled is constantly fed back to the controlling device to ensure that the value which is desire is, in fact, being realized. The mission of the controlling device is to make the measured value, known as the process variable, equal to the desired value, usually known as the setpoint. The best way to accomplish this task is to use the control algorithm known as PID.

In its basic form, PID involves three mathematical control functions working together. The most important of these, Proportional control (the P), determines the magnitude of the difference between the setpoint and the process variable (known as the error), and then applies appropriate proportional changes to the control variable to eliminate the error. Integral control (the I) examines the offset of the setpoint and the process variable over time and corrects it when necessary. Derivative control (the D) monitors the rate of change of the process variable and makes changes to the output variable to accommodate unusual changes.

Each of the three control functions is governed by a user defined parameter. These parameters can be adjusted to optimize the precision of control. The process of determining the values of these parameters is know as PID Tuning, or BIG MATH!!

Good Bye, Jacob!

In the saddest post on this blog to date, we are sorry to announce that Jacob Ellul-Blake is no longer with La Marzocco. For the past 4 years, Jacob has been LM’s North American R&D and end user liaison, effectively translating real world feedback into practical product development. Chances are that you may have worked with him on upgrading your machine or hung out with him at various barista competitions/jams.

You may have also seen Jacob gracing the front cover of Barista Magazine, the issue that was passed out at this year’s SCAA. Jacob’s recent project was working with industry leading baristi and LM Italy on the new, full pressure profile espresso machine prototype (as shown in the banner above this blog), which is due out sometime in 2010.

Jacob gracing the front cover of Barista Magazine

If you’re lucky enough to know Jacob personally and still have his cell phone number, you might be able to bug him about PID questions. For everybody else, LM Tech Support is here to help.

We wish Jacob all the best in this and all his future endeavors!

Name That Machine!

Flooded espresso machines during the 1966 Flood of River Arno

Here’s one from the archives… In the aftermath of the great 1966 Flood of the River Arno in Florence, Italy, many shops’ espresso machines were destroyed or otherwise rendered useless. La Marzocco s.r.l. accepted these machines and replaced them with new La Marzoccos so that the people of Florence can at least enjoy espresso as they work through the difficult clean up.

Bonus points if you can Name That Machine!

Visions Espresso’s Coffee Enhancement Lounge

Our friends at Visions Espresso introduces their Coffee Enhancement Lounge (nice blurb here from Seattle Times), an extension of their services into training and consulting. Spearheaded by the always cheerful Sarah Dooley, every event should be a blast.

The Coffee Enhancement Lounge, or intentionally abbreviated as CEL so people like me won’t forget, features a La Marzocco Linea Manual Paddle, a standard Linea, and a GS/3. Soon it will also feature a Slayer, so baristas can have a smackdown between a Slayer and a Linea Manual Paddle.

La Marzocco espresso machines at the Coffee Equipment Lounge

When not training, Sarah and her accomplices at Visions enjoy water gun/balloon fights, pranks during coffee cupping, and anything else that doesn’t relate to work.

If you’ll be around Seattle on Saturday, August 29, check out CEL’s all day class/lecture on defect cupping, PID, SO espresso roasting, equipment mods, and more presented by many industry names you may know. The event will migrate over to a BGA sanctioned Barista Jam/Latte Art Smackdown at Victrola, where winning NW baristas will compete with LA baristas during Coffee Fest.

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