La Marzocco Machine Names

On January 14th, we celebrated a great occasion within the La Marzocco family, as we congratulated Piero Bambi on his 79th birthday. What a milestone!

Piero is the son of Giuseppi Bambi, who, along with Piero’s uncle Bruno, started La Marzocco in 1927. Piero has spent much of his life carrying on his father and his uncle’s legacy of building the finest quality espresso machines. Piero has had a hand in the design of every La Marzocco espresso machine that is currently in production. If you ever visit the La Marzocco factory in Scarperia, just outside of Florence, Italy, you’ll find that Piero still goes into work every day, and is still actively participates in design and engineering projects and meetings.”

With a lineup of espresso machines that includes Linea, GB/5, FB/80, GS/3, and Strada models, we often get questions from our customers and the people who use our equipment about what the names mean.

Our machines are generally named for members of the Bambi family – our founders and our heritage; for important milestones in our history; or for new technological advancements introduced by La Marzocco.

FB Series
In 1997, La Marzocco celebrated its 70th anniversary. In honor of the occasion, La Marzocco introduced an alternate body style that could be installed on the Linea – the only La Marzocco espresso machine that was in production at the time. This special body style was made of resin, and was offered in custom colors of the customer’s choice. To honor the Bambi family, the machine was named the FB/70, or Fratelli Bambi 70 (The brothers Bambi).

The FB/80 is named for the 80th anniversary of La Marzocco. It was designed, built, and released just ahead of the anniversary. Like the FB/70, it features a curvy resin body style that is available in custom colors. The features of the FB/80 are the same as those found in the GB/5.

GB/5
The GB/5 was designed primarily by Piero Bambi, and was released in 2005. The GB/5 features a number of technologies that come together to provide superior temperature stability and control. In 2005, as the time came to release the machine, Piero chose to name it for his wife, Giovanna Bambi. Thus, the name was GB and 5 for 2005, the year it was introduced.

GS/3
The design of the La Marzocco GS/3, introduced in 2007, draws inspiration from the iconic GS series of commercial espresso machines that were in production 1970-1991. The La Marzocco GS was the first dual-boiler espresso machine, and featured saturated groups (“GS” stands for “gruppo saturo”).

Today, the GS series remains iconic for its low profile, classic styling, and as the source of the original paddle group. The styling has endured and is a symbol of what makes La Marzocco so classic. The body style of the GS/3 is reminiscent of the GS series, however, it occupies a smaller footprint, intended for the home or for light commercial uses.

Each La Marzocco espresso machine is named to recognize or pay tribute to our past, our family, and our traditions. We look forward to sharing more as we introduce new products in the future!

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…

New Machine Accessories

La Marzocco has updated the accessories to be packed with ALL machine models.  The Strada MP, GB/5, FB/80 and GS/3 models, which went into production the week of November 21st, have been packed as indicated below.  The Linea and FB/70 models, which entered into production this week, have also been packed as indicated, and the Strada EP will follow shortly.  We hope you enjoy the new products!

 

Accessories Linea 1-group and GS/3 models:

  • 1 new stainless steel tamper
  • Stainless steel precision filter baskets, 1 each of 4 sizes – 7, 14, 17 and 21 grams

Accessories Linea, FB/70, GB/5, FB/80 2 and 3 group models:

  • 1 new stainless steel tamper
  • Stainless steel precision filter baskets, 1 each of the 14, 3 of the 17 and 2 of the 21 gram size

Read more…

Mid Atlantic/ North East Coffee Conference- MANE

Minded with mastery and no stranger to events Troy, of Cosmic Cup Coffee and Gerra, of New Harvest Coffee can add another successful gathering to their list of accomplishments.

Barista folk from all over the world gathered at a specialized 2 1/2 day event titled MANE.

According to attendees, speakers and a brief, lovely post from dear coffee i love you we’d like to offer a little recap.
With interviews from a short, but sweet DM twitter feed from an easy man to adore, Gwilym Davies and one of our very own attendee/instructor/all around cool guy, Scott Guglielmino.

Let’s start with the keynote speaker and 2009 World Barista Champion (apparently looking very good for his age according to the wikipedia definition, perhaps some shenanigans around his birth year). If you have met Gwilym you would agree he’s probably the most approachable person in the industry; kind, knowledgeable, and a professional learner. His keynote speech summed up felt a little something like this “we just don’t know much…and it’s time to drop the ego’s.” With an invitation like that you can imagine how the dynamic of a room can change opening up the lines of communication.

Scott G. (LM Solutions & specialized customer service tech.) came away with a similar feeling on the event. Scott spent his time doing what he does very well, explaining the intricate but very basic controls for finding great coffee; dose, grind, temperature. His message is the same whether he is here, abroad or at MANE, “…the correction extraction should also taste good.” (Thank you www.dearcoffeeiloveyou.com for that perfect quote). He is full of impactful one liners like that. Scott had another pretty inspiring moment that he put into these exact words,”The thirst for knowledge in the New England coffee community was refreshing.”

The event had great topics, full days of information sharing in an intimate layout which welcomed conversation and encouraged hands on learning.

Evenings were matched with a latte art competition, brew down event and what would be great fellowship leading into the wee hours of the morning.

Strada, lever machines and Marco boilers played supporting equipment roles in the production that attendees brag is the best coffee event to date!

Best New Product of the Year

La Marzocco’s STRADA MP has been awarded Best New Product of the Year by The Café Society in London. The Café Society focuses on the café experience, aiming to encourage this casual way of life into British lifestyles. Roberto Bianchi and Massimiliano Valenti represented the La Marzocco team at the awards luncheon, which took place at the Kensington Roof Gardens in London yesterday.

Strada MP Video by Lem

Lemuel Butler, Counter Culture Coffee’s Customer Relations Manager and 2010 SE Regional Barista Champion, showcases his DJ and video editing talents in a short video he made when he first received their Strada MP. Check it out:

 

Strada and the Blog

The new Strada, in its late stage prototype form, has made three public appearances now (OUT OF THE BOX MILAN, SCAA Anaheim, OUT OF THE BOX NYC) and it has drawn a bit of attention. The latest is from the blogs at Gizmodo.com and New York Times:

RISTRETTO | Oliver Strand – Strada

GIZMODO.COM | Matt Buchanan – La Marzocco Strada is Your Barista’s New Wet Dream Machine

We greatly appreciate press coverage like this, not only in a self serving way, but also in that it’s always nice to see mainstream media pays attention to Third Wave coffee. Specialty coffee has been underserved in the mainstream media, when compared to microbrews and wine. And when it does get written up, it’s more often about overpriced drinks, Kopi Luwak, or features pictures of oily, over-roasted beans, rather than topics that truly encompass Third Wave coffee – farming communities/practices, micro-roasters, quality in the cup, art/science, and sustainability.

We also want to thank everybody who has made it out to OUT OF THE BOX and SCAA to check out the new Strada (especially for a product that is not even in production). You, the coffee community, have keen interests in having the best available tools to best showcase your coffees and we, as La Marzocco, always want to have the best of whatever available to you to help you to do so. As previously mentioned, pressure profiling may have varying effects on different coffees, and it requires a truly dedicated barista and an anxious palate to find out what works and what doesn’t. But when it does (more often than not, once you get the hang of it), you’ll be surprised at the vast degree of control you have over your espresso.

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

Out of Boxes NYC

Update 1: Check out LMOOB Flickr pics!

Update 2: Finally got all the logos. LMOOB thank you poster below.

A huge THANKS to all those attended the La Marzocco OUT OF THE BOX NYC last week! An an even bigger THANKS goes out to all of our sponsors, partners, and helpers! It wouldn’t have been possible without any of you.

As you’re either trying desperately to preorder the new iPhone 4 (has the preorder actually worked for anyone?) or making travel arrangements for WBC in London, let’s recap what went on last week…

Lizz from Stumptown checking out the Strada EP (Picture from Liz Clayton’s Flickr. Apparently WordPress doesn’t allow link in the caption box so here’s the link http://www.flickr.com/photos/latteart/)

Wednesday night was basically, how should I put it, a party featuring La Marzocco,MazzerEspresso PartsMarcoLiemcoBarista MagazineTampTamp, and MojoToGo. The turnout was great; just about everybody in the NE showed up (plus those who jetted in from far away).

The two Stradas were running on full steam as they were the main focal point at the party. There was a lot for people to discover and geek out on, considering all of the potentials in progressive pressure profiling and its affects on the espresso. It was an opportunity for people to get a firsthand preview of the machine. Of course, to really understand the full spectrum of benefits, you’d have to geek out for an hour or two simply because there’s quite a bit to wrap your head around. (For that, there were many separately arranged times on Wednesday and Thursday during which people had the opportunity to geek out more with their own coffees .)

A simplified pressure profiling calibration guide used at LMOOB.

Then there’s the Manual Brew Deathmatch, headed by Brian Ludviksen of Counter Culture and Vince Fidele of MojoToGo. Baristas battle head to head with the manual brew weaponry of their choosing. The resulting coffee is judged by MojoToGo (45%), taste (45%), and method (10%). Winners received LM “tool” bags, 1 year subscriptions to Barista Magazine, and coupons for complimentary downloads of MojoToGo iPhone app.

Manual Brew Deathmatch featuring the Marco Uberboiler (picture from Liz Clayton’s Flickr)

Manual Brew Deathmatch Results

People were pretty stoked that we had a bike hooked up to an espresso machine. The pressure profiling bike unfortunately suffered frequent chain derailments (we didn’t install a rear derailleur to sustain proper chain tension because it hanger broke) and so we sort of had to neglect it for the evening, especially since we were so understaffed.

To make the event even more interesting, there were tables featuring our sponsorsMazzerEspresso PartsBarista Magazine, and TampTamp. Mazzer grinders pretty much owned the place, with their grinders on just about every table. They also showed off a new (prototype?) antistatic grid for the exit chute. Meanwhile, Espresso Parts was running a merch table and Barista Magazine was giving away copies of the current issue. TampTamp showcased services they offered in the NYC area.

The main engineer behind the new Strada, Roberto Bianchi, gave a presentation on the Strada, followed by a captivating presentation by Vince Fidele on the basket project – the next frontier in espresso technology. With any luck you’ll be able to see some tangible (production) results before the year’s end.

Despite of all the hard labor that was involved (it was like the work of 4 tradeshows in half the amount of time!) and the fact that we were understaffed, the entire party turned out pretty well. Special thanks goes out to Ninth St. EspressoAddiction Espresso ServiceCounter Culture, and Stumptown for contributing in various but significant ways. Without them, the event would not be possible.

What a Weekend! A Big Thanks to Everybody!

Large crowds at the La Marzocco booth at SCAA

The new Stradas were a huge hit at this year’s SCAA in Anaheim! Our booth was packed from hours before the show floor opened to after the floor has closed on all three days. Unfortunately, this also meant that I had no time at all to walk the show floor. Based on what people have been telling me, however, our booth was THE most popular booth at the show! Well, a big thanks to all who took the time and the patience to navigate the crowd and get a chance to play on the Stradas!

Tony showing his sign of love

Not only did we have the Strada, we had TWO!! The red Strada EP (electronic paddle) is the version that uses a proprietary variable speed pump to control pressure 0-14 bar, and has the ability to record and play back pressure profiles. The yellow Strada MP (mechanical paddle) features a modified version of the current mechanical paddle to allow mechanical control of pressure 0-9 bar.

This year’s SCAA was also a new experience for me – pulling thousands of shots on the yellow Strada MP – since I’ve never been a working barista before. Sure, I know all the proper techniques and got the palate to match. But it’s definitely something else to continuously pull shots while so many people are waiting for a drink, all the while I had to give an overview of the machine hundreds of times over. Perhaps the most nerve wrecking moments were when I had to pull shots for James Hoffman, Stephen Morrissey, Gwilym Davies, and Heather Perry’s parents. Good thing, Scott had the other machine (the red Strada EP) covered.

You can view a collection of pictures on our new Flickr site here.

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