There is so much happening in the coffee Industry nowadays that it is becoming a part of our daily lives, mainly through social media. Many small boutique roasters popping everywhere, tweeting their latest cupping session, posting close up shots of extremely viscous espresso pours and using all the right buzz words like: temperature surfing, full body, uneven extraction...exposing their social circles and wider audiences that may be new to the world of specialty coffee, to the notion that coffee isn't just coffee.
Alongside the social buzz, the busy feed, the focus on presentation and the improved coffee quality in the neighborhood's Cafes, we find another buzz word: 'Prosumer'. Prosumer largely describes enthusiast consumers who buy coffee machines that fall between professional and consumer grade standards in quality, complexity, and functionality.
Subscribing to the idea that making and drinking coffee isn't just a fun thing to do but rather a lifestyle we choose, Di Bartoli is passionate about sharing our findings, insights, joys and frustration with that ever illusive organic matter (after all, not every well tuned pour ends up as a 'god shot').
But we are also strong believers in anyone who loves the taste, the knowledge, the culture, the gear and anything about coffee, to have no barriers achieving greatness with their coffee making at home, just like any well trained commercial barista.
It takes a quality boiler machine with a stable temperature, a quality espresso grinder that grinds fine and consistent grind, a well trained operator and freshly roasted beans at the right roast level, it takes all those things to make one great cup of coffee. Does that mean that bigger, dearer espresso machines will make a better coffee?
Would the La Marzocco GS3, the ECM Controvento or the La Marzocco Linea Mini make better coffee because they are 'extreme'?The answer is not necessarily from the technical point of view. But we don't invest greatly in espresso gear just because it 'does the job'. We want that to look great on the bench, cater for any entertainment scenario we may have, be of a reputable brand that carries parts and have good technical support, give us more options to play with as we make coffee, last for a very long time, and for some, own a brand that is the top of range.....
From that reason, why not indulge? Extreme machines may be 'basic' for the commercial barista but a stretch for those who are new to coffee. Extreme machines can also really make you feel good each time you wake up to that great piece of engineering and can't wait to make fabulous coffee out of it. They will serve you well for many years, and they will make few jaws drop in the next mates get together for sure....
Just remember that not all of it is about the pump, the PID, the pre infusion and the cup warmer. Each machine has its own spirit and space and you are the only one who knows whether it feels right. 15 years of experience in retailing Prosumer equipment also taught me that at the end of all thorough research and comparative analysis, we will end up with what feels right in our hand and pleasing to our eyes..
If a La Marzocco GS3 is calling you, it may just be the right time to reach out...
Author: Ofra Ronen
© 2019 Ofra Ronen