A recent visit from one of our Italian manufacturers to train our engineers gave me some food for thought!
Bean to cup coffee machines have been around in reasonable numbers for the best part of the last two decades and, while those who are really passionate about their coffee may still turn their noses up at a coffee made by a whizzing and gurgling box, technology has come a long way. Could these superautomatic machines seriously replace a "proper" espresso machine in a large proportion of cafes and restaurants? Yes! And here's why...
Firstly, let me clarify this. I'm extremely passionate about my coffee and, for me, nothing will ever make coffee as well as it can be made through a real espresso machine. With every single drink being crafted by the Barista, made properly, you can taste the difference. My concern is always how much training the Barista has been given and therefore how well they understand the process of making the ultimate cup. Some places do it very, very well, similarly I've watched milk being boiled, shots under exctracted and dozens of other niggles that will detract from the final product. There's no point pretending that it doesn't happen, reading this now I bet you can think of places where the coffee had made you think "Wow!" and places where you've thought "Bleurrgh!" (hopefully you've enjoyed more positive experiences than negative ones!) You've maybe even been to the same place twice and been served two dramtically different coffees - that has happened to me, certainly.
So let me set the scene for you. Imagine, if you will, that you could walk into every coffee outlet and enjoy a cup of coffee that you'll genuinely enjoy. Would you buy more coffee from more outlets? I certainly would.
One of the UK's biggest high street chains makes their coffee using automated espresso production and auto heated milk, too (I'll give you a hint, think green!) and yet their outlets are always busy even though many customers don't necessarily think that they are being served the ultimate coffee, you aren't; the technology they use has been surpassed! It's a bit like some of the fast food chains, you see the sign, you know what you're going to get, you know that the quality level you're getting but you'll make a purchase, anyway.
We've recently installed the first of the brand-new EGRO Zero coffee machines (pictured) and I can assure you that the espresso the machine makes is incredible. Seriously. Think espresso machine quality... made properly. THAT good. A country mile of an improvement over technology that was new even 5 years ago. And don't think that it's just higher-end machines that benefit from this technological advance. Some of the new domestic and smaller commercial bean to cup machines are gobsmackingly good. Read my previous blog about quality office coffee? You should, and this latest encounter with new technology cements my belief even further. Great coffee could and should be available everywhere. Maybe unsurprisingly, the manufacturer agrees!
It won't happen overnight, it will take years, but I genuinely believe that we'll begin to see a resurgence in bean to cup popularity again. If nothing else it will guarantee that your favourite restaurant or cafe will be serving consistently great coffee - using our beans, of course! In the meantime we'll still be able to supply the most amazing range of traditional and bean to cup equipment and we'll always recommend what we believe to be best for your business.