Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between semi and fully automatic?
Fully automatic refers to pre-programmed water delivery. What this means is that when you make an espresso the machine will switch the coffee delivery off automatically rather than you manually switching it off when you have observed and judged the desired level.
Fully automatic is generally preferred due to
a) Speed, as you can foam without concentrating on your coffee delivery.
b) Accuracy, as the machine will always switch the delivery of espresso off at the same volumetric level time after time again.
c) Consistency, it doesn’t matter who goes to make the coffee it will always deliver the same volume of your shot.
d) Effort, producing espresso coffee is more work because it is another action in your production and you have to concentrate harder.
e) Quality, as long as your grinder has been calibrated accurately your regular customers will enjoy consistent quality again and again. Buying your coffee again and again!
The main advantage for buying semi-automatic is for purists who demand that they control the coffee delivery themselves, plus also there is a cost saving due to the absence of all the electronic equipment to measure and memorise the programming required for volumetric control.
Why is the pump external?
Because these machines are specified for the domestic UK market where we drink more milk based drinks than abroad. Thus we need more water for steam, Americano’s and, dare I say, tea! Because these machines have oversized boilers there simply isn’t the space inside for the pump. Besides it is better to have the pump externally sited. It is an electrical motor and with all the heat and steam inside a machine it's not frankly the most ideal environment. It is also easier for maintenance to have the pump sited outside.
Does downrating the machine make a difference?
The standard machine needs 30amps however our technicians can down-rate the machine (without charge) to 20 amps. This will make the machine a little slower to heat up first thing but that’s it, as in practice, only the very busiest sites will notice any difference. Besides if you find yourself that busy you will be certainly making enough money to upgrade your power arrangements!! The conversion to 20amps is reversible.
Can this be used in a mobile catering unit?
Yes, however you need to consider the availability of power as these professional machines need a high power supply. Please also consider carefully the required ampage and note, if you need a generator, KVA's are not the same. Please ask your supplier of generators for the correct model with the correct specification. The machine is supplied with an external pump which will feed the machine from a tank however please be warned that if you let the tank run dry it will burn the head of the pump out as it is water lubricated. The other hazard is impurities in the water which can damage the seals so one has to be careful about foreign objects. Saying that a good many mobile operators use these machines successfully recognising the pitfalls and are careful to avoid trouble.
Do I need special coffee?
To produce great coffee you need great coffee beans! As our primary activity is coffee roasting it is a matter we take very seriously delivering great coffee throughout the country, roaster fresh.
However its not just the coffee. To produce excellence it is all about the combination of the freshness of your beans, your milk and your water. Which is why we recommend roastery fresh beans, your local dairy and Brita water purification. The best of everything!
Do I need training?
If you are asking this question then the answer is yes!
It is oh so easy to take great coffee beans and incorrectly extract them, burn your milk and serve someone a vile coffee. We have all experienced this, but of course being British we never complain, we just never go back!
We have a training room and encourage people to come and be shown by a professional coffee barista how to make coffee both correctly and consistently. This is free to customers and is highly recommended.