La Spaziale utilizes these new features with the S5, but takes the concept even further. “The S5 now allows for a different temperature for each group head,” explains Penk. Steve Penk is the company's Sales Director in the UK. “I cannot say this is unique, but I can say I haven’t seen it on other machines!” Penk claims that nothing else matters as much as the temperature of the water that hits your coffee.
“There is a myth that one size fits all, and people have been taught that the sweet spot is 94°C, but it isn’t. It depends upon each roast, and you should have the chance to play with your machine and find the optimum temperature for your blend.”
The second unusual feature of the S5 is not exactly unique, but certainly uncommon. The system has a slider control instead of a control wheel for the steam, which for the less-skilled barista, this is thought to be a far more helpful type of control.
“A lever steam control is not new,” explains Maccagnani. Mr Maccagnani is the President of La Spaziale. “What we have done, which is unique, is the way the lever opens and closes the valve. Nobody has done it better. What we have done is make a control that does not wear out.”
La Spaziale’s attitude towards new technology can be taken to surprising extremes, especially with the fascinating aspect that every single employee is expected to know every stage development. This is because, unlike other factories, assembly here is not on a production line. There are about two dozen workstations in the assembly plant, in which only one person constructs a whole, entire machine.
Each operator can - on a good day - turn out three espresso machines, and every single one is made to order (to allow for any customization). That machine is then triple-signed by the assembler, the packer and tester. The company claims that this means that everyone is responsible. If you built it, you sign for it!
“The emphasis of our work is to show that all espresso machines are not the same,” says Penk. “We have a situation where coffee roasters are taking their business far more professionally than ever before, spending good money with growers all over the world. They’re aware that they are selling to café operators, whose machines are producing the right temperature perhaps one time out of four!”
He continues, ”Only consistency of performance is going to give the barista and roaster assurance that the customer will receive a consistently good drink, which is what grows a business. The point of what we are doing is to create a vast number of little things, which will excite people when they get it right. Don’t be afraid of these things - embrace them!”
La Spaziale delivered on their promise of having these models available for sale in the North American market prior to the SCAA in North Carolina, where show goers could see for the first time the S5 proudly displayed at their booth. Although certification for both Canada and the U.S. are currently in the final approval stages, that did not stop eager customers from purchasing all 10 of the S5’s on display at the SCAA this year, as well as over 50% of the next shipment expected to arrive in Seattle in late April, 2006.
For more information regarding the S5 or any other model manufactured by La Spaziale, please click on the link provided below.
La Spaziale in Canada