Barista Magazine

AUG-SEP 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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F O A M : N E W S + T R E N D S UNDER THE HOOD OF THE MODBAR AV FIVE YEARS AGO, a small startup team in Fort Wayne, Ind., had an idea to reconfi gure the way people designed espresso machines: What if all the machinery could fi t under a counter, removing the barrier between customers and baristas, and cof- fee shops could confi gure their own setup based on the needs of their space? La Marzocco, then and still an industry leader of manufacturing espres- so machines, quickly saw potential in this idea and formed a partnership with the folks at the company, called Modbar. Together, the two entities combine the design elements that made Modbar revolutionary and the technological know-how that has made La Marzocco the standard in coffee shops around the world. The result is the Modbar Espresso AV, a truly revolutionary machine. In the June + July 2018 issue of Barista Maga- zine, Chris Ryan profi led the relationship between La Marzocco and Modbar in creating this machine, and now we dive deeper into the technology of the Modbar AV, a machine whose tech is advanced and innovative, yet designed to be barely noticeable to most baristas using it. La Marzocco product manager Scott Guglielmino says the idea for the machine started from a desire to expand the Modbar product line to include a hyperconsistent, easy-to-use machine built specifi cally for fast-paced bars. "Our central goal was to create a machine that allows baristas to present beautiful coffee without being encumbered by their tools," says Scott. In order to achieve this goal, the team entirely revamped the feature set of the Modbar EP, which included pressure profi ling and a host of functions designed to allow the barista to tailor how coffee is prepared. "We set out not to replace the Modbar EP, but instead to create a second type of machine, for a different type of coffee bar," Scott adds. The goal, Scott continues, was to have "the same temperature-sta- bility technology as the Linea PB." Linea PBs, along with all La Marzocco machines now, have a small electronic device known as a PID controller (PID stands for "Proportional Integral Derivative"), which essentially monitors the temperature in the boiler of an espresso machine and ensures temperature stability. When La Marzocco introduced this technology, it was groundbreak- ing. Previously, most machines relied on thermostats to control tempera- ture. However, they weren't incredibly accurate and couldn't compen- sate for swings in service; the term "temperature surfi ng" came from baristas trying to predict what temperate the water in the boiler was based on how slow or busy the café had been over the course of the day. Tackling this issue with the Modbar provided a different challenge, since the grouphead and the boiler were often far apart from one another. "We had to throw out the rulebook on espresso machine technology," says Scott. "Our goal wasn't simply to re-create the Linea PB in a new form." Adding a simple PID controller wasn't going to cut it, so a special group of technicians called La Sperimentale, began con- ducting experiments and collecting data. "We had this team literally pull thousands of shots of espresso. You name the variable, they pulled hundreds of shots with those variables changed," says Scott. Essen- tially, this team created a set of data for how espresso functioned in the At top, the Modbar AV turned heads at the Global Specialty Coff ee Expo in April in Sea le, drawing plenty of curious baristas and café owners from across the United States. Below, at the World of Coff ee Expo in Amsterdam in June, the Modbar AV was at the ready for scores of visitors from around the world. PHOTO COURTESY LA MARZOCCO PHOTO BY JORDAN SANCHEZ FOR SCA 24 barista magazine

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