Barista Magazine

DEC 2017-JAN 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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buttons, the Wave uses what Simonelli calls "Smart Water Technol- ogy" to read the pH and TDS of the water in the espresso machine without having to do a water test. The machine keeps both of these values stable, and alerts the barista if any of the values change, controlling the single-most-important variable in coffee brewing besides the coffee itself. Simonelli's appreciation of the importance of water quality intensifi ed through a partnership with Italy's University of Camerina, in which they developed the International Hub for Coffee Research and Innovation (who were also on hand at Host, showcasing different fi ndings about coffee, including conclusions about grinding and the differences between Robusta and Arabica). Their research indicated that anywhere between 50–70 percent of problems with espresso machines are due to water quali- ty, so the Wave gives baristas knowledge to combat potential issues. We saw amazing new products from companies like Dalla Corte (the DC Pro, a machine that takes temperature control to the next level); Mahlkönig (a smaller EK43 model and a covertly hidden weight-based K30 hanging out not at the company's own booth, but at the WMF booth); Compak (the PKR grinder, a weight-based grinder at half the cost); and Marco (they released a boiler with three different temperature settings for various coffee and tea needs). Specialty coffee, though, is such a small part of the Host experience. Although we knew the key players we were sure would have exciting new products, and got a tip or two about where to look for a cool invention, the majority of the four pavilions were geared toward tools to the home and commercial restaurant industry. As we walked around the four pavilions, we noticed that most of the booths were dedicated to tools and gadgets we don't normally engage with—think espresso vending machines, superautomatic devices, and more espresso pods than you ever thought possible. The most impressive and expansive booths generally belonged to these companies, whose clientele likely includes large-scale distributors and restaurant chains. This coupled with the 12 other exhibit halls dedicated to pizza, bread-baking, and gelato was a somber reminder of the small percentage of the industry that specialty encompasses. Yet this year's Host saw an intersection between old-school Italian espresso traditions and the specialty-coffee scene like we've never seen. Among the dozens of Italian-based espresso and grinder machines, we saw an embrace of the styles and traditions of the specialty-coffee movement. Rancilio, for example, debuted the Rancilio Specialty, which was designed to grace the counters of any high-end espresso bar and function at an optimum level. There were eye-catching machines all La Ma rzocco released the Leva at this year's Host Milano. Host is the place to debut new and exciting products, and the Leva was one of the most talked-about products on the show fl oor. 52 barista magazine

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