That old argument again.
Having been one of the pioneers of bean-to-cup machines in the early 90s
(anyone remember the Genius), and subsequently suffering the pains of early
technology and reliability, for many years my feet have been firmly in the
traditional camp based on a number of facts.
Pros of the traditional machine
Reliability, cost, greater versatility, theatre, life span,
servicing costs, soulless, no milk frother to clog up from lack of cleaning and
most importantly better extraction - why? Because the traditional group handle
has a greater surface area of contact during the infusion process and therefore
better extraction. A typical group handle has a diameter of 60mm, whereas a B2C
has an area of maybe 45mm so the ‘puck’ ends up being thicker - thereby less initial
water contact and longer extraction from the top of the puck. Traditional
machines simply give a more even extraction from the coffee grains.
Cons of the traditional machine/Pros of the bean-to-cup
In comparison with the traditional machine, the bean-to-cup
is easy to use with minimal training, consistent product, time saving,
self-service application and less counter space.
Well, over the years the B2Cs have got better with auto milk
cleaning, improved reliability and milk foam technology. From my point of view
it’s time to revisit the offering. How
about a 52mm piston for infusion, and ‘Optimilk’ system that ensures the
frother stays clean with programmable rinsing? How about an amazing cold foam
technique whereby the foam stays on the top of the drink rather than sticking
to the sides of the glass/cup as the coffee is drunk?
It's horses for courses and without doubt there is an
application for bean-to-cup especially now the product delivered is getting
better. Teknomat UK is currently trialling a high volume Swiss B2C with the
intention of extending our machine range. Keep checking the site for further updates.
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