Cropster Cafe is a new software application to streamline the brew-tracking process, with options to automatically connect to select La Marzocco machines.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Cover photo by Brooke Cagle via Unsplash
La Marzocco and Cropster, two of the industry’s leading brands in coffee technology, are teaming up to make brew tracking as seamless as possible with the integration of Cropster Cafe to La Marzocco’s IoT line of machinery.
Cropster revolutionized modern coffee roasting when they created their roasting software, which streamlined the process of monitoring batches efficiently. Today, a line of services benefits multiple players in the supply chain, from farmers to small business owners.
Cropster Cafe Partners with La Marzocco
And so, Cropster has continued to extend their commitment to coffee management beyond the first crack with the release of Cropster Cafe, a software that monitors several important parameters within the coffee-brewing process. To raise the bar, they’ve also made this software compatible with La Marzocco machines, a brand that has been testing the limits of espresso brewing since its inception.
“La Marzocco is leading the pack with espresso machines that are shipped with smart IoT (Internet of Things) technology,“ confirms Isabelle Verschraegen, product manager at Cropster. “Cropster has over a decade of experience integrating coffee equipment data into management software for coffee businesses. Our customers communicated the desire to leverage brew data in their business, and we knew we could provide an elegant solution for them.”
Going forward, La Marzocco’s IoT-capable machine models will be automatically equipped with the hardware technology that allows Cropster Cafe to track brewing. These models include the KB90, Linea PB, GB5, and more as LM continues to innovate. For older editions of these models, an inexpensive retrofit gateway is available to owners by La Marzocco to connect them to the software.
Cropster Cafe isn’t just limited to these specific models, however. Outside of these machines, the software exists as a manual plug-and-play interface for users to input their date.
Efficiency at Every Level With Brew-Tracking
At the café management level, brew-tracking is important to monitor how much coffee you’re using, your coffee-brewing quality, and your equipment’s functionality.
“Understanding brew consistency across locations, teams, and equipment is a huge challenge for café owners as they strive to maintain a consistent customer experience while minimizing variable costs,” explains Isabelle.
When it comes to brewing logs, you could write daily specs in a notebook, which may be a headache to hold others accountable for. It could also be covered in espresso grounds and coffee stains within weeks. Spreadsheets are another go-to for daily logs, but they’re not programmed as efficiently or as specific to coffee, and thus not as optimized.
With Cropster Cafe, however, data at every level of the coffee-brewing process is tracked. It records brew water volume/pulses, temperature, brewing time, and yield. These parameters are not just limited to espresso though—they can cover batch brews, manual coffee brewing, and even cold brew. While this information needs to be recorded through a plug-and-play interaction, it is done automatically on La Marzocco espresso machines.
While these parameters may only seem like a small fraction of being a café owner, they could lead to much bigger improvements when connected to other parts of the business. Isabelle mentioned how brew-tracking can minimize variable costs, which Andy Benedikter, marketing manager at Cropster, elaborates on: “(It can result in) shorter dial-in times and less wasted coffee,“ Andy explains. “Particularly with new coffees and new roasts, a lot of coffee goes to waste to get the recipe right. With Cropster Cafe, every location can learn from and multiply best practices based on brew process data that is enriched with roast information, flavors, commons, extraction information, and equipment information.“
Cropster Cafe is available now on their website, where you can sign up for a free trial of the software or book a demo.