Levers, 3-D printed latte art, and grinders slow and fast—here are some of the best new and interesting products we saw at Host Milano this weekend!
BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
This weekend, we scoured the show floor of Host Milano, the biennial international trade show at the Fiera Milano convention center in Milan, Italy. Host Milano, which started October 20 and wraps up today, is known as the place to unveil new inventions, innovations, and products—not just in coffee, but in the food and hospitality world. We checked out all 3.7 million square feet (think about that compared to the SCA Global Expo last April, which covered about 205,000 square feet), and played and tinkered with dozens of new products. Here are some of our favorites.
1. The San Remo Revo
San Remo has been working on this grinder for years, showing off an older prototype at coffee conventions past. UK Barista Champion John Gordon walked us through all the new features of the Revo, which is projected to hit the market for SCA Expo in April 2018. Designed to grind for both espresso and filter coffee, the Revo has 98mm burrs (yes, that’s huge!) and a touch-screen display that allows baristas to change the grind setting without moving a collar around. The grinding chambers are weight-based and empty until you want to grind coffee; basically, you ask the machine for a certain amount of coffee, the grinding chamber has a scale built in to ensure that only that amount of coffee goes into the grinding chamber (based on technology developed with Acaia), and then the grinding chamber opens up into the burrs, ensuring that there’s zero waste and you can grind coffee to order.
The Revo will come in two different models—the Revo 1 and 3—and also features options to control the RPM (rotations per minute) of the grinder and a sophisticated cooling system. The Revo 3 will feature three different chambers that can hold different coffees, which allows the grinder to be used simultaneously for espresso and drip, as well as to blend coffees in any ratio.
2. The Nuova Simonelli Mythos 2
We thought we knew every variable a barista could tinker with—dose, grind, yield, etc.—but the Mythos 2 from Nuova Simonelli allows baristas to adjust the RPM of the motor, controlling how quickly coffee is ground. Baristas on the floor at Host Milano were eager to perform side-by-side taste tests of espresso, pulling shots at different RPMs to show differences in flavor. The Mythos 2 is also weight-based, and baristas can change the grind setting without having to change the dose or time.
Nuova Simonelli also debuted the prototype of the Aurelia Wave, which reads water quality of the espresso machine in real time. Baristas can know at all times the TDS of the water going through the espresso machine, which ensures that baristas can stay on top of maintenance needs and develop a deeper understanding of how water quality affects flavor. The Mythos 2 and the Aurelia Wave will both be available early next year.
3. The La Marzocco Leva
In an age where many coffee companies are moving toward automation, La Marzocco, one of the undisputed leaders in espresso machines, has done the opposite, and has designed a machine meant to embrace the skill and dexterity of baristas. “We decided to reinvent the lever machine,” shares Giada Biondi of La Marzocco. The Leva reintroduces the levers of espresso machines past, but with some updated features—a controlled spring back so the levers don’t threaten the safety of baristas; a click-in system where you can choose how long or short to pull a shot; complete control of the pressure applied to each shot; and a cool-touch steamwand. This year La Marzocco celebrates its 90th year in business, and the company continues to lead the industry by stepping away from automation and giving control back to baristas. The Leva is available to order now.
4. Design-forward espresso machines in Italy
If you’re an American in specialty coffee, you’ve probably only worked with a handful of espresso machines—definitely a La Marzocco or two, and maybe a Simonelli or a Slayer at one point. At Host, we were floored to see just how many espresso machine companies there are, with most hailing from the host country of Italy. However, most Italian espresso machines are known to be dated in style; think plastic exteriors and bright neon lights. The machines on display at Host showcased a move toward a more design-minded espresso machine. Sleek lines, matte finishes, and machines that would fit in perfectly with any high-design café in the world were found all over the show floor, including the Elektra INDIE and the Rancilio Specialty.
5. Ripple Maker Espresso Machine
Are we suckers for a good gimmick? Sure, especially when that gimmick involves our faces. The Ripple Maker espresso machine takes any image, and prints it on top of any already prepared cold or hot coffee drink using a 3-D printer and a patented coffee extract to make the image. We saw lattes with famous faces and intricate designs, and a sketch artist was on hand to draw faces of attendees and put them on their favorite coffee drinks.
We’ll be back later this week with a more in-depth look at Host Milano, highlighting some of our favorite talks, booths, and innovations!