The Best New Products We Saw at Expo, Part 2 of 3

We walked the show floor to check out the high-tech brewers, espresso machines, grinders and other new products offered at Global Specialty Coffee Expo 2018 in Seattle. Here are some of the cool things we saw.


The 2018 Global Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle didn’t just have competitions galore and delicious coffees around every corner. The show also had a range of companies showcasing their new products on the huge exhibition floor. We recapped some of the products we saw in the first installment of this series; here’s part two sharing some of the new products we saw during our time on the show floor.

The Mazzer Robur S grinder improves consistency and coffee retention by 52 percent, along with featuring a built-in memory board and cloud compatibility.

Company: Mazzer
Product: Robur S
About: Italy-based Mazzer gave its Robur S grinder its North American debut at the show (the machine had been presented in Europe previously). The new grinder improves dose consistency and reduces coffee retention by 52 percent, and its cooling system (employing a double-fan system) helps keeps temperatures down. Additionally, grinding adjustment is made easier due to the user-friendly Memory Track system. The built-in memory board can keep track of coffee statistics, track maintenance, and is cloud-compatible, with an accompanying app currently in development.

Mazzer marketing manager Cristina Scarpa, pictured above, notes that over 40 percent of Mazzer grinders are made with solar energy at their factory outside of Venice, Italy.

From the maker: Cristina Scarpa, marketing manager for Mazzer, says the Robur S is meant for high-volume cafés and has the ultra-fast grinding speed of 5 grams of coffee per second. She adds that Mazzer has been investing in green power in its Venice-based headquarters. “Over 40 percent of our grinders are made with solar energy,” she says.

La Marzocco unveiled the Leva, featured above, last year, and showcased this machine and their new Modbar Espresso setup.

Company: La Marzocco
Product: Modbar Espresso AV and Leva
About: The Italian espresso machine manufacturer—which has its U.S. offices in Seattle—debuted the brand-new Modbar Espresso AV, the first-ever machine collaboration between La Marzocco and Modbar. The machine combines the unique elements of each company, with Modbar’s signature under-the-counter machine housing and La Marzocco’s boiler design, PID temperature control, and ease of serviceability. The La Marzocco booth also featured the Leva machine. Launched in fall 2017, the Leva aims to reinvent the lever machine, offering new aesthetic and engineering in a reliable, user-friendly machine.
From the maker: Andrew Daday, general manager of La Marzocco USA, says that the Modbar Espresso AV combines the two companies’ styles while ultimately providing a user-friendly experience. “Modbar AV fulfills the promise of what an under-counter espresso machine was meant to be,” he says, “a reliable and consistent machine under the bar with a minimal, sleek design on top of the bar that enhances the customer interaction with the barista.”

Bunn showcased the Infusion Series Platinum edition of brewers, which are designed to increase uniformity in extraction.

Company: BUNN
Product: Infusion Series Platinum edition
About: BUNN debuted its Infusion Series Platinum edition at Expo, which launches in June. The brewer features the new Peak Extraction Sprayhead and SmartWAVE Technology, which combine to deliver increased turbulence in the coffee bed during brewing to create increased uniformity of extraction.
From the maker: The machine is also equipped with a 4.3-inch touchscreen with BUNN’S Visually Intuitive Programming (VIP), which Doug Bishop, BUNN’s director of product management, says provides ease of use. “The VIP gives the user the ultimate control of dialing in coffees,” he says. The brewer also includes an icon-based recipe development screen that the user can adjust on the fly.

Baratza unveiled the Sette 207Wi at this year’s expo, which was made in partnership with Acaia. The number 270 represents the number of grind settings you can use when grinding coffee on the machine.

Company: Baratza
Product: Sette 270Wi
About: The grinder company unveiled the Sette 270Wi at Expo, a further refinement of its 270W model, featuring more than 40 separate mechanical, electrical, and software improvements. The 270Wi—taking its name from the 270 grind settings available—is made in partnership with scale manufacturer Acaia, which handles both the processor and load cell circuit functions.
From the maker: The 270Wi is an intelligent grinder. Pierce Jens, support and service manager at Baratza, says the grinder’s processor allows it to self-adjust so that it repeatedly doses within a few tenths of a gram. “It is always learning from itself,” he says.

Marco released a new water boiler, the Marco Mix 8, which can brew water at three different programmable temperatures based on the user’s needs.

Company: Marco
Product: MIX 8
About: The Ireland-based company released its new water boiler at Expo, the Marco Mix 8. The boiler—which can be used to brew coffee or tea—heats water at three temperatures and three volumes in its vacuum-insulated tank and delivers it on demand. Additionally, the countertop tap variant comes with a built-in filter for additional quality control.
From the maker: The Marco Mix 8 is designed to be energy efficient, with a low operational cost and ultra-accurate temperature control. “The water is always moving, so it never loses its temperature,” says Gemma Kiernan, marketing manager at Marco.

About Chris Ryan 261 Articles
Chris Ryan (he/him) is Barista Magazine's online copy editor and a freelance writer and editor with a background in the specialty coffee industry. He has been content director of Sustainable Harvest and the editor of Fresh Cup Magazine.