Join us for a conversation with team Dalla Corte, a proud partner of Standart Issue 27.
What inspired the specific design choices you made for the Anniversary edition of the Zero?
One of our main goals with the Zero Anniversary – a limited edition of the Zero to celebrate Dalla Corte’s 20th anniversary in 2021 - was to create a timeless design.
For the two versions of the Zero Anniversary edition, we’ve introduced celebratory elements that blend in with the machine’s original design, awarded with the prestigious iF Design seal of approval in 2021.
"Not only did Zero redefine how espresso can be brewed, but it also reinvented how an espresso machine can look."
When we started our research with Emo Design Studio, there was supposed to be one only version. But when the creative team came up with the Dark and the White versions, we felt that they complemented each other perfectly.
The Zero Anniversary Dark represents our deep passion for coffee, our driving force and a tradition that has been with the Dalla Corte family long before founding the company in 2001. We found that the dark palette that was chosen resembles an actual cup of rich espresso.
Zero Anniversary White, on the other hand, represents Dalla Corte’s spirit, we are relatively young in the espresso machine industry market and the light colours of the White version represent this freshness. White and pink are also bold and positive colours, just like us. The new copper satin finishes were such a great success, that we simply had to add them to our range of custom finishes for the groups and side panels together with other metals.
What are the top three game-changing features of the Zero for professional baristas?
The freestyle water flow, a significant upgrade to the multi-boiler, and the machine’s ergonomic design.The freestyle water flow is powered by the patented DFR (Digital Flow Regulation) technology. Introduced in 2015 on the Mina, the DFR is an electronic valve that can be opened or closed dynamically during extraction. Zero features a new variation to the technology pioneered by Mina, unlocking four water flow rates that baristas can shift between during extraction: adjust between 3, 5, 7, and 9 g/sec flow rates using the lever at the side of each group head to find your perfect coffee profile. This allows unprecedented profiling of your cup, marking aromas and consistency with unique and unmistakable features.
By now we all know that Paolo Dalla Corte’s signature multi-boiler system is the core technology of all DC machines. This independent boiler system is so reliable, that It’s been almost untouched since 2001. With the Zero, the capacity of each brewing unit was increased to 750ml per group: the increased volume adds greater thermal mass for even greater temperature stability. Each group is made with 4 kg of lead-free brass and can be adjusted within a tenth of a degree. Having each boiler isolated allows for unique brew temperatures to be set at each group, and even independent maintenance for more flexibility in the workplace. Not only did Zero redefine how espresso can be brewed, but it also reinvented how an espresso machine can look.
"For the two versions of the Zero Anniversary edition, we’ve introduced celebratory elements that blend in with the machine’s original design, awarded with the prestigious iF Design seal of approval in 2021."
When approaching Zero’s design, we wanted to build a machine that embodied modern trends and concerns: ergonomics and aesthetics also played an important role in the machine’s concept. For example, the group interface has been overhauled for readability, with clear interactive elements and large, plain text to communicate information about each extraction. The cool touch steam wands feature robust insulation and are long enough for hands-free milk frothing. Furthermore, the overall height of the machine is lower than most espresso machines to encourage interaction between the barista and customers.
It’s one thing to focus on the espresso machine itself, but Dalla Corte is also a technology company. I’m speaking, of course, about your app development. How exactly does the Dalla Corte Mina app allow baristas extra control and the ability to create unlimited recipes?
The Mina App is a powerful tool that allows you to view in detail whatever is going on, in real-time, on your Mina espresso machine. For instance, we said that the DFR is a valve that opens and closes dynamically during extraction. With the Mina App, this valve can be programmed electronically in up to five different flow rates. As the barista starts pulling their espresso shot, the app will show them exactly at which point of the recipe the profile is.
But the barista can also engage in manual or semi-automatic flow profiling using Mina’s yoke, and the Mina App will still show them where they’re at. For example, if the barista is using the yoke in manual mode, the app will show them which of the five steps they’re at, the flow rate, how long is the extraction taking, and the current water temperature.
If the barista is using the yoke for semi-automatic flow profiling, the app will automatically switch to the pre-set profile and show them their extraction in progress.
Baristas can create potentially infinite coffee recipes with great precision thanks to the Mina App, where all they need to do is enter parameters like temperature, flow rate and extraction time. But because it’s all connected in real-time, the App also allows users to set their dose manually and save the profile on their devices.
We believe the Mina App offers unrivalled insight into your coffee recipes, so you will probably see this App applied to other Dalla Corte espresso machines soon.
This interview was published in partnership with Dalla Corte.