What does it mean to be a 90-year-old Florentine manufacturer of espresso machines known the world over?
What an endeavour! Recalling the journey from a small craftsmen’s workshop in 1927, Florence — when the brothers Giuseppe and Bruno Bambi had a genuine desire to improve the quality of espresso, the machines and its operations — to today. A dream come true if not a promise kept by all those who work, and have worked for, the company worldwide. After ninety years, while experimenting with new techniques and setting industry trends, we’ve stayed true to our artisan philosophy, making each espresso machine by hand and through a time-honoured process.
Our responsibility is to nurture the principles on which our legacy is based: people, heritage, technology, and design. It’s to continue to bridge production with the needs of our clientele, interacting closely with the market, seeking new solutions to improve cup quality, and at the same time favouring and developing the profession and community of roasters and baristas; these people have become La Marzocco’s ambassadors and we couldn’t be more grateful to hear a global voice echo the ideals of quality, craftsmanship, and authenticity in coffee.
We call ourselves a ‘glocal’ brand, one that is embedded in the culture and history of Tuscany.
How do you combine the aspects of tradition and innovation?
We have balanced the two aspects: our sense of tradition and innovation both reflect a process geared towards excellence, attention to detail, and serviceability. On one hand, we’ve inherited and cultivated our unique craft and upheld the factory as the epicentre of our business. Yet on the other, through a curious, open-minded, and inventive approach, we’ve been able to pursue innovation in different ways. Indeed, our machines are not for everyone. They are built to be handled by skilled baristas, and to produce the perfect shot. In terms of technology and design, this means applying prime materials, favouring the barista-customer interaction, and improving machine performance and ergonomics, all through original solutions: dual boilers, saturated brew groups, uncompromised thermal stability, advanced electronics — like pressure profiling or Auto Brew Ratio technology — all with the aim of elevating the user–consumer experience, the espresso, and allowing baristas to manipulate different variables so as to customise and control the brew process and deliver an exceptional, personalized cup, whether in the café or at home.
It lies in La Marzocco’s DNA to place people at the centre.
How do you maintain the Florence-rooted culture as you grow and expand in international markets?
We call ourselves a ‘glocal’ brand, one that is embedded in the culture and history of Tuscany, birthplace of La Marzocco and of one of the most influential cultural-artistic advents of modern, western civilisation: The Renaissance.
Given this background, we innately mirror the pursuit of perfection and the beautiful mechanics of handmade espresso machines. And although ‘beauty’ may be subjective, one cannot deny the subtle language of the fine arts, thoughtful engineering, intuitive sensitivity, and an avant-garde mind-set, typical of the Florentine Rinascimento, that each of our products convey.
La Marzocco’s name takes pride from the ‘Marzocco’, the heraldic lion sculpted by Donatello during the 15th–century Florentine Republic, which, ever since, has represented the city, its victory, and conquest. Our founders, the Bambi brothers, adopted the Marzocco symbol as an indelible emblem of the company. And we are grateful to be celebrating around the world our first 90 years!
What are the three most important things you feel have marked the history of the company?
First and foremost, it lies in La Marzocco’s DNA to place people at the centre, to create and maintain an environment that’s safe, stimulating, and that embraces diversity.
The company are the people, and all those who work here are curious and passionate; they commit themselves to a purpose beyond their individual cause, and therefore — collectively — generate a multiplication of value. Most commonly, we could outline La Marzocco’s traits of courage (to take risks, face challenges, and follow unexperienced trails), of altruism (to always be generous, team-spirited, and beneficial to the community at large), and of creativity (to be original, innovative and unprecedented).