Join us for a short conversation with the team Dalla Corte, a proud partner of Standart Issue 24.
What is the biggest advantage of the Zero’s patented Digital Flow Regulator? How does affecting the pre-infusion stage allows baristas to make better coffee?
There are many advantages in controlling the water flow, especially when we can choose whether to have it fixed onto one flow rate or to easily switch it between four different flow rates. Zero’s Digital Flow Regulator allows us to use 4 different pre-set flow rates by simply moving a lever on the side of each brewing unit. The flow rates are pre-set to 3 grams of water per second, 5 g/s, 7 g/s and 9 g/s. One can choose to use a fixed extraction on their preferred flow rate, or freestyle their extraction by moving the lever between the different flow rates, achieving different organoleptic properties and aromas in their cup of espresso.
Preinfusion has been underrated for a long time, but now we know that acting on this stage means extracting all potential positive aromas, as it is when water infuses the coffee cake “awakening” about 80% of the aromas we then find in the cup. By regulating water flow we can adjust how many grams of water per second will wet the coffee cake before filling the extraction chamber, giving you complete control over pre-infusion time, and allowing you to create different coffee profiles.
How does the Zero reflect both the advances made by Dalla Corte over the past twenty years, but also speak to its heritage and where it all started?
The Zero represents the moment when Dalla Corte took a step further towards the specialty coffee industry, investing in a jaw-dropping design and equipping the machine with the technologies that are specifically designed for specialty baristas. Some of these technologies are so advanced that a beginner barista or a simple “coffee machine operator” wouldn’t know how to effectively use them or how these would affect the final cup of espresso.
'We like to say that Zero is the machine for baristas designed by baristas.'
But if you look closely at Zero’s main characteristics, you can see that these technologies have already been on Dalla Corte machines all this time, Zero has simply put together all the pieces that would perfectly work for expert baristas in a multigroup espresso machine. Even the machine’s core technology is still the same one you can find on any Dalla Corte, the one Paolo and Bruno Dalla Corte have developed 20 years ago when they founded the company, the multi boiler. The difference is that for the first time it has been applied to a bigger and improved 0,75 lt group instead of the usual 0,5 lt group.
How important was the consideration of ergonomics and usability in designing the Zero? What kind of research did you do to discover what baristas needed from an espresso machine?
We like to say that Zero is the machine for baristas designed by baristas because we heavily invested in research from the user’s point of view to create this espresso machine. The levers to activate the steam wands and the ones for the freestyle extraction are some of the details that made something not only eye-catching but also more comfortable to use compared to a knob or a button. The cool touch materials of the steam wands and hot water tap put the barista’s safety in the front line, and the user-friendly menus on the new digital touchscreens make all functions easy and intuitive.
An important part of Zero’s design was also finding a way to encourage interaction between customers and their baristas: the solution was found in lowering the machine’s height as much as possible to reduce the number of physical barriers.
This interview was published in partnership with Dalla Corte.