Dalla Corte is a renowned Italian espresso machine manufacturer that strives to make the best commercial espresso machines, better baristas, better coffee and a better world.
We proudly partnered up with Dalla Corte in Standart Issue 20, and asked the team a few geeky questions about their brand new machine called Zero.
What effect does a variable flow rate have on a barista's ability to control the taste of espresso?
A variable flow rate allows the barista to make adjustments to the pre-infusion phase, which is when the first drops of water wet the coffee cake and start filling the extraction chamber. This is when 80 per cent of the aromas are extracted in the resulting espresso.
Adjusting the water flow means controlling exactly how many grams of water per second will pass through the coffee puck, so that the barista can target the ideal recipe for any roasting type and coffee selection or create different coffee profiles with the same beans.
Note that there’s a flow profile for every roasting curve; a light roast would require a gentler pre-infusion, allowing more elegant notes to be extracted, while a dark roast and even blends need a consistent water flow.
This is why Dalla Corte has developed a patented technology to regulate water flow, the Digital Flow Regulator. Zero has two major flow control modes: the Fixed Water Flow and the Freestyle Water Flow. With the Fixed Water Flow, the flow rate can be set through the group’s digital touchscreen from 2 to 10 grams of water per second, remaining constant throughout extraction.
When using the Freestyle Water Flow setting, the barista can use the lever on each group’s side to start the extraction. Each lever has four steps which are pre-set to a specific flow rate – 4, 6, 8, and 10 grams per second. Choose your coffee, consider the roast, adjust the flow, and create your favourite recipe with zero limits.
What is the biggest aesthetic design feature of the Zero?
Zero’s futuristic design presents two major characteristics that were carefully studied in order to highlight Dalla Corte’s core technology. The first one would be the machine’s rounded body, which mimics the shape of the boiler inside. The second main point of the design are Zero’s independent groups (now with an increased capacity of 0.75 litres) which are completely exposed from the main body of the machine and surrounded by the brand’s signature grid.
'An important part of Zero’s design was finding a way to encourage interaction between customers and their barista.'
From an aesthetic point of view, some of the most eye-catching features are the new elegant steam wands, the ‘freestyle’ levers on the side of each group, and the user-friendly digital touchscreens on top of each group head which allow the barista to have the most important settings always visible on-screen.
An important part of Zero’s design was finding a way to encourage interaction between customers and their barista. We found the solution in lowering the machine’s height as much as possible in order to reduce the amount of physical barriers.
What eco-friendly features does the Zero have?
The environment is our common heritage and we at Dalla Corte have a very careful eye towards its preservation. Zero is completely lead-free, meaning that all materials in contact with water don’t release any kind of heavy metals such as nickel, chromium, or lead. It carries both certifications by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the ETL Sanitation, and ETL Listed marks.
Another important eco-friendly feature lies in the way Zero’s heating system is built. The boiler and the brewing units are completely independent from one another, so you can turn off the main boiler when not in use or use a single group and turn off all the other ones. This way, the energy impact is considerably lower, and so are operating costs.
Our mission as a company that produces state-of-the-art espresso machines doesn’t end at just sharing our passion for coffee and innovation—we want to make it better and do so sustainably through our machines’ technology, without giving up our high-performance standards.