Coffee machines are at the heart of many a café, and so specifying and installing these appliances is ever more important to ensuring a quality beverage is created.
One distributor that has teamed up to outfit a coffee machine in a cafeteria is Leeds-based CS Catering Equipment. It was approached by Bumps & Babes, a local child supplies store in Keighley, regarding the potential purchase of a machine for its new in-house café.
With coffee being a secondary, but potentially lucrative, source of revenue for the store, it wanted a cost-effective machine, and one that would be easy to operate yet deliver a consistently high quality of espresso and milk foam.
After talking things over with Bumps & Babes and working closely with its coffee machine supplier, The Brew Group, CS put a couple of suitable machines forward for its client to consider. The store opted for the distributor’s first-choice, the Astoria Easy Plus. “Through discussions with both Bumps & Babes and with guidance from The Brew Group, we were able to find a machine that met the customer’s needs,” said Phil Dixon, CS Catering Equipment’s sales director.
Designed and manufactured in Italy, the Easy Plus is an interactive espresso machine that can provide real-time feedback to the operator.
Alongside its ability to monitor extraction times and brewing conditions, an automatic steam arm comes as standard, which can be programmed to heat milk to a pre-determined temperature, digital displays and a keypad operating system. And, as part of Astoria’s Green Line range, it is said to be energy efficient. [[page-break]]
Dixon praised The Brew Group, saying it was excellent throughout the project. CS Catering Equipment’s account manager was on hand to give The Brew Group with all the necessary advice and support, while the supplier provided the ability to install the coffee machine, and on-site barista training for Bumps & Babes. “Needless to say, the option of barista training was a great selling point for both us and the customer!” Dixon commented.
Bumps & Babes has been impressed by the after-sales service offered by The Brew Group. The supplier reported that the store’s staff enjoyed their barista training session and working on the Easy Plus.
“Coffee machine sales and enquiries have been rising recently,” said Dixon. “We find it extremely beneficial to be working with The Brew Group during this exciting period for the industry.”
Elsewhere, London-based supplier Kimbo has teamed up with a number of pub groups to deliver machine solutions suitable for a variety of volumes. The most popular solution has been the Spinel Jasmine, a capsule machine which Kimbo orders direct from the manufacturer in Italy. Spinel has been producing capsule and pod machines since the early 1960s and the Jasmine is its newest offering.
The primary benefit of this machine is said to be that the capsule system ensures a consistently well-made espresso. Kimbo’s capsules are vacuum wrapped in pairs to maintain freshness, which is suitable for pub sites which may only serve 30 coffees a day, though the Jasmine has the capability to make 150 drinks daily. Eliminating the grinder and tamping processes of traditional barista coffee means there is less room for error – particularly in a pub environment where coffee is not the main focus.
The machine also enables fresh milk foaming, using its steam arm, meaning that the theatre of a traditional machine is not lost. Kimbo believes the steam wand and hot water tap mean that a quality coffee can be served without compromise or powdered milk.
Feedback from the end users has been positive, with training on the machine only taking a couple of hours for staff to get to grips with. Pubs are realising they can serve just as good a coffee as high street chains, for less. Coffee has become a great way to fill quieter times and is now frequently being combined with a coffee and cake offer or breakfast take away deal.