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The Barista in the Eversys machine

From the May 2015 issue.

GCR Magazine speaks to Eversys Co-founder Jean-Paul In Albon to find out how it achieved its goal of combining the functionality of the automatic machines with the in-cup quality of an expert Barista.

When Eversys Co-founder Jean-Paul In Albon started making automatic machines in the late 1970s, the industry’s focus was entirely on how to use technology to automate the process, with quality of the finished product coming a distant second on the list of priorities.

For In Albon, who came to the automatic segment after five years of building traditional coffee machines, this approach looked at the process of coffee making the wrong way around.

It was not until some 30 years later, when In Albon teamed up with friend Robert Bircher to found Eversys in 2009, that he was able to use his expertise to “restore the natural order” to automatic coffee making.

“For us it mattered what a coffee bean tasted like, what it took to produce a real coffee product, and then to build the automation around the coffee, rather than the other way around,” In Albon tells GCR Magazine. “In other words the master became the coffee and the slave, the faithful slave, became the machine.”

The result was Eversys’s first machine, the e’4, a 56-centimetre machine that produced four espressos at a time, and included a steam wand for frothing the milk. Since then, Eversys has incorporated an automatic milk frothing process that still uses steam to froth the milk, just as a barista would.

This year Eversys has released its latest innovation, the Shotmaster. While still based on the technology offered in the e’4, the new Shotmaster is capable of producing up to 350 espressos per hour and has a footprint of just 28 centimetres.

For In Albon, the focus of Eversys has always been perfection in small doses, much like espresso itself.

“The market is currently quite fragmented and dominated by large organisations whose focus is primarily on functionality, sometimes at the expense of product/coffee quality,” he says.

“At Eversys we wanted to do something different, create a machine that could defy the stigma attached to automatic machines. As a result of this radical thinking, we developed a brand new machine, one able to produce leading-edge in-cup quality beverages.”

Eversys has introduced the e’Barista system that, instead of cutting the barista out of the coffee-making process, provides them with the ability to set the machine to achieve optimal in-cup quality time after time.

“We are innovative, providing skilled baristas with a platform to exercise their creativity, concoct products that truly express the essence of the bean, its provenance, its ‘terroir’,” In Albon says.

“We provide an espresso in-cup quality, which is in line with the old fashioned and respected standards of traditional machines.”

This is all controlled via a touchscreen interface that offers clear, intuitive communication between the machine and the user.

The Shotmaster uses a reverse extraction principle that gives it the ability to produce traditional standard espresso by extracting the product against gravitational forces.

The machine also incorporates Eversys’s telemetry system, e’Connect, which won a Smart Label Award at the 2013 Host exhibition in Milan and provides all the information needed by professionals to manage their machine in real time via the internet.

The e’Connect system gives stakeholders the ability to remotely access information about all of the key parameters of the machines. This includes monthly, daily and even hourly productivity reports, feedback on technical performance and drink profiles. All of this information can be accessed through either push or pull functions, in line with the preference of the user.

All of Eversys’s machines are also built using modular technologies, with all the main functionalities separated to provide ease of access and minimising downtime. Each machine consists of five modules – the grinder, the patented brewing module, the hydraulics, the steam and water boilers, and the milk module.

The grinder module is made up of two ceramic grinder discs, driven by a powerful yet quiet motor, whose heat is channelled away from the coffee beans via a set of fans. Electronic control maintains consistency of product throughout the day, ensuring optimal extraction at all times.

The brewing module uses a system of reverse gravity extraction vertical infusion to optimise powder efficiency as the espresso is produced.

The coffee boiler is kept separate from the water and steam boiler to provide greater temperature control and increase the productivity of the machine.

The machines also include Eversys’s unique e’clean technology. Eversys machines can store one month’s worth of cleaning tablets, dispensed daily through a laser guided automatic distribution unit. This ensures that health and safety standards are maintained, as well as safeguarding the machine’s optimum performance.

Underpinning the functionality of these machines, however, is the quality of the construction of the machines themselves, In Albon says.

“We produce machines using only premium quality materials, in line with our Swiss made guarantee accreditation,” he says.

In addition to this, Eversys machines are designed to be environmentally friendly. More than 90 per cent of the machine can be readily recycled with the remainder requiring some minor processing. The machines also require less than 2 watts per hour in standby mode
Eversys now supplies its machines to coffee shops, restaurants, offices, and cafeterias.

“We have high respect for our customers and consumers, people who deserve to get the highest in-cup quality product for their money,” In Albon says.

“Business being primarily about people, as well as products, our ethos is driven by a desire to put people first, a passion to serve. And, while we clearly aim to develop great products, we are also cultivating a strong customer-orientated corporate culture, treating customers as important strategic partners rather than mere buyers.”

This extends to the company’s internal culture, In Albon says.

“We also place our people, our team, at the forefront of our core values. We strongly believe that only the best people can create the best equipment and develop the best relationships. Business is all about trust and trust comes from having committed people driven by purpose and values, ambition that goes beyond the job.”

Today, Eversys comprises a team of more than 40 skilled personnel, ranging from electronics, software and hardware, mechanics, hydraulics and material engineering, as well as an industrial designer on the technical side.

“We are still a small player in this massive market but thanks to our key differentiators we are currently experiencing exponential growth, with a turnover increase in excess of 300 per cent between 2013 and 2014,” In Albon says.

“We are now recognised as a special manufacturer, one that builds automatic coffee machines able to deliver an authentic espresso, comparable to the traditional Italian-made coffee machines controlled by a  skilled barista.” GCR

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