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The Schaerer Barista

From the November 2018 issue.

Schaerer has created a fully automated espresso machine of the future while taking inspiration from the past.

Swiss coffee machine manufacturer Schaerer has combined the principles of a portafilter machine and skills of a barista with the easy operation and reliability of a fully automated coffee machine to create the Schaerer Barista.

“The traditional portafilter is synonymous with exquisite Italian espresso and espresso-based coffee specialities. Many restaurateurs decide in favour of this machine concept for this very reason,” says Monika Oeggerli, Trainer at Schaerer’s Coffee Competence Centre.

“At the same time, they criticise the quality fluctuations and high level of work arising from the manual preparation steps. Our objective was to offer customers a solution that combines the traditional preparation method of a portafilter with high process reliability, to provide them with the best possible support for their coffee sales.”

Unlike a traditional espresso machine that requires a separate grinder, manual dosing, and tamping, the Schaerer Barista can operate automatically with the bean hopper and the grinder integrated into the machine.

All the operator has to do is insert the portafilter and select the desired beverage. At the same time, traditional steps such as knocking out the coffee puck or frothing the milk – manually or automatically – provide the typical sounds heard in the traditional process of using a portafilter machine. 

When the Schaerer Barista is installed on site, all quality-related parameters and different taste profiles are set and defined individually in the software, including grinding, dosing, and tamping.

Thanks to its two integrated grinders, baristas can use two different types of beans at one time, and add beans from external grinders for additional recipes.

At the touch of a button on the display screen, the Supersteam steam wand can conjure up milk foam automatically in up to three predefined consistencies and temperatures.

These include creamy for traditional milk coffee and latte art, firm for preparing drinks like the latte macchiato, and very firm, which helps create beverages with large foam mountains, such as the “Cappuccino Fujiyama”.

In addition, a manual steam nozzle can be used for traditional frothing. A targeted jet steam from the SteamIT helps maintain a stable cup temperature.

“The steam is approximately 120°C and is therefore the ideal temperature for bringing the milk to the perfect temperature,” Oeggerli says. “This means that the milk jug can be sterilised at the same time.”

The Schaerer Barista’s quality-related parameters are monitored continuously and shown on the display. The sensors respond immediately if there are any deviations from the defined range.

If the Schaerer Barista is networked to the Schaerer Coffee Link telemetry system, users such as chain group managers with cross-location can monitor beverage quality thanks to data on extraction times, dosing, and other factors. This information is also shown on the dashboard.

The easy handling, espresso quality, and considered design makes the Schaerer Barista suitable for a wide range of applications, from coffee shop chains to owner-run coffee bars or Italian restaurants.

The United Kingdom-based Costa Coffee is one example of a prominent coffee chain which uses the Schaerer Barista. Costa Coffee equipped its shops with these espresso machines due to the consistent beverage quality and the fact that no trained baristas are needed to achieve the best results.

“It is practical above all for staff without barista expertise when all these processes are carried out automatically,” Oeggerli says.

“It is becoming increasingly hard to find qualified staff members or trained baristas, and even then, it involves rising personnel costs.

At the same time, guests are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of taste and consistently high beverage quality.”

The desired flavour profile is available for each user to call up with a tap on the display.

The automated preparation process ensures that espresso-based coffee specialities are delivered with high quality and consistent flavour, regardless of who is operating the machine.

This does not mean that the machine erases the role of the barista. Instead it improves their productivity and streamlines training and functionality.

“If the Schaerer Barista software has the relevant feature enabled to permit the barista to set up the machine him/herself, comprehensive knowledge is still required to set the optimum taste profile,” Oeggerli says.

It is still important for operators to check the machine’s sensors, water volume, and crema of the drinks.

Outside of minimising training and maximising consistency, the Schaerer Barista provides a number of practical benefits over other espresso machines.

While the machine is preparing a drink, service personnel can use the time to prepare other menu items, such as cakes, pastries, desserts, or cold beverages.

As the grinder and bean hopper are integrated into the espresso machine, the Schaerer Barista takes up less space than traditional setups. The pre-set coffee quantity and in-built grinders also reduce the amount of spent coffee and help keep work aresa tidy.

The Schaerer Barista is easy to clean. Simply place a cleaning tablet in the portafilter with the backflush basket, insert into the machine, and start the automatic cleaning program.

Schaerer’s top consideration is always on the principle of customer service.

“We are always ready to listen to the marketplace and to our customers and partners,” Oeggerli says. “The increasing digitalisation of our society similarly affects the expectations of both hoteliers and guests on the technical equipment in professional coffee machines.”

Schaerer’s product range has evolved over the years. It launched its first fully automatic cappuccino system in 1997. Prior to this, it released an automatic piston coffee machine in 1957 and a fully automatic coffee machine with a doser and integrated grinder in 1970.

Schaerer plans to further integrate digitalisation into its machines to increase the functionality of its products.

“In respect of the increased user experience, what is required are solutions that cover the entire spectrum of functionality – from cashless payments via online payment through to the configuration of individual favourite recipes that are sent to the coffee machine and prepared,” Oeggerli says.

“Schaerer has always combined coffee machine technology and many years of coffee expertise with the skill of a barista. This has established us over the decades as one of the leading providers of fully automated coffee machines.”

For more information, visit www.schaerer.com/en/home/schaerer-barista/

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