Global Coffee Report discovers why the Victoria Arduino E1 Prima is a versatile one-group espresso machine setting a new standard with infinite opportunities.
Victoria Arduino is used to product launches that invite hundreds of guests to marvel at its latest creation. There’s entertainment, cocktails and crowds of iPhones that hover over every inch of the machine to get the perfect ‘Instagram-worthy’ shot.
This time around, the Italian machine manufacturer had to think differently. With COVID-19 restrictions abolishing celebrations in-person, the company unveiled its E1 Prima one-group espresso machine on 18 September with an online video that, at the time of print, had been watched by more than 20,000 people across the globe.
Star of the launch video, Simonelli Group Vice President Marco Feliziani, says the virtual result was ever better than he expected.
“We had more people attend our virtual launch than we could have physically had in one room,” he tells Global Coffee Report. “It wasn’t easy to launch the E1 Prima in this way, but I’m so happy with the team, the way we were able to unite, and what we have achieved together. We have created a new standard for a one-group machine in a time many may not have expected us to.”
Catering to the home market has always been part of the Victoria Arduino’s strategy, which it did with the launch of its Theresia machine in 2013, but Feliziani admits market needs have altered quite substantially, and customer expectations have heightened.
“Before the coronavirus, people were constantly busy and looked for coffee options that were fast and convenient,” Feliziani says. “Now, consumers are spending more time at home and are looking for an exclusive coffee experience outside the coffee shop. Due to the rapid change in market needs as a result of the pandemic, Victoria Arduino has the opportunity to tap into a new demographic of coffee drinkers who are interested in consuming high-quality espresso at home.”
While the retail market is rapidly advancing, the E1 Prima’s compact size and high-end functionality makes it more than just a domestic machine for professionals or enthusiasts.
“The E1 Prima is versatile. It’s advanced enough to complement coffee shops, restaurants, roasters, office spaces, even young people who want to enter this industry with a small coffee cart,” Feliziani says.
It wasn’t coincidental that Victoria Arduino launched the E1 Prima during Milan’s Design Week at the Cappellini showroom. Much like the city’s reputation for style, E1 Prima’s unique shape and array of available colours and textures mirrors the beauty and design trends of the season.
“People who don’t know much about coffee can invest in a piece of design first, and then discover a love for coffee,” Feliziani says. “And for those who do appreciate good coffee, they can celebrate an amazing machine that delivers delicious espresso and looks architecturally beautiful in their home.”
The E1 Prima offers a sustainable alternative that considers the machine’s environmental impact in terms of economic and energy savings.
It incorporates Victoria Arduino’s New Engine Optimization (NEO) technology that represents a new approach to heating water for coffee extraction.
NEO technology was first developed for Victoria Arduino’s Eagle One commercial espresso machine, but the technology proved to be so compact that it is easily adapted into the E1 Prima without compromise. The instant heating system has a unique insulation mechanism that requires a significantly smaller stainless-steel boiler because only the required water for extraction is heated. The boiler maintains high pressure levels to allow greater dry and saturated steam production with an elevated power/speed ratio.
Innovative insulating material is used to avoid any possible energy dispersion. This way, Prima is ready to use in just eight minutes. Users also have a clear conscience that their means of coffee production is helping lower energy consumption and reducing harmful carbon emissions into the environment.
“It may be a little step but even then, it’s still a step in the right direction,” Feliziani says.
The E1 Prima runs on a 8-amp socket, meaning it can be plugged straight into a wall with an in-built water tank or plumbed water supply both available in the one unit.
While the machine shares a similar shape and technological features as the Eagle One, the E1 Prima is its own model. Unlike the Eagle One, it doesn’t have a display interface to control the extraction. Instead, Victoria Arduino has created a mobile app to allow users to set the temperature, see the extraction time, and program the steam and hot water. The user can also use the app to verify the machines’ performance, turn it on and off, and set the energy-saving mode. The best part, Feliziani says, is the ability to create recipes and share them with friends or to a professional machine in a coffee shop to replicate – great for those who operate chains or own more than one E1 Prima machine.
“This is a really interactive platform that invites the customer to connect with the community of Prima users who share the same value, machine, and interests as they do,” Feliziani says.
“Connectivity is the future. In fact, one of our customers in the Middle East has already told us that as of next year, he will only accept products in his store that are connected to ‘the Cloud’.”
The E1 Prima has all the features and functions of a professional machine, but one thing Feliziani stresses, is its ease of use.
“You can choose to simply push the buttons on the machine to extract a delicious coffee, or go further into the programming and use the app to perfect the extraction,” he says. “Either way, we want people to extract their coffee in the right way, whether they have a high level of skill or not. The easier it is, the more you enjoy it.”
The first batch of E1 Prima machines were in production just one week post-launch. The first 200 arrived in the second week of October, with 20 already being tested by cafés such as boutique Cafezal in Milan with a community of dedicated high-end coffee drinkers.
“This is a great experiment for our market,” Feliziani says. “The E1 Prima is a machine that cares about the raw material inside it but is also for entertainment. We want people to take pleasure from the coffee making experience. If we can get more people to enjoy making quality coffee, the more they will enjoy drinking it.”
The launch of E1 Prima presents Victoria Arduino with a unique opportunity to showcase its products to a new audience. Feliziani says this presents an exciting challenge, and a step in a new direction for the Italian manufacturer.
“We see the potential in the E1 Prima. The technology is top-class – and I’m a mechanical engineer so I really believe this. The design is beautiful, it’s an affordable price, and the result is something I’m 100 per cent happy with. It really has been a team effort. I couldn’t be prouder,” Feliziani says.
“This is an opportunity to grow the Victoria Arduino brand on a bigger scale than ever before and have more people around the world drinking quality coffee at home – now we just need to get it into their hands.”
For more information, visit www.victoriaarduino.com/eagleoneprima
This article appears in the November/December 2020 edition of Global Coffee Report. Subscribe HERE.