Introducing the Eagle One

Wednesday, 20 November, 2019

Launched in September 2019, Victoria Arduino’s new Eagle One is a professional espresso machine that’s been designed with the barista in mind, using advanced technology to make it the most sustainable machine of its category. We chatted to Sara Gagliesi of Simonelli Group to find out more about the new machine…

What separates the Eagle One from its predecessors?

“Eagle One was born in response to the new generation of coffee shops where design, performance, and sustainability are defining factors to create a pleasant and memorable experience. We made the personalisation of the machine easy to do and it’s adaptable to different environments that range from the classical to the more glamorous. The machine's design also adjusts perfectly with various materials like wood, steel, resins, or aluminum.”

What was the inspiration behind the design?

“Eagle One is a project inspired by the culture of Italian design and also looks to the future as a symbol of modernity for Victoria Arduino. For the shape of the Eagle One, the architect Carlo Viglino was inspired by Victoria Arduino's impressive history. James Hoffmann (Coffee Opinion Leader and Author) was involved as a consultant in the development of the Eagle One – he focused on the needs of the new era coffee shops that require compact, efficient and sustainable machines. 

From the very design of the coffee machine, Victoria Arduino has picked up on the industry’s needs and transformed them into technologies, also through the great collaborations with the futurist artist Leonetto Cappiello and the architect Caccia Dominioni. That's how design and innovation fuse: having a substantial impact inside the machine in correspondence with its new form.” 

“Big innovation in a compact space.” Can you tell us more about this?

“The innovation of Eagle One is about its aesthetic and functional simplicity. The project completely covered all aspects – every single component was studied in relationship to the entire system. The ergonomic research of the Eagle One made it remarkably user-friendly – baristas need compact equipment that’s ergonomic and easy to use, but also capable of producing high volumes of excellent coffee for the client. That shouldn’t come at the expense of energy efficiency though.

In Eagle One, this is what drives the design. The machine is simple and extraordinarily compact, and able to respond to the new needs of the latest generation of coffee shops. The heart of the machine, the new engine (called NEO, New Engine Optimisation), is smaller but at the same time, able to deliver great performance with a reduction of energy consumption.”

Tell us about the special version of the Eagle One customised by Giulio Cappellini?

“The architect, Giulio Cappellini, art director of the Italian Manufacturer Art & Design Exhibition (I-MADE) and the international ambassador of excellence and Italian design, asked to show the Eagle One at the I-MADE exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. During that event, Victoria Arduino presented the Eagle One in a special version customised by Cappellini, who chose for the machine chrome colours and innovative materials. The customised version is a fusion of history and innovation: unique recycled wood, ecological resin and aluminum, signed by Giulio Cappellini.”

How does the Eagle One make efficient use of energy?

“With the NEO (New Engine Optimisation) technology, an important goal has been reached: obtain the same high performance while reducing energy costs. This new engine uses an instant heating system utilising only the necessary amount of water for the extraction to be heated, thus reducing energy-related expenses. The smaller boilers are insulated with a new material that avoids heat dispersion. This way, less energy is consumed. 

The thermal insulation and the size reduction of the single components diminished the environmental impact substantially. The LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) demonstrated how the Eagle One has 23% less environmental impact concerning the same category machine. The new patented technology T.E.R.S. (Temperature Energy Recovery System) also contributes to the reduction. The system uses the discharged water to pre-heat the incoming water. The result is an 8% saving on total machine consumption.”

How was James Hoffmann involved in Eagle One project?

“Simonelli Group has been working with James Hoffmann for nine years. Eagle One is the third project that we’ve worked on and it’s probably the most exciting because it’s focused on the new generation of barista and coffee shop. The one that’s the biggest in scope and has the largest potential for a huge positive impact on our industry.”

Tell us about the Eagle One app?

“Eagle One is a machine born to be ‘smart’. Along with the Eagle One, anyone who buys the machine is also given a smartphone and tablet app to create a digital experience for the new generation coffee shops and baristas that enjoy sharing ideas and experiences between coffee lovers. Exclusive and user-friendly, the Eagle One app connects simply with Bluetooth and allows the user to create and share information and recipes with all the other ‘Eagle-oners’. Other than personal use, the app can be used by coffee shop chains to keep track of their different coffee machines and all of their settings, without interrupting the barista’s work.”

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Beanless Coffee?

Friday, 22 November, 2019

From the Impossible Burger to Impossible Coffee?

Meat-free burgers have taken off - will bean-free coffee do the same? Yes, you read that right… Atomo, a Seattle-based company, is working on developing what they call “molecular coffee” – coffee grounds that are engineered in a lab, with no beans involved at all. We’ve all seen plant-based ‘meat’ and dairy-free milk – is bean-free coffee the next sustainable alternative?

The coffee industry faces major agricultural challenges thanks to climate change and deforestation. The world’s land and water resources are under threat, along with many wild coffee species, so it’s not the worst idea to have a sustainable alternative on offer when the future of coffee production is so uncertain. "We believe we have a moral obligation to stop harmful coffee farming practices, but none of us want to stop drinking coffee," said Andy Kleitsch, CEO of Atomo. "Atomo's technology can halt the need for further deforestation by reducing the demand for coffee beans."

Atomo’s work is still proprietary, but the general idea is that a cup of coffee can be reverse-engineered using molecular biology. And they’ve got a lot of support. US $2.6 million of support to be exact – seed funding from Horizon Ventures, the investors behind Impossible Foods (the food-tech company that created the faux-meat Impossible Burger). With this injection of capital, Atomo aims to start selling beanless coffee grounds as soon as 2020.

Bean-free coffee

"I love coffee, but every day I was adding cream and sugar to mask coffee's bitter flavour. By replicating the taste, aroma and mouthfeel of coffee, we've designed a better tasting coffee that's also better for the environment.” – Jarret Stopforth, Atomo’s chief scientist and co-founder

So how exactly does one reverse-engineer a cup of coffee? Stopforth, who has a PhD in molecular biology, broke down the thousands of chemical compounds that make up a roasted bean to understand the building blocks of coffee’s flavour, aroma and mouthfeel, and then recreated those core components without the beans. 

Atomo promises all the caffeine and flavour of a regular cup of coffee (and even the same colour), but without the beans or the bitterness. Atomo’s website says the company is exploring naturally sustainable ingredients to create a cup of coffee that’s better for the environment, largely by reducing the volume required of commercial coffee farmers and the environmental impact of coffee production.

A sustainable alternative

Not every coffee drinker may be on board with giving up the sacred coffee bean, but Atomo say they’re not looking to destroy the coffee industry – they just want to offer a sustainable alternative. It’s also good news for those coffee drinkers who typically add milk, cream or sugar to their brew to mask the bitterness since Atomo claims to have created ‘the perfect coffee’ – the brew you know and love, without any bitterness.

Atomo’s bean-free molecular coffee is still a work-in-progress, and it remains to be seen whether the ingredients that go into it do end up better for the environment (and coffee consumer) at the end of the day. But there’s nothing wrong with a little competition, and innovation is what keeps the coffee industry moving forward. 

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The People Behind Your Coffee: Maxine Keet

Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

We last caught up with Maxine Keet in 2012 in Interview with a Champion. Back then, Maxine was KZN’s Regional Cup Tasting Champion headed for the World Cup Tasters Championship in Nice, France to represent South Africa and Colombo Coffee & Tea. A lot has changed since then. Maxine is now the co-owner of Urban Bistro, a casual café and trendy oasis in the middle of a commercial office park in Riverhorse Valley. 

From left to Right: Byron Keet (Maxine's cousin - please note not her brother, who is also in the industry) Maxine Keet, Owner of Coastal Coffee Roasters: Craig Sampson and Coastal Coffee Roasters’ Trainer: Thamie Ndlovo


You last chatted to Coffee Magazine in 2012 – how has life changed for you since then? 

“Wow, where do I begin… The past seven years have been a journey culminating in a decision three years ago to leave a great career in marketing to run my own café. It has been humbling and life has taken on a new meaning with all the joys and heartache of navigating the wilderness of entrepreneurship.”

How did you get into the coffee industry initially? 

“It was a chance encounter with two young coffee enthusiasts during the 2010 Good Food & Wine Show. Colombo Coffee & Tea had a quirky stand set up and I was immediately drawn to the two baristas behind the counter, Kyle Fraser and Dirk Maritz. A couple of weeks later, I visited the Colombo HQ to find out more about the team behind this local coffee brand, and was subsequently offered a position on the Sales & Marketing team.”

How did you go from Sales & Marketing to cupping competitions?

“Being a part of a small team, we were encouraged to play and participate in all aspects of the coffee supply chain. It was an exciting time to be a part of the new wave of coffee culture in an emerging market in South Africa. I wanted to immerse myself in the process, to learn as much as I possibly could of the product I loved and believed in. It started off with cupping coffee as part of a quality control measure within the roastery where I was able to hone my skills, and of course being on the sales and marketing team we got involved with hosting a few competitions – and so I decided to give it a bash.”

What made you decide to pursue a different avenue in opening your own business? 

“I had a minor hiatus from the world of coffee and the café culture to pursue broader opportunities within the marketing arena. During that time, I worked on exciting projects involving Urban Regeneration and noticed a striking connection between coffee shops and the upliftment and activation of areas, as well as the potential to be important place makers. Cafés appeared to play an integral role in being catalysts for regenerating areas and providing places for people to connect and engage with one another. I began to long for the hospitality aspect of my former career and the hands-on satisfaction of being behind an espresso machine.”

You’ve been with Urban Bistro for three years now? What’s that journey been like? 

“I joined my brother, Ryan Keet, who is a qualified chef, and together we took over a café (Urban Bistro) situated in a thriving commercial office park in 2016. It has been one of the most challenging and equally rewarding experiences of my life so far. We have grown tremendously in our love and passion for hospitality and learnt so much about owning and operating our own business.”

What can you tell Coffee Magazine readers about Urban Bistro?

“As a small team, headed by my very talented brother, who studied to be a chef through the Capsicum Culinary School, we joined forces with my love of coffee and hospitality to bring a kind of casual playfulness to the Island Office Park. Our patrons are almost exclusively the people who work and are based out in Riverhorse Valley and the surrounding area, so we serve a lot of corporate business people and delight in providing a reprieve from the taxing environment of the office by serving freshly made simple food, fresh juices, great coffee and smoothies.”

What do you like best about your line of work? 

“Besides the technical aspect of being a barista and working on an espresso machine, I love being in a position to run my own operation, to make decisions freely (whether they are the right ones or not), finding innovative ways to overcome challenges – currently there are some imminent challenges facing our business in the form of load shedding. So, we have to be creative, adaptive and flexible in our approach whilst still maintaining a high level of service to our very important customers.”

What’s been the highlight of your business journey? 

“The highlight of my business journey has been a culmination of small wins, meeting and connecting with some incredible people, and successfully keeping our operation growing from strength to strength whilst still maintaining quality of life. My favourite moments are being able to share my passion for hospitality with my brother and our awesome team, and the feeling of family we’ve cultivated over the years, with a lot of laughter between the crazy stress of running a business and dealing with complexities of being in the service industry.”

What does your average day look like? 

“Open at 7am, start serving coffee for our first little rush of the day, connecting with our awesome regulars who keep us and our business going. A little bit of admin here and there, some experimenting with baking fresh breads and fermenting sauerkraut, then a lunch rush serving seated customers and arranging take away lunches for businesses in the area. We wind down after 2.30pm, and close shop by 4pm to take advantage of the wonderful quality of life we experience living here in Durban and working only weekdays.”

Tell us about the coffee you serve, and what your coffee of choice is these days? 

“We currently serve Coastal Coffee’s TIA blend which is an all-African espresso blend crafted by another local coffee enthusiast, Craig Sampson. As for me, you cannot beat a humble black Americano, but recently having discovered MilkLab’s almond milk, I enjoy a simple almond milk cappuccino.”

You can find Maxine Keet and Urban Bistro at Building 4, Island Circle Office Park, Riverhorse Valley, open weekdays from 7am to 4pm!

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Congratulations to KZN Coffee Champions 2019!

Monday, 11 November, 2019

2019 KZN BARISTA Championship

Champion: Kgune Zamo Dlamini from Lineage Coffee.

Runner Up: Princess Fikile Khuzwayo from MRP Foundation 
3rd Place: Bruce John Manning from Brustar 

The Barista Specialty Awards went to (as determined in the semi-final round):
Best Technical: Dieter Liebenberg (VDP Distributors)
Best Milk Beverage: Jason Nkosi (Lineage Coffee)
Best Signature & Espresso Drink: Kgune Dlamini (Lineage Coffee)

2019 KZN LATTE ART

Champion: Ndumiso Ngcobo from The Talkhouse Cafe 

Runner Up: Jeff Stopforth from Beaver Creek Coffee 

2019 KZN CUP TASTERS

Champion:  Wency Masawi from Tanaka Coffee/African Roots Coffee.

Runner Up: Themba Ndlovu from VDP Distributors 

All the above competitors have qualified for the National Coffee Competitions in March 2020 at Hostex!

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Mobile Coffee Entrepreneurs Finding Success in Egypt

Monday, 11 November, 2019

Young people in Egypt are turning to mobile coffee solutions and cafés on wheels to earn an income, helping to tackle Egypt’s high unemployment rate. Unlike a brick and mortar café, coffee carts, trailers, bikes and vans require minimal resources and capital, making it much easier for young entrepreneurs to get a small business off the ground and earn a decent living.

Mobile cafés are able to travel to where the business is (usually near malls, universities and big markets), and operators can be flexible with their hours, which suits both students and those who are looking for an alternative source of income. For example, some vendors might serve morning commuters their caffeine fix on the way to work before heading to their own ‘9 to 5’ job. 

Food carts have always been standard fare on the streets of Egypt, but young entrepreneurs turning their private vehicles into mobile cafés is a fairly new concept. Most new graduates can’t afford the cost of a permanent venue, and don’t want to risk investing in an area where their business might not take off. A mobile solution provides much more freedom, with less risk – ideal when starting out in a tough economy. It also means coffee can be sold at slightly lower prices because overheads aren’t so high. 

Café Up in Cairo

Café Up is an example of one of Cairo’s first mobile microbus cafés which gives commuters their caffeine fix. Founded by Mondy Mahmoud and operated by Bakr Saleh, Café Up makes it easier to get a good cup of coffee on the go. In an interview with Daily News Egypt, Mahmoud said:

We are four friends, all graduates from law school, and we wanted to find an alternative source of income. Therefore, we got this bus in 2012 and started roaming around Cairo […] We wanted to start a café and yet we could not afford the cost of a permanent venue or store. We also did not want to risk staying in one area that might not welcome our idea or not be profitable enough.

Entrepreneurs earning a decent living

Micro businesses like these are proving that there is employment for today’s youth, and there are ways to make ends meet if you think ‘outside the box’. Unemployment in Egypt is high, but young people like Mahmoud have found innovative ways to make ends meet. With the right papers and permits, mobile cafés are finding success in providing specialty coffee on the go.

Photos by Ahmed Najeeb © CairoScene

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First Deaf Barista competes on SCASA stage

Thursday, 7 November, 2019

History was made in Durban, South Africa 7th November 2019, as Karabo Motla became the first deaf barista to compete at a SCASA competition and perhaps the first deaf barista in the world to take the step on to this platform. He poured some beautiful latte art and we couldn’t be prouder of his bravery and his drive to be a leader for this community.  

Huge congratulations to Ciro Beverage Solutions and in particular Lani Snyman and her team who are so dedicated to changing lives through coffee. The volunteers at this competition are all also trainee deaf baristas, amazing!

Thank you to eDeaf for sponsoring an interpreter so that the judges and MC could interact with Karabo. You may or may not know that interpreters are allowed at the World Coffee Events competitions. Karabo is an ambitious young human, who knows, maybe one day we will see him on the world's biggest coffee stage!

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Deluxe Coffeeworks: 10 years and going strong!

Wednesday, 6 November, 2019

Dearest Deluxe Coffeeworks!

Happy 10th Birthday! We remember fondly packing in to Church Street early bells and watching the team (including Grant when he was a baby barista!) work magic and keep the heaving crowd happy. The vibe was more like a bar at a rock club than a cafe at 8am and that's what we loved about it. You've grown, gotten fancy with technology and online sales and opened many more spots, but the rock 'n roll still holds strong throughout your brand. Carl Wessel and Judd Nicolay continue to helm the crew boldly and we wish you all the best for the next 10 years!

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Gallery: Cultures collide with coffee & tattoos

Tuesday, 5 November, 2019

What a combo! An amazing time was spent soaking up the Springboks win while coffee people got inked and showed off their latte art skills at this fantastic event!

Thank you to Equipment Cafe for putting on the show, Tory of Sally Mustang Tattoos for producing incredible art and all the baristas who took part in the epic MilkLab Smackdown organised by Wayne Burrows. Good times all round!

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