La Marzocco Strada ABR
The La Marzocco Strada was designed with user-intuitive function in mind, and the AV model’s features only further this vision by creating a higher output, higher consistency focus in the Strada’s operation. As stated on our pages about the Strada EP and Strada AV, there is a Strada that meets every kind of barista’s needs and preference with regards to workflow and desired level of control.
The ABR model is that which adds a failsafe and consistency to the same quality of espresso you can expect to brew from the EP, but also adds the extra key quality control measure that the AV does not allow for in its system – the weight of your brewed coffee. What’s great is that the ABR still uses the simple button layout as the AV does, and still allows you to program repeatable recipes for each need that you may have. As with the EP, it includes pre-infusion for brewing, which minimises the impact of any human error on your cup quality, and increases evenness of flavour extraction.
With this feature being fully controllable too, you can achieve the highest levels of coffee flavour extraction using digital assistance, without excessive waste of coffee. That’s a big win, and even bigger when you know the espresso brewing (not just the barista’s preparation of it) has damage limitation built into it too by putting a limit on the volume of water that goes past the coffee in your brewing basket.
What does it mean to you? It means your espressos are never accidentally a little too full in the cup, nor will they accidentally be misjudged and stopped where their volume may be a little low in the cup. All of that simply means a higher likelihood of success at any level of output, whatever that success is characterised by for your coffee recipes.
Weighing scales for each group head – allowing you the utmost accuracy in brewing, moreso than with just AV controls. Weight to 0.1g accuracy is programmable into the machine for you to feel the most confident possible in your recipes. This minimises error and means even less experienced baristas are able to produce your recipes identically, as long as your grinder allows them to. For more info on grinders, follow this link!
As for the EP and AV models, we see multiple coffee boilers, plus a large steam boiler. The number of groups in a Strada corresponds to the number of independent coffee boilers inside it. However, you still get a large steam boiler included separately to all of those, so the performance of your espresso brewing and steam release are not interdependent at all.
PIDs for every single boiler and steam wand – if you know La Marzocco and you know a little about coffee brewing, you’ll know that this is the game-changer. Ultimate consistency across the main variables that we cannot control in a machine by barista action. This means you’ll avoid any excessively low or excessively high temperatures for example, or any random drops to brewing or steam pressure during service. Beautiful consistency, easy quality control.
Programmable temperatures on all coffee boilers. What does this mean to you? You can choose to achieve different brewing profiles on each group by temperature (and pre-infusion settings), or can opt to achieve the ultimate consistency across them all. Since no group will be impacted by any other while brewing, your water flow, pressure and temperatures can be much more accurately programmed to your needs.
Programmable pre-infusion on each group. As above for temperature, your groups can all be independently programmed to use different pre-infusion recipes, meaning that you can extract multiple different coffees or the same coffee to different levels on each group (if desired). See below for an often missed benefit of this feature too.
Avoid water pressure issues you have with programmable pre-infusion, which can mitigate poor water flow and overcome blockages on different group heads. Occasionally over time, people miss the ideal window for changing their water filtration, or choose not to use one. If this were to happen on your Strada, you could counteract the issues normally associated with not being able to extract enough flavour with a restricted water flow by increasing brewing temperature and/or adding time to your pre-infusion. Not a feature we hope that you’ll need, but a virtue if it ever happened to you in the long run.
Cool-to-the-touch steam wands: steam wands that do not burn your staff make your wands easier to wipe clean, and cause less hazardous work around your espresso machine.
Ergonomic workspace – this may seem like an odd or relatively unimportant benefit of a Strada, but it will be surprisingly useful for you in service. The drip tray of these machines is raised, large and slightly more protruding towards the barista. It simply means more workspace, more visibility, and less chance of spillage for both milk and coffee. Hard to visualise but a real bonus when you’re juggling tasks in service.
Stainless steel for clean brewing – La Marzoccos arrive with stainless steel portafilters. This means taint-free espresso for you all day, every day, with minimal maintenance required too. No more of the tarry espresso build-up below your espresso basket, tainting every shot with heavy, bitter flavour and reducing clarity and sweetness in each cup.
Precision portafilters – they weigh the same upon arrival, so you won’t need to tare your scales when you move from using one group of the machine to the next. This will save you a serious amount of time, error and waste in the long run.
Hot water control – for rinsing and tea brewing, your tap is programmable by dispense time and temperature, for control and precise dosing of water whether for coffee or tea.
Exposed group heads – these are built to extend out of the front of the machine, meaning greater visibility during brewing. This is also easier for cleaning!
If you want to manually adjust your water pressure, perhaps choose an external pump as an optional extra for your machine. In our opinion, the pre-infusion feature of the Strada does not necessitate it, but it is of course up to the user to decide their own brewing style.
No performance benefit whatsoever, but it looks pretty interesting on the inside of one of these machines. These panels will be the thing that allows your customers and yourselves to see just what makes the machine the finely tuned brewing machine that it is.
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