Aremde is a newcomer to the coffee manufacturing world. Based right here, in Australia (Sunny Queensland to be exact!)
Australia is already well known for its espresso coffee culture but when you think of coffee machine brands (ie: La Marzocco, Wega, Rancilio etc) Italy is the first that comes to mind. This isn’t to say that other countries haven’t gotten on board the manufacturing train; America produced Slayer and Synesso and even Holland has their own with the amazing Kees Van De Westen designer machines, but Australia has only had Boema until 2017, when Aremde called in help from a Dutch Architect, Rempt Van De Donk.
Their problem like every cafe’s problems: A customer had two experiences when entering a cafe 1) They were greeted by a wall of steel machinery, or 2) The cafe was at the back of the cafe in which case they were greeted by the backs of the baristas.
So how do you overcome such a problem?
Well, Rempt (who had never designed a coffee machine before – he was an architect, after all) looked through his car window and literally “saw” the answer. “The Window!” He exclaimed as he recalled his eureka moment to me. It’s the theatre to the show and the “show” is the coffee extraction. “I need to create a theatre around it!”
Easier said than done because the reason espresso machines are so large and bulky is that they contain a large steel boiler (sometimes 2 or 3), a lot of copper pipes and hoses and thousands of other essential metal parts that make up the intricate design of an espresso machine. You can’t simply “remove” the steel.
So Rempt created the design and then Geoff Michaelmore had to work out how the hell to build this crazy theatre. Fast forward a few years and Aremde created their first revolutionary espresso theatre, The Nexus One.
The majority of the espresso machine is hidden underneath the counter which allows the customer to see how the beautiful golden liquid drops into the cup. This is the very first time a customer has been able to see this without poking their heads around the side of the machine.
Sure people will say that Modbar and Mavam also have below counter espresso machines, but they still hide the portafilter and extractions. The Nexus One lets the focal point be the coffee!
I’m sorry, but if you’re not already excited by this machine then you should stop reading and go back under your rock. But if you want to hear my thoughts on why I think this machine will revolutionise coffee forever, read on.
THE EDUCATION CAN FINALLY BEGIN
I’ve been pushing consumer coffee education for years. I believe in an all-inclusive coffee world, where there are no elitist coffee snobs who scoff and mock people who ask questions. I think the Nexus One is the starting point for consumer education.
For years, baristas have hidden behind the machine, done their magic, and presented a fully finished coffee. Customers have no idea what goes on behind the scenes.
Now, customers can see the shots pouring and ask questions about it. They can be educated in what baristas a looking for in a pour, why certain shots pour differently, or why we might stop shots earlier than others.
Understanding things like shots dripping or shots gushing.
Over time, this will help them understand the different tastes of different coffees and how this compares with their own home espresso practice.
This not only applies to the espresso shots but also to the milk steaming. As you can see in the video, a barista is able to come around the front to steam milk right in front of a customer. Again, the education for home baristas and passionate coffee consumers will be huge.
Baristas will be held accountable
Too many times have I seen the sloppiness of baristas end in the result of an unhappy customer.
Full caffeinated coffee going into what should be a decaf latte due to pure laziness or hatred of decaf.
Shots that have run for way too long still being served up. Likewise with shots that drip or channel.
This will end most of the bad habits and force baristas to upskill and be comfortable “performing” in front of customers.
This again, will only improve the coffee being served up.
Stronger Bonds between cafe and customer
Every cafe owner should want one of these in their place.
Not only is it one of the sexiest machine on the market right now, it encourages conversation.
How many times have you walked into a cafe, had to wait 5 minutes in silence while the baristas giggled and joked by themselves before serving your beverage up?
Remember, no one goes into a cafe solely to spend an extra five minutes on their phones. Most of them can do that at their desks or at the very least, their office-appointed espresso machine.
People go to cafes to be social (yes and get a caffeine fix, no doubt) and if the person serves them a coffee with some small talk and a smile on the side, it DEFINITELY makes the coffee taste better.
Imagine the conversations that can be had over THEIR coffee shots and steamed milk.
“Look how good this shot is falling, Miranda! This one is yours, and it’s going to be amazing. Look at that crema!”
“Oh my God, is that one mine? That looks sensational, I can’t wait to drink it! Oh – and you poured a swan on my latte too. You’re the best!”
You get it. It’s good.
Now that the technology has been developed to put all the messy steel bits hidden away, the possibilities are endless.
Imagine a cafe where customers and baristas can make coffees together? Or a place with a portafilter and steam wand at each table, where the barista comes over and makes coffee like it’s a teppanyaki bar?
It’s just one big step in the right direction and I applaud Aremde for pushing the boundaries of the tradition espresso machine.
The one concern I do have is how will the maintenance go? How well will this machine perform over the years? Will it hold up or break down often?
I guess only time will tell since this machine is too new to prove it’s reliability just yet.
Apart from that I cannot see why this machine will not take over by storm and put Australia where it should be: front and centre on the map of coffee expertise.
What’s next for Aremde? Can they achieve the same outcome with an under-counter grinder? Hahaha! I hope so.
Enjoy your brew.