While waiting in line for a Schomer’s macchiato at PublicUs or a Cuban espresso at Makers & Finders, you may have spotted the machines making your coffee and thought they were nicer than your car. Well, they are. The two coffee shops spared no expense on their top-of-the-line espresso machines that are as beautiful as they are functional. Many of us are unaware of the details that go into pouring the perfect shot of energy, and these elegant devices’ precision make baristas’ jobs a little easier.
The Black Eagle
From Italian manufacturer Victoria Arduino, this is the same machine used in the World Barista Championship since 2015. Makers & Finders owner Josh Molina was forced to upgrade the entire electrical system in the restaurant because the new machine required double the amperage of his old generic one.
The Black Eagle (pictured above) does pretty much everything besides compliment the barista after they finish pouring a shot. Each of the three group heads (where the espresso is extracted) has an individual memory setting that allows the barista to set the weight of ground coffee and the liquid in the cup, brewing temperature, and boiler pressure. It also allows the barista three options on how long to pull the shot—single, long or manual. The self-cleaning, self-rinsing 300-pound appliance’s retail price is around $25,000.
This machine was developed in the Netherlands by aeronautical engineer (not a joke) Kees van der Westen. The Spirit is semi-automatic, meaning the barista starts and stops the shot, and controlled by levers. The levers are for ergonomic purposes because continual pushing on buttons can eventually harm barista’s wrists over a long period of time, according to coffee program manager Cole McBride.
PublicUs’s Spirit has custom-made steam wands from Japan with laser-cut vortex tips that are gentle on the milk and allows the steam to be dispersed more evenly. It is also one of the only machines of its kind—there are fewer than 12 in the U.S.—that is set up with a Scace thermofilter temperature device. The Scace installed up with a complicated data logger program to set the ideal temperature of the machine automatically. Only a few people know how to install the thermofilter, but McBride had a hookup. The retail price for the Spirit is around $22,000 not including the custom attachments.