BeanScene Magazine

What’s beneath the counter?

From the November 2015 issue.
What’s beneath the counter?

The Mavam under-counter espresso machine answers the need for temperature stability – with a little bit of theatre.

The evolution of the Mavam begins like a scene out of a horror novel. “It all started alone in a dark basement in my Seattle home,” Co-founder Michael Gregory Myers says. “It’s where I developed my best ideas.”

Michael or ‘Mike’ as he likes to be referred to, has been around espresso machines for as long as he can remember.

“My family owns the longest running sales and service company in Seattle where I have been working as a service technician my whole working life,” he says.

As a kid, Mike says he was “inspired” watching his father selling and tinkering with espresso machines.

“My interest has always been with temperature stability. I remember watching all the machines sold that were not temperature stable, and I questioned, why? My interest first started with traditional coffee machines and the role of the group head. The heart and soul of any espresso machine is the group head. It dictates temperature stability and coffee quality of any machine,” Mike says. “There are only six different types of group heads out there, so to address temperature stability I had to design a new group head first.”

To start his crusade for stability, Mike made more than 20 prototype group heads for two different models of machines.

“My goal was to create a machine that was temperature stable from the first shot to the hundredth shot. During this process I learned all about water and how quickly it dissipates heat,” he says.

The Mach 1 was Mike’s first attempt at a temperature stable machine. “It’s a counter-top model that has no cold and hot water mixing and heated surfaces that allows no change in water temperature,” he says.

It was during the creation of the Mach 1 that Mike started playing with the under-counter idea.

“My main focus was temperature stability and it was not an easy task figuring out the solution. The testing was endless. I tried every possible solution,” he says. “But the under-counter machine just makes sense. It’s a clean and simple solution to show off the art of extracting and preparing espresso-based drinks.”

The concept of the machine comes from the beer industry, and Mike endlessly watching beers being poured and thrown out when not perfect.

“I always thought how often we get served mediocre shots of espresso because we can’t see what’s going on. This led to endless drawings to find a slim design that could still hold the group head and all the components while still being easy to service. The design also fits the components needed to make it temperature stable,” Mike says.

What Mike has produced is a machine that has an element of theatre and one that allows more transparency between the barista and the consumer.

“The customer can see exactly what’s happening in the brewing cycle. There’s nowhere to hide,” Mike says. “The design of the Mavam is changing the whole attitude of coffee preparation. The machine and work area stays cleaner, and it exposes the barista’s brewing technique.”

To read the rest of this article see the October edition of BeanScene Magazine. Subscribe here.

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