La Specialista Maestro

Australian tastes drive development of De’Longhi’s new manual machine, La Specialista Maestro

According to De’Longhi Australia and New Zealand CEO, Mr Paolo Albertoni, the newly launched La Specialista Maestro machine has been crafted to specifically suit the Australian coffee consumer palate.

La Specialista Maestro premiered in Australia on International Coffee Day as a world-first. It is the Italian coffee-maker’s most advanced domestic manual machine to date, with parameters and settings that will appeal to both baristas and coffee-making novices.

“We are very proud of this machine because it has been designed with the Australian consumer in mind,” Paolo enthused at the machine’s local debut. “We are the first market in the world to launch La Specialista Maestro, which is the evolution of our hero manual machine, La Specialista. From the grinding, dosing, brewing and texturing, consumers have creative freedom as to how they make their coffee, whilst benefiting from cutting edge De’Longhi technology for precision and best extraction of flavour.”

Paolo explained that the uniqueness of the machine was epitomised in the marketing tagline ‘A Coffee Symphony Crafted In Science’ because it empowers consumers to master the coffee and milk preparation the same way a professional barista does.

La Specialista Maestro“As we know, delivering a great coffee depends on so many variables. It depends on the coffee beans, the coarseness of the grind, the quantity of the coffee, the tamping, the pre-infusion, and the water temperature – even the consistency of the water temperature,” he explained. “La Specialista Maestro, as in a symphony, maximises each of the stages of the coffee preparation to transform the coffee experience. The machine embraces the artistic craft and science involved in producing every cup through its settings and allows users to choose their level of automation and interaction with the machine.”

Three-time Australian Barista Champion and De’Longhi Ambassador, Craig Simon, echoed Paolo’s comments, noting that La Specialista Maestro has been fashioned to extract the best flavour profiles of beans – honouring the journey from plant to roast to cup.

“There are many impacts along the chain of coffee that determine whether we realise the maximum potential of the beans from the beginning of their journey to our cup,” he explained. “What I love about this machine is it takes away some of the tricky skills involved in defining what those parameters are.”

To clarify his point, Craig said that making great coffee was essentially a chemistry experiment of solubility, with the objective being to achieve a balance in sweet, acid and bitter compounds. He noted that in an espresso machine, dosing, grind size, tamping and temperature will all influence how water will pour through the coffee and that La Specialista Maestro simplified each of these stages in the process.

“It basically assists people through every stage so that you don’t have to spend thousands of hours practising like I have with traditional manual equipment,” he said. “I have seen numerous consumers buy manual machines and soon realise they did not have the skills to make a great coffee. This machine gives you manual controls but simplifies the stages so that you can quickly achieve great results – it’s very smart.”

The features that Craig was referring to includes the Sensor Grinding Technology, Active Temperature Control, Dynamic Pre-Infusion and Smart Tamping Station.  Additionally, La Specialista Maestro has six Automatic One Touch Recipes.

La Specialista MaestroWhile Paolo credited the collaborative work of coffee scientists around the world in creating the machine, he noted that antipodean feedback and preferences had significantly influenced its development – particularly the technology La Specialista Maestro incorporates for making milk coffee beverages.

De’Longhi Australia’s Product Trainer Cheryl Bosworth elaborated on this further by explaining that the machine’s settings for making a milk coffee, such as a latte, always ensure the coffee is poured first – a distinctively Australian trait.

“It will automatically pour coffee first because that’s what Australians love. This has been a big part of the feedback we’ve provided to the De’Longhi headquarters in Italy and they’ve not only listened but developed certain machine settings to suit our preferences,” she said. “Having a coffee pour first for a milk drink is desirable because the milk will mix in more consistently, so you’ll get a better balance of flavour as a result.”

A key feature of La Specialista Maestro is that it includes both a manual milk-frothing option as well as De’Longhi’s world-renowned automatic milk texturing technology, the LatteCrema system.

“The LatteCrema technology produces perfectly textured milk every single time – the right density, the right creaminess, and the perfect industry standard temperature into your cup,” Cheryl said. “One of the best features of this machine is that you have this automatic option. Which is fantastic, particularly if you want to make a quality coffee fast. Of course, the manual option is available as well, allowing you to create your own latte art. Both are delicious options, it just depends on the level of convenience you need.”

In fact, convenience is an apt word to use when describing the benefits of La Specialista Maestro. It’s essentially a manual machine that includes automatic functionality so that consumers can enjoy a home barista experience without having to go through years of professional barista training. This is not just reflected in the advanced features, but in the machine’s specialised coffee guide and settings table.

La Specialista Maestro“To get the best out of your beans, you look for information on the packaging about the variety and type of roast, then you just open the coffee guide and the settings provided to work out your dose, grind size and temperature settings,” Cheryl expounded. “Usually, as barista with a traditional manual machine, you will have to experiment according to the extraction rule to get those settings right. But what De’Longhi have provided with this coffee guide and settings table is an excellent starting point. This makes it a lot easier – it might only take two or three shots of coffee for you to achieve that perfect result.”

Again, the settings table is the result of De’Longhi listening to the feedback of their Australian customers.

“De’Longhi takes the feedback seriously. Especially from Australians, who are so passionate about coffee, the global R&D team  have listened and put these innovations into the La Specialista Maestro machine as well as into the coffee guide and settings table. This enables consumers to create an at-home barista style, quality coffee each and every time,” Cheryl concluded.

For more information about the De’Longhi La Specialista Maestro, please click here.