Barista Attitude ambassadors explore the Tempesta’s intuitive functions

Barista Attitude

BeanScene speaks with world champion Barista Attitude ambassadors to see what impresses them about the new Tempesta espresso machine, and why its intuitive functions are suited on and off the competition stage.

When the stage is set for the 2022 World Barista Championship (WBC) in Melbourne and the grandstands are full of spectators, one piece of equipment will command attention, not only for its unique design and custom Melbourne- themed wrap, but its ability to stage the talent of the world’s best baristas.

Consistency and customisation

Tempesta by Barista Attitude is this year’s Qualified Espresso Machine of the WBC, taking place from 27 to 30 September at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo.

“I wish I was there to compete with it,” laughs Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, 2019 WBC runner-up and 2016 World Coffee in Good Spirits Champion. “For sure, the baristas will enjoy the stability of the temperature in the water boiler, the water flow, and its design for workflow.”

But it’s not only champion baristas who will appreciate their first experience with Tempesta. As a café operator himself at The Rabbit Punch in Athens, Michalis says Tempesta’s stability and consistency between pressure and temperature is key to a perfect extraction with replicable flavours. What’s also important in a café environment, he says, is being able to easily explain to customers how each variable impacts the overall tastes profile of a coffee.

“By using the screen and the curves on Tempesta’s display screen with all the details of every second of the extraction, we can share this with our customers,” Michalis says: pressure per second, temperature, millilitres per second, and total water amount used.

“[This way], you can see if your extraction goes well or not. For example, you can see if your coffee grind size is too fine or not by looking at the water flow.”

He adds that the parameters can be easily and quickly changed on the touchscreen interface, depending on the barista’s needs. Extraction data can also be recorded and shared among baristas to replicate.

“You have the ability to save all the parameters to create your own extraction by using different pressure profiles, and then repeat this again and again with perfect consistency,” he says.

In Tempesta’s standard mode, Michalis likes to play around with the different temperature settings, and sometimes the pre-infusion.

“In the boiler, we are using two of the best sensors to always have consistency in the temperature without losing precision or downtime,” he says.

With the Flow Rate Control (FRC) version, Michalis also enjoys mixing up the pressure profiles and extractions. It’s this ability to customise the machine’s functionalities to the needs of the barista that Michalis says makes Tempesta an appealing model for any standard of barista.

Ultimate control

For reigning World Barista Champion Diego Campos of Colombia, using Tempesta is all about having connection and control over the end product. “The most important thing is to be able to control temperatures, pressure, water flow, and additionally, it has to be a machine that allows me to interact with the customer,” he says.

Barista Attitude ambassadors (from left) Andrea Allen, Diego Campos, Emi Fukahori and Michalis Dimitrakopoulos.

To do this, Diego says baristas can program different recipes, and prepare more than one coffee recipe at the same time, making it possible to use the machine in an automatic way.

“I think that today, the specialty coffee industry is very focused on making the client – who is the person that values and appreciates the product that we prepare – feel and experience coffee from a friendlier and closer point of view,” Diego says.

Ergonomic excellence

For Emi Fukahori, 2018 World Brewers Cup Champion, fourth place 2021 WBC competitor and Owner of Mame Specialty Coffee in Zurich, connecting with customers is also paramount, even more so after the global pandemic, which for her, has underlined a longing for socialisation.

“Coffee shops don’t act just as a coffee stop, rather, it’s a place where people can take a break and have a small human interaction with an enjoyable cup of coffee. So, it is really important that baristas have easy access to spend time with their customers, and that baristas work with a machine that can accompany this part of the barista job,” she says.

Essential to this connection is maintaining workflow and having the space to move around a coffee machine effortlessly while observing the display screen and shots.

“For me personally, I appreciate when espresso machines are slim and specious like Tempesta, so that they don’t scare customers and baristas can remain accessible. Of course, it’s important that Tempesta delivers what baristas wish in shots, and Tempesta does, but baristas also have the important job of interacting with customers and Tempesta is inviting to do so,” Emi says.

The idea of space is also considered among the operational features of Tempesta. Emi’s personal favourite is that there is enough space between the spouts of placed portafilters and the drip tray.

“To extract precise shots, baristas nowadays use scales on the drip tray, and it is really easy to do so on Tempesta. After each extraction and flushing the group heads, baristas have full access to wipe the drip tray and machine wand so smoothly. This ease is gold, as we would like to stay clean the whole shift,” Emi says.

Also beneficial is the ability to steam small or large volumes of milk. “[The steamer] is so smooth to move around, the power of the steamer is excellent, and the adjustment of the power is so precise. When I would like to steam a tiny amount of milk, for a macchiato for example, it is barista-friendly to have just a tiny bit of power. When I need to steam three lattes, with a big jug full of milk, it’s so powerful to steam at once,” Emi says.

“As a coffee shop owner, wasting milk every time a barista steams a tiny amount of milk is an [issue]. Tempesta allows baristas to freely manage this.”

Emi says fellow coffee shop operators will also appreciate Tempesta’s ability to deliver consistent shots in both high and low peaks of service.

“Baristas have to perform well when there is a queue or a customer to serve, and we need a buddy who can perform together,” she says.

“As a working ‘buddy’ for baristas, Tempesta performs precisely based on settings made on each group – one or two for a usual house blend, the third [group] for manual use, for example. With this high performance, it is easy to clean around the machine, so it is easy to work with.”

A foundation of trust

When 2021 WBC Runner-up Andrea Allen first used the Tempesta espresso machine, she says it was a fun experience which quickly saw her producing “incredible espresso”.

“I’m not typically an incredibly technically intuitive person, but the technology of the machine is easy to understand and accessible as well as comprehensive,” Andrea says.

She notes at this point in time, most espresso machines are comprehensive in their technical capabilities and offerings. Therefore, for Andrea, having that mindset as a standard means the machine’s design and profile becomes the selling point, as a tool baristas in the hospitality sector can use to their full potential.

“Technology and machinery should always be the foundation upon which excellence is built. You can have the most incredible, beautiful equipment, but without the heart and skill of a barista, it’s simply a machine,” she says.

For this reason, Andrea says baristas can trust that the Tempesta will play its part so that they can focus on service.

A large reason for this, she adds, is because of the backing and decades of experience from CMA, which has been manufacturing espresso machines since 1969, and is well experienced with parts supply, fabrication, and quality control.

“Their programs, hospitality, and trajectory for this project is just the beginning. It’s a great moment to join Tempesta in the next wave of specialty coffee,” Andrea says.

Michalis Dimitrakopoulous agrees. He started working with the Barista Attitude project in 2016 and says the team has always strived to create the best espresso machine for the barista.

“By testing every machine, we’re trying to be one of the most flexible in the market,” he says. “It was one of my dreams to be part of this team and work to create the perfect espresso machine for the best experience of making coffee.”

For Michalis, and the other Barista Attitude ambassadors, that dream is now a reality.

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This article appears in the August 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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