Barista Group unveils the DiFluid Omni, an advanced roast and particle-size analyser with 2D imaging technology for improved coffee quality.
Australian distributor Barista Group’s mission is to seek out and offer innovative products that improve and enhance the operation, workflow, and offerings of a café.
When Barista Group General Manager Joe Chalhoub partnered with Chinese technology company DiFluid in 2022, he knew he’d found a game-changing product that would serve the company’s ethos.
“Barista Group offers solutions to problems,” Joe says. “The DiFluid Omni is a scientific device that eliminates guesswork and enables roasters to gain more accurate insights into the roast development of coffee beans, allowing them to achieve fine-tuned roasting control, resulting in enhanced quality and elevated taste.
“Consistency is a core attribute of our DNA, which is why the DiFluid Omni was added to Barista Group’s product portfolio. The DiFluid Omni is a revolutionary device for roast development analysis that incorporates the industry’s first two-dimensional (2D) near-infrared (NIR) imaging system, bringing a new breakthrough product to the coffee industry.”
Coffee roast development, assessed through the colour intensity of the beans and grounds, provides key information relevant to the resulting coffee flavour when brewed.
Joe says a core technological highlight of the DiFluid Omni is the 2D NIR imaging technology, which accurately captures characteristics related to the roast development of each coffee bean in real- time. This visual representation and analysis help roasters gain better control over the process.
“The 2D NIR sensor is a key improvement compared to a traditional roast development analyser. The results of this sensor reflect the most realistic roast distribution of the sample. This gives the roaster much richer information about the roast result than just an average value. We’re moving from a single dimension value for ‘degree of roast’ to a broader assessment for ‘development of roast’,” Joe says.
“Even two samples having the same average number could have different distribution statuses, which means they should refer to two different flavours. This device helps roasters to build more rigorous quality control standards and provide customers with higher quality beans.”
The DiFluid Omni calculates the roast degree distribution of beans in a few seconds, from the lightest to darkest roast. The device is also equipped with an intelligent uniformity judgement function, which allows for automatic multiple sampling and display of statistics, such as the total number of particles.
“There is no need for manual labour, as the particle tray connects to the device magnetically and the auto diffusor automatically vibrates the powder on the tray, accelerating the process and ensuring accuracy,” Joe says.
“The magnetic particle tray does not retain coffee powder, so you can enjoy a convenient and clean process of measuring. The 2.8-inch touchscreen also brings a smooth and intuitive experience.”
The DiFluid Omni needs only three grams of ground coffee or 15 grams of whole beans for accurate measurement. Roasters can use the provided scoop, drop the powder into the particle tray centre, and leave the device to analyse it automatically.
“DiFluid Omni also employs multiple NIR bands, such as 850 nanometres and 940 nanometres, and utilises data fusion techniques to provide comprehensive information,” Joe says.
“This enables roasters to make precise adjustments by accurately assessing the roast degree of the beans.”
According to Joe, the DiFluid Omni excels at recognising silver skin from coffee beans and grounds, allowing users to adjust the sensitivity according to their specific needs. This feature ensures flexibility in meeting different roasting requirements.
“Equipped with an advanced temperature compensation system, DiFluid Omni can perform accurate measurements immediately upon start up, eliminating the need for pre-heating time and improving work efficiency,” Joe says.
The DiFluid Omni device can also be integrated with the DiFluid Café app for data recording.
“The DiFluid Café app now has a basic roast management service. You could create your raw bean profiles and select them as pre-sets to conduct roast. You could then combine the roast analysis result from Omni and other information together to create a roast bean record,” Joe says.
At the same time, the app can also integrate multiple test results into a single record to realise the effect of multiple samples for an even greater comprehensive analysis.
“The target market for the device includes coffee enthusiasts, roasters who want to learn more about the process and create customised solutions, and factories or suppliers who want to establish more rigorous production standards. are many variables to control,” Joe says.
“If a roaster likes the way their coffee is tasting, these objective numbers create a winning formula and will improve the overall roasting methodology. Though it is particularly useful for less seasoned roasters or those looking to develop multiple profiles, this device is beneficial for anyone serious about improving their overall roast quality and consistency.”
The DiFluid Omni is also suitable for people focused on understanding more about the composition of their ground coffee and diagnosing issues with their grind.
“Many variables can impact the grind distribution, such as the type of burrs or the type of grinder,” Joe says. “Users may be interested to know how their grinder or burrs compare to those of a friend or a commercial grinder at their local coffee roaster. The Omni will allow them to explore all the above.”
Joe is proud to house the DiFluid Omni in his arsenal of equipment and looks back fondly on what he has achieved this year.
“I’m proud of the satisfaction that our customers throughout Australia and New Zealand have expressed using our products. We strive to always meet and exceed their expectations,” he says.
Joe is eager for future growth and looks forward to the new products and partnerships 2024 will bring.
“I know 2024 will be a banger year for us,” he says. “Watch this space, but for now, here’s a little sneak peek: we will be introducing the Tone Touch Espresso, the world’s first professional boilerless two- group espresso machine.”
The Touch Espresso – or ‘Touch E’ – utilises a modular maintenance concept to simplify service and upkeep.
In standby mode, the Touch E will consume five watts of energy per hour, a significant saving compared to the roughly 550 watts per hour of a conventional machine.
“We take great pride in our identity as innovators and leaders in our industry. Our core mission is to continually push the boundaries of what is possible, striving to develop new and ground-breaking products that streamline workflow and optimise labour to meet the evolving needs of our customers and the market,” Joe says.
“We are committed to a culture of constant innovation, setting trends and consistently delivering fresh, cutting-edge solutions with our partners. We truly consider the companies whose products we carry to be partners, as we work hand- in-hand with them to develop and refine equipment. Our dedication to being at the forefront of innovation is what sets us apart, and we look forward to the opportunity to continue shaping the future with our pioneering products that simplify steps in the workflow.”
For more information, visit www.baristagroup.com.au
This article appears in the December 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.