Earlier this week, Dalla Corte introduced us to the Mina, the manufacturer’s “biggest little star” according to Tristan Creswick, the Business Development Manager for Dalla Corte Australia.
“At 38.5 centimetres high and 41 centimetres deep, she’s compact and attractive enough to find a prominent space on your kitchen counter. However, unlike most single group machines, she’s decked out with features and functionality that even most large commercial espresso machines can’t compete with,” says Tristan.
“Facing her, she looks clean, simple, and easy to use. On your left is her steam wand and a dial above it that controls the steam. On your right is her control dial, complete with visual aids to help you know what setting you’re on. In her centre is Mina’s yoke, this device allows you to engage manual or semi-automatic flow profiling. Above the yoke, you’ll see a gauge, this shows the coffee pressure and is very important when controlling your espresso flow.”
The Mina possesses highly accurate temperature and weight controls, digital flow profiling capabilities, and a designated app designed to make flow profiling easy and accessible to baristas of all levels.
“In many ways, Mina excels above the average commercial machine, with features that make her more precise and flexible to use,” Tristan continues.
“If having creative control over your coffee isn’t enough, Mina’s exterior is also customisable, giving you freedom to maintain your overall aesthetic when integrating her into your space.”
Flow profiling is controlling the amount of water being introduced to your coffee per second in grams. To put it simply, Tristan explains, “It’s similar to turning a tap on and off. Most espresso machines are designed with only one flow rate, which can lead to inconsistent coffees because of channelling. Also, not all coffees are the same, so being able to change the flow rate opens up many possibilities.”
“Much like different varieties of grapes will produce different tastes and aromas in wine, and different ageing processes will further change flavour and aroma, different varieties and roasts of coffee beans will produce different tastes and aromas in coffee beverages. Additionally, the amount of water seeping through coffee, as well as the amount of time the water spends going through the coffee, will dramatically alter the flavour of a beverage. To fully experience this, go to a café that serves specialty coffee and order a long black and a pour-over filter brew, tasting them side by side will give you an idea of just how dramatic the difference can be.”
With coffee coming in so many varieties, and changing the flow profile alters the flavour, Tristan adds many baristas will ask how to know which flow profile is right for which coffee.
“That requires a bit of practice and experimentation, and Mina is designed to make that process easy and intuitive,” he says.
“With Mina’s auto-calibration, you can choose settings on her app and let the machine do everything for you. If you prefer to be more ‘hands-on’, you can opt for semi-automatic brewing, choosing some settings on the app, and completing the shot with the yoke. Or, if you’ve become confident using the machine, you can opt for fully manual shots where you control both flow and timing yourself, using the yoke.”
Through Mina’s app, users can control the speed and amount of water introduced to their coffee, as well as keep a record of different flow profiles they’ve tried, saving their favourites for future use. Mina’s DFR opens and closes, allowing water to pass through at varying flow rates. As shown on the app, Mina’s DFR has 12 settings, with one to five being a slow or light flow, six to eight being a more traditional flow similar to other machines, and nine or above being a strong flow.
“Ultimately, although there are some definite ‘wrongs’, there is no unanimous’’right’ flow for any given coffee, it’s up to you to decide what you like,” Tristan says.
“A lot of people don’t know what they like, simply because they haven’t had the opportunity to try a variety of tastes and textures in coffee. Discovering your preferences is a beautiful thing.”
The Mina has been snapped up by some of Australia’s leading coffee researchers, such as Jeremy from Barista Hustle and Joe from Socratic Coffee, as well as several innovative coffee roasters who have recognised just how beneficial this technology is. For more information or to arrange a demo, contact Tristan via phone 0449955136 or email email@example.com