From Milan to the outback

Anfim SP II+

The Anfim SP II+ grinder was born through a combination of Italian tradition and expertise and Australian innovation and terrain.

If you ever happen to be exploring Italy and stroll along Via Bernardino Verro in Milan, you will catch the surprisingly intense aroma of freshly ground espresso.

But as you follow that seductive smell to find the café inviting you to sit down and enjoy a sip of a traditional Italian espresso, you’ll instead be greeted by the doors to number 33. Behind that unassuming façade is the headquarters of espresso grinder manufacturer Anfim.

The waft of espresso comes from fully assembled machines being put through final quality tests to ensure they will produce no less than perfect results for clean, sweet, and balanced cups.

Italy, the birthplace of espresso, is home to many of the most prestigious manufacturers of espresso equipment. As such, Anfim has had its fingers on the pulse of espresso culture since its early beginnings. Anne Krahmer, Head of Global Marketing for Anfim and Hemro Group, says the brand has always been an active member of the International Speciality Coffee barista community.

“Anfim helped shape new trends and quality standards for that tiny aromatic hot beverage that finally set out to conquer cafes and espresso bars all around the world,” Anne says.

“In Milano, almost every café is using an Anfim grinder. Over the years, it spread through Italy, but due to the small size of the family business, we didn’t raise international awareness until the 1980s.”

Anfm SPII+
The Anfim SP II+ uses a sensor instead of a manual button to activate the grind.

Since the company started in 1932, originally under the name Anfin, Anne says the brand has stood for and by its motto: “Milan is our origin, espresso is our tradition, grinding is our passion”.

Anfim’s grinding expertise, grown over the decades, was multiplied when it joined the Swiss-based Hemro Group in 2012. Hemro Group is also home to the German premium grinder brand Mahlkönig, the Swiss shop grinding expert Ditting, and China’s young and dynamic grinder manufacturer HeyCafé.

“Beside Italy, Anfim had a really strong presence in Australia and Korea but didn’t have an international network,” says Ross Quail, Sales Director South Asia and Australia.

“Joining Hemro Group provided Anfim with access to a dedicated marketing department and research and development hub. But being a small family-owned company, it brought with it very close relationships with its partners, and it’s awesome to get that level of market feedback and involvement.”

Anfim compliments the Hemro espresso grinder portfolio with its own unique and Italian grinders. The brand has a special focus on consistency and performance over high volumes of espresso drinks, like those served in Australia. “The result is an unmatched combined portfolio of grinding solutions that meets any individual set of requirements,” Ross says.

Anfim has also benefitted from the partnership as the official espresso grinder sponsor of the World Latte Art Championships since 2015, providing its star product, the heavy-duty Anfim SP II.

“By sponsoring local events and barista competitions, Anfim fosters its relationships with baristas all around the world,” Anne says.

While Italian at heart, Anne says Anfim’s most valuable source of inspiration to innovate and develop its grinders is the passionate baristas, roasters, and retail partners the brand closely cooperates with across the globe.

Ross says through this collaboration, Anfim’s espresso grinders are adaptable to the individual requirements of different markets.

“Espresso lives where baristas and guests meet: at the bar,” Ross explains. “That’s why laboratory testing alone could never create a genuinely perfect espresso grinder. If we want to make a real difference, improve the barista’s workflow, and not least, the guest’s best possible flavour experience, we need insights from the real everyday feedback at the espresso bar.”

Thanks to this continued collaboration with the global coffee market, Anfim has launched its latest grinder, the SP II+, in 2020.

Accompanying the product development was Anfim’s long term retail partner Espresso Company Australia. The team in Sydney has been distributing Anfim espresso grinders, alongside other professional coffee equipment, for more than 20 years.

Anfm SPII+
The original Anfim SP II sits proudly on coffee bars across Australia.

Ross says Charles Stephens and Salvatore Savarino of Espresso Company Australia bring a wealth of expertise in both coffee machinery and the Australian specialty coffee industry. They have provided valuable insight to Anfim’s product development team on numerous occasions, going back to the concept phase of the SP 450, the predecessor of the SP II.

“The foundation of any long-lasting relationship is to rely on what has been established while embracing the new on every single day,” Charles says.

“We are very proud and happy to collaborate with the team at Anfim. It is always great to see new ideas for improvements being translated into actual product updates or even into completely new innovations. Working with such a passionate engineering team is pure pleasure.”

The Anfim SP II was designed to feature quality and efficiency at high volume cafes and espresso bars and has become a top choice for busy environments. Despite being a “workhorse”, Ross says it is known to produce a clean flavour with optimal sweetness and perfect balance.

The Anfim SP II+ shares many details with the original. Its 75-millimetre titanium-coated burrs are paired with a dual fan system to maximise and retain flavour and minimising heat emissions while under high demand. The stepless grind adjustment and user-friendly software with a precise timer – (adjustable by increments to one-tenth of a second) – ensure accurate dosing.

Salvatore of Espresso Company Australia has found an interesting way of framing the SP II: “I see the same challenges that need to be managed in a work environment of the café with the Australian outback. You are looking to minimise heat and environmental dusty ingression. Not quite the perfect conditions for any technical appliance, are they!? However, the new features of SP II+ are dealing with exactly that. We continue development on our challenges to enhance its reputation of a great experience in the espresso cup.”

The re-designed SP II+ features are yet another detail to adapt to the rough terrain of an “outback-like” café. On the new model, the mechanical start/stop activation switch is replaced by a durable proximity sensor that stays unaffected by even the most intense use during peak hours. Ross says it is the first espresso grinder on the market to include this type of sensor.

“The sensor recognises when the portafilter is placed in the holder and starts the grinding process,” he says.

Anfim SPII+
The Anfim SP II is made for espresso, which is why Italy, Australia, and Korea in particular have embraced the grinders.

“During busy periods, the barista is moving quickly and may slam or force the portafilter into the holder. Over time and demand, this can cause wear and tear on the activation switch, so we’ve replaced the button with a sensor – encased within the metal body – to prevent this from happening.”

Additionally, the fan was upgraded to 55 IP (ingression property), the best available across the industry.  The new fan will prevent the coffee grounds from overheating and aroma loss.

The considerations for flavour and high demand output were the driving force behind the Anfim SP II+, but the product development team used the opportunity to improve the grinder’s safety and service parameters too. Following and even exceeding current Australian and international safety requirements, additional safety switches were placed under the hopper and behind the spout. These switches stop the grinder immediately once either is removed. Another new feature is the removable panel which allows easy service and maintenance.

“This was especially important for larger coffee chains. The change in staff is a lot more often than an independent café, so they need to make sure the grinder is as safe and easy to use as possible,” Ross says.

The Anfim SP II+ has made its debut in Australia, landing on our shores in September. Anne says it was an obvious choice with the grinder so well suited to the local Australian speciality coffee market.

“The volume of coffee is very high, in smaller cafés and larger chains, and our Australian team and partners were so heavily involved. We are proud to be this close with our partners and have this relationship with them,” Anne says.

“What it takes to create the perfect espresso grinder is just as true to brew the perfect shot – bring expertise, experience, and passion together, genuinely enjoy the process, and strive to exceed your own expectations.”

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This article appears in the October 2020 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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