How Dalla Corte’s automation features assist busy baristas

Dalla Corte

Australian Beverage Corporation’s Boris Georgiou discusses the Dalla Corte espresso equipment range, and how its automation features can best assist a busy team of baristas.

Dalla Corte’s pursuit of helping baristas through automation comes from the perspective of amplifying the abilities of the barista by working in the background.

“Generally, one of the hardest parts of barista training is teaching baristas how to maintain a consistent coffee extraction and to modify grinder settings to ensure this,” says Boris Georgiou, Product Manager at Australian Beverage Corporation, Australian importer of Dalla Corte.

With inconsistencies in grind particle size drastically impacting extraction rate and cup results, Dalla Corte decided to control this coffee variable through a grind control system, where there is direct communication from the DC One grinder to the DC espresso machine. This communication takes place through a physical cable so there’s no potential for electrical interference or dropout.

Using the grind control system, considered “the hallmark of Dalla Corte automation” according to Boris, the espresso machine cues the grinder to self-adjust, based on set percentages of shot time accuracy to ensure precise grinding over time in different operating environments.

The DC One grinder uses a motor drive and has three levels of precise grind adjustment: 1, .05, and .025 millimetres, which ensures consistent and precise changes when required.

Even with the automatic functions of the grind adjustment process taken care of, control is still in the hands of the barista. The system only activates when coffee recipe deviation occurs.

“The way the system is designed is simple and smart, and even accounts for the volumetric time compensation required when grind adjustment happens,” says Boris.

“Tuning the system to accurately compensate is very important. As long as the system is tuned correctly, you’re going to get a consistent result.”

Boris says Dalla Corte’s robust DC One grinder and the full espresso machine range have proven themselves capable of handling high volumes, as the technology has been in the market for a decade now.

“When looking at automation, it is important that the equipment can perform with continued precision under high levels of strain, or the automation will break down,” he says.

The Dalla Corte range, which includes the Icon, Zero, and Evo2, emphasise extraction precision through their unique design. There is no preheating required, meaning they are true independent multi-boilers.

Due to the design of Dalla Corte’s saturated mono-block heaters, proportional integral derivative system and flowmeters, Boris says the DC range has great thermal stability at the point of extraction.

“The Icon and the EVO2 are both temperature stable under 0.5°C, while the Zero is as close as 0.1°C,” Boris says.

This thermal stability allows for a more consistent flavour profile. Further to this, the flowmeters and flow restrictors are on cold water feed points in the hydraulic system, which helps avoid issues with lime scale, common in areas of Australia with hard water.

Boris adds that the Zero model has a new-generation flowmeter that is so accurate it can calculate water delivery to 0.1 grams per second. This flowmeter, combined with a patented variable flow restrictor, allows reproducible pressure changes at the extraction point.

This ability to control flow rate allows the modulation of the pre-infusion, extraction, end stages of the espresso extraction, with the ability to impact coffee aroma, taste, and body.

“You can make the same coffee taste uniquely different with ease,” Boris says.

As Dalla Corte’s machine boilers are not interconnected through water temperature, meaning each boiler works independently of one another, the system has fewer heating points required to achieve precise temperature stability, ensuring energy savings.

Over 24-hour usage, a three-group DC EVO2 and Icon machine, for example, can save 0.960 kilowatts per standard operating hour, equating to around $1182.60 in savings per year, compared to a single boiler system, according to data based on 2006 IMQ testing protocol and NSW energy rates produced in May 2023.

The Dalla Corte range also features an online control system with two-way telematics and the ability to monitor volumetric, temperature settings, and operating parameters remotely.

This data is easily accessible via the company’s mobile responsive website and app.

“Inside the app, you can get a full snapshot and total control over the machines and grinders that are linked,” Boris says.

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This article appears in the October 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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