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To celebrate 90 years of heritage, technology and design, La Marzocco hosted the first edition of Out Of The Box (OOTB) in Melbourne on 28 March at Abbotsford Convent.

“This is the first time OOTB has been in Australia. The concept started as a forum six years ago as a means to connect friends and family with La Marzocco’s traditions and values. Today, we celebrate the company’s 90-year history and its passion and excellence in producing quality espresso machines,” said La Marzocco Australia Tom Beaumont. “Today is about discussion, fun, and meeting new people who celebrate the things we love about coffee.”

The festival-like program had something for everyone. The True Artisan Café featured rotating roasters including Campos Coffee, Villino, Padre and Red Brick, Industry Beans, and Allpress.

To enhance the taste experience, Café Imports’ Noah Namowicz presented on whether a stratified green buying model is the future of coffee sourcing, and Melbourne Coffee Merchants’ Fluer Stuff gave her insights to Bolivian coffee.

Guest presenters on the ‘main stage’ included La Marzocco’s Chief Operations Officer Roberto Bianchi, who discussed the innovation and development process of machines at the La Marzocco factory, and unveiled its new Strada AV ABR, modelling improvements on the Linea PB.

La Marzocco’s Enrico Wurm, who works in the Florence-based Research and Development team, spoke about water’s impact on coffee machines, the flavour of coffee, and the company’s collaborations to better understand water.

Dr Al Lee of Deakin University talked about growth opportunities and challenges of doing business in the Chinese market, and Chris Baca and Jared Truby of Cat & Cloud in the United States spoke about the future of coffee.

“What will coffee look like in 90 years? We think the potential for quality is immense,” Chris said. “We anticipate that you’ll be able to pre-program everything, and every solubility you want. Wholesale will include same-day deliveries of the coffee you love. You will probably be able to grow your own coffee seeds in city warehouses or in your own backyard, but there’s also lots of uncertainties.”

Chris and Jared questioned the future role of a barista, and how technology has the ability to “take the mystery out of processes” but in return automation will “give us more time to connect people and work out how to enhance their café experience”.

A panel discussion to end the day’s session focused on which segment of the industry was responsibility for water quality (a technician, café owner or barista), the purpose of a barista, and machine automation.

The Melbourne event was the first to kick off the La Marzocco 90th Anniversary World Tour, a format designed to convey the history, story, traditions and innovations of the espresso machine manufacturer, by means of a iconographic pop-up installation.

The next OOTB event will take place on 29 March at the La Marzocco China Inauguration Party in Shanghai, followed by 6 to 9 April at the London Coffee Festival in London, 21 to 23 April at La Marzocco Café at KEXP in Seattle, and 20 to 24 October at HOST Exhibition in Milan.

Founded in 1927, La Marzocco was originally named Officine Fratelli Bambi by brothers and craftsmen Giuseppe and Bruno Bambi.

Today, it continues to manufacture the finest specialty coffee equipment, and build relationships to enrich the lives of others.

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