According to German coffee equipment manufacturer Frank Buna, Australia is one of the largest dairy and plant-based milk drinking countries in the world, estimating that 78 per cent of all Australian’s have milk with their coffee.
To accommodate the large percentage of milk-based beverages, Frank Buna, together with Italian coffee roaster Segafredo Zanetti in a strategic partnership, is bringing the Latte Art Factory Bar Pro (LAF Bar Pro) to Australia. The LAF Bar Pro is a new automatic milk frothing and dispensing machine for commercial coffee bars.
“Café owners and operators in Australia will be able to make better margins on the lattes they sell thanks to the arrival of the Latte Art Factory Bar Pro, allowing untrained baristas to prepare high-quality foamed coffee beverages every time,” says Frank Buna Chief Business Development Officer Sven Keysers.
“The LAF Bar Pro allows the user to control the consistency of the milk or plant-based liquid being dispensed, providing a far superior coffee experience. It can create both hot and cold milk foam, cuts down on milk waste and minimises the need for a higher qualified barista, meaning more money in a business owner’s pocket.”
Sven says when milk is steamed, it can overheat and break down proteins, destroying the natural sweetness and flavour profile of the milk.
“Our patented technology is more energy efficient because it uses hot air pressure instead of steam and therefore doesn’t inject water into the liquid, so the milk foam is purer, yielding a better-quality milk, flavour, and texture,” he says.
“By eliminating the chances of the milk being burnt thanks to our controlled portion dispense, this helps drastically decrease milk waste by up to 25 per cent and makes the LAF Bar Pro a more sustainable option for cafés looking to reduce their environmental impact.”
The machine can create more than 120 beverage variations on demand, allowing the user a wider menu selection without the need to train baristas on each one.
The partnership between Frank Buna and Segafredo was finalised in September. After paying a visit to Frank Buna’s exhibition booth at Host Milano 2021, Segafredo was “blown away” by the automatic milk-frothing machine, and thought it would be best suited to the Australian coffee market.
“Bringing the LAF Bar Pro to Australia is a major milestone that will open new opportunities for us to increase our national footprint in this nation of coffee lovers,” says Andrew Grandfield, Managing Director of Segafredo Zanetti Australia.
“There are many synergies between Segafredo and the Latte Art Factory, including our rich histories and shared desire to continually innovate and provide customers with exceptional experiences. As a result, we believe this partnership will be incredibly successful by ensuring consistency and speed to café owners and coffee drinkers across Australia.”
LAF Bar Pro on display at MICE2022
Segafredo will showcase the LAF Bar Pro along with several other Latte Art Factory machines at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) from 27 to 30 September. Both companies expect particularly keen interest in the LAF Bar Pro as the winner of the Specialty Coffee Association’s Best New Product award for 2022.
“We’re thrilled to have won the Best New Product award and view it as a real validation of our vision for the LAF Bar Pro. We believe that our automatic milk frother is revolutionising the way that coffee is made and served, and we can’t wait to see it in Australian cafés,” Sven says.
“Frank Buna is paving the way in innovation, showcasing milk frothing machines that have never been seen or used before in Australia. MICE2022 will allow us to introduce our products at the largest coffee event in the Asia-Pacific to coffee roasters, café owners and baristas.”
Frank Buna and Segafredo jointly predict that the LAF Bar Pro will be a game-changer for profit-thirsting cafés in and around Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth, locations where Segafredo, one of the world’s largest privately owned coffee companies, has the innovative milk-frothing machine on showroom display, and ready for purchase.
“The impact in the Australian market will create high volume sales for both partners. Over the next few years, we predict that the Latte Art Factory brand will become a household name and a barista’s best friend in the coffee industry,” Sven says.
Sven says milk-foamed beverages have in the last two years posed profitability challenges for cafés, due to COVID-19, which produced a shortage of baristas qualified to prepare milk foam.
“The staffing shortages are of an unprecedented scale. A major contributing factor besides the pandemic has been the sharp reduction in visas offered to foreign workers who traditionally are a reliable source of hires to fill barista positions,” Sven says.
He says the LAF Bar Pro represents a strong potential solution, because the milk-frothing machine reduces the time and labour required to produce lattes and similar high-volume sellers. Consequently, cafés can produce at least twice as many coffees per day as they once did, but faster and with fewer hands involved.
“Just as importantly, the involved hands do not need to be highly skilled to prepare flawless lattes. With the LAF Bar Pro installed, if a barista can push a button, they can make frothed milk just like a pro,” he says.
During high-volume café trials within Australia, experienced café owners and operators found their new free time could be redirected into ensuring their espresso production was perfected, thereby improving drink quality across the entire coffee menu.
The LAF Bar Pro is cloud-enabled, meaning café owners can not only monitor consumption data in real-time and make informed decisions about their menu and pricing, but also service the machine remotely, leading to less downtime and more reliable performance.
“The LAF Bar Pro will practically be the second barista in your café. And that means it should be more profitable to make and serve each cup, considering that typical pay for a highly skilled barista in Australia is $30 per hour, and rising,” Sven says.
“We believe the future partnerships between Latte Art Factory, coffee roasters, and café operators will ease margin pressures and assist greatly the quality of coffee served locally.”