The Slayer Steam LP coffee machine combines an artisanal approach to crafting espresso with high-volume capacity.
Like many musicians who release an extended play to test the waters before they drop a full-length album, Slayer Espresso has launched the Steam LP, the follow-up to its successful EP espresso machine.
Ross Quail, Asia-Pacific Branch Manager of Slayer Espresso, says the Steam LP represents a new high point for the espresso machine manufacturer.
“The LP takes the most commercially evolved machine in the Slayer range – the EP – and applies the manual espresso making capability of the classic Slayer Espresso and makes it automatic,” Ross says.
“The machine evolves to the needs of the individual who makes the coffee, instead of vice versa. In the same way using an iPhone becomes intuitive, the Steam LP becomes second nature. At Slayer, there is an embedded empathy for that drive to make the best coffee we possibly can, from the top of the company with [President and CEO] Jason Prefontaine to the most junior technician.”
Jason says the Steam LP was designed to highlight single origins while bringing out the best in blends.
“The Slayer Steam LP simplifies the workflow and dialling-in process, making it easy to extract those boutique coffees effortlessly and repeatedly,” Jason says.
“All Slayer machines are designed for the passionate coffee lover and having a Slayer on bench tells your customers that you’re serious about serving them the best. Working on a Slayer is also a pleasure as it’s apparent that the machines are designed and crafted by fellow coffee lovers.”
The LP completes the Slayer Steam Box Set, a collection of espresso machines that caters to every budget, volume, and brewing type.
“Through the Box Set, we offer a range of machines that focus on workflow and design to allow those high-quality machines to flourish within the modern café. The Slayer design is a beautiful marriage between form and function. For instance, the hollows within the legs allow you to stow electrical cables to keep the workspace organised, safe, and visually appealing,” Ross says.
“Then, we look at how the range presents itself to the individual coffee machine user. We start by asking people: ‘How do you make your coffee?’ Some people will say: ‘I craft every shot and make every coffee myself.’ In these cases, the machine for them is the Slayer Espresso. Many others say, ‘I need a volumetric machine but still want to craft’.”
Ross says the Steam LP fills this niche and is targeted at “the evolved specialty coffee barista with a focus on black coffee”.
“The machine still allows beautiful milk texturing, but speaking to a global audience, Slayer could see an evolution in black coffee,” he says. “Asian markets in particular are doing a tremendous amount of black coffee. Much of that comes from the Australian market’s influence, with its maturity and commitment to espresso excellence, despite still being very milk-based.
“The LP is for those baristas who want to run multiple coffees, sometimes very dynamically within their business, as well as a milk-based coffee, or two, at different temperatures.” The Slayer Steam LP made its debut at the Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston from 11 to 14 April 2019. Ross says the United States’ positive reaction to the machine has already spread throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
“It’s been extraordinary. The initial reception was really welcoming. So many people love that Slayer is contributing a new machine to the global coffee zeitgeist that makes coffee better,” Ross says.
Key features of the Steam LP that Ross says have really left an impression include an intuitive barista dashboard and user interface, the ability to manually dial in then save and copy the desired shot across other groups, and a single-pump line pressure pre-infusion. The latter allows baristas to soak the coffee before extraction begins, providing a more even spread of water during extraction.
“We’ve repurposed a standard piece of coffee machine technology to be utilised in a completely different way, entirely to the advantage of the barista,” Ross says.
Once the barista has determined the best levels for pre-infusion, they are able to pre-program two settings per group head using Slayer’s classic paddle system. These settings include water temperature, extraction time, and volumetric dosing.
“Slayer uses an algorithm within the machine to calculate the amount of water dispensed through the flow meter, the coffee, and into the cup to understand how much water remains in the puck of coffee, in addition to the espresso,” Ross says.
“Provided you use a consistent dose, the machine can regulate itself, and continually dispense the same volumetric amount of water through the coffee to create an espresso without the need for scales.”
Ross says the steps Slayer has taken to streamline its designs, such as the use of an algorithm instead of a set of physical scales, reduces costs and parts of the machine, aiding maintenance.
“If you open the machine, you won’t see a mess of wires. It’s so well designed that a technician can take off any panel and get a spanner on any nut,” Ross says. “It’s very uncomplicated because of the efficiencies taken in how it was built, utilising new technology rather than overengineering. Slayer has built a simple machine to do a complex job.”
While the Steam LP arrived in Australia not long after its American launch, Ross felt it was important the Slayer Australian team, and its local distributors, became well versed in the machine before it was made available in August.
“We wanted to provide our resellers and constituents an opportunity to be ahead of the curve. It’s difficult to provide support if they’re at the same level of understanding as their customers,” Ross says.
“We’ve established a branch office in Australia to further contribute to the success of our resellers. We work tirelessly to travel, train, and support end user customers and those who make Slayer a part of their business.”
Despite the distance, the Seattle-based Jason is confident in Ross and his team’s ability to represent the Slayer brand in Australia’s dynamic and competitive market.
“I’ve always strived to build my businesses based on customer service, support, and industry expertise, putting the customer first based on my belief of what they needed from us for their businesses to succeed,” Jason says. “Ross and the Slayer Asia-Pacific crew are literally the best people we could find in Melbourne who understand and embody everything that Slayer is and stands for, and like me, they’ve been doing it for a long time.”
This article appears in the August edition of BeanScene Magazine. Subscribe HERE.
For more information, visit www.slayerespresso.com